Birds shoot at Puerto Villamil, Galapagos, Ecuador. Flickr:Pedro Szekely

Sally Light Foot Crab on the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. Flickr:Murray Foubister

Galapagos Islands Bike Tour

Ecuador Bike Tours

Volcanic islands, biodiversity and amazing adventures!

  • This bike or multi-adventure tour in Ecuador in the Galapagos Islands has the perfect blend of challenging cross-island rides, leisurely downhill rides, and other activities to intrigue and fascinate you. The multi-adventure tour adds hiking, snorkeling, and, boating thrown in for good measure.

    The Galápagos Islands, a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, is a province of Ecuador. Located about 1,000 km off the coast, it is considered one of the world's foremost destinations for wildlife-viewing. From wandering around picturesque Puerto Villamil on Isabel Island and visiting a local coffee farm on San Cristobal, to communing with marine iguanas and sea lions, your 10 days of exploring the islands will keep you busy every step along the way. Get ready for an adventure.

    Highlights:

    • Cycling more than 100 km across four very different islands
    • Snorkeling with sea turtles, sea lions, and amazing underwater life
    • Hiking up an active volcano and one of the biggest calderas in the world
    • Famous giant tortoises and marine iguanas in their natural habitat
    • Visiting the pirate's caves on Floreana Island
    • Traditional Ecuadorian cuisine
    • Local Galapequeño culture and history

    *This tour is offered with two itineraries, an Adventure Tour or Cycling Tour. Highlights vary depending on type of tour you choose. See dates and itinerary below.

  • Cycling Tour

    Double/twin:  $ 8763 £ 4517 $ 7,938 5413 $ 9137 kr 56608 $ 5,899 Single supplement: $ 1484 £ 765 $ 1,344 917 $ 1547 kr 9587 $ 999

    Adventure Tour

    December 23 & 27, 2019 & December 11 & 25, 2020

    Double/twin:  $ 8867 £ 4570 $ 8,032 5477 $ 9246 kr 57279 $ 5,969 Single supplement: $ 1484 £ 765 $ 1,344 917 $ 1547 kr 9587 $ 999
    All other departures:
    Double/twin:  $ 7872 £ 4057 $ 7,131 4862 $ 8208 kr 50850 $ 5,299 Single supplement: $ 1484 £ 765 $ 1,344 917 $ 1547 kr 9587 $ 999

    extra options

    Pre and/or Post tour extensions, from: $ 100 £ 51 $ 90 61 $ 104 kr 643 $ 67

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Fly to Quito

    Local Travel

    Upon arrival at the international airport in Quito, we recommend taking a taxi to your first hotel. There will be taxis waiting and the hotel will be expecting you. It should cost around $25-$30 dollars and you should negotiate a set price BEFORE you get in the taxi. If you have paid for an airport pick-up, a representative will be waiting for you. It is best to arrive early on the tour start date and even better - a day or two before to see some of the sights in Quito. There no planned activities on the last day so you can depart at any time. If you depart before noon, you will be transferred to the airport in ample time. Otherwise, travel to the airport is the same as your arrival. Grab a taxi and negotiate before you get in the car. I

    Climate

    Due to the confluence of cold water currents from the west and the south, the Galapagos archipelago has an uncharacteristically dry and moderate climate for the tropics and is generally classified as sub-tropical. This makes Galapagos travel a year-round vacation option. Galapagos weather is considered equatorial, cooled by the Humboldt Current, and is characterized by two main seasons: warm, wet season (late December to June) and the cool, dry season (late June to December).

    Remarks

    Maximum size in group: 10 for cycling tour and 16 for adventure tour

    Pre and post-trip extension suggestions

    • City tour of Quito
    • Gastronomy city tour of Quito
    • City tour and Equator line
    • Twilight city tour of Quito
    • Museums tour
    • Cotopaxl National Park Hike
    • Otavalo Market
    • Mindo Day Tour
    • Bellavista Cloud Forest
    • Cotopaxi Biking
    • Two day Devil's Nose Train
    • Papallacta Hot Springs
    • One day Rafting tour
    • Two day raft 'n ride
    • Horseback riding

    Documents

    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. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.


