Exploring the Galapagos by bike and boat ensures that you receive the most unique Galapagos experience. During this combination tour with both boat and hotel accommodation, you will truly be ‘up close and personal’ with nature and the rugged beauty of the islands, at the same time, respecting and conserving the environment on a sustainable travel focused experience.
Just over the bow of your floating accommodation, you can watch the dolphins riding the wave inches away, or spot a whale in the distance. Anchoring in quiet and secluded coves, you can reach the beaches by dinghy, stroll amongst the sea lions, and watch the boobies dive into the surf.
During the land portion, you will be based in the lush highlands of Santa Cruz Island and will enjoy some scenic bike riding.
Come and experience the magical Galapagos!
- Overnight in San Cristobal
- Cycling to El Junco crater lake
- Flora and fauna of the islands
- Unique natural landscape
- Trail walking, swimming, snorkeling amongst the wildlife
- Wonderful accommodations
- Expertise and knowledge of certified guides
If you would like a cruise only experience without the bike and hotel portion at Altair Galapagos Lodge, ask us for a quote!
Day 1: San Cristobal
Day 2: Cycling to El Junco, embarkation on the Beluga
Day 3: Española Island: Gardener Bay and Punta Suarez
Day 4: Santa Cruz Island: Puerto Ayora, Charles Darwin Station and Highlands
Day 5: Sombrero Chino Island and Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay
Day 6 : Tower Island: Darwin Bay and El Barranco Tower Island (Genovesa)
Day 7: Santa Cruz: Caleta Tortuga and Biking to Garrapatero
Day 8: Santa Cruz Island: Agricultural backroads by bike (16 km)
Day 9. Departure
See below for detailed day to day.
Day 1, Saturday: Arrival, San Cristobal
On arrival at San Cristobal airport, you will be met by your driver and taken to your hotel in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. You have the evening to explore the town or relax.
Overnight: Casa Blanca Hotel
Meals: No meals included.
Part 1: Accommodations on the Beluga motor yacht
Day 2, Sunday: Cycling to El Junco
This morning you will be picked up from your hotel to start your biking adventure to El Junco, the only permanent freshwater lake in Galapagos. It is located at 659 meters above sea level and has an amazing volcanic crater, providing a 360-degree view of the island. After a short drive (or ride), you will stop at Finca Otoy (Otoy Farm) where you will hike the bamboo forest trails and have a chance to sample exotic fruits before being transferred to La Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado, a free-range tortoise breeding center managed by Galapagos National Park. You will walk the grounds in search of wild giant tortoises and learn about the efforts this center does to support their conservation. After, you will visit the beautiful beach of Puerto Chino. You return to town at approximately 4:30 pm to embark on the Beluga, a first-class motor yacht, your home for the next 5 nights.
Activities: Wildlife viewing and cycling
Flora: Typical highland vegetation
Day 3, Monday: Española Island: Gardener Bay and Punta Suarez
Española is the oldest of the Southern Islands and is the southernmost in the Archipelago. Because of its remote location, a unique range of endemic species evolved here. It is also the only island where the Waved Albatross can be seen during the breeding season from April to December.
AM: Gardner Bay (Española) and Islote Gardner and Islote Osborn
Located on the northeast of the island, the site has a long and beautiful white sand beach inhabited by sea lion colonies. As you walk the beach, you will observe sea lions, mockingbirds, other shorebirds, and possibly see the Galapagos Hawk. Islote Gardner and Islote Osborn are snorkeling sites with an abundance of tropical fish, reef sharks, and turtles.
Activities: Trail walks along beach, swimming, snorkeling
Conditions: Wet landing = Arriving to the beach by dinghy, but not being close enough to shore to disembark on dry land
Fauna: Sea Lion colony, Hood Mockingbirds, rocks off the coast offer great snorkeling with reef sharks, turtles, and numerous tropical fish.
Flora: Saltbush, prickly pear cactus, Jerusalem thorn, mesquite, beach dropseed
PM: Punta Suarez
The wildlife at Punta Suarez is plentiful and varied. Along the cliff visitors can enjoy the blowhole where seawater is forced about 20 m into the air. The highlights are the Waved Albatross (April-Dec). (only found on Hood), Galapagos Hawks, Blue-Footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies, and Española Lava Lizards.
