5 DAY GALAPAGOS
5 Day Galapagos Adventure
5 Days $3500 ex San Cristobal
4 Nights Hotel
By foot, kayak & boat
Inter-island transfers included
The wise, wrinkled faces of a hundred-year-old giant tortoise.
Sea lions, gliding and twirling all about, seemingly playing or toying with you through the warm equatorial waters.
A Blue Footed Booby comically dances from leg to leg and a Frigatebird, with its inflated gular pouch looks like a gum blowing kid.
Nearby, a pair of huge lizards, real beasts of things with skin like a dried coconut husk, yellowed (or was it blue, black, or red… it could be any colour) and bloodied as they wrestle atop jagged rocks.
This is Galapagos, and this could all be well before lunch!
“Six hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador lies the Galápagos Archipelago: a world unto itself, forged of lava and isolated for thousands of years.
The islands are known for their famously fearless wildlife and as a source of inspiration for Darwin’s theory of evolution.”
“The Galapagos Islands are probably the most famous wildlife-watching destination in the world.
And no wonder – it’s almost impossible to exaggerate the sheer spectacle of the place that provided inspiration for Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking theory of natural selection”
Mark Carwardine, Conservationist
As you’ve likely gathered, a trip to the Galapagos is for many, a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Famed for its diverse and fascinating wildlife, the first thing that becomes apparent, in the relative sanctuary these islands and National Park provide, is that the animals here have no fear of humans.
Grab an ice cream on the waterfront of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, only to find that perfectly placed picnic bench, is now occupied by a sunbaking sea lion!
It truly is that amazing, and this trip is styled to allow you access to many of the highlights this wonderful park has to offer, whilst allowing enough freedom for you to do your own thing, and indulge in some of the things that appeal to you, and your friends or family.
After a morning flight from the Ecuadorian mainland to San Cristobal Island, you will arrive at the airport and head to your hotel.
You’re free to explore the town and find a local haunt for lunch.
Early in the afternoon, we give you a quick introduction to the island before heading to the coast, where we’ve kayaks waiting for our first taste of the Galapagos. We paddle along the coastal bays and coves of San Cristobal’s north coast, a world of comic-looking blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, sea lions and sea turtles.
If we’re lucky, we may see rays gliding by, or marine iguanas perching on the islands volcanic rocks.
Back at the hotel, you’re free to enjoy some island seafood specials in the port of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
A whole day to snorkel amid the underwater wonders of the Galapagos.
In the company of our experienced guide as part of a shared group, we search the nearby coves and cliffs for sea turtles, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, and Nazca boobies.
There’s also the chance to get up close and personal with sea lions – the young pups are ever-curious and playful.
As we snorkel, we’re a chance to spot eagle rays, golden rays, Galapagos sharks, starfish, clams, and thousands of tropical fish.
With luck, we may even come across hammerhead sharks.
As the sun sets on our day under the waves, we return to the hotel for a relaxed evening in town. (B, L).
After breakfast, we say goodbye to San Cristobal to board our small plane for a thrilling flight across the archipelago’s azure waters and volcanic landscapes to Isabela Island.
Incredibly, it is still in the throes of creation, formed by six active shield volcanoes. In fact, Isabela is one of the most volcanically active spots on the planet.
Upon arrival, we head to the site known as Tintoreras to explore this beautiful marine world by kayak, weaving between a set of small islets filled with hidden coves and beaches.
Here, we’ll meet a somewhat unexpected denizen of the tropics, the Galapagos penguin!
Spot reef sharks, sea turtles, and sea lions as we paddle.
Seafood, Ecuadorian and international cuisine are all available in the small beach town of Puerto Villamil and you’re free to dine wherever takes your fancy.
You can take a quick dip in the ocean, or a swing in a hammock, before our local guest experience coordinator briefs you on your next adventure: a self-guided bike ride through a succession of Isabela’s white sand beaches, mangrove forests, and brackish lagoons.
It’s a fun and easy ride, and as ever in Galapagos, there are plenty of birds to spot and wonders to take in.
In the evening, you’re again free to explore or relax. (B)
We leave Isabela early aboard a public speed boat, for our ride east to Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island’s (and the archipelago’s) largest settlement.
We meet you at the dock and head to the hotel. Visit the heart of scientific research and conservation in the Galapagos on your own: the famous Charles Darwin Research Station and the National Park’s tortoise breeding program.
