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Red Mangrove’s - 4 Nights Itinerary

This 5-day/4-night “Allure of the Galapagos Tour” will allow you to explore volcanic Galapagos scenery and observe the archipelago’s legendary wildlife. Though based on Santa Cruz Island, you will also be able to venture out and explore nearby islets and beaches such as Bartolome Island, North Seymour + Bachas Beach, Santa Fe Island, South Plazas Island + Carrion Point OR Tortuga Bay. This stay in the archipelago will allow you to observe the symbiosis between the lava landscape and endemic plants and animals such as tiny Galapagos penguins, Blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, flamingos, pelicans, Sally Lightfoot crabs and countless fascinating underwater creatures. This adventure has been designed to optimize your time by diminishing unnecessary commuting between several islands. Instead, you can invest your time in a deeper and more adventurous exploration in the center of the archipelago – an area that possesses the very best that the Galapagos has to offer. Experience these untamed sites by snorkeling, kayaking, biking, trekking and more!

Testimonials

“The trip to the Galapagos was really fantastic! Although it was quite short, the trip itinerary made time for us to do quite a lot of things. Everything went very smoothly, too.”Maggie Clark

Red Mangrove’s: Highlights

Galapagos Island, Highlands, Charles Darwin Research Station, Tortoise Reserve, Daily Tour (Bartolome, North Seymour Island, Bachas Beach, South Plazas Island or Santa Fe Island)

Red Mangrove’s: Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1: Arrival in the Galapagos Islands – Highlands – Charles Darwin Research Station + Tortoise Reserve
Day 2: Tour of Bartolome Island, North Seymour Island + Bachas Beach, Santa Fe Island, South Plazas Island + Carrion Point, OR Tortuga Bay
Day 3: Tour of Bartolome Island, North Seymour Island + Bachas Beach, Santa Fe Island, South Plazas Island + Carrion Point, OR Tortuga Bay
Day 4: Tour of Bartolome Island, North Seymour Island + Bachas Beach, Santa Fe Island, South Plazas Island + Carrion Point, OR Tortuga Bay
Day 5: Departure for Mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil)
Galapagos Map

Red Mangrove’s: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1
Arrival in the Galapagos Islands – Highlands – Charles Darwin Research Station + Tortoise Reserve

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 Red Mangrove 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
Tour of Bartolome Island, North Seymour Island + Bachas Beach, Santa Fe Island, South Plazas Island + Carrion Point, OR Tortuga Bay

AM: This morning you will be picked up at the hotel and taken to Itabaca Channel, where you will embark on a ship to sail to an island and/or a beach close to Santa Cruz Island. The site you will visit depends on different factors such as National Park Regulations, weather, and tides. The four options are as follows:

Bartolome Island: This island possess 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.

North Seymour Island & Bachas Beach: Should we travel to North Seymour Island today, after a dry landing 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. This option also includes a stop on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, where we will visit the long and sandy Las Bachas Beach, one of the most important nesting beaches for sea turtles. Here you can also find flamingos, Black-winged stilts, sea lions, herons, marine iguanas, and — with a little bit of luck — tiny Galapagos penguins. In addition, this beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but they then spend 3 to 5 years without breeding. At this paradisiacal site, we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago; these were once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. In fact, the beach got its name because the English word “barges” was hard to pronounce for the local people – hence “Bachas” Beach. You will also have the opportunity to swim on this soft white sand beach or explore the fascinating underwater by snorkeling.

Santa Fe Island: 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.

South Plazas Island & Carrion Point: Located just east of Santa Cruz Island, South Plaza Island can be accessed by a dry landing on the northern part of this life-filled islet. Here you will encounter colonies of sea lions and land iguanas. While on the steep banks, you can see numbers of birds – like nesting Tropicbirds and Fork-tailed seagulls – but most of all, you will enjoy the beautiful views from either atop the steep banks or while strolling along the base of the cliff. Opuntia cactuses grow on this island and the vegetation changes color throughout the year. With this option, we will also travel to Carrion Point, which is close to the