Day 6 - Glamping in the Galapagos
Take a morning flight to Baltra Island in the Galapagos archipelago and connect with a scenic inter-island flight to Isabela island, where you will stay overnight in safari style tents at the Scalesia Lodge. After lunch we head out for an afternoon of discovery to get to know the youngest side of the archipelago through its wetland lagoons the ,giant tortoise-breeding centre and the stunning white beach of Puerto Villamil. Head back to the lodge for dinner and to relax and soak up the remote beauty.
Day 7-8 - Full day exploration
Over these two days you will enjoy two of these full day excursions:
Sierra Negra Volcano: Walk along the rim of Galapagos’ largest caldera and see recent volcanic activity following the eruption in 2005 and the resulting fascinating formations. Wildlife focuses on the Darwin finches, flycatchers, mockingbirds, and occasionally the Galapagos hawk and rail. Stroll the beach at Puerto Villamil or rest in the afternoon.
Tintoreras Islets: Board the bay cruiser to explore the maze of reefs and islets off the shores of Isabela, with a dry landing and a short walk over volcanic terrain. Wildlife includes boobies, herons, penguins, marine iguanas and the white tipped reef sharks in the nearby lava crevasses. Bring your bathing suit to enjoy snorkelling in the shallow reefs. After lunch at the lodge explore the wetlands of coastal Isabela and enjoy spectacular sunsets at Puerto Villamil.
Wall of Tears: Follow a splendid coastal trail, wending through mangroves and brackish lagoons and traversing the arid palo santo forest until we reach the Wall of Tears, built by prisoners when Isabela was a penal colony. Wildlife include coastal Darwin finches, doves, stilts, ducks, flamingos, herons and giant tortoises.
Day 9 - Tortoises of Santa Cruz Highlands
A short but interesting AM flight will bring you from Puerto Villamil back to Baltra. Your guide will lead you across the Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz Island, where the day’s visit includes a brief exploration of Los Gemelos - a natural volcanic formation in the upper end of the windward side of the island. Surrounded by a forest of high growing endemic daisies, this area is home to some of the most elusive land birds of Galapagos. Then we visit the Tortoise Reserve, admiring impressive lava tunnels en route to a delicious lunch at a restaurant in the highlands. In the afternoon, you will reach Puerto Ayora’s only pedestrian neighbourhood; Punta Estrada, where the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel is located. Check in and enjoy the hotel’s beachfront facilities. Overnight at the Finch Bay.
Day 10 - Full day yacht excursion
Depending on the day and availability, you will enjoy a full day yacht excursion to one of the following:
North Seymour: Your day includes a dry landing and walk over a mixture of sand and rounded boulders, where you can observe land and marine iguanas, Nazca- and blue-footed boobies, frigates, sea lions and fur seals. We then visit Las Bachas, a stunning white beach with small brackish lagoons, home to various waders, such as plovers, stilts and flamingos. You have a chance to swim or snorkel here.
Santa Fe: The yacht will cruise to Santa Fe, an impressive volcanic island 17 nautical miles away from Puerto Ayora. After a wet landing on a fantastic white sandy beach populated by basking sea lions, we walk along a rocky terrain to find the island’s highlight: the endemic Santa Fe land iguana patiently waiting under the enormous giant cacti for falling fruits and pads. Other species here include pelicans, boobies and the archipelago´s top predator, the Galapagos hawk. Return to the yacht and enjoy one of Galapagos best snorkelling sites. After lunch on board the Sea Lion yacht, cruise back to Puerto Ayora, scanning the sea surface for pelagic birds and whales.
Bartolome: Drive to Itabaca Channel on the north shore of Santa Cruz, where we board the Sea Lion yacht. A 21-nautical mile sailing stretch along waters where Dolphins or whales are often seen. A dry landing marks the start of the trail over a wooden boardwalk with a staircase of 366 steps. There are several observation platforms on the way up to the summit of Bartolome, from where you can soak in one of Galapagos’ most famous views: the tilted pinnacle rock, the golden beach of Bartolome and the impressive lava fields of Santiago Island. Upon descending back to the coast, you will have a chance to scan the volcanic shore, in search of flashy Sally Lightfoot crabs and Galapagos penguins, before enjoying a soothing dip at the beach.
South Plaza: Your day includes 2 highlights, snorkelling/swimming as Punta Carrion and South Plaza Island where an amazing abundance of wildlife greets you upon arrival: dozens of frolicking sea lion pups, patrolling alpha male sea lions, basking marine and land iguanas, stunning red crabs and various Darwin finches await.
Day 11 - Coastal Exploration & Charles Darwin Research Station or Tortoise Breeding Facilities
Depending on the weekday and availability, you will visit either Tortuga Bay and the Charles Darwin Research Station or Divine Bay and the Charles Darwin Research Station, a combination of wonderful beaches, wildlife and a speciailsed visitor centre.
Day 12 - Return to the mainland
Today you will be taken to Baltra Airport for your flight back to the mainland, staying at the port city of Guayaquil.
Day 13 - Return to the UK
Transfer to Guayaquil airport for your KLM flight back to the UK, via Amsterdam.