Tour Dates

Minimum number of participants 4. Maximum 10. Please do not hesitate to ask us in regards to the status of any departure. Special dates can be arranged for groups of at least 4.

2020

January 31, February 28, March 27, April 24, May 29, June 26, July 31, August 28, September 25, October 30, November 27, 2020


2021

January 29, February 26, March 26, April 30, May 28, June 25, 2021

Friday departures

Maximum number of participants 16. Please do not hesitate to ask us in regards to the status of any departure. 

2019

December 13, December 20, December 23, December 27, 2019

2020

January 10, January 24, February 7, February 21, March 6, March 20, April 3, April 17, May 1, May 15, May 29, June 12, June 26, July 10, July 24, August 7, August 21, September 4, September 18, October 2, October 16, October 30, November 13, November 27, December 11, and December 25, 2020

2021

January 8, 2021

 

Skill Level

This tour is rated moderate to difficult (depending on the type of tour, biking or multi-adventure) and is designed for the experienced cyclist and the adventure seeking at heart. Road conditions play an important role at the time of cycling as well! A support vehicle is available for you to take a break from pedaling and experienced guides are always nearby to encourage and assist. The multi-adventure is very flexible and suitable for anyone, with varying skills of biking, snorkelling, kayaking, etc.

Where You’ll Stay

Accommodation levels vary slightly between the two tours but overall, the hotels in the Galapagos are small establishments of 20 rooms or less. Each hotel looks and feels unique.
Bike Tour: Comfort Hotels: boutique accommodations
Adventure tour: Standard Hotels: small family run establishments

What’s Included

  • Cycling Tour:
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • All land, air, and sea transport in Galapagos
  • Internal flights to and from Galapagos
  • Cycling guide and Naturalist guide authorized by the GNP
  • Mountain bikes and snorkeling equipment
  • Meals daily as specified in itinerary
  • Water stations to refill your reusable water bottles
  • Tips for hotel staff, boat crew and drivers
  • Adventure Tour
  • 9 nights accommodation
  • All activity fees
  • Meals as specified in itinerary
  • Drinking water
  • Internal flights to and from Galapagos
  • Tips for local support crew
  • Transportation between and on islands

What’s Not Included

  • Cycling Tour
  • National Park Entrance Fee $100 - cash only! Due note that there are no ATM machines in the airport in the Galapagos
  • Ingala Fee $20, cash only
  • Airport Transfers in Quito(Available upon request)
  • Optional Diving (Please inquire in advance)
  • Drinks other than water (Soda, beer, etc.)
  • Meals not specified in Itinerary (Budget $5-$15 per person per meal)
  • Tips for Tour Leader/Naturalist Guide
  • Bike pedal clips and gloves
  • Bicycle Protection
  • Travel Insurance
  • Adventure Tour
  • $100 park entry fee - cash only
  • $20 Ingala fee - cash only
  • Meals not specified in Itinerary, 2 evening meals, (Budget $5-$15 per person per meal)
  • Drinks other than water
  • Snacks
  • Tip for tour leader/guide
  • Optional Diving (Please inquire in advance)
  • Travel Insurance
TourBike
TypeGuided
SkillModerate–Difficult
Length10 days
From$5299 Rates
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Day-To-Day Itinerary

Galapagos Islands Map

This itinerary is designed to be as informative and accurate as possible. However, changes may be necessary due to weather, or other circumstances beyond control. Safety is the number one priority. The tour must also comply with all rules set forth by the national and local governments, no matter how convenient or inconvenient they may be. Rarely does the itinerary require drastic changes and our agent is very adept at dealing with the challenges of operating this remarkable adventure.

 

Day 1:  Arrival in Quito
Day 2:  Fly to San Cristobal, bike to La Loberia, visit Interpretation center, 9 mi. (15 km)
Day 3:  Puerto Baquerizo Moreno - Puerto Chino, 16 - 25 mi. (25 - 40 km)
Day 4:  Puerto Chino
Day 5:  Boat to Floreana and bike to highlands, 10 mi. (16 km)
Day 6: Boat to Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island, 9 mi. (14 km)
Day 7: Sierra Negra Volcano, 13 - 19 mi. (20 - 30 km) 
Day 8:  Santa Cruz, 16 mi. (25 km)
Day 9:  Charles Darwin Research Station. Fly to Quito. 
Day 10: Depart for home or arrange an extension

