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9 Days of Lodge-based Multi-Sport
per person based on double occupancy
Available upon request
Deposit: $1000 Meeting Place: Quito, Ecuador Gateway City: Quito, Ecuador River Rating: N/A Age Range: 6-80
Discover the Galapagos Archipelago through an active multi-sport adventure that will deliver the most extraordinary of this world-class naturalist haven. This Galapagos adventure is a land-based tour that combines daily active excursions with the best waterfront hotels available. As you kayak, mountain bike, trek, snorkel or surf, you will experience incredible close encounters with sea lions, iguanas, giant tortoises, boobies, rays, a myriad of tropical fish, and even sharks if so desired! This is a socially and environmentally responsible tour that provides many benefits to local Island communities. Learn and enjoy from top adventure and naturalist guides that will immerse you in the realm of natural history and evolution.
Itinerary at a Glance
- Deluxe lodging on 3 unique islands
- Sea kayak with sea lions, penguins and marine turtles
- Discover perfect white sand beaches by mountain bike
- Snorkel with Galapagos sharks, rays, and hundreds of tropical fish
- Meet blue-footed boobies, finches, and other famed birds
- Relax in perfect white sand beaches
- Spend more time on land for more wildlife encounters
- Top-notch adventure and nature guides will accompany you every step of your journey
- Support the local communities through this sustainable land and water-based program
- Effortless inter-island transfers include one flight and one boat crossing
What to Expect on the Galapagos Lodge-Based Multi-Sport
Because of the Galapagos’ famed natural history and remarkable creatures, these remote islands are revered the world over. In an effort to protect and preserve these “enchanted isles”, that literally changed the world, access is restricted and regulated. On this land and sea adventure, our special permit allows us to visit these protected sites.
Day 1 – Arrive Quito, Ecuador
Upon arrival in Quito, you will take a short taxi ride to your hotel. The room will be registered and pre-paid in your name but you will have to present passports and a credit card for incidentals. “Meet and greet” services are available for the airport for an additional fee so please just let us know if you need assistance. Overnight Quito.
Day 2 – Hiking Frigate Hill and Surfing Carola Beach
After breakfast, you will taxi back to the domestic wing on the airport for a morning flight from Quito to San Cristobal Island. Once we arrive we will have a welcome lunch and a briefing before the adventure begins. Our first hike will lead us out of town for a visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Center to learn about the island’s creation and natural history. We will continue on a lava trail to explore a unique dry forest where we identify cacti, acacia, palo santo, and Galapagos cotton. We reach Frigate Hill to enjoy our first encounters with local wildlife as the hill is often visited by Galapagos wildlife such as the magnificent and great frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, gulls, herons and lots of land birds including Darwin finches, warblers and mockingbirds. We return to Carola Beach – one of San Cristobal’s best surf spots – for splendid views of the coastline, swimming and a perfect sunset. The evening is open for guests to choose dining options and explore town.
DAY 3 – Kayaking and Snorkeling at Isla Lobos and Leon Dormido- San Cristobal Island
Today we will outfit our ocean kayaks and spend the morning paddling along the northern coast, exploring bays and coves full of wildlife. We visit Darwin Bay, the site of the first landing of the HMS Beagle. We continue paddling north as we encounter marine turtles, rays, blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. Once we reach Playa Ochoa, we continue to nearby Isla Lobos on the lookout for marine iguanas and sea lions. This is a fantastic snorkeling site where we are nearly guaranteed to enjoy the best sea lion encounters of the entire archipelago. We continue on to Leon Dormido, the jagged remains of an old tuff cone whose flanks are home to thousands of sea birds. Leon Dormido is an exceptional snorkeling and diving site frequented by Galapagos sharks, eagle and golden rays, as well as dozens of species of tropical fish, clams, starfish and marine invertebrates. There are good opportunities to swim next to hammerhead and white-tipped sharks! In the afternoon we return to our hotel for our last evening in San Cristobal Island.
