Exotic Flora and Fauna on Guided Tours Throughout the Galapagos Islands
Each trip includes:
- All accommodations
- All meals (plus soft drinks) mentioned in itinerary
- Excursions with an English-speaking naturalist guide, provided by the Galapagos National Park
- A 10% service charge as per Ecuador law
- Free wireless Internet service while in Santa Cruz and Isabela
- Free use of bikes in Puerto Ayora
- A 25% discount for children under 10 years old
- All snorkeling gear
- All diving equipment except dive computers (which can be rented separately)
Charles Darwin put the Galapagos Islands on the map with his groundbreaking evolutionary tome, On the Origin of Species. When he visited the islands in 1835, the naturalist documented exotic species and began to form his world-changing scientific theories. Thanks to ongoing conservation efforts, the Galapagos Islands continue to sustain the wildlife that inspired him. With this Getaway from Red Mangrove, you’ll get to travel in Darwin’s footsteps, journeying to two of the three Galapagos Islands known collectively as Darwin’s Triangle.
Click here to view the detailed itinerary.
Day 1: Santa Cruz Island Tour guides accompany guests from Baltra Island Airport (GPS) to Santa Cruz Island. From here, the caravan makes its way via charter bus to the town of Puerto Ayora, where a lunch awaits you at the Aventura Lodge, where you’ll be spending the night.
After lunch, the group embarks on a hike to Los Gemelos, a pair of collapsed lava chambers in the Santa Cruz highlands. Then it’s on to a 600-acre private reserve, where Galapagos tortoises can be seen grazing, sleeping, and playing euchre. From here, you can explore an illuminated lava tunnel and go snorkeling off the coast.
Day 2: Santa Cruz to Isabela After breakfast at the lodge, the tour departs for the Itabaca Channel, which separates Santa Cruz from Baltra Island. Once you arrive, you’ll embark on a guided sea kayak tour along the northern shores of Santa Cruz. The cliffs here are a habitat for several sea birds, including blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, and brown pelicans. You can hop in the water to go snorkeling from your kayak; keep your eyes peeled for sea lions, turtles, and tropical fish.
Lunch is served back at the lodge. Then it’s on to Isabela Island; en route, you might glimpse whales, dolphins, whale sharks, and manta rays. After checking in at Isabela Lodge, the rest of the afternoon is yours to relax.
Day 3: Isabela Island After breakfast, you’re off to Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the largest active craters in the world. A half-mile hike (800 meters) takes the group up to the rim, and an easy, 3.75-mile (6-km) trek covers the circumference. Those in the mood for a more challenging hike can continue on a one-hour walk across sloping lava fields to Volcan Chico.
Lunch is served at a local farm run by a family that helps take care of giant tortoises in cooperation with Galapagos National Park. That evening, you can go snorkeling in a tranquil bay.
Day 4: Isabela to Santa Cruz After breakfast at the lodge, you’ll board a boat to scope out a small group of islands known as Las Tintoreras. Once ashore, you can explore a jagged lava field or make your way down to the bay and snorkel among nonaggressive, white-tipped reef sharks.
The expedition concludes with a trip back to Santa Cruz and a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station—former home of Lonesome George, the last living tortoise in his subspecies who died in 2012 at age 100. After a night at Red Mangrove Lodge, you’ll head to the airport on day 5.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.