Day 1: Arrive in Quito
After your arrival in Quito, Ecuador and check-in at your first hotel, you can settle in, perhaps explore a bit and get ready for the evening tour briefing and group introduction normally scheduled at 6:30 pm at the hotel.  Ask reception upon your arrival for details. Sitting at just over 9,000 feet above sea level, built on the ruins of an Inca city, Quito is a fascinating city. Perhaps you will want to arrive a day or two early and cycle down Cotopaxi Volcano. The Old Town showcases magnificent cathedrals and colonial architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  El Panecillo or 'the Little Bread Loaf,' is located high atop a hill in the Old Town and is a major Quito attraction boasting a panoramic view of the city.  Museums are scattered throughout the New and Old Town as well as local artisan markets that are great for picking up souvenirs.  The New Town is teeming with cafes and restaurants and is a vibrant mix of locals, expats, and fellow travelers. Pre-tour activities can be arranged for you if you would like. Just ask!  (D)

Day 2: Fly to San Cristobal Island and bike to La Loberia,  9 mi. (15 km)
After a short morning flight (included in your tour price) to one of the oldest islands in the Galapagos archipelago, San Cristobal, your adventure begins in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, a small town of around 6,000 people and administrative capital of the Galapagos. After sampling some of the local cuisine, you will be fitted with a mountain bike and head off on a bike ride to La Loberia Beach, home to a large number of curious sea lions! Dress accordingly and be prepared for your first activity as sometimes you will not be able to check in to hotel first.  You’ll have plenty of time to photograph them sunbathing on the beach and swimming in the water.  After a short ride around town, you will spend some time at the Interpretation Center, a visitor center just outside of town. Here you will learn about the interesting history of the archipelago, everything from mysterious deaths and penal colonies to the impact the islands had on Charles Darwin. As the sun sets, you will return by bike to town for a welcome dinner at a small local restaurant. (B, L, D)

Biking details: Easy, mostly level ground.
Activities: Visit Interpretation Center

Day 3: Puerto Baquerizo Moreno - Puerto Chino, 16 - 25 mi. (25 - 40 km)
Yesterday was just a warm-up. Today will be a challenge!  You will confront the rolling hills of San Cristobal Island. Puerto Chino, the day's destination and perhaps the most beautiful beach in the archipelago, will be your reward.  If there is time, a visit to a coffee farm can be scheduled. (Coffee is the largest export from the Galapagos Islands). At El Junco, the only freshwater lake in the Galapagos, you’ll have reached an elevation of 600 m. After a picnic lunch break and with the allure of soft, sandy beaches ahead your cycling journey presses on towards Puerto Chino. A break at Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado will signal that you're almost at your destination! This site is located only a few km from Puerto Chino and is home to giant tortoises and endemic plants of the Galapagos. Upon arrival at Puerto Chino, you’re free to relax on the beach or cool down and go swimming, before taking a relaxing truck ride back down to town. If interested, you have the option to cycle back to town at your own pace. (B, L, D)

Biking details: Moderate-Difficult. Some lengthy uphill portions.
Activities: Visit a coffee farm and El Junco

Day 4: Puerto Chino, San Cristobal Island, Snorkel at Kicker Rock, Free time to explore town
Today you will have a respite from the bike but a full day awaits. It will be a day of discovering the underwater wonders of the Galapagos Islands. By boat, you will navigate the coastline towards Frigatebird Hill, looking for sea birds including the Great Frigate and famous Blue-Footed Booby. Anchoring in some calm waters near the coast, you’ll get your fins wet in search of rays, damselfish, puffer fish, and, hopefully, curious sea lion pups. Marine iguanas are commonly seen here as well, sunning themselves on the lava rocks along the coast. From here, you continue to Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock) to explore the final remains of an impressive volcanic tuff cone that rises more than 143m out of the ocean! Along the edge and through a channel of this compacted ash formation, you’ll be on the lookout for sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, chocolate chip starfish, and, perhaps a Galapagos Shark or two. Each trip to Kicker Rock is different; other rare encounters travelers have enjoyed seeing out here include dolphins, and hammerhead sharks!

