This is a full program where you will discover the most exciting places of two Islands: San Cristobal, and Santa Cruz.
OPTURGA S.A. programs have been designed to optimize your time exploring the best areas of the Galapagos by both land & sea. You can expect a balanced level of adventure and physical activity within the itinerary prepared.
Travel from Quito to San Cristobal.
You will arrive to San Cristobal airport at approximately 11:30 to 13:30 depending on the flight schedule. Our staff will be waiting to welcome you at the airport to transfer you to the hotel accommodations.
The afternoon adventure starts with a walk to an Interpretation Center where your guide will give you some information about the human and natural history of the Galapagos Islands. Next you will visit Frigate Bird Hill where you will encounter many different species of sea birds like pelicans, frigates and blue footed boobies. For those who are interested , you will also have an opportunity to snorkel near by with sea lions, sea turtles and colorful fish.
Your tour will start with a boat ride along the west coast of San Cristobal where you will observe colonies of frigate birds and marine iguanas. We will be sure to be on the look out for marine life jumping out of the sea during our ride.
Your first snorkeling experience will be close to a beautiful beach with high chances to see turtles, variety of fish and even play with curious sea lions. After returning from snorkeling at the beach, you will have a second opportunity to snorkel after a 25 minute boat ride to Kicker Rock. Kicker Rock is an eroded volcano with a great concentration of marine life that includes Galapagos Sharks, Hammer Head Sharks, Sea Turtles and an abundance of fish along the wall of this majestic rock.
Your box lunch will be served on the boat while you are anchored on a beautiful bay. Here you will have a chance to walk around on a beach with red and white mangroves or go for a swim in the calm blue water before returning back to port.
After an early morning breakfast, you will embark on a speed boat for approximately two hours to your next destination, Santa Cruz Island. Depending on the season, boat rides might get a bit bumpy but you can expect to see marine life jumping out of the water such as whales, dolphins, manta rays, and many others.
Upon arrival to Santa Cruz, you will check in the hotel then enjoy a tour to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Your guide will explain about the successful reptile breeding program this facility is famous for.
The Charles Darwin Scientific Research Station is a non-profit organization dedicated to the scientific investigation, education and conservation of the natural resources in Galapagos.
In the afternoon you will take a 45 minute walk through a dry tropical forest to a white sand beach (Tortuga Bay) where you can enjoy swimming on the west side of the beach or simply relax and enjoy watching the pelicans and blue footed boobies diving for fish.
After breakfast you will take a 35 minute bus ride to the highlands of Santa Cruz to Gemelos (The Twins). This is the site of two enormous collapsed lava chambers where you will hike for approximately 45 minutes searching one of the few tool users birds in the world (Woodpecker Finch) and one of the most colorful birds in Galapagos (Vermillion Flycatcher). After Gemelos a short bus ride will take you to CHATO – 650 acres of private nature reserve where Giant Tortoises freely roam grazing on grass or relax in the mud.
Walking among these giant reptiles will be one of the highlights of your trip. This unforgettable visit will provide you with the chance to walk inside a (10050 feet) 350 meters long natural lava tunnel formation similar to many others that exist on Santa Cruz Island.
Relax like the locals or walk along the main street of Puerto Ayora. This is your chance to explore a busy town with many shops where you can sit enjoy a cup of Galapagos coffee.
Transfer to the airport