Galapagos Island Hopping | 8 days

From San Cristobal Airport to Baltra Airport
  • Ecuador
  • Galapagos Islands
  • Custom
  • Wildlife and Nature
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Tour Description

Island hopping packages offer you the unique opportunity to explore the islands of the Galapagos while spending each night on land.  These are generally more economical than cruises while still offering fantastic wildlife interaction.

You have options of visiting different islands, taking part in different activities and choosing from different hotel standards. During the day tours you will enjoy snorkelling with colourful fish and playful sea lions, walking over lava fields and watch out for iguanas and lava lizards. On San Cristobal, a visit to the Galapaguera Breeding centre is a must and you can learn more about the giant Galapagos tortoise and their habitat. Kicker Rock is one of the best places to snorkel in the archipelago. At Punta Pitt you will be able to observe red-footed boobies, which can only be seen in very few locations. Visit Isabela and hike to the crater of Sierra Negra, you will be impressed by the view! Learn more about the different life zones of Santa Cruz during a visit to the highlands. Enjoy a day trip to some of the smaller islands near Santa Cruz. 

You will leave the Galapagos with fantastic memories who will last a lifetime. 

Viva's Best Bits...

Island hopping offers a great opportunity to explore the Galapagos during the day, and to stay on dry land at night.

"Watch the sleepy sea lions in the white sand or you may encounter them during a snorkelling trip. They are curious animals and will come up-close to check you out." Pia, Team Viva

Kicker Rock, or Sleepy Lion, is a volcanic cone eroded by the sea across hundreds of years. But even more exciting then the rock is the amazing underwater world! Snorkel with sea turtles, colourful reef fish, rays, sharks, sea lions and many more.

Tour Itinerary

Customisable ? This tour can be customised to suit your tastes and timing. Enquire here for more information.
Day 1
San Cristobal Island

When arriving at San Cristobal airport, you will be met by our local naturalist guide and we will begin the excursion towards the highlands of the island.

The Junco Lake or el Junco, as it is called by locals, is an inactive volcano that has a fresh water lake where frigate birds and Bahamas ducks rinse their wings from the salt. This will be our first approach to the amazing view of Galapagos and its wildlife. Here, we will have our first delicious lunch.
Moving on in our daily journey, after a hike of one hour we reach the Galapaguera Breeding Center. Here will have the opportunity to watch the famous Galapagos Giant Tortoises in their natural habitat. This center, run by the Galapagos National Park Authority, allows us not only to watch these magnificent tortoises but also touch and see some of their eggs. This visit is ideal for understanding the behavior of this massive animal that may weigh up to 200kg (440 pounds) and live up to 150 years.
After this amazing contact with the wildlife of Galapagos, we will move on to Puerto Chino. This is a breathtaking beach where we have some time to relax.
Your first day comes to an end and we transfer you to your hotel where you have dinner.

Day 2
San Cristobal Island

Kicker Rock Full Day
After the delicious breakfast, you will be picked up by the guide and get ready to visit to the west side of San Cristobal by boat.
This day is full of marine wildlife, color and relaxation and with a bit of luck we may see some manta rays 'flying' out off the water. The boat trip takes 25-30 minutes before we arrive at one of the beautiful beaches, here we can snorkel among marine turtles and sea lions. Later on, we will continue our navigation and reach the eroded volcano known as Kicker Rock or sleepy lion in Spanish. The beauty of this place comes not only by the astonishing rock that heads up the water but also by the rich marine ecosystem found here. You will have a fantastic snorkeling experience, Galapagos Sharks and Hammer Head Sharks are quite often seen here.
After lunch on board the vessel, we stop at a beach with red and white mangroves and explore the area by foot. Then there is some time for a swim in the calm blue water before returning back to the main island, where we are going to stay the overnight and have dinner.

Instead of Kicker Rock you will have the option to visit Espanola - note this tour only operates on Saturdays.

Espanola is the jewel of the archipelago. The first spot to visit is Gardner Bay, the turquoise water of this bay is ideal for snorkeling with friendly sea lions, 50 species of fishes that inhabit this bay and maybe even a shark. You will have lunch on board.
In the afternoon we visit Punta Suarez where we start with a 2-2.5 hour walk, so bring comfortable walking shoes. The effort will be very rewarding. We will observe many species of birds like the blue-footed and red-footed boobies, hawks, finches and the Galapagos doves and if you visit between May and December, we will be able to see the Galapagos albatross colony.
At the end of the day transfer to your hotel and dinner.

Day 3
San Cristobal Island

After breakfast you will be met by your naturalist guide and transferred to the wharf for today's excursion.

360º Full Day Tour of San Cristobal
This tour is ideal for discovering all the jewels that San Cristobal has in one single day, with many activities and time to relax as well.
The first spot to visit is the marvelous White Rose Bay (Bahia Rosa Blanca). This bay is less frequently visited and perfect for snorkelling in the crystal clear water with colorful fishes, manta rays, sharks, seahorses and many other species.
After enjoying this pristine bay, we move on to Punta Pitt where we will be able to observe the red-footed boobies. We continue to Sardine Bay where there is more time to swim and snorkel or just relax at the beach.
Punta Pucuna has been recently opened by the National Park Authority for tourists, so this area is still very untouched and we will see the lava as it has been originally formed by centuries. You will enjoy a walk over the lava flow.
The next stop is Cerro Brujo, this is another rocky formation, we navigate through the tunnel and see more animal species.
We kept the most famous stop for the end; Kicker Rock. The rock is a highlight for many when visiting the Galapagos, be also mesmerized by the rich marine wildlife.