The boat will then head over to Puerto Grande, where you’ll enjoy a boxed lunch meal on the boat (food is not allowed on shore). After eating, jump in the water for a swim or wander around the beautiful beach. Sometimes sea lions and marine iguanas are found along here, while other times an impromptu game of beach volleyball has been known to happen. Upon returning to Puerto Chino, you are free to explore and have dinner on your own! Suggestions will be provided. (B,L)

Activities: Snorkel at Kicker Route, option to dive may be possible. Please enquire in advance.

Day 5: Boat to Floreana and Snorkel and bike to Highlands, Visit Giant Tortoises and Pirate Caves, 10 mi. (16 km)
After breakfast, you’ll depart by boat for Floreana Island, which has a population of less than 150 people. Be sure to be looking for dolphins, whales or the waved albatross during this crossing.  Snorkeling is on the agenda and you may see sea lions or penguins! Puerto Velasco Ibarra is a sleepy little town with plenty of mystery and fascinating history. After lunch, you’ll have a bit of time to relax on the black sand beach looking for marine iguanas before you clip yourself in for a ride into the highlands towards the Asylum of Peace. You can expect a mostly gradual ascent to around 400 m, passing by farms and shrub lands before arriving in the often misty highlands. From here you’ll visit the Pirate Caves and a Giant Tortoise visitor site. It’s back to town by bike for sunset and a relaxed dinner. (B, L, D)

Biking details: Moderate-difficult. Some lengthy uphill portions.

Day 6: Boat to Isabela Island and bike to Wall of Tears, Visit Tortoise Breeding Center, 9 mi. (14 km)
A morning speedboat ride transfers you to Isabela, the largest island in the Galapagos. After arriving at the pretty town of Puerto Villamil, your cycling adventure begins. Biking to the Wall of Tears is a journey that will take you past some scenic points along the coast on a flat, sandy road. The Wall of Tears was built by prisoners here many decades ago and it is said that thousands of people died building it. Afterwards, you’ll head to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center where you’ll see giant tortoises in all stages of development. Almost 1000 tortoises are here, ranging from new hatchlings to 70+ year old giants.  (B, L, D)

Biking details: Easy-moderate. Mainly flat with some sandy portions.
Activities: Vist the Tortoise Breeding Center

Day 7: Sierra Negra Volcano Hike, Downhill Biking from Highlands,  13 - 19 mi. (20 - 30 km) 
Today you’ll need both your hiking boots and biking shoes, as the second-largest volcanic caldera in the world is waiting.  A van will transfer the group and bikes up to Sierra Negra Volcano, which last erupted in October 2005. From the starting point, it is a good hike to get to the immense crater and you can be watching for birds only found in the highlands, including the Vermillion Flycatcher and the short-eared owl. There is a stark contrast in the vegetation here compared to back in town. The cool, misty highlands are perfect for the bike ride back to town. On the way, you’ll explore the highlands and possibly make a stop for lunch at a remote farm or restaurant. Back in Puerto Villamil, the rest of the day is free for you to cycle around town, check out the mangrove wetlands and wildlife or enjoy some drinks at a beach bar. (B, L)

Biking details: Easy-moderate. Mostly downhill, some rough road.
Activities: Sierra Negra Volcano Hike

Day 8: Morning walk, boat to Santa Cruz, highlands bike tour to Lava Tunnel, 16 mi. (25 km)
After an optional morning walk and swim to look for marine iguanas around Concha de Perla, it’s off to Santa Cruz Island. After lunch in town, you’ll head into the Highlands, for a scenic bike ride and a bit of immersion into the Galapagos rural way of living. Your final bike ride is done at a fairly leisurely pace and you’ll visit a giant lava tunnel as well as some off-the-beaten-path places. Wild tortoises may be encountered on your ride. Enjoy some free time before dinner to shop for souvenirs or wander around Puerto Ayora. (B, L, D)

Biking details:  Easy-Moderate. Mostly downhill, some rough road patches.