DAY 4 – Mountain Bike and Explore Isabela Island
In the morning we board a small plane for an inter-island flight from San Cristobal to Isabela Island. Isabela is the largest Island in the archipelago, formed by 6 shield volcanoes – Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf. All of these volcanoes except one remain active, making this island one of the most volcanically active places on earth. We will use mountain bikes to explore the beautiful coastline for its scenery and wildlife treasures. We visit to El Muro de las Lagrimas which translates to “Wall of Tears”, a historic site that dates back between 1946 and 1959 when Isabela Island was used as a penal colony. The wall was built with lava blocks and had no other purpose that of keeping prisoners busy from the madness of isolation. We continue riding along the coast as we explore expansive white sand beaches, mangroves and brackish lagoons. This area is filled with birdlife such as American oystercatchers, herons, flamingos, finches and many shore birds, as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. In the afternoon we visit Tintoreras, a set of small Islets within Isabela bay. These Islets are filled with wildlife and are home to the Galapagos penguin, the only penguin that lives in equatorial region. We may also see sharks, marine turtles, sea lions and much more wildlife as we explore its many small coves and beaches.
DAY 5 – Discover the Highlands and Hike a Volcano
From Puerto Villamil, we drive to the Isabela highlands. We reach our trail and prepare our day-packs to enter a world of recent geological history. Depending on your hiking abilities, it takes 1-2 hours to arrive at the rim of the Sierra Negra volcano, an active volcano which last erupted in October 2005. We explore along the circumference of the massive 6×5 mile-wide (9×8 kilometer) lava-filled crater. We may also get views to the other Isabela volcanoes and the Perry Isthmus and beyond. Based on conditions we may continue our hike all the way to Volcano Chico, a smaller crater that offers puffing fumaroles and extraordinary lava formations. These are great examples of the dramatic geological events that have forged the Galapagos Islands over millennia. In the afternoon, we return to Puerto Villamil for our last afternoon in its exotic white sand beaches. Those who wish to try their hand at surfing may do so.
DAY 6 – Giant Tortoises. Lava tunnels and Volcanic Craters
In the morning we embark on a fast boat from Isabela to Santa Cruz Islands. Once we arrive, we transfer to a tortoise reserve in the Santa Cruz highlands, which is the natural habitat of the Galapagos tortoise. We hike in this reserve to learn about these lumbering giants. We come across highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, finches, and frigate birds bathing in freshwater lakes. We also explore some amazing volcanic tunnels that were created by flowing lava. As we walk in these underground geological formations we revive tales of buccaneers hiding Inca gold. We continue to Los Gemelos, two volcanic craters near the top of the Island. We walk around these deep craters through a beautiful Scalesia forest covered with epiphytes and ferns. In this habitat we will seek for the short-eared owl, one of the two owls that live in the Islands. We return to town in the afternoon. This evening is free to dine at any of the Island restaurants.
DAY 7 – Sea Kayak. Hike and Surf
In the morning we take our kayaks and paddle around Divine Bay and Punta Estrada. We kayak through calm turquoise waters that wind through high-walled lava channels. Within the channels, white-tipped sharks and rays tour beneath the clear water, while colonies of blue-footed boobies, tropicbirds, herons, crabs and marine iguanas perch along the jagged cliffs. In the afternoon, we hike to Tortuga Bay, a beautiful white sand beach area, nesting site to thousands of marine turtles. This trail is 3.5 miles (6 kilometers) long and crosses through a dry forest lava habitat home to hundreds of iguanas. We return to Puerto Ayora to spend the evening at leisure in Galapagos’ most populous town.
DAY 8: Transfer to Baltra and Flight to Quito
In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about conservation and management efforts in the archipelago. We finally transfer to Baltra Island for our airport connection back to the continent. Tonight we will overnight in Quito.
DAY 9 – Back in Quito
After an early breakfast at the hotel, take a taxi to the airport to catch flights home or get ready for your next adventure in Ecuador.