Activities: Trail walks along shore and inland
Conditions: Dry landing = arriving to the beach by dinghy but you are able to disembark on dry land
Fauna: Migrant, resident, and endemic wildlife including brightly colored Marine Iguanas, Sea Lions, Española Lava Lizards, Hood Mockingbirds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, Galapagos Hawks, a selection of Finches, and the famous Waved Albatross.
Flora: Puncture weed, shore petunia, saltbush, atriplex, lantana, purslane, mesquite, trianthema
Day 4, Tuesday: Santa Cruz Island: Puerto Ayora, Charles Darwin Station and Highlands
AM: Puerto Ayora and Charles Darwin Station (Santa Cruz Island)
In Puerto Ayora, visitors can enjoy a stroll through town and shopping at one of the many tourist shops. You will visit the Charles Darwin Station, a research facility and National Park Information Center. The Charles Darwin Station has a giant tortoise and land iguana breeding program and interpretation center.
Conditions: Dry landing
Fauna: Tortoises at breeding center, Land Iguanas, Sea birds, Marine iguanas
Flora: Several endemic, native, and introduced varieties
PM: Highlands of Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz Island)
You will continue to the highlands to have lunch at a restaurant there, then on to a tortoise reserve, where Galapagos giant tortoises roam freely.
Activities: Walk among tortoises
Conditions: Easy trail
Fauna: Tortoises, Pintails, Finches
Flora: Heliotrope, agricultural land, introduced cedar trees, maracuyá
Day 5, Wednesday: Sombrero Chino Island and Santiago Island: Sullivan Bay
Sombrero Chino is a small volcanic island just off the southeast tip of Santiago. The name of the island describes its hat like shape.
Activities: Walking over lava field, snorkeling
Conditions: Wet landing; white sand beach, and lava formations
Fauna: Sea Lions, Marine Iguanas, Galapagos Penguin
Flora: Lava cactus, purslane, carpetweed, puncture weed
The island, which consists of two overlapping volcanoes, is the fourth largest in the Archipelago. A favorite for pirates and whalers, Santiago has an interesting history as well as some outstanding opportunities for wildlife viewing. Highlights of a visit include the Fur Seal grotto, Pink Flamingo lagoon as well as the chance to see Galapagos Hawks and vermilion flycatchers.
PM: Sullivan Bay (Santiago Island)
Located on the northeast side of the island, Sullivan Bay offers the possibility of seeing a recent Pahoehoe (ropy) lava flow, formed about 100 years ago. Enjoy a walk over this unusual landscape.
Activities: Lava walk
Conditions: Dry landing
Fauna: Marine Iguanas, Sally Lightfoot Crab, Marine Turtles
Flora: Lava cactus, mollugo
Day 6, Thursday: Tower Island: Darwin Bay and El Barranco Tower Island (Genovesa)
Located in the northeast part of Galapagos, this relatively small island is a low-lying volcano rising just above the ocean surface. Tower, an oasis for seabirds, is well worth the long travel time to get there. Tower attracts an enormous number of pelagic seabirds that come to nest. Great Frigate birds, Red-footed Boobies, Swallow-tailed Gulls, and Storm Petrels all breed here by the thousands.
AM: Darwin Bay (Tower Island)
Darwin Bay was created when the island’s large crater collapsed below sea level. Inside this caldera, birds are visible by the thousands.
Activities: Walks along shoreline and walks along the edge of the caldera, swimming
Conditions: Wet landing
Fauna: Colonies of Red-footed Boobies, Nazca Boobies and Great Frigate birds, Swallow-tailed Gulls, Herons, Cactus Finches, Sea Lions
Flora: Prickly pear cactus, Palo Santo, chamaesyce, saltbush, heliotrope
PM: El Barranco (Tower Island)
A scenic panga ride along the rocky cliff ledges will bring you to the base of the steep rocky steps named after his Royal Highness Prince Philip who visited the island in the 1960s. This site is abundant with bird life.