Day 9: Charles Darwin Research Station. Flight to Quito
Depending on flight times, you could enjoy a final hike or head to the Charles Darwin Research Station, home to numerous Giant Tortoises Species as well as some Galapagos Land Iguanas. Before his death in June 2012, this is where Lonesome George lived, the last giant tortoise of his species. His death represented the extinction of a creature right before human eye.  Flights back to Quito (included)  will be early afternoon. There will be an optional final dinner out to say farewell to your new friends. (B, L, D)

Activites: Charles Darwin Research Statio

Day 10: Quito and departure.
Transfer to airport (for flights that depart before noon)  or extension of stay. Please ask us about the day tours that are available including city tours, Bellavista Cloud Forest, Cotopaxi Biking and more!

Day 1: Quito 
Day 2: San Cristobal Island 
Day 3: Interpretation Center
Day 4: Floreana Island
Day 5: Isabela 
Day 6: Isabela 
Day 7: Isabela 
Day 8: Charles Darwin Research Center 
Tortuga Bay (B, L, D)
Day 9: Santa Cruz Highlands 
Day 10: Departure

Day 1: Quito 
Arrive in Quito, Ecuador any time and check into your hotel.  This evening you will be met by a representative for a briefing about your upcoming adventure and an opportunity to get to know your new travel companions before your first dinner together. Briefing is scheduled for 6:30 pm. If you arrive early, you can use your free time to get aquatinted with one of the highest capitals in the world sitting at just over 9,000 feet above sea level.  The city is nestled in a long, narrow valley of the Andes and flanked by the Pichincha Volcano to the west.   For a great view and a little exercise, Pichincha is easily accessible for a day trip.  If you’re in a cultural mood, head to the Old Town to stroll through the magnificent cathedrals and take in the colonial architecture of this UNESCO World Heritage Site.  El Panecillo or 'the Little Bread Loaf,' is located high atop a hill in the Old Town and is a major Quito attraction boasting a panoramic view of the city.  Museums are scattered throughout the New and Old Town as well as local artisan markets that are great for picking up souvenirs.  The New Town is teeming with cafes and restaurants and is a vibrant mix of locals, ex-pats, and fellow travelers. New Town and Old Town are easily accessible by trolley or taxi.  If you’d prefer, we’d be happy to help arrange these pre-tour activities for you.  We can also assist in booking any accommodation you may need if arriving earlier or staying later in Quito. (D)

Day 2: San Cristobal Island 
This morning you will take a short flight to one of the oldest islands in the Galapagos archipelago, San Cristobal. You will land in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, a coastal town and the administrative capital of the islands.  After sampling some of the local cuisine, you will head up into the highlands for a scenic downhill bike ride.  Starting at a panoramic viewpoint called La Soledad, you will bike through the tiny town of El Progreso and five different vegetation zones until you reach the beach, La Loberia.  You will be able to watch sea lions sunbathing, playing, and vying for attention.  If you can’t wait to get in the water, this is your first opportunity.  As the sun sets, you will bike back to town and get ready for a welcome dinner of fresh fish and island cuisine at a small local restaurant. (B,L,D)

Activities:
Bike ride, swimming at La Loberia

Day 3: Interpretation Center 
Today you take to the water to get a glimpse of the underwater world of Galapagos.  First, you will cruise along the coast identifying shorebirds like the Great Frigate and famous Blue-Footed Booby.  You will then anchor in calm waters and go in search of damselfish, pufferfish, and, hopefully, curious sea lion pups.  You then continue to Kicker Rock or Leon Dormido as it’s known by the locals to explore the final remains of a tuff cone rising over 143 meters out of the ocean.  If Kicker Rock were a building, it would have almost 50 floors!  Along the edge and through a channel of this drastic compact ash formation, you will be on the hunt for sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, chocolate chip starfish, and, with any luck, a Galapagos Shark or two.  Don’t worry; they won’t be as interested in you as you are in them. 

A beautiful beach accessible only by boat will be the final stop for the day. After lunch on board, feel free to spend your time swimming in the turquoise water or snapping photos of Kicker Rock in the distance.

You will head back to town late afternoon to visit the Interpretation Center where you will learn about the history and mystery of the archipelago from its discovery and what makes it so special. There’s a short hike to Tijeretas, a panoramic lookout over the town and Kicker Rock, for those that are interested.

