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Galapagos Habitat 5-Night Itinerary A

The 6-day/5-night "Galapagos in Detail" Tour: This adventure has been designed to introduce the Galapagos Islands with a stay on Santa Cruz Island complemented with day excursions to nearby islands. You can enjoy these pristine spots by wildlife watching, snorkeling, exploring, kayaking, hiking and biking. Beginning your journey on Santa Cruz Island, you will be able to observe the unique symbiosis between volcanic lava formations and endemic plants and animals. Here, you can also walk among the giant Galapagos tortoises and enjoy kayaking and snorkeling with sea lions, sharks, marine iguanas, sea turtle, rays and schools of colorful tropical fish. In addition to this stay on Santa Cruz, you will go on trips to three (3) other islands to discover their own endemic species as well as Galapagos penguins, Blue-footed boobies, flamingos, pelicans, Sally Lightfoot crabs, and countless fascinating underwater creatures.


“We had a great time in the jungle. Our experience was amazing. Can’t wait to tell you more about it.”Michael McLane


Galapagos Islands, Highlands, Charles Darwin Research Station, Tortoise Breeding Center, Tintoreras, Wall of Tears, Sierra Negra Volcano OR the Los Tuneles, Flamingo Lagoon, Day tour

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrival in the Galapagos Islands – Highlands – Charles Darwin Research Station + Tortoise Breeding Center (Santa Cruz Island)
Day 2: Santa Fe Island Wildlife Watching
Day 3: North Seymour Island Adventure
Day 4: Bartolome Island Discovery
Day 5: The Lumbering Giants of Santa Cruz Island – Afternoon at Your Leisure
Day 6: Los Gemelo Twin Craters - Departure for Mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil)
Galapagos Map

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in the Galapagos Islands – Highlands – Charles Darwin Research Station + Tortoise Breeding Center (Santa Cruz Island)

AM: In the morning, you will fly from Quito or Guayaquil (on the Ecuadorian mainland) to Baltra Island, which is the heart of the Galapagos archipelago and the main point of entry to this natural paradise. Upon your arrival at the airport, you will need to pay the national park entry fee, which goes to protecting both the Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve.  A member of the Surtrek team will then welcome you and accompany you on a short bus ride to Itabaca Channel, whose clear blue waters divide Baltra Island from Santa Cruz Island. During your five-minute crossing, keep your eyes on the water and you’re likely to spot sharks, sea lions and sea turtles. Once on Santa Cruz, you’ll travel south across the island to your hotel. During the 45-minute drive, you’ll experience a variety of microclimates, observing the change from the desert environment in the lowlands to tropical forests in the Highlands. Then, as we near the southern coast, the climate becomes drier and hotter until we arrive at the Galapagos Habitat Eco-Luxury Hotel in Puerto Ayora, the main town on the island. Before lunch, you can relax on the hotel’s deck and watch the sea lions and marine iguanas.

PM: After lunch, we will head to one of the most visited spots in the islands. Located on Santa Cruz Island, the Charles Darwin Research Station is primarily an international scientific research station situated on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora. You will be taken to its visitor center to learn about the geology, climate, natural history and the conservation of the Galapagos Islands. However, the highlight of your visit here will undoubtedly be the research facility’s Fausto Llerena Tortoise Breeding Center, which breeds giant tortoises. These enormous and slow-moving reptiles can live up to 150- 200 years and weigh between 250 and 300 kg. Approaching them in their humid and forested spaces is always an inspiring adventure. For decades, the Fausto Center was home to “Lonesome George,” who finally died in 2012 as the last of his particular species. The tortoises you will see here are accustomed to humans, so it’s an excellent spot for visitors to take photographs with them.


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Lunch - Dinner
Day 2
Santa Fe Island Wildlife Watching

AM/PM: After traveling to the dock in the town of Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island), we will board a boat bound for Santa Fe Island.  This central island is covered in small Palo Santo trees and six-meter-high opuntia cactuses, while it’s inhabited mainly by large yellow land iguanas, Galapagos buzzards, Blue-footed boobies and pelicans. After exploring the island, lunch will be served on board your boat. As Santa Fe’s wonderful blue-green bay is excellent for snorkeling, the afternoon will be spent exploring the island's underwater world, which includes countless tropical fish, rays, sea turtles and playful sea lions, as well as sea tortoises and stingrays. At around 5:00 pm, this day of island-hopping touring comes to an end; so you’ll then be transported back to your hotel.