Day 4
San Cristobal Isabela Island

After an early breakfast you will be picked up and transferred to San Cristobal Airport. Your one hour flight to Isabela is expected to depart at 7:00am (flight schedule might change without prior notice).
On arrival at Isabela you will be met by your driver/guide who is going to take you to Flamingo Lake. On the way to this enchanting place, you will be able to enjoy the greenery of this island. Seeing the flamingos in their natural habitat is a great experience.
In the afternoon we visit at the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela, where we will be able to see a variety of species of giant tortoises in captivity. Later on we drive towards the “Wall of Tears”. This historical place was built by the prisoners of the Ecuador’s first jail which was also located here.
On our way back we will stop at the Orchilla viewpoint. From the top you can see the entire coastal wetland system including Poza de los Diablos, Puerto Villamil, the beaches, the volcanoes and the islets to the south-east of Isabela. It's a great location for panoramic photos on clear days.
You will enjoy a stop at the mangrove wetlands and Playa del Amor.

At the end of your excursion return to your hotel for dinner.

Day 5
Isabela Island

Sierra Negra Volcano and Concha y Perla
Our guide will meet you at the hotel and take you to one of the most beautiful volcanoes in the world — Sierra Negra. We will take a 4 hour trekking tour to enjoy this wonderful and unique scenery. The Volcano Sierra Negra is one of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos and has the second largest caldera in the world, 7km. A visit to this area is both scenically beautiful as well as geologically interesting.
In the afternoon we return to the hotel. After a short break, you will be transferred to Concha y Perla near Puerto Villamil for some snorkelling.
Later enjoy dinner at a local restaurant and overnight at your selected hotel.


Day 6
Isabela Island Santa Cruz

Today we have to wake up very early in the morning for being able to catch our first speedboat to Santa Cruz. Our breakfast will be waiting for us at Puerto Viliamil. After 2-2:30 hours we will reach Santa Cruz Island, where you will board a bus and visit the different types of life zones that Santa Cruz has, from the agricultural coast to the mist covered forest. There are plenty of lava tubes, sinkhole and craters to visit during this journey. In the highlands of Santa Cruz you will be able to see wild tortoises in their natural habitat.
After a delicious lunch we continue to the next stop, the well known Tortuga Bay. Enjoy the 45 minute walk along a cactus trail and arrive at Playa Brava where you are able to observe marine iguanas, as well as marine birds and pelicans.
We continue our journey to Playa Mansa where you can enjoy a swim in it´s natural lagoon and relax, surrounded by blue-footed boobies and pelicans.
After enjoying this marvelous day, you will be transferred to your hotel and dinner.

Day 7
Santa Cruz

Today you can chose between four different Island tours:
Seymour, Bartolome, Plazas or Santa Fe.
*Note that the island will be chosen according to available space and day of the week.

Seymour Island is a spectacular place to hike, swim, and enjoy snorkeling. The main attractions are, the magnificent frigates birds, blue footed boobies, gulls, hawks, green sea turtles and the famous Galapagos Sharks.

or

Bartolomé Island is the most attractive landscape of the archipelago. This island is undoubtedly the most photographed in all the Galapagos Islands. You can appreciate a spectacular view of two beautiful bays and observe the fascinating formations of lava, volcanic cones and of course the famous Pinnacle Rock. There is also time to snorkel among marine turtles, manta rays and Galapagos penguins.

or

Plazas Island which is made up of two smaller islands. The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava coast. Enjoy a 2 hour walk along the edge of the island where you can see many species of birds. It is a wonderful spot to observe marine life, including manta rays. Punta Carrion is the perfect spot for snorkelling with colourful fishes.

or

Santa Fe Island is a small island of 24 square kilometres (9.3 sq mi) and lies in the centre of the Galapagos archipelago, to the south east of Santa Cruz Island. Geologically it is one of the oldest island, 4 million year-old volcanic rocks have been found. The vegetation of the island is characterised by brush, palo santo trees and stands of a large variety of the prickly pear cactus Opuntia echios. Spot the endemic land iguana who eats the fruit and leaves of the cactus. There is also time to snorkel at one of the beautiful beaches.

Day 8
Santa Cruz Baltra Airport

You will have an early start on your last day! You will be picked up and transferred to Baltra Airport. On the way, we will make a brief stop and visit the two sunken “holes”, similar to craters, known as “Los Gemelos”.
Upon arrival at Baltra Airport it's time to say good-bye and you will check-in for your flight back to the continent.

What’s Included

Accommodation
  • Included Copy 20 7 nights tourist class hotels in double or triple room
  • Included Copy 31 Upgrades available
Food
  • Included Copy 20 Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Fees & Services
  • Included Copy 20 Public Speed Boat for navigation (open boats)
  • Included Copy 20 Bilingual English speaking naturalist guide (local guides) during the excursions
  • Included Copy 20 Private land transportation as per the itinerary
  • Included Copy 20 Equipment for activities as detailed in the itinerary
  • Included Copy 7 Galapagos Islands National Park Entrance Fee USD$100 (Payable locally)
  • Included Copy 7 Ingala Tourist Card USD$20 (Payable locally)
  • Included Copy 7 Return flights Quito or Guayaquil / Galapagos Islands
  • Included Copy 20 All transfers during your journey

Activities

  • Included Swimming and snorkelling
  • Included Walking over lava fields, hikes to viewpoints
  • Included Bird watching - Flamingos, Frigate birds, blue and red footed boobies and more
  • Included Photography opportunities – Famous Kicker Rock, view from Sierra Negra Volcano
  • Included Visit the Giant Tortoise Breading Center Galapaguera in San Cristobal
  • Included Excursions by boat with an experienced naturalist guide
Click here for dates & prices
Duration

8 days

Price from

$4,293 USD

Per person, twin share

Daily departures