Galapagos Essential Multisport
Explore and enjoy the Galapagos like few can. Paddle, hike, swim, snorkel. Get up close to amazing creatures and pristine nature. Learn from top adventure and naturalist guides. Kick back at our great hotels. Explore at your own pace and avoid sea-sick cruising. Enjoy flexibility – while appreciating the peace of mind that we’ve thought everything through for you. Multi-sport is multi-experience is multi-adventure. And fun.
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Travel Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Small Group
- Sea kayak with sharks, marine iguanas, sea turtles, and sea lions.
- Relax on beautiful beaches with sea lions and marine iguanas.
- Walk among giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat.
- Snorkel with tropical fish, rays, sea lions, and sharks.
- Hike the rim of an enormous, active caldera
- Discover extraordinary lava formations.
- Bike along pristine coastlines.
- Explore local food and scene.
- Travel with a purpose.
OUR “ESSENTIAL” TRIPS
- Follow a set itinerary with shared transportation
- Explore three islands by land, sea and small-plane flight
- Include excellent hotels
- Enrich with different guides’ perspectives
- Allow you to choose where and what you eat
- Mean free time to do your thing
- Are perfect for budget-minded travelers
Accommodations in comfort class hotels, meals as listed (B = breakfast), bilingual Galapagos naturalist guide/adventure guide, all sea and land transportation during the tour, 24-hour telephone assistance, coordinator staff in San Cristobal and Isabela islands.
Flights to and from Galapagos, entrance fee to Galapagos National Park, Galapagos transit card, tips, hotel & restaurant beverages.
SAN CRISTOBAL KAYAK ADVENTURE
After a morning flight from the Ecuadorian mainland to San Cristobal Island, we meet you at the airport and head to our hotel. You can explore the town and have lunch. Early in the afternoon, we give you a quick introduction to the island before heading to the coast, where our kayaks will be waiting for us at for our first taste of Galapagos magic: 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 underwater, marine iguanas perching on lava rocks. Back at the hotel, you’re free to enjoy some island seafood specials in the port of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
SNORKEL THE NORTHERN COAST OF SAN CRISTOBAL
A whole day to snorkel amid the underwater wonders of the Galapagos! In the company of our experienced guide, we search the nearby coves and cliffs for sea turtles, sea lions, 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 might 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 at the coastal town.
(B, Box Lunch).
DISCOVER ISABELA’S BEACHES, LAGOONS AND ISLETS
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. Amazingly, 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 visitor 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, meet an unexpected denizen of the Tropics: the endemic 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. You can grab 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. The ride is fun and easy, and as ever in Galapagos, there are plenty of birds to spot and wonders to take in. Your evening is free and easy. (B).
HIKE ISABELA’S HIGHLANDS
From the coast, we join a naturalist guide and shared group to drive up the flanks of the mighty Sierra Negra volcano. Where road the peters out, we continue on foot. We hike through the intriguing highland ecosystem, which is at times smothered in dreamy clouds. At the top, at the volcano’s rim, a surreal world of geological history unfolds before us, with incredible views of the surrounding volcanoes and ocean, a pristine other-worldly scene to savor.
After a break to catch our breath and take in the views, we hike the rim of this enormous crater and, if the group is feeling energetic, continue on to the caldera of Volcan Chico (“little”), a surreal landscape of vibrant hues created by sulphur deposits. Here we can explore spectacular lava formations and even huffing fumaroles of vapor.
We return to the lowlands in time to spend our last afternoon on Isabela relaxing on the perfect beaches and soaking up the island-life atmosphere. Dinner arrangements are free.
(B, Box Lunch).
CROSS TO SANTA CRUZ FOR A HIKE IN THE HIGHLANDS
We leave Isabela early aboard a public speed boat, for our ride east to Santa Cruz Island and Puerto Ayora, the archipelago’s largest settlement. We meet you at the dock and head to the hotel.
There’s no time to lose as the famous Galapagos giant tortoises await. We drive up to the highlands where these lumbering creatures heave their way through their natural habitat. It is truly an honor to walk in the stately presence of these gentle giants. Spot pintail ducks, Darwin’s finches, frigate birds, egrets and the vermillion flycatcher amid this lush, green ecosystem. Our next stop is the incredible lava tunnels, which made ideal hideouts for the pirates who once frequented the Galapagos. Legend has it that they were also used to hide Inca gold stolen from Spanish galleons. Lunch is served at a traditional hacienda in the highlands. If time permits, we can visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and the National Park’s tortoise breeding program back in Puerto Ayora. You’re free to enjoy the port’s array of shops, restaurants and bars in the evening.
BAY TOUR, SNORKEL AND TORTUGA BAY ADVENTURE
A day dedicated to exploring Puerto Ayora’s fascinating natural environment. After breakfast, we join a naturalist guide and shared group to make our way west from the port, stopping by the Lobería where sealions 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-back marine iguanas bask beneath the sun’s rays, occasionally slipping off into the sea to feed.
Following lunch in Puerto Ayora – where there are options aplenty for you to choose from – one of the world’s most beautiful beaches lies a short hike from town: Tortuga Bay. If you feel energetic, at the first beach you come to you can rent a surf board, or at the second beach, a kayak. If you prefer to relax, the second beach is tranquil, hemmed by mangroves and ideal for observing birdlife or going for a swim. Dinner is free. (B)
TRANSFER TO AIRPORT
Finally, it’s time bid a fond farewell to the Galapagos. You board a shared transport to take you north over Santa Cruz Island to the Itabaca Channel, where a short hop on a ferry and a short bus ride takes you to Baltra Island’s airport. (B)
Opuntia Hotels, a network of quality Galapagos hotels with eco-initiatives, exceptional service, comfort, all close to the ocean. Or similar comfort class hotel.
This itinerary is subject to change without notice due to seasonal changes, inclement weather conditions, and adjustments to Galapagos National Park policy.
The weight restriction for the San Cristobal to Isabela flight is 25 pounds in one piece of luggage per person.
- BOAT TRAVEL TIME: Two hours
- SMALL AIRCRAFT FLIGHT TIME: 40 minutes
- ACTIVITY DURATION (PADDLE, HIKE, BIKE, SNORKEL): Two to four hours per activity
- SEASON: Year-round
- ALTITUDE: 0 – 3,688 feet (1,124 meters) above sea level
- WEATHER: During the warm season from January to May, air temperature is around 77 to 83 F (25 to 8 C) at sea level. During the cool season from June to December, air temperature is around 70 to 75 F (21 to 24 C) at sea level. Temperature decreases with altitude.
- WATER TEMPERATURE: During the warm season from January to May, water temperature hovers around 77 F (25 C). During the cool season from June to December, average water temperature is about 72 F (22 C). Water temperature also varies significantly by location.
- SUGGESTED ITEMS TO PACK: Hiking shoes, rain jacket, water bottle, non-cotton trekking clothes, sunblock, sunglasses, sun hat, and repellent.
PHONE: (593-2) 604.6800/ TOLL FREE: 1-888.234.3413
Revised September /2017