There’s time to explore Puerto Ayora and find yourself some lunch (there are plenty of options for you to choose from), before we join a naturalist guide and shared group to make our way west from the port, stopping by the Lobería where sea lions can be observed. We come to an islet called Punta Camaño, a great place to don our snorkels, masks and fins to meet sea lions and schools of fish.
Passing through the romantically-named Canal del Amor, we disembark at Playa de los Perros, where, after a short walk, groups of jet-black marine iguanas bask beneath the sun’s rays, occasionally slipping off into the sea to feed.
Once back on land, you’re free to wander on your own through the port’s streets with its shops, restaurants, and bars in the evening. (B)
Sadly, it is time to bid farewell to the Galapagos.
Accompanied by a guide, you board a transport to take you north over Santa Cruz Island to the Itabaca Channel.
At this point we leave you to continue your journey alone: all that remains is a hop on a ferry and a short bus ride to take you to Baltra Island’s airport. (B)
- Hotel Accommodation
- Bilingual Galapagos naturalist guide/adventure guide
- Wetsuit hire on day 2
- All sea and land transportation during the tour
- All meals as indicated in itinerary (Breakfast – B, Lunch – L and Dinner – D)
- 24-hour telephone assistance
- Travel Insurance
- International Flights & Domestic Flights to Galapagos
- Entrance fees into the Galapagos National Park ($100USD)
- Wetsuit hire (excluding day 2). If desired, they can be hired directly through the guide at a cost of $10USD per day)
- Galapagos transit card $20USD
- Hotel & restaurant beverages
- All meals not listed as included
NOTE: There is a minimum age of 7 years for this trip
Important Information: The weight restriction per person for the inter-island flight from San Cristobal to Isabela is 12 kgs in one piece of luggage.
Your Guides and Safety
An excellent guide can make the difference between a trip of a lifetime and just an ordinary adventure.
Our multi-lingual professionals come from a range of backgrounds, well versed in the nature that abounds.
They can be as involved with you, or as removed as you’d prefer (we know not everyone wants to be micromanaged).
January to December (all year)
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.”
Charles Darwin, Naturalist
Normally, a traveller might need to cross multiple countries to sight animals on their bucket list.
In the Galapagos, however, the traveller is spoiled for choice, and some of our personal favourites include:
Galápagos Giant Tortoise
The undisputed, most recognisable of Galapagos amazing creatures (in fact Lonesome George, the last known Pinta Island Tortoise was something of a poster boy for wildlife conservation until his tragic passing in 2012).
These gentle giants, can incredibly survive almost a year without food or water, a true marvel of natural evolution, with at least 15 known species or sub-species.
Little birds that pack a lot of spunk!
As the only Penguin that can be found in the Northern Hemisphere, to see these things zip around the bays of Isabela Island is a true delight.
They are endangered, so take care not to disturb their fragile world, but revel in the fact you got to be a part of it.
With a name that’ll make kids and adults alike chuckle (we never said we were mature here), these guys well and truly live up to their name.
That is, they stand out with their distinctive blue feet, and amuse with their antics!
Galápagos Sea Lion
Whether it be swimming about you in the sea, or playing like a puppy on land (seriously, they might not play fetch, but they’ll happily chew on a stick), the Sea Lion seems to pack personality.
We don’t recommend you try and pat them, but the thrills they can provide as an observer are a joy!
Sure they might look prehistoric, they can look fierce and even downright scary.
But the coolest thing (if the range of colours in which they can be found wasn’t enough), is these guys can swim!
Sally Lightfoot Crab
A crab you say? How impressive can they really be?
They might be small in stature, but they are one of the most impressively coloured creatures you will see, and, perched as they often are on atop the dark, volcanic rock, their reddish, orange, yellow and blue hues, really pop!
Green Sea Turtle
Often forgotten, due to the excitement created by their giant Galapagos Tortoise kin, but these guys are very cool!
If you’re prepared to dip your head beneath the waves, you can’t touch them, but you can certainly experience the thrill of swimming up close with these stunning amphibians.
As they majestically glide through the tropical seas, these things simply look immense.
Never a guaranteed sighting, if you catch a glimpse, it’s been a pretty special trip indeed.
From time to time it’s been said that some of the staff here at No Roads HQ are full of air… true, or not, what is impressive is the site of the male Frigatebird with an inflated gular pouch!
Used to attract the females of the species, in this case, I’m pretty sure even Attenborough says that for the ladies, bigger usually does seem to be better!