To culminate the educational afternoon, pick a spot at nearby Playa Mann, or Mann Beach, with the playful sea lions or grab a front-row seat at Casa Blanca to toast in the sunset. Dinner is on your own tonight and we’ll be sure to offer you plenty of suggestions. (B, L)

Activities:
Snorkel at Kicker Rock, boat ride, Playa Mann or Mann Beach. Option for diving may be available. Please enquire in advance.

Day 4: Floreana Island
After breakfast, you depart by boat for the least inhabited of the main islands, Floreana. En route, keep your eyes peeled for dolphins, whales, and the waved albatross. You will have a pre-lunch snorkel before going ashore to a black sand beach at the home of the Witmer’s, one of the island's first settlers. With a population of fewer than 150 people, Puerto Velasco Ibarra is a sleepy little town but not without its secrets. You can read up on how life came to be on Floreana and how some lives mysteriously ended. After lunch, take a siesta while listening to the waves or walk along the coast in search of sunbathing iguanas. In the afternoon you will bus up to the highlands to visit the Pirate and Whaler Caves from long ago. Once you return to town and to your beachside accommodation, there will be time to enjoy the day’s last light before heading to dinner. After dinner on the way back to the hotel, be sure to spend a few moments looking up - Floreana is one of the best places for stargazing! (B, L, D)

NOTE: Because of the small nature of the hotel and lack of availability, sometimes we are unable to stay and must continue on to Isabela.

Activities:
Visit Floreana Island, Snorkel, visit the Highlands

Day 5: Isabela 
This morning you’ll have a chance to go for one last walk along Floreana’s coast before embarking for Isabela, the largest island in the archipelago. Once you arrive in Puerto Villamil, you will check-in, have lunch and then head off for a kayak around the sheltered bay area of Puerto Villamil. Galapagos penguins (the only penguin found north of the equator), sea turtles, and rays frequent these shallow waters and blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and pelicans may be seen resting along the shore and in some nearby mangrove trees.

Afterward, a visit to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center is planned, where you will see giant tortoises in all stages of development. The center has almost a thousand giant tortoises training for life on their own!

There is a nice mangrove-lined boardwalk path that brings us back to town from the center. Many birds, including flamingoes, call this area home. There are many bars and restaurants along the waterfront in Puerto Villamil where we can enjoy a drink or watch the sunset in the distance. (B, L, D)

Activities: Boat to Isabela, kayak in the bay, visit the Breeding Center

Day 6: Isabela 
Lace up your hiking boots, you are heading up a volcano!  Sierra Negra Volcano is one of the most active volcanoes in Galapagos; its last eruption was in October 2005.  As you hike to the perimeter of the caldera, be on the lookout for bird species found only in the highlands, like the bright red Vermillion Flycatcher and the elusive short-eared owl.  Once you reach the rim, you will be rewarded with a nine-kilometer view that stretches across one the most active calderas in the world.  We’ll continue on to traverse the vast lava fields of Volcan Chico in route for a lookout that boasts breathtaking views reaching to the north of Isabela.  After enjoying a hearty sense of accomplishment, you will make your way back to town by late afternoon for some free time to curl up with a book or venture down to the water for a relaxing swim before dinner. (B, L)

Activities:
Hike Sierra Negra Volcano, visit Volcan Chico Lava Fields, or snorkel at Los Tuneles (extra cost)

Optional: Skip the Hike, and snorkel at Los Tuneles (extra cost of $150 per person)

If you think sleeping sharks, sea horses, sea turtles, and strange lava tunnel formations sound intriguing then you’re going to need your mask, snorkel and flippers, because you get all that and more at Los Tuneles.

Also called Cabo Rosa, this area about one hour from town was created when lava flows reached the ocean, forming tunnels, arches and sheltered bays perfect for snorkeling. They also happen to be perfect feeding grounds for sea turtles and resting places for other species like the Galapagos sharks! Even the cute Galapagos penguins have been known to visit this area at times. It is one of the most diverse snorkel spots in the entire archipelago, and also home to some birds, such as nesting blue-footed boobies.

The ride to get here can be a bit rough, and because of the lava formations, safe access is only possible at certain tides. If you want to maximize the time you spend in the water in the Galapagos, Los Tuneles should be on your list! Not to mention that sea lions, eagle rays, octopus and plenty of tropical fish, sea stars and sea urchins are also spotted in these often crystal clear waters!

