Island Hopping On A Budget (8 Day)
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 .
Transport between the islands is by private speed boat, accommodation is in hostels or hotels on the islands. Ideal for people that tend to get seasick and don’t want to be on board during the entire tour and are looking for a competitive price! The Budget class is ideal for the young type of travellers and also the Tourist Class is perfect for Families with children as in some hotels include a swimming pool.
DAY 1 / SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND/ La Loberia Hike & Snorkel
DAY 2 / SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND/Kicker Rock Snorkel
DAY 3 / FLOREANA ISLAND / Loberia/ Highlands /ISABELA ISLAND/Flamingo Lagoon
DAY 4 / ISABELA ISLAND (LAND OR SEA)/Cabo Rosa Snorkeling/Sierra Negra Volcano Hike
DAY 5 / ISABELA AND SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS/ Tintoreras & Tortuga Bay
DAY 6 / UNINHABITED ISLAND/ Bartolome, Seymour, Plazas or Santa Fe
DAY 7 / UNINHABITED ISLAND/Bartolome, Seymour, Plazas or Santa Fe
DAY 8 / BALTRA/ Lava Tunnel
DEPARTURE DATES 2017,
JANUARY 17-24 / FEBRUARY 14-21 / MARCH 14-21 / APRIL 11-18 / MAY 16-23 / JUNE 13-20 / JULY 18-25 / AUGUST 22-29 / SEPTEMBER 19-26 / OCTOBER 17-24 / NOVEMBER 21-28 / DECEMBER 19-26
Adult Budget Class: $2,350 USD per person + $300 Single Supplement
Adult Tourist Class: $2,700 USD per person + $500 Single Supplement
Island Hopping On A Budget (8 days)
- DAY 1 / SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND/ La Loberia hike & snorkel
- Arrival on San Cristobal Island and transfer to your hotel. Lunch and visit of the Loberia beach and Cliff: this is a hike not long but a bit difficult as you have to walk on lava rocks for a part of it. But it is really worth it as on the way we can spot huge marine iguanas and near the Cliff swallow-tailed gulls, blue-footed and Nazca boobies, frigate birds. Back to the beach for a snorkel session: usually, there we can spot turtles and all sorts of tropical fish, and of course the funny sea lions!
Meals included: -/L/D
- DAY 2 / SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND/Kicker Rock snorkel
- Departure in the morning for a great snorkeling tour at Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido): a great snorkel site very famous because we can spot rays, reef sharks, and if lucky, hammerhead sharks! Back on board we will reach a nearby beach, we’ll have lunch on board and then relax time before we navigate back to port around 2PM. Rest of the afternoon free until dinner. Meals included: B/L/D Difficulty: MEDIUM (snorkeling in open water)
- DAY 3 / FLOREANA ISLAND / Loberia/ Highlands "Peace Asylum"/ISABELA ISLAND/Flamingo lagoon
- AM: Breakfast at 6AM, at 06h30 we meet at the pier and at 7AM we depart for Floreana. The ride takes 2h30. At arrival, we will snorkel at Loberia beach and then visit the highlands, a place called “Peace Asylum” where first colons of the islands settled. The guide will tell you about the history of the colons. We will also spot Galapagos giant tortoises on the way. Lunch will be served in the small village of Velasco Ibarra. Afterwards, we will continue to Isabela island – 1h30 ride. Isabela is a beautiful island with its port located near a clear bay and along a White Sandy beach. At arrival, the bus will pick us up and we will reach the flamingo lagoon to spot these beautiful animals at sunset. Meals included: B/L/D Difficulty: EASY
- DAY 4 / ISABELA ISLAND (LAND OR SEA)/Cabo Rosa Snorkeling/Sierra Negra Volcano Hike
- We offer you 2 choices for this day: Volcanoes or Cabo Rosa (with a supplement, look at the price section) (best season December – May). Isabela is the biggest island but only a really small part of it can be visited, the rest is entirely protected by the National Park and visits are forbidden. VOLCANO HIKE: Early in the morning we will reach by bus the highlands: we will begin a trekking (6 hours!) to the Sierra Negra and Chico volcano. Sierra Negra has the second largest active crater in the world: 10km round. We will continue to Chico volcano, which is a cone of Sierra Negra. We will walk through moon-like sceneries and have great views all over Fernandina and the north of the island. This gives us an idea of how the islands looked at their creation. Lunch will be served in a local farm which is also a tortoise reserve. We will be back around 3h30 PM and we will end the day with a nice swim and snorkel at Concha y Perla lagoon. (included in the cost of the tour) Difficulty: MEDIUM CABO ROSA TUNNELS: If you’re ok with a boat ride of 2 hours you can take the excursion to Cabo Rosa tunnels. This is an amazing place where the volcano activity created lava tunnels going under and over the sea level. We can spot the penguins, blue-footed boobies and we will have great snorkeling too! Back to port around 2PM, late lunch and then we will wait until around 3h30PM when the rest of the group comes back from the volcano to go and swim/snorkel at Concha y Perla lagoon. (extra cost 100 USD) Meals included: B/L/D Difficulty: EASY
