If you'd like to experience the Galapagos in a different way, your sea legs aren't that strong or you're looking for a wider variety of experiences than cruising, why not try a land based Galapagos holiday? It gives you all the incredible wildlife encounters of a traditional cruise, with far more flexibility over your itinerary and the added bonus of being able to sleep on dry land every night. This is just a suggested route - you could also stay on San Cristobal, Santa Cruz or Isabela and choose from a number of experiences both on these islands and reachable on a day trip. Just ask and we'll help plan your perfect Galapagos land holiday!
Day 1: On arrival at San Cristobal airport you will be met by your guide and treated to a delicious lunch. In the afternoon take a short walk to the Interpretation Centre, where a ranger will give you an introduction to the park and then accompany you on foot through the unique landscape, ending up at Las Tijeretas bay for some snorkelling. (B)
Day 2: Today is all about marine wildlife as you head off snorkelling at Leon Dormido, also known as Kicker Rock, and Isla Lobos. The surrounding waters are cool and clear and among the boulders you can expect to see a variety of wrasses, starfish, surgeonfish, angelfish and more. Sightings of large rays, sharks and turtles are common but not guaranteed. (B/L)
Day 3: Espanola is one of the crown jewels of the archipelago and until quite recently (2016) used to be open to cruises only, but you can now reach this uninhabited island directly from San Cristobal. The longer hike at Suarez Point is a bird watcher's and photographer's dream - walking just a few metres from blue-footed boobies, waved albatrosses and marine iguanas will make you feel like you are in a living National Geographic magazine. A day in Galapagos would also not be complete without an opportunity for swimming or snorkelling and the waters around Gardner Islet are perfect, with the chance to see sea lions, Galapagos sharks, marine iguanas and many brightly coloured fish. (B/L)
Day 4: After breakfast, take a boat to Santa Cruz and visit the fascinating Charles Darwin Research Station, which will give you an insight into the varied and unique habitats on the islands. In the afternoon you will head up into the hills to Las Primicias farm, where you can see giant tortoises in the wild. (B)
Day 5: Bartolome is a volcanic islet just off the east coast of Santiago Island, named after Sir Bartholomew James Sulivan, a naturalist and lifelong friend of Charles Darwin as well as Lieutenant aboard HMS Beagle. The tiny island offers some of the most beautiful landscapes in the Galapagos, with multicoloured rock formations visible from the summit of an easily-climbed extinct volcano. You can also swim or snorkel around Pinnacle Rock, home to Galapagos penguins, marine turtles and white tipped reef sharks, while on land you may see herons and green turtles nesting in season. (B/L)
Day 6: Today sail to the islet of North Seymour, where a flat circular path takes you through the archipelago's most extensive colonies of blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigatebirds. Boobies demonstrate their cute courtship rituals, in which their remarkable feet play an important role, while frigatebird males blow up their vivid red neck pouches to impressive football-sized balloons. You may spot lots of other seabirds, such as brown pelicans, red-billed tropicbirds, endemic swallow-tailed gulls and seasonally even Nazca boobies. After lunch you will go snorkelling among a bewildering variety of different fish species and swim with sea lions. (B/L)
Day 7: Today is free for you to relax and enjoy the beautiful island of Santa Cruz. Take a walk to swim at the amazing rock formation of Las Grietas or spend time at Tortuga Bay, a beautiful white sand beach where you can swim and snorkel and might just see sharks, marine iguanas, pelicans or the occasional flamingo.
Day 8: Sadly all good things come to an end… Today it’s time to pack up and head to the airport for your onwards flight, leaving the Galapagos with lots of amazing memories and photos (B)
Prices from: £1995 per person
Services included: hotels on shared room basis, meals, transfers and activities as mentioned, entry fees, English speaking guide, 24 hour assistance
Services not included: flights, drinks, tips and personal expenses.
Note: stops can be extended, added or cut - just ask us!