Day 7: Isabela 
An easy walk around some lava fields and a fun snorkel with curious Galapagos creatures are in store this morning. You head over to Las Tintoreras, first enjoying a bit of a boat tour around the bay, searching for penguins!

Walking around Tintoreras, you're greeted by an abundance of marine iguanas. This is an important nesting site for them, so be sure to stick to the trail. Juvenile marine iguanas, as well as adults that are often brightly colored, are seen here. In some of the calm channels, you walk by you may also see sleeping sharks.

Putting your fins and masks on, a dip in the water will have you snorkeling with a wide range of aquatic animals. Be on the lookout for things like sea cucumbers, chocolate chip sea stars, and even Galapagos penguins. 

Isabela boasts a wide range of restaurants, and you willl enjoy a typical Ecuadorian lunch today, while everyone plans out their afternoon adventures.

You can choose how you spend the rest of your day – you’ve earned some free time! More snorkel time is an option at Concha de Perla or perhaps you’d like to take a step back in time and visit the Wall of Tears. Built by convicts and still standing over 50 years later, this landmark is a remnant of Isabela’s penal colony past. A beachside road leads the way and it’s a lovely walk or bike ride. Stop offs along the way include stops at the brackish lagoons like Poza de las Diablas and tucked away beaches like Playa del Amor. Make sure you watch your step – this is also an area where juvenile giant tortoises have been reintroduced to the wild.

Tonight you will meet back up for a well-deserved feast as it’s our last night in Isabela. (B, L, D)

Activities:
Hike and snorkel at Tintoreras, free afternoon (optional visit to Wall of Tears)

Day 8: Charles Darwin Research Center 
You will wave goodbye to Isabela this morning as we depart for Santa Cruz. After arrival, the first highlight of the day will be heading into the highlands to a private reserve where giant tortoises roam free. Expect to get some great photos of tortoises wallowing in mud pools, munching on vegetation or even "running" across the fields in the highlands at full speed. The highland areas you like to visit often have lava tunnels as well, which you can walk through - some of them are quite large!

After lunch in the highlands, you will head back into town for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station. We’ll learn about the station's successes in repopulating the islands with the once endangered land iguana and several species of Giant Tortoise. From the collection of the eggs to the age of release, you will observe how the giant tortoises are raised and readied for life on their own. 

Next, you have options. Puerto Ayora is the biggest town in the Galapagos, so you may want to explore the shops, restaurants, and waterfront on your own. Alternatively, an optional visit to Tortuga Bay is highly recommended. Featuring a gorgeous beach accessible only by foot you can swim, sunbath, bodysurf, kayak, or snorkel around this popular area. A leisurely 45-minute path leads to the beach area and along the way you may spot lava lizards and birds in the surrounding trees.

Upon arrival at the first soft, white sandy beach, you'll be greeted by some rough surf that is perfect for surfing. Further along, you can reach Tortuga Bay, a calm bay that is sheltered by mangroves and perfect for swimming. There’s a nice walk through a cactus forest for those that want one more chance at spotting nesting blue-footed boobies or massive marine iguanas.

After fun in the sun, make your way back to town for your farewell dinner in the Enchanted Islands. (B, L, D)

Activities:
Boat to Santa Cruz, visit tortoises in the highlands, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, optional visit to Tortuga Bay

Day 9: Santa Cruz Highlands 
Enjoy a bit of free time before your morning flight to the mainland. Baltra airport is on another island, which requires a cross-island taxi ride on Santa Cruz, followed by a ferry and a bus ride that can take up to two hours of travel time in total.

On the way to the airport, shout if you want coffee and, time permitting, you may make a pit stop at a local distributor for a bag of fresh ground Galapagos Coffee, the only thing exported from the islands. Further along, there may be time to make a stop in the highlands at Los Gemelos. This interesting site features some unique craters unlike anything else you'll have seen in the Galapagos. Again, everything is dependent on how early your flights are today. As you head across the channel to Baltra, enjoy one last look at the turquoise waters before flying back to Quito for your final dinner this evening.

Day 10: Departure or arrange a day tour of the city
Today is the last day of the tour and you will be transferred to the airport. Perhaps you will have time before your flight to eplore a bit more. We can provide suggestions for day tours if you would like.   (B)

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