Island Hopping Tour

1 Day

DAY 1

Tour to Floreana Island

The name of Floreana Island comes after the first president of Ecuador, General Juan Jose Flores when in February 12 of 1832 he ordered to the Ecuadorian navy to take possession of the archipelago. Previously it   was   called Charles Island (after King Charles II of UK) and later was named as Santa Maria after one of the ships of Christopher Columbus. The island has an area of 173 square kilometers (67 mil²) and like the others, it was formed by volcanic eruptions. Its highest point is Cerro Pajas at 640 meters (2,100 ft).

Floreana Island has the most interesting human history of the Galapagos Islands.  It is the site of the first “post office” established in 1793 by whalers, and it was the home to the first Galapagos resident — a bold Irishman named Patrick Watkins who lived there from 1807-1809. Floreana was the first island to be colonized by Ecuadorians in 1832 when it was stablished a penal colony that didn’t last long because of the lack of fresh water. A fish canning plant was established there by Norwegian immigrants in 1924; A few years later, Friedrich Ritter, a German doctor, arrived with his female companion Dore Strauch. Later a pregnant Margret Wittmer, her husband Heinz and her son Harry arrived in 1932.

Floreana is most well-known for being the site of several mysterious disappearances in the 1930s—the one receiving the most attention being that of a supposed Austrian baroness, who had arrived with her three servants shortly after the Wittmers.

Nowadays, the majority of Floreana inhabitants make their living by farming and with tourism. The populations are approximately 120, almost all of them living in the small village of Puerto Velasco Ibarra.  The main water source for Floreana is a natural pond that fills up with rain water during the rainy season. Transportation to and from Floreana is very limited.

Floreana Island

Full day itinerary starting from Pto. Ayora (Sta. Cruz)

This 1-day tour to Floreana Island starts in the morning at 6:30 a.m. with a short walk to the pier of Puerto Ayora, from where a local aquatic taxi will take us to the first-class Galapagos Element Wind speed Yacht with which we will start sailing to the small town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra located on the Floreana Island. With little luck and during the navigation, we may be able to observe marine turtles, manta rays, several species of marine birds and perhaps whales.

Once we arrive at Pto. Velasco Ibarra, a local aquatic taxi will transport us from the speed boat to the pier of the town.  There we will great chances to meet on the pier right away with sea lions and marine iguanas enjoying the morning sun! Then we will take a local transport known as “Chiva” to start a 30 minutes ride up to the highlands of Floreana Island.  The chiva will ascend following a mood road surrounded by typical dry vegetation of the coastal area and later, as we ascend, the vegetation will transform into a lush, green vegetation. On this area we also find some farms with plantations of bananas, coffee, cacao, and other tropical plantations. Our short drive will end at the “pampada” from where we start a beautiful walk which permit us to observe the typical flora of the area.  On our way we will also encounter some giant Galapagos turtles, which are very sensible and shy and if we approach then, immediately will hide their head under the shell. It is very important not to touch or feed these amazing animals.  Our walk will continue until we reach a rocky area at base of the hill and where we find the place known as “Asilo de la Paz” (Peace Asylum), a historical place where the German Wittmer family established when arrived to Floreana in 1932.

During our walk we will observe the caves used as their home before moving to the place which now is known as Puerto Velasco Ibarra.

The whole ambiance of the Asilo de la Paz is of a complete tranquility, with a landscape of exuberant green vegetation, and if weather permits, we can enjoy awesome views of the surrounding hills and perhaps of the Pacific Ocean. After this visit, we descend to the point where we meet the chiva which will transport us back to the town where we will enjoy lunch prepared in a local small restaurant.

After a short rest, we make a 1 km walk to the place known as “La Loberia”, a bay of beautiful scenery. The main attraction of this place is the presence of a small colony of sea lions (Zalophus wollebacki).

There is also a great chance to observe marine iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) resting on the rocky areas, and on the waters of the bay we will be able to observe marine turtles (Chelonia midas agazzisi).

We also will have time to spend on this amazing place perhaps snorkeling, or just taking pictures and then we return to the town where you will have a free time before we aboard our Galapagos Element Wind Yacht for our navigation back to the city of Puerto Ayora.

Floreana Island Private Tour Gross Prices per Person:

Pax Number 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10/11 12/13 14/15 16
Net rate 1710 1155 880 715 605 525 470 420 390 330 290 275

Prices Include: Navigation with the First-Class Galapagos Element Wind Yacht, English speaking naturalist guide, excursions as mentioned, lunch with a glass of wine & water, aquatic taxis, local return transport to the highlands, snorkel equipment.