Activities: Steep walk, trail walk, bird watching
Conditions: Dry landing and steep walk for first part of the trail
Fauna: Nazca Booby colony, Red-footed Booby, Storm Petrels, Short-eared Owls, Doves, Finches
Flora: Palo Santo trees, lava cactus, chamaesyce
Part 2: Accommodations at the Altair Galapagos Lodge
Day 7, Friday: Santa Cruz: Caleta Tortuga and Biking to Garrapatero
Caleta Tortuga (Turtle Cove)
Turtle Cove is a red mangrove lagoon on Santa Cruz and a perfect example of how mangroves alter the marine environment to create a rich and unique habitat.
Activities: Dingy ride, wildlife viewing in a peaceful environment
Conditions: Calm waters
Fauna: Herons and Egrets, Pelicans, Spotted Eagle Rays, Diamond-shaped Mustard
Rays, Sea Turtles, White-tipped Reef Sharks
Santa Cruz Island: Garrapatero bike and kayak (8 km + option of 8 km extra)
After you disembark from the cruise you will be taken to the Altair Lodge, your accommodations for the next two nights. After lunch, your 8 km bike ride begins to El Garrapatero Beach. This is a great opportunity to observe the change in vegetation from the lush midlands to the arid low lands. Once you arrive at the beach, you will walk along a path that brings you to El Garrapatero beach. This is a fantastic beach for swimming, relaxing, and observing flora and fauna. After a short interpretation walk, you will have the possibility to kayak around the bay. Enjoy a snack before walking back up the trailhead where a vehicle will wait to take us back to the hotel. Those who would like can ride their bikes back to the hotel.
Activities: Biking, kayaking, walking, wildlife watching
Conditions: Easy biking, mostly downhill
Fauna: Possible flamingos, other shorebirds
Flora: Palo Santo, matazarno
Overnight: Altair Galapagos Lodge
Day 8, Saturday: Santa Cruz Island: Agricultural backroads by bike (16 km)
Today you will hop on your bikes and ride towards Columpio Magico, where you can explore lava tunnels and take in some great views. From here you will cut across a back road riding up towards Cerro Mesa (this part can be strenuous but there will be a vehicle for those that need assistance). On arrival in Cerro Mesa take a break to enjoy the views. Those who have energy can hike down to the bottom of the crater. From Cerro Mesa, continuing cycling towards Bellavista, while enjoying views of the typical highland Galapagos farms. On arrival in Bellavista, be sure to stop to sample some typical chocolate bread. The route then leads back towards the hotel (to complete a loop), stopping off at El Trapiche where local caña liquor is made. Finish your day with a well-deserved and refreshing swim in the pool!
Conditions: Difficult (hills and uneven roads)
Fauna: Finches and other small ground birds
Flora: Scalesia, guayabillos, croton, Darwin’s cotton
Overnight: Altair Galapagos Lodge
Day 9. Departure
At appropriate time transfer to the airport for your flight back to Quito or Guayaquil for onward international flights.
Boat only experience can be requested
You will be accommodated in San Cristobal at the Casa Blanca Hotel (or similar) for one night, aboard the luxury motor yacht, the Beluga for five nights, and the remaining two nights will be at the Altair Galapagos Lodge on Santa Cruz Island. The Beluga has been outfitted exclusively for the Galapagos Islands and has been awarded the Smart Voyager certification for adhering to conservation standards and enacting practices that support the sustainable management of natural, cultural, and social resources.
- Accommodation in double/twin cabin on board a comfort plus yacht & in a double/twin room at Altair Galapagos Lodge
- All meals mentioned in the program
- All transfers mentioned in the program
- All excursions & activities mentioned in the itinerary
- Bike rental (Giant hardtail mountain bikes with front suspension)
- Snorkeling gear
What’s Not Included
- International flights to & from Guayaquil or Quito
- Flights to San Cristobal Island & from Santa Cruz Island back to Guayaquil or Quito (2021 price pending)
- Galapagos National Park Entrance fee ($100)
- Migratory card fee (approx $30)
- Any extra beverages (anything in a bottle)
- Wetsuit rental while on the Galapagos cruise ($30 for the entire cruise)
- Personal expenses
- Bike protection
- Travel Insurance
Dates & Pricing
Dates & Pricing
January 14, February 11, February 25, March 11, March 25, April 8, May 6, May 20, June 3, July 1, July 15, July 28, August 12, September 9, October 7, November 18, & December 9, 2021
If you prefer a cruise-only experience we can offer you 6 and 8-day cruises. Just ask!
