Day 1- Seeking giant tortoises
You will land in Baltra Island and cross the narrow Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz accompanied by a bilingual naturalist guide who will take you to a farm in the highlands for a tasty lunch. You will then do a complete tour of the area, exploring various vegetation zones and microclimates, walking around pit craters, through lava tunnels and getting acquainted with endemic Scalesia and Guayabillo forests. At the Tortoise Reserve, you will observe the emblematic giant tortoises in their natural habitat and the abundant bird life of the highlands. Your tour will end at Galapagos Safari Camp where you can enjoy a sunset cocktail followed by dinner.
Day 2- Naturalist walk
You will spend the day walking with your guide. An uphill 5 km trail to Media Luna begins at the village of Bellavista; you will walk through the Miconia zone, a virtual monoculture of Miconia Robinsonia over the hillside, a fantastic success story after the neardestruction of this habitat by the invasive Quinine tree. There is a variety of ferns, including the lovely Galapagos Tree Fern. From there you can continue to Puntudo, a pointy volcanic cone, or to the highest point on the island, Cerro Crocker (864 mts). Ornithologists and bird watchers will take pleasure in this area, a sharp eye might catch several interesting species such as rails, finches and petrels.
Day 3 - Exploring the East
In the morning you will be driven to the eastern part of the island. At 490mts. above sea level, Cerro Mesa offers dramatic views, has the largest crater on Santa Cruz and numerous endemic plants as well as up to 7 subspecies of finches and the Vermillion Flycatcher. After lunch you will visit Garrapatero, a pristine beach where the contrast of mangroves, black lava, white sand and turquoise water, in addition to the buzzing coastal bird life and the small pink flamingo lagoon is sensational. Kayaking and mountain biking is available.
Day 4 - Science and relaxation
Today you will tour the renowned Charles Darwin Research Station in the morning, followed by lunch in one of Puerto Ayora’s vibrant restaurants. You can spend the rest of the day relaxing at Tortuga Bay, a two-kilometre white sand beach. The trail to get there gives the opportunity to explore the arid zone without struggling over broken lava. Alongside some very impressive cacti, there are other interesting arid zone plants. At the far end of the bay there is a large, calm mangrove lagoon, rich in wildlife and ideal for walking and swimming
Day 5 - Sunrise walk and departure
On your last day you can tour the farm at your leisure or enjoy the sunrise from our viewpoint before your airport transfer.
Notes on the itinerary:
• No set departure dates
• Land tours are operated on a privately guided basis
• This itinerary may change due to National Park dispositions or to force majeure
• We strongly advise our guests to look into travel insurance in their country of origin
• Flights from mainland Ecuador to Galapagos can be arranged upon request
• Accommodation and all meals from arrival
• Transfers & land transport
• Naturalist guide
• Activities and visits mentioned in itinerary
• Park entry fee or transit card
• Beverages and laundry