A Journey to Darwins Islands

Galapagos impresses with its untouched nature, which makes the heart of flora and fauna lovers beat faster. The islands offer a diverse animal kingdom. A large part of the animal species can only be found here. Sea lions, sea lizards, red rock crabs, blue-footed boobies, pink flamingos, the famous giant turtles and many other rare species can be observed on this trip. On a total of 7 islands you will have the opportunity to intensively observe the fascinating landscapes and extraordinary animals.

Specification: A Journey to Darwins Islands


11 Days


Daily Departure

Group Size

Group Excursions, Private Tour

Tour Type

Animals, Nature Tour


Daily Breakfast


Meals as per itinerary


3 – 4 Star Hotels


Per Person in Double Room

Today you will set off for Galapagos. Together with other international guests you will travel by ferry (travel time approx. 10 min.) and private transfer (travel time approx. 45 min.) to Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz. There you will visit the famous Charles Darwin Research Station, which was founded in 1965 and gives you an insight into the natural history of the islands. You will see the iguana enclosure, the breeding station for turtles and explore the area on an educational trail (duration approx. 2 hours). The afternoon is at your free disposal.
Today you will explore the uninhabited island of Plaza Sur, which is known for its abundance of wildlife, with an excursion boat and a nature guide. Sea lions, sea lizards, red rock crabs and many sea birds guard their nests here. Many land and sea iguanas live on the island, as well as the natural cross between the two. Scenically the island impresses by the contrasting growth of first pioneer plants like mosses and lichens. Their yellow and red tones, together with the large opuntias and salt plants, create a unique play of colors. Please note that the 2 hour walk on the island is on stony and uneven paths and you will need sturdy shoes. After lunch on board you can snorkel in the crystal clear water. (This day trip starts at about 07:15 and ends at about 16:30).

After breakfast you will start the “Tour de Bahía” to the “Loberia” (sea lion island) where you can swim with seals. Back at “Punta Estrada” you will have the opportunity to see blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and snorkel with white tip sharks. From the “Canal del Amor” (Love Canal) you walk 10 minutes to the beach “Playa de los Perros” with one of the biggest iguana colonies. In the afternoon you can swim, snorkel and watch flamingos in Garrapatero Bay.

Also today you will take a day cruise, this time to the island of Seymour Norte 40 km away (approx. 1 hour by boat). It is not uncommon for dolphins (bottlenose dolphins) to accompany your cruise. Of the five species of frigate birds in the world, two species can be found in the Galapagos archipelago: splendor and bandage-fregatebirds. On North Seymour these acrobatic flying artists have their colony. Their gliding is always a photographic challenge. During the island tour (duration approx. 2 hours) you will look out for Canadian herons, land iguanas, pelicans and the only oyster fish of the archipelago. The American Oystercatcher loves to look for mussels and crabs on the shore. Already from far away you can hear his typical pipe chirping. (This day trip starts at about 07:45 with the pick up from the hotel and ends at about 16:30).
With a bus and a nature guide you will go to the highlands to see the Galapagos giant tortoises, which gave the archipelago its name. You will pass through different vegetation zones, from dry cactus-rich areas to the Scalesia forests. From the end of November until mid-April, small turtle migrations can be observed here. The animals come from the hardly accessible highlands to the lower zones. Use the day for observation and photography. In the afternoon return to your hotel. The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Today you will visit Santa Fé, one of the oldest islands of the archipelago. For this, you will be picked up at your hotel at 07:15 for the shared transfer to the port. By boat you will go from Puerto Ayora to the island Santa Fé in about 2 hours. The landing takes place on a sandy beach, which is home to sea lions. During the 2-hour hike you will get to know the island and its inhabitants better. Santa Fé is characterized by dry landscapes with opuntias up to 10 meters high. The endemic Galapagos land iguanas feed on the fruits. The animals are very skilful, rolling the spiny fruits with their paws on the ground until the last sting has fallen off for consumption. This lizard, which is only found on Galápagos, has an impressive head crest. Please consider the stony ground when choosing your shoes in the morning and think about bathing clothes for the snorkel stop. In the afternoon return to Puerto Ayora (approx. 3 hours by boat).
Note: Depending on availability on the excursion boats, the day trip to Santa Fé can also be done in another form, without island hiking. Daily description:
Today you will visit Santa Fé, one of the oldest islands of the archipelago. By boat you go about 08:00 o’clock from Puerto Ayora in about 1.5 hours to the island Santa Fé. Arrived here, you will be driven along the coast and have the possibility to admire the giant tree cactuses Opuntia echios, which only grow on this island, as well as to observe colonies of pelicans, pikemen or seagulls. In a protected bay, which is excellent for snorkeling, you can see sea lions, mantas and other tropical fish. After a lunch snack on board, the boat continues to Playa Escondida, where you can relax on the beach. In the afternoon return to Puerto Ayora.

The morning is at your free disposal; take the opportunity for a hike to Tortuga Bay Beach (approx. 5 km, 45min.), a beautiful wide sandy beach. The beach is reserved for the diverse fauna of the island: Sea iguanas, the red rock crab and various bird species can be seen along Tortuga Bay Beach. An assistant will accompany you to the port of Puerto Ayora, where you will board the public speedboat around 2 pm, which will take you to the island of Isabela (travel time approx. 3 hours). On the crossing you will keep an eye out for gannets, albatrosses and flying fish. On arrival at the port of Puerto Villamil you will reach the largest island of the archipelago. Isabela impresses with its wildlife and the five volcanoes whose eruptions have shaped the island. After you have moved into your room, you will explore the city of Puerto Villamil on your own or have the opportunity to snorkel and explore the mangroves. Tip: It is possible to take a water cab from Puerto Ayora to Tortuga Bay (about 10 USD)
After breakfast your day starts with a boat excursion along the southwest coast of Isabela to the offshore island Las Tintoreras. After visiting the island, a path leads to a small bay where white tip reef sharks doze at low tide. In the bay larger colonies of marine lizards find ideal nesting places. When snorkeling, the huge caves and tunnels of the lava rock impress. You can see snake eels, rays or reef sharks. The huge sea turtles, with a shell length of up to 1.40 m, usually graze here over an algae field and are hardly disturbed by visitors. The afternoon is at your free disposal.
Today you explore the lagoons of Isabela on your own. A mixture of different mangrove species, brackish water lagoons and dry forests is the reason for the rich bird life. A path leads you over wooden footbridges directly into the mangrove thicket and past brackish water lagoons. Here Galápagos skewered ducks, pond-chickens, whimbrels, stilt-walkers and pink flamingos look for food. On the beach, sea lizards swim and eat at the competition. Easy day program with an easy walk on the beach.
Early in the morning around 8 am your half-day excursion starts with a boat along the bizarre coast where you will see the impressively formed lava formations “Los Tunneles”. Large Galapagos-Opuntias grow here, blue-footed boobies sit on the lava arches and under the lavator arches sea turtles can be found. On some days the number of green sea turtles in the crystal clear water is around 40 animals. Your guide will show you the variety of animals and there is also the possibility for snorkeling. After lunch you will start your return trip, around 3 pm you will be back in Puerto Villamil and have the rest of the afternoon at your disposal.

Around 6 o’clock departure with the public speedboat from Isabela to Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island), where you will have breakfast. Continue with shared transfer across the island and short ferry crossing to Baltra airport. Here you will start your return flight to the mainland to Guayaquil or Quito (flight optional) for your onward flight to Europe or you start your extension program here (both optional).

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SKU IJDB-CTR-11-2023 Categories , Tags , , ,

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