Number of people Twin/double Solo traveler (single room on land, willing to share on the boat) $ 7571 £ 4270 $ 7,440 € 4810 NZ$ 8112 kr 48385 $ 5,726 Solo traveler (single room on land, not willing to share on the boat) $ 9879 £ 5573 $ 9,708 € 6276 NZ$ 10586 kr 63139 $ 7,472 Two $ 6416 £ 3619 $ 6,306 € 4077 NZ$ 6876 kr 41008 $ 4,853 Four $ 6098 £ 3440 $ 5,992 € 3874 NZ$ 6534 kr 38972 $ 4,612 Six $ 5963 £ 3364 $ 5,860 € 3788 NZ$ 6390 kr 38110 $ 4,510 Eight $ 6227 £ 3513 $ 6,120 € 3956 NZ$ 6673 kr 39800 $ 4,710 Single supplement, traveling with a group, single room on land, willing to share on the boat) $ 325 £ 183 $ 320 € 207 NZ$ 349 kr 2079 $ 246 Single supplement, traveling with a group, single room on land, twin cabin/single-use on the boat) $ 2249 £ 1269 $ 2,210 € 1429 NZ$ 2410 kr 14373 $ 1,701
Roundtrip air travel: pending
Quito or Quayaquil to San Cristobol
Santa Cruz back to Quito or Quayaquil
Skill Level — Easy
This is a unique experience that we have never before offered, a combination of boating, hiking, snorkeling, swimming, with a dash of biking thrown in to a destination that is on everyone’s bucket list, the Galapagos. On a detailed day to day itinerary below, you will find the rating for each activity offered. All activities, even if rated easy, do require a good level of fitness. You will be exploring a volcanic terrain, walking on a surface that is uneven and rocky and requires good balance. The majority of the time you will be arriving to the beach by dinghy, also know as a wet landing, in which you will unload in shallow water.
Fly to Guayaquil or Quito with connecting to San Cristobal Island. At end of the tour, return to either Quito or Guayaquil from Santa Cruz (Baltra) with connecting flights onward. It is recommended that if traveling in a group, you allow us to book your connecting flights. This ensures that everyone is transferred to the tour start and from the tour end together. Groups should decide together which airport they will fly to and from, either Guayaquil or Quito.
Airport group transfers are provided from San Cristobal airport to your first overnight accommodation in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and at the end of your tour to Santa Cruz airport for connecting flights onward. If you are arriving early to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, taxi from the airport to your first hotel is convenient and inexpensive.
The Galapagos Islands are on the equator and the climate does not vary dramatically over the year. The climate can best be described as subtropical. There is, however, some variation driven mainly by the ocean currents. December to May can be best described as the warm season with average temperatures ranging from a low of 70°F/22°C to 84°F/31°C. This is also the “wet season” and there may be afternoon thundershowers. April to December is considered the “dry season” and is cooler, with average temperatures ranging from around 68°F/19°C to 82°F/27°C.
The boating portion of this Galapagos experience takes place on a small motor yacht with a capacity for 16 passengers. Because of the small size of the vessel, you will feel the motion of the seas and therefore may be vulnerable to seasickness. Seasickness typically resolves after a few days as you adjust to the new movement and environment. We advise that you speak to your doctor regarding any concerns you may have and arrive to your tour fully informed and prepared. There is over the counter medication for seasickness, such as Dramamine and Bonine that should be taken approximately 24 hours before boarding the ship. There is also the prescription Transderm Scop Patch which is placed behind your ear and will last up to three days. Some people use the PSI bands. These are adjustable wristbands that apply acupressure to help relieve the symptoms of nausea and vomiting.
The motor yacht, the Beluga, will navigate during the night so please bring earplugs!
Important to know
Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. Entry and exit requirements for Ecuador state that visitors must have a passport with a minimum of six months validity from the date of their entry. Under Ecuadorian law, U.S. citizens traveling for business or tourism on a tourist passport can enter Ecuador for up to 90 days per calendar year without a visa.
This tour is run by Enchanted Adventures.
We value the strong relationship we have with our local partners and the services we provide.
We are not a broker.
We do not inflate tour prices.
We are simply travelers helping travelers.