Barefoot Expeditions: Galapagos Islands, Ecuador and Peru Travel Adventures
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Galapagos Fitness Tour
Discover the Galapagos Islands through an active land tour that will deliver the most extraordinary of this world-class naturalist haven. As you kayak, mountain bike, trek or snorkel you will experience incredible close encounters with sea lions, iguanas, giant tortoises, boobies, rays, a myriad of tropical fish!
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.
Sea kayak with sharks and sea turtles on the best kayaking route in the Galapagos.
Mountain bike along pristine beaches and ever-changing coastal environments.
Snorkel crystal-clear waters full of sharks, rays, sea lions, marine iguanas, and tropical fish.
Relax on beautiful white-sand beaches with friendly sea lions and marine iguanas.
Adventure-naturalist local guides lead the way and interpret your surroundings.
Our sustainable model supports local communities and protects the environment.
Fast and easy island transfers are comfortable and minimize transit time.
Single supplement $400
Galapagos Multisport Tour (Galapagos Fitness Tour)
HIKE FRIGATE HILL AND SNORKEL PUNTA CAROLA / DAY 1
After arriving to San Cristobal Island from the mainland, we have a welcome lunch and a short briefing before the adventure begins. Our first stop is the San Cristobal Interpretation Center, where we will learn about the geology and natural history of the archipelago. We continue on a natural lava trail through a unique dry forest ecosystem, where we identify cacti, acacia, palo santo, and Galapagos cotton.
Our destination is Frigate Hill, where we will enjoy our first encounter with local wildlife. Frigate Hill is famous for its bird life, including the namesake frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, gulls, herons, Darwin’s finches, warblers and mockingbirds. After enjoying the wildlife and scenic views, we stop at beautiful Carola Beach, where we can enjoy a quick swim or snorkel before relaxing on the beach to take in a colorful sunset. The rest of the evening is open for guests to dine and explore peaceful Puerto Baquerizo Moreno at their own pace. (L)
KAYAK AND SNORKEL IN SAN CRISTOBAL’S NORTHERN COAST / DAY 2
Today’s journey will take us to some incredible offshore snorkeling sites and along the best kayaking route in the Galapagos! We start paddling along the northern coast, exploring bays and coves full of wildlife as we paddle at a leisurely pace. We may visit Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock), Punta Pitt or Cerro Brujo. The visiting site depends on the week day and the National Park regulations. In the afternoon, we return to our hotel for our last evening in San Cristobal Island, where guests are free to choose their own dining options and take a final stroll through town. (B, L)
MOUNTAIN BIKE THE COASTLINE, EXPLORE TINTORERAS / DAY 3
This morning, we board a small plane for a fast inter-island flight from San Cristobal to Isabela Island. Isabela is the largest and youngest island in the Galapagos, still being formed by five active shield volcanoes, which make Isabela one of the most volcanically active places on earth. After settling in, we head out on our mountain bikes to explore the beautiful coastline on an exclusive trail that takes us through an incredible variety of coastal ecosystems. We begin with a visit to the Wall of Tears, a massive wall built with lava rock that dates back to the era when Isabela was used as a penal colony, and prisoners were forced to build the wall to keep them from going stir-crazy. As we continue riding along the coast, we explore pristine white sand beaches, mangrove forests, and brackish lagoons. This area is filled with bird life, including oystercatchers, herons, flamingos, finches and many shore birds, as well as the ubiquitous sea lions and marine iguanas. After our ride and a rejuvenating lunch, we visit, in a shared tour, Tintoreras, a set of small, rocky islets tucked in Isabela Bay. Tintoreras’ islets are filled with wildlife, most notably the Galapagos Penguin, the only penguin that lives on the equator. We will also see sharks, sea turtles, sea lions and more as we explore the small coves and beaches of Tintoreras. (B, L)
ACTIVE VOLCANO HIKE IN ISABELA’S HIGHLANDS / DAY 4
Today we head to the highlands of Isabela Island and into a world of modern geological history. The continuing volcanic activity on this island is a microcosm of the dramatic geological events that have formed the Galapagos Islands over millennia. After driving up to the trailhead, we hike into a young dry forest ecosystem. Our destination is the rim of Sierra Negra, an active volcano which last erupted in October 2005.
