Itinerary 2014

Volcano Sierra Negra - Isabela island

POA US$

Day 1 24 March After breakfast we transfer to the Punta Arenas airport for our flight to Guayaquil, Ecuador. The flight to Guayaquil is approximately 9 hours with a stopover in Santiago of approximately 6 hours. There is a 2 hour time difference between Chile and Ecuador. On arrival in Guayaquil we transfer to our hotel, Hampton Inn, and after a very long day we are all looking forward to a comfy night’s sleep. Meals (B)

Day 2 25 March

This morning we fly to the airport of Baltra, Galapagos. Upon disembarking from the airplane, you will go to the Galapagos immigration area. (Here you will need to present your passport and pay your US$100 Galapagos National Park Fee in cash which is a requirement where we will be met by our English speaking guide. We will then transfer to the port of Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) for lunch. After lunch we will board a speedboat for the two and a half hour trip to Isabela Island. After settling into our hotel we will head to the Flamingo Lagoon, which is the largest coastal lagoon found in the Galapagos and is one of the main reproductive sites for the majority of flamingos. Accommodation, Hotel Languna. Meals (B/L/D)

Day 3 26 March- Isabela Is: Sierra Negra Volcano, Chico Volcano and Conch y Perla

After an early breakfast, we will prepare ourselves for the Sierra Negra Volcano hike.  Comfortable walking shoes are required for this morning’s gentle hike as well as a light rain jacket. As we can experience frequent rain showers this time of the year you should ensure camera and other electronic gear is stored in waterproof bags. We will also pack sunscreen, water, sunglasses and hats. Lunch will be prepared in lunch boxes from the hotel in readiness for a full mornings activity. We will travel approximately 45 minutes by truck or bus to begin the 12 km hike (approx. 3 hours). Although the trek is a gentle hike there is an option to ride horses for an additional fee, and if interested please let us know beforehand. Sierra Negra Volcano has the second largest crater in the world, measuring approximately 6 miles in diameter and 300 feet deep. When we reach Volcan Chico we should have a spectacular view of the incredible moonlike terrain. We will return to the hotel early afternoon and prepare for an afternoon of snorkeling in Concha Perla, where we can swim with sea lions, colorful varieties of fish, and with luck sea turtles. Tonight we will dine at a local restaurant. Accommodation, Hotel Languna. Meals (B/L/D) Activities; Swimming, Snorkeling, trekking        

 Day 4 27 March-Isabela Is: Wall of Tears, Turtle breeding centre, Tintoreras

After breakfast we are picked up at our hotel and  visit to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela, where we will be able to see a variety of species of giant tortoises in captivity. We will also be briefed on how this center has successfully been able to breed and raise the giant tortoises in order to preserve many of their endangered subspecies. On the way we will visit Lava Tunnel near the Wall of Tears, as well as visits to Mirador Orchilla, Estero de Isabela, and Playa del Amor. From here it is a short hike to the Wall of Tears (Muro de las Lagrimas). Between 1946 and 1959 Isabela Island was used as a penal colony by the Ecuadorian government, and the prisoners were obligated to construct this wall out of the sharp and hard volcanic rocks. The wall is 100 meters long and 7 meters high, and the name is derived from the arduous and painful nature of the conditions in which the prisoners were forced to work and through which many prisoners lost their lives. We will cycle 8 kms back to our hotel for lunch. In the afternoon we will go to visit the Tintoreras Islet, named like that because of the species of shark known as tintoreeras (white fin shark) Also we can observe penguins, sea lions, marine iguanas and also we can snorkel with the sharks and a variety of colorful fish. Accommodation, Hotel Languna. Meals (B/L/D) Activities: Trekking, biking, swimming, snorkeling

Day 5 28 March-Isabela Is: La Cueva de Sucre-Mirador de mango y Duro Compo

After breakfast we will make our way to the dock of Puerto Villamil we will have the chance to kayak for about 3 hours, here we will observe and get photo’s of sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, Sally Lightfoot Crabs, sea turtles, pelicans, and Galapagos Penguins. As the island is one of the main breeding sites for the marine iguanas, it is an excellent place to see numerous amounts of these creatures close-up.  After this fascinating experience we will return to the hotel for lunch. In the afternoon we will cycle to Campo Duro in the Highlands of Isabel where we can see approximately 42 Giant Galapagos Tortoises in a semi-natural protected environment. On the way back we will visit the Mirador del Mango and La Cueva de Sucre. Accommodation, Hotel Languna. Meals (B/L/D) Activities: Trekking, Kayaking, swimming, snorkeling

Day 6 29 March-Isabela Is: Ferry-Puerto Ayora-Charles Darwin Station-Kayaking Divine Bay

An early rise this morning to prepare ourselves for the return transfer Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island.  We will transfer by speedboat, which leaves at 5:40 a.m. (travel time approx 2.5 hrs) Upon arrival we will be transferred to our hotel to enjoy breakfast. After breakfast we will meet to begin the visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where we will be able to observe Lonesome George, the last living Giant Tortoise of his species. We will also be able to see a variety of species of Giant Tortoises in captivity, ranging in age and in which island they are from. We will also listen about the ongoing conservation efforts directed at preserving the Giant Tortoises, as well as the environment of the archipelago as a whole. After lunch we board our kayak and paddle around Divine Bay and Punta Estrada, traveling through multiple lava channels of calm, turquoise waters. Within the channels, white tipped sharks and rays patrol beneath the waves, while colonies of blue footed boobies, tropic birds, herons and marine iguanas perch along the jagged cliffs. In the evening, we are free to explore the nightlife in Puerto Ayora, the Galapagos’ most populous town.  Accommodation, Hotel Red Booby,  Meals (B/L/D) Activities: Kayaking, swimming, snorkeling

Day 7 30 March: Puerto Ayora-Twins-Baltra Is-Flight to Quito

Today is our final day on the island so we will wake early in order to prepare ourselves for the transfer from Puerto Ayora to Baltra Airport. En route to the airport we will visit two sunken “holes”, similar to craters, known as “Los Gemelos” where we will find the bright red male vermilion flycatcher.  These craters were formed by the collapse of the earth beneath which lava had passed and created giant tunnels, which facilitated the collapse and creation of the craters. In the afternoon we transfer to the airport for our flight to Quito, Ecuador. Accommodation Nu House, Quito. Meals (B/L/D)

Isabela Island Map

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