Prices do not include: extras, extra drinks, personal expenses, personal travel insurance.

Floreana Island Shared Group Tour Gross Prices per Person: us$ 270.-

 Departures every Monday, Wednesday and Friday with minimum 10 pax.

 Departures are subject to Yacht Galapagos Element availability  

DAY 2

Day Private Tour to Isabela Island

Isabela Island is the largest of the Galapagos Archipelago measuring 120 km long and greater in size than all the other islands combined, giving an area of 4,670 square kilometers (1,803 sq. mi). It is four times larger than Santa Cruz Island which is the second largest.  Originally it was named as Albemarle after the Duke of Albemarle.  The island  straddles the equator  line and is one of the youngest located  on the western edge of the archipelago and very near to the Galápagos hotspot and that  is why  here  we find  some  of the most  active  volcanoes  of America:  Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Sierra  Negra, Darwin and Wolf (the  highest on Isabela with 1707  m/5,600  ft).  We also find here the Ecuador volcano which is considered extinct and together with Wolf volcano, lie on the equator line.

Isabela is one of the fantastic   examples of the    geological events that created the islands, including   uplifts    at Urbina Bay and the Bolivar Channel, tuff cones at   Tagus    Cove, and pumice on Alcedo and Sierra Negra volcano which has the second largest crater on the world after Ngorongoro in Tanzania.

The approximately 2000 residents of Isabela, make their living by farming, fishing and mainly by tourism. Most of them are in Puerto Villamil, a small coastal city on the southern part of the island. Charles Darwin visited Tagus Cove in 1835. In 1893, Antonio Gil, a well-known citizen from Guayaquil, arrived in Galapagos and after visiting the other islands. He decided to stablish and colonize southern Isabela founding the town of Puerto Villamil on the southern coast and later the place now known as Santa Tomás in the highlands.

Isabela Island

Full day itinerary starting from Pto. Ayora (Sta. Cruz)

The tour to Isabela Island starts in the morning at about 6:30 a.m. when our guide will pick up you from your hotel and after a short walk you are at the pier of Puerto Ayora from where a local aquatic taxi will take us to the Galapagos Element Wind Yacht to sail to the city of Pto. Villamil on Isabela Island. During our navigation of 3 hours, there are great chances to observe marine turtles, manta rays, several species of marine birds and perhaps whales.

Once at Pto. Villamil, a local aquatic taxi will take us to the pier from where private transport leads us to the Isabela Turtles Breading and Interpretation Center where our guide will explain us about the different activities developed by the National Park to protect the fragile environment. Here we also find Giant Galapagos Tortoises of different species and sizes.

Afterwards we start   our   walk   to the place known as “Humedales” (wet areas). The walk follows a well maintained from which we can observe this beautiful place composed by lagoons and rocks and surrounded by 4 species of mangroves and typical trees of the area. In the lagoons we can observe flamingoes and migratory birds such as the charran or Gaviota de Galapagos (Creagrus furcatus), la Cerceta aliazul, etc.

The walk with end at one of the main streets and very close to beach. Also nearby is located the Iguana Crossing Restaurant where we will have lunch while enjoying a great view of the Pacific Ocean. After lunch, a short rest will be followed with a visit to the place known as “Las Tintoreras”, a very scenic area where we find colonies of marine iguanas, sea lions, and as one of the main attractions we will be able to observe the sharks known as Tintoreras (White-tipped shark) resting in the channels formed by lava flows. Later, we can do some snorkeling activities perhaps with the company of sea lions, penguins and marine turtles.

In the area close to the pier, we will have time for rest and enjoy the beach before we embark our Galapagos Element Wind speed yacht for sailing back to the city of Puerto Ayora.

Note:  The small city of Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island has one of the most beautiful beaches of the inhabited islands of Galapagos.

Isabela Island Private Tour Gross Prices per Person (us$):

Pax Number 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10/11 12/13 14/15 16+
Gross US$ /person 1880 1300 1010 850 720 640 575 525 490 430 390 365

 

Prices Include: transport with the First-Class Galapagos Element Wind Yacht, English speaking naturalist guide, lunch with a glass of wine & water, excursions as mentioned, aquatic taxis, municipality entrance fee to Isabela.

Prices do not include: extras, drinks, personal expenses, personal snorkel equipment, personal travel insurance.

Isabela Island Shared Group Tour Gross Prices per Person: us$ 310.-

Departures every Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday with minimum 10 pax.