- DAY 5 / ISABELA AND SANTA CRUZ ISLANDS/Tintoreras & Tortuga Bay
- In the morning we will visit the Tintoreras Islet near to the port: there we can spot small Galapagos penguins, sea lions, marine iguanas, and sea lions where we are going to hike and snorkel before we continue on to Santa Cruz. Afterward, we will continue on to Santa Cruz (2 hours boat ride). At arrival, transfer to the hotel and lunch. Then we will visit Tortuga Bay beach to enjoy a swim in the calm beach and spot a huge iguana colony. The walk to Tortuga Bay is 3km each way, passing through a giant endemic cactus forest. Meals included: B/L/D Difficulty: EASY
- DAY 6 / UNINHABITED ISLAND/ Bartolomé, Seymour, Plazas or Santa Fe
- To complete the tour, you will visit some completely uninhabited islands such as Bartolomé, Seymour, Plazas or Santa Fe. Each one has its own character and species (Seymour –Plazas-Santa Fe you have endemic species of land iguanas, Bartolome you have penguins and amazing views). Note: You will be joining a day trip with other travelers and guides than you were on the tour, as those day tours have strict restrictions and just a few boats have the permit to go there, therefore we have to work with them. The tour consist in reaching the Itabaca channel by bus (except for Santa Fe which is south), and then board a yacht to navigate to the island. Hike and snorkel, lunch on board. We are usually back around 5 PM at the hotel. Meals included: B/L/D Difficulty: EASY (except for Bartolomé where the hike is uphill a bit longer than other hikes, to reach the top).
- DAY 7 / UNINHABITED ISLAND/Bartolomé, Seymour, Plazas or Santa Fe
- Today we will visit another island: different to the previous day of course :), once you make the booking we can let you know if you have options or need to take the trip that fits your schedule and Galapagos National Park regulations. Hike and snorkel, back to port around 5 PM. Meals included: B/L/D Difficulty: EASY (except, again Bartolomé).
- DAY 8 / BALTRA/ Lava tunnel
- In the morning we will reach the airport passing by a lava tunnel that we will visit going entirely through it. We can spot there sometimes an owl. Meals included: B/-/ Difficulty: EASY
- All visits accompanied by a naturalist guide of the National Park (English/Spanish speaking)
- Meals mentioned in the itinerary (menus for lunch and dinner)
- All transportation within Galapagos Islands (boat, bus)
- Snorkel Gear (up to size 47) and wetsuit (shorty)
- Accommodation in accommodation chosen in double or triple rooms (same price as double) with private bathroom
- Airflight rate to Galápagos (we can book the flights for you)
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee (100 USD for adults / 50 USD for children aged less than 12 years)
- Galapagos transit control card (20 USD per person)
- Extra drinks
- Personal Expenses
- Travel Insurance
Transportation: is made on board of small speedboats between islands. Navigation times can be long (max 2h30) depending on the distance between the islands. We cannot control the ocean. If a swell comes in the ride can be bumpy, especially during the Garua season (see below). If you are usually subject to motion sickness, please bring patches or pills (you can also buy pills on the islands). The patches are really effective!
This is a pretty active and group tour: you have to be fit (be used to hiking and swimming). Please take into consideration that this is not a relaxed tour. Early wake ups are usual here on the Galapagos, to make the most of the day, as days are quite short (sunset is at 6 PM).
Meals during the tour are not “a la carte”, but menus. We do our best to vary meals but remember we are on the islands and lots of products are imported or not available. Rice is a common plate here in Ecuador, chicken and (extremely fresh!) fish as well. Your meal is always accompanied by a fresh fruit juice.
You can never see all species of the Galapagos unless you do a 15 day tour visiting all the possible islands: some animals just live on some islands, sometimes in just 1 part of 1 island.
Species you CAN see on this tour:
sea lions, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, tropicbirds, marine iguanas, sharks, rays, penguins, giant tortoises, turtles, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, lava lizards.
Species you CANNOT see on this tour:
albatrosses, red-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, pink iguanas (nobody can see this one as it is ultra-protected and living in a part of the islands totally closed to tourism): if you are interested in spotting one of those, let us know, so we can complete the tour with a cruise. LAND IGUANAS can be spotted on the 8-day tour only.