5. San Cristóbal: 7-Day Galapagos Island Hopping Tour
Day 1: Quito/Guayaquil – San Cristobal
On the first day of your 7-day Galapagos Classic tour, your will start at San Cristobal Airport (SCY) where the guide will pick you up at the airport and will drop you off at your hotel. If you arrive before 02:00 PM you will get lunch. If you arrive later, lunch is not included. This day will be self-guided. Optional activities: you can visit The San Cristobal Interpretation Center, where you will learn about the islands, the evolution of their species, fauna, migration, and how humans came to live here. Then you can go to Playa Mann for your first contact with the stunning waters of these islands.
Day 2: Kicker Rock
After breakfast, you go by boat to snorkel at the famous Kicker Rock. Two volcanic rocks 140 meters tall are located off the coast of San Cristobal Island. When viewed from the south the rocks look like a sleeping lion, which is why the Spanish name is León Dormido (sleeping lion). From another side it looks more like a boot, hence the English name: Kicker Rock. In the sea, you see the great underwater life wherefore the site is that famous. The channel between the rocks is the ideal habitat to view a variety of sharks and rays. In the afternoon you go back to the hotel.
Day 3: Puerto Ayora – Charles Darwins Station – Santa Cruz Island Highlands
In the morning you will take the speedboat from San Cristobal to Puerto Ayora, where your guide will be waiting for you. Around 10:30 AM you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you can see the memorial site for the last living Galapagos tortoise of its species. In the afternoon you will go to the Highlands of Santa Cruz to make closer contact with the Giant Galapagos Tortoises. You will have lunch here.
Day 4: Santa Fe Island
After breakfast, you will travel to Santa Fe Island which is a small island that lies in the center of the Galapagos archipelago. Among animals, Santa Fe is home to endemic species such as the Barrington Land Iguana (Conolophus pallidum). After a 45-minute boat ride, you will arrive at the bay of Santa Fe. There you will have a very nice snorkeling activity, if you are lucky, you can spot some birds on the rocks. After snorkeling, you will go to Playa Escondida or Garrapatero in Santa Cruz island and have a wet landing there, where you will discover the beach.
*Wet landing means that the boat gets close to the beach, and from there you will disembark in the sea. It is recommended that you bring extra clothing, as you might get wet.
Day 5: Free Morning – Isabela Island – Flamingo Lagoon
This morning you have to explore by yourself. Around 1.30 PM, you will take a public speedboat to Isabela Island, which takes approximately 2,5 hours. Upon arrival in Isabela, you will visit the Flamingo Lagoon. This place is the largest coastal lagoon found in the Galapagos and is one of the main reproductive sites for the majority of flamingos.
Day 6: Los Tuneles Snorkeling
Today, you will explore the amazing formations of lava created by the last eruptions of the Volcanic Island along the seashore. Over here, you will have the best snorkeling opportunity with all these beautiful animals, including the curious Galapagos penguin playing around. After the trip, you can enjoy some optional activities such as kayaking in Tintoreras, taking surfing lessons, biking, or just relaxing on the exotic white-sand beaches of Isabela Island. We recommend you take some time to visit the giant tortoise breeding center.
Day 7: Transfer Out to Baltra Airport
This is the last day of your 7 Day Galapagos Classic tour. After breakfast you take a short transfer to Isabela Airport (5 min) from where you take a small airplane (capacity of 9 people) to Baltra Airport. The flight time is about 40 minutes. The tour will end upon arrival to Baltra Airport.