Departures are subject to Yacht Galapagos Element availability  

DAY 4

Private Tour to San Cristobal Island

San Cristobal with its 557 km² (215 mil²) is the fifth largest and easternmost islands of the Galapagos. Of volcanic origin, as all the islands of Galapagos, it is comprised of four fused extinct volcanoes.

Its first name was Chatham coming after William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham in UK. The actual name comes from the Patron Saint of Seafarers, “St. Christopher.” In Cristobal was founded the oldest permanent settlement of the islands and is the island where Darwin first went ashore in 1835.  In 1858, Manuel J. Cobos and José Monroy formed the Orchillera Company to harvest orchilla moss (a lichen), which was used at that time as a dye. Later, Cobos formed an agricultural center called “El Progreso” inland from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, which produced leather from feral cattle, and fish and tortoise oil. A penal colony, which was eventually run by Cobos, was built on San Cristóbal Island in 1880 for prisoners from   mainland Ecuador. By 1891, sugar cane plantations were established, and a sugar factory was put into operation. Cobos ruled “El Progreso” with an iron fist, treating convicts as slaves and this situation leaded later to the assassination of Cobos by a group of his workers on January 1904, and the prisoners escaped.

Nowadays, the small city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is the capital of the Galapagos province. It is home to many government offices, an Ecuadorian Navy facility, and an airport with daily flights to the mainland. There are approximately 6,000 residents, making it the second largest human population in Galapagos, after Santa Cruz Island. Most inhabitants make their living in government, tourism, and artisanal fishing. The GNPS Interpretation Center is located near town and provides an excellent source of information for the local community and visitors. It has several nice and very interesting visitor points which make it very attractive for tourism.

San Cristobal Island

Full day Itinerary starting from Pto. Ayora (Sta. Cruz Island)

The tour to San Cristobal Island starts in the morning at about 6:30 a.m. when our guide will pick up you from your hotel and after a short walk you are at the pier of Puerto Ayora, from where a local aquatic taxi will take us to the Galapagos Element Wind Yacht to sail to the city of Pto. Baquerizo Moreno in San Cristobal Island. During our navigation of 2½ hours, there are great chances to observe marine turtles, stingrays, several species of marine birds and perhaps whales.

Upon arrival at Pto. Baquerizo Moreno, our guide will take us for a hike to San Cristobal’s Interpretation Center. Here we can learn about Galapagos, its geography, the vulcanology and the history of the local people.  Then we will continue our hike following a well- marked path surrounded by typical vegetation of the area with giant opuntia cactus, native trees of Galapagos, acacias and with the possibility to observe different species of finch birds.  This path will take us up to the summit of the hill known as “Cerro Tijeretas” and once on the top, our effort will be rewarded with an amazing view of the Pacific Ocean. On the border of the cliff we will have the opportunity to observe 2 species of birds nesting in the same area. From here we will also have a nice view of the city and far away we can observe the impressive rock emerging from the ocean and known as the “Kicker Rock”. After some pictures we descend to the base of the hill where we find a beautiful cove where is possible to make snorkel activities. We will continue our walk to the place known as “Punta Carola, a sandy beach surrounded by local flora and where we will find a large colony of sea lions. The opportunities for taking superb pictures is great. Then we will follow another path which will take us back to the center of the town where we will have lunch in one of the local restaurants. Afterwards, a private transport will take us up to the highlands of San Cristobal Island.  The itinerary pass along the historical village of “El Progreso” continuing to   the base of Cerro “El Junco” where we will hike up to its summit to observe the crater alike area with “El Junco Lagoon” known as the only place of San Cristobal with fresh water.  After descending from El Junco, our transport will take us to the Interpretation Center of “Cerro Colorado” where we can observe Giant Galapagos Turtles of different sizes and species. Transport back to town and after a short free time, we will aboard our Galapagos Element wind speed yacht which will take us back to Puerto Ayora.

Note: San Cristobal is one of the inhabited islands with the most planned urban development, it has sewerage and potable water.

San Cristobal Island Private Tour Gross Prices per Person (us$):

Pax Number 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10/11 12/13 14/15 16+
Gross US$ /person 1815 1230 960 775 655 570 505 455 410 355 310 285

 

Tour Includes: Navigation with the First-Class Galapagos Element Wind Yacht, English speaking naturalist guide, lunch with a glass of wine & water, excursions as mentioned, aquatic taxis, local transport, snorkel equipment.

Tour does not include: extras, extra drinks, personal expenses, personal travel insurance.

San Cristobal Island Shared Group Tour Gross Prices per Person: us$ 290.-

Departures every Saturday with minimum 10 pax

Departures are subject to Yacht Galapagos Element availability  

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