Upon arrival, we take in breathtaking views and explore the circumference of the massive crater, over six miles across at its widest point. If conditions are clear, we will also enjoy views of Isabela’s other volcanoes, the Perry Isthmus, and beyond.
If we feel energetic, we can continue our hike to Volcano Chico, a secondary crater that has a wild landscape of puffing fumaroles and colorful lava formations. In the afternoon, we return to Puerto Villamil to enjoy our last afternoon on Isabela’s exotic white sand beaches. (B, L)
RESEARCH STATION VISIT, HIKE WITH GIANT TORTOISES AND EXPLORE LOS GEMELOS / DAY 5
After bidding a fond farewell to Isabela, we board a public speed boat for a scenic ride to Santa Cruz Island. After we arrive, we have time to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, where we will learn more about many of the endemic species we met during our adventure, as well as the ongoing conservation efforts in the Galapagos. Then we head to El Chato reserve in the Santa Cruz highlands, home to several subspecies of Galapagos giant tortoise. Hiking through El Chato’s beautiful highland scenery with these lumbering giants is an unforgettable experience. As we hike, we see other highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, and finches. We'll also visit a freshwater lake where frigate birds gather to wash the salt off their feathers.
Our next stop is a group of massive volcanic tunnels that were created by underground lava flows. According to legend, pirates once used these tunnels to hide from pursuing Spanish ships and stash plundered Inca gold. After walking through these fascinating geological formations and reliving some pirate stories, we continue to Los Gemelos, a pair of volcanic sinkholes near the top of the island. Los Gemelos are covered with a beautiful endemic Scalesia forest. As we hike through this unique environment, we keep an eye out for the elusive short-eared owl and other endemic wildlife. We return to town in time to relax on the beach for a while and dine at any of Puerto Ayora’s many outstanding restaurants. (B, L)
SEA KAYAK PUNTA ESTRADA AND HIKE TO TORTUGA BAY / DAY 6
After breakfast, we head back to sea in our kayaks to paddle around Divine Bay and Punta Estrada. This outstanding route takes us along calm turquoise waters that wind through high-walled lava channels. Within the channels, white-tipped sharks and rays cruise under the clear water, and colonies of blue-footed boobies, tropicbirds, herons, crabs and marine iguanas perch along the steep cliffs.
In the afternoon, we hike to Tortuga Bay, a beautiful white sand beach and the preferred nesting site for thousands of black sea turtles. To reach this isolated beach, we hike a six kilometer trail through a beautiful dry forest, home to hundreds of land iguanas. After a relaxing afternoon on Tortuga Bay’s pristine beach, we return to Puerto Ayora to spend our last evening in the Galapagos at leisure in the archipelago’s most populous town. (B, L)
TRANSFER OUT / DAY 7
Today we transfer to Baltra Island for our flight back to the mainland. (B)
Meals as described
Inter-island air and boat transportation
Adventure and protective equipment
Professional English speaking guide
Adventure and naturalist guides.
Airfare to/from Galapagos
Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee (100 USD per adult, 50 USD per child aged less than 12 years)
“We had a wonderful time. Everything exceeded our expectations.”
The McDonalds, San Francisco, CA
“Great Galapagos trip through Barefoot Expeditions – Highly recommended Service”
As one of our main highlights for our 3 1/2 weeks Ecuador travel we wanted to go for a Galapagos cruise and found Barefoot Expeditions through tripadvisor as a well recommended agency with great personal service. The agency, located in Quito, is owned by Diego and Kerstin and their web page gives a good taste of their service.
This is the full Galapagos Experience. The Island Hopping on a budget tours have fixed departures once or twice a month and you go on tour with max. 16 fellow travelers to explore the magic of each island. The tours include the highlights of all the four inhabited islands; San Cristobal, Isabela, Santa Cruz and Floreana and two uninhabited Island; Bartolomé, Seymour, Plazas or Santa Fe .
A magnificent 105-foot twin screw steel-hulled brigantine with teak decks and beautifully designed interiors, The Beagle is in a class by itself among sailing yachts in the Galapagos. She was built by Cubow Ltd. in Woolwich, England, in the 1970’s and registered with Lloyd’s (number Y 195095), but her designer is unknown. She’s been a charter vessel in the Islands for over a decade and has been substantially refurbished under her current ownership.