4D/3N Galapagos Hotel Package with the Red Mangrove Lodge
Darwin's Footsteps Tour to Santa Cruz & Isabela Islands
Day 1: Flight from Quito or Guayaquil to Santa Cruz Island
Upon arrival to the airport of Baltra, one of our representatives will be awaiting you at the airport. A shared bus will drive you to the Itabaca Channel, where the public ferry will take you across the channel to the island of Santa Cruz. Once in Santa Cruz you will take a private taxi that will take you across the island to the Red Mangrove lodge. Lunch will be served at the lodge.
Later in the afternoon, we will visit the cloud forest in the highlands of Santa Cruz, a very different ecosystem than the one in the lowlands, where dry forest prevails. We will start with a trip to “Los Gemelos” or the “twin craters” – a couple of collapsed lava chambers that were the point of origin of the Island. Here we will hike around the scalesia forests, and we will try to find some of the endemic birds of the area.
Afterwards we will visit a private reserve located in the highlands of Santa Cruz. Here, the giant tortoises are free to graze and wander around the swamps of the island. This area is often filled with rain and mist and the land is often muddy, so good shoes are recommended.
We will continue our visit on the island, going into the very heart of the island’s volcanic history – we will visit one of the lava tunnels that run deep beneath the surface of the island. Here, we will be able to observe the different lava formations, such as stalagmites and stalactites, and we will be able to appreciate the different coloration of the walls due to the presence of various minerals.
We will return to the Red Mangrove Adventure Lodge for dinner and to spend the night.
Day 2: Kayak adventure in Santa Cruz and Isabela
Breakfast will be served at the Red Mangrove Adventure Lodge, from which we will depart to begin our day. Before starting to kayak on the beautiful Galapagos seas surrounded by green sea turtles, schools of tropical fishes, and playful sea lions, we will have a safety talk, and a certified kayak specialist will share the most important kayaking techniques with you.
Afterwards, we will have lunch at the Red Mangrove Lodge before heading to Isabela Island. In order to get to Isabela, we will take a shared boat that will take us right into Puerto Villamil. This passage can take up to two hours depending on sea conditions.
Isabela (or Albemarle) is one of the youngest islands of the archipelago and is also the biggest of them. Formed by six different volcanoes, Isabela is one of the most charming islands: With beautiful beaches and huge volcanoes and a great diversity of life, the visit to this island will charm you.
After checking in at the Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge you will have some free time to explore the small town of Puerto Villamil on your own before dinner is served.
Day 3: The Sierra Negra Volcano
After breakfast, we will prepare to hike to the second-largest crater in the world, the Sierra Negra. We will make a beautiful hike across the muddy terrain that allows us to see the various changes in vegetation and landscape as we ascend to the rim of the crater. Beautiful vistas will accompany us while we ascend to 1124 meters above sea level to witness the colossal crater and the dried lava flows inside the caldera that have been recorded reaching over 2 meters high.
After lunch, you can continue your hike north-west to the Chico Volcano. Crossing lava terrains, loose stones, and some steep slopes, you will reach the crater of this volcano. Here you will have an amazing view of the island. Although it is a very beautiful excursion, this is a very demanding hike, so good shoes and proper clothing are required.
We will have lunch at a local farm and then be transferred back to the lodge. Take this leisure time to explore the island a little more – relax on the white sandy beaches or do some snorkeling at Concha Perla; you can also visit the breeding center, where tortoises are bred from infancy to adolescence in a safe and controlled environment.
We will spend the night at the Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge.
Day 4: From Isabela to Santa Cruz and your flight back to Quito or Guayaquil
Early in the morning, we will take the public boat back to Santa Cruz, where we will take a taxi to Itabaca Channel and the public ferry, and then a shared bus back to the airport where you can take your flight back to the Ecuadorian mainland.
2016 prices per person:Prices are subject to change without prior notice.
4D/3N Santa Cruz and Isabela Red Mangroove Package:
|Ocean View Suite||$2,329||$1,909||$1,789|