Have you always wanted to visit the Galapagos Islands but aren’t keen on cruising? Well, we have great news for you! Because there is more than one way to experience the world’s premier wildlife destination. In fact, there are many good reasons to choose a Galapagos island-hopping itinerary over a cruise!
Firstly, land-based itineraries tend to be more moderately priced. So, they are a great option for those who have always wanted to visit the Galapagos Islands, but are price conscious. Because land-based options allow you to choose your standard of accommodation, they are easier to adapt to varying budgets.
Secondly, being land-based doesn’t mean being stuck on one island! Thanks to speedboat transfers between islands it is still possible to visit several islands and enjoy the diversity of flora and fauna the Galapagos is famous for.
And finally, there are many excursions available to island-hoppers that are off limits to cruises! So, you’ll be experiencing a range of sites that you would otherwise have missed! In fact, for this very reason we suggest combining a shorter cruise with some time staying on land. In this way, you will get the very best of both worlds!
If you’re not sure which islands to visit, or when to visit the Galapagos Islands you can find out more on our blog. Alternatively, give one of our Travel Specialists a call and start planning your Galapagos island-hopping holiday today!
Arriving in Baltra we will take a shuttle to Santa Cruz Island, in the journey we will be amazed by the island’s variety of wildlife and geology. Beginning at the coast and travelling north along the road to Puerto Ayora, the road climbs through the agricultural zone and into the mist-covered forests of the highlands. Santa Cruz possesses all of the various life zones present on the archipelago, with wonderful birding opportunities. Later we will stop at one of the ranches where lunch will be served and we can explore the grounds in search of tortoises. Descending through the agricultural zone into the Transition Zone where the Tortoise Reserve is located, the introduced vegetation of the farmlands is replaced by native vegetation. After lunch we’ll continue to Puerto Ayora for the rest of the afternoon for some leisure time.
This morning after breakfast we will head on a speed boat to Floreana Island; the Island has the first “post office”, established in 1793 by whalers. Floreana was the first island to be colonised by Ecuadorians in 1832. Arriving on the island, we will visit a local farm that will allow us to learn more about people’s way of life on Floreana. During this visit, we will visit a lagoon where it is possible to observe frigates, and will have the opportunity to feed the farm animals and harvest vegetables.
After enjoying a delicious lunch we will continue with our next visit, Asilo de la Paz, a 45-minute ride from town. It is primarily a historical site where we can view a pirates’ cave and the fresh water spring. In the evening, we will have a barbecue on the beach.
Today after breakfast, we will begin our excursion to “La Loberia”, a sea Lion breeding area, we will take an short walk along the shore for approximately 30 minutes, after the interpretation and some time to admire the landscape of this visitor’s site, we will start our first marine excursion in the bright turquoise water where you might be able to swim with sea lions, sea turtles, manta rays and a variety of colourful coral fish.
We will enjoy a delicious lunch prepared with the foods harvested from the farm. After we will head to take our speed boat to Isabela Island, this ride will take us 2h 30 minutes approx. Arriving to Isabela you will be able to enjoy the Island by your own.
Today, we go by car to the mountainsides of the Sierra Negra Volcano. We will walk until we reach the crater of the volcano. There we will have a wonderful view of the crater and learn about the geology of the place; with a little bit of luck, we will be able to see the Galapagos Sparrow Hawk.
After lunch we will visit Tintoreras Islets, located a short distance from Puerto Villamil, is home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine turtles and sea lions.
After breakfast, our guide will take us to visit the Flamingo’s Lagoon with hopefully good chance to spot these birds. This is a 2km trail where we will learn about the vegetation and geology of Isabela Island. Then, we will continue to visit the Tortoise breeding centre. Here you will learn more about the reproduction and breeding of the Tortoises. After we will take our boat and transfer to Santa Cruz. Arriving we will head to the Charles Darwin Station, the centre of information on the habitats and local conservation. The most striking attraction of this station is certainly the r,. Travellers will be able to walk freely and get their pictures taken with the tortoises at the Tortoise Breeding Centre.
After breakfast, we will quickly visit “Los Gemelos”. These two large pit craters along the road from Puerto Ayora to Baltra were caused by the collapse of empty magma chambers, you will be able to take pictures of the both craters.
Afterwards you will be transferred to the airport to take your onward flight.