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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 3
North Seymour Island Adventure

AM/PM: Today we will sail to North Seymour Island. After a dry landing here, we will take a short walk along its coast, where you will encounter Swallow-tailed gulls, sea lions and Cliff crabs. This part of Seymour Island is also known for being a major nesting site for Blue-footed boobies and one of the largest colonies of Magnificent frigatebirds (a species different from the Great frigatebird). As you enjoy this relaxing hike around various nesting sites, you can also spot both of the endemic species of iguanas: marine iguanas and land iguanas. 


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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 4
Bartolome Island Discovery

AM: Today's objective is Bartolome Island, an island that possesses a fascinating moonscape formed by various volcanic formations — including lava bombs, spatter, cinder cones — as we hike to the island’s summit for striking views of the surrounding islands, Sullivan Bay and the towering Pinnacle Rock.

As the beaches at the foot of the Pinnacle Rock boast some of the finest snorkeling in the islands, you can discover a marvelous underwater world here and have a good chance of finding sea turtles gliding gently alongside you. On the rocks beneath Pinnacle Rock, it’s quite possible to spot some of the quick-as-an-arrow Galapagos penguins; at around 25 centimeters tall, these are members of the second smallest species of penguin in the world.  Likewise, you’re likely to see harmless Whitetip reef sharks sunning in these waters. For many visitors, this may turn out to be the best of snorkeling experiences, as the water here is generally clear, without too much surf and full of marine life.


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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5
The Lumbering Giants of Santa Cruz Island – Afternoon at Your Leisure

AM: Starting off the day, we will visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island, where the lush landscape is a welcome contrast to the arid scenery of the smaller, lower islands. On the way, we will cross through different vegetation zones – from the dry lower region full of cactuses to the scalesia woods in the Highlands.  There one can find two small agricultural communities that grow the famous organic Galapagos coffee. While in the Highlands, you will have the option of visiting one of two tortoise-breeding centers: El Chato or Rancho Las Primicias. At either site, approaching these enormous and slow-moving reptiles is always an inspiring adventure. The El Chato tortoise reserve was founded in 1964 to allow visitors to observe the island’s huge Galapagos turtles and White herons in their natural habitat. You will also be able to walk through nearby underground lava tunnels formed during volcanic eruptions. As the outside of the lava hardened, the inside continued to flow to the ocean, creating these tunnels. Alternatively, Rancho Primicias is a great place to see about ten to fifteen Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild. In addition to being able to view the ocean from this location in the Highlands, you can walk through a lava cave that was formed by a volcanic eruption.   

PM: In the afternoon, we will return to the lodge, where you can enjoy swimming, simply relaxing before dinner, or discovering more of Santa Cruz Island on your own.


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Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 6
Los Gemelo Twin Craters - Departure for Mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil)

AM: On this final morning in the islands, we will go to the Santa Cruz Highlands and see the twin “Los Gemelos” craters, which will be explained by your naturalist guide. These craters are surrounded by scalesia forest, where also live Ruby tyrants and small and large Tree finches. 

Concluding this amazing experience in the Galapagos Islands, you will be transferred to the Baltra Island airport for your return flight to the Ecuadorian mainland. Enjoy your last look back at the “enchanted islands,” a unique paradise with inspiring natural wonders.


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Price per person
2US$ 3,871 PPUS$ 4,598 PPUS$ 4,061 PP
*Price per person based upon double occupancy.
*PP (per person)
Included in the price:
  • Accommodations
  • All meals as specified in the itinerary
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Full-day of activities
  • Transfer in/out of the Galapagos Islands
  • Services of an English/Spanish-speaking guide
  • Use of snorkeling equipment 
Not included in the price:
  • Local flights and flights to/from the Galapagos Islands
  • Galapagos National Park Entrance Fee
  • Ingala Transit Card
  • Taxes (VAT and Services)
  • Island dock fees
  • Alcoholic and bottled beverages
  • Lunch on the last day
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Activities and services not specified
  • Travel insurance
  • Use of wetsuits
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Traveler Reviews

“The trip was excellent from beginning to end. The Isabella II was a fine ship and the crew and guides were all of the highest quality. I would recommend them to others. For us, the ship was the perfect size – not too small and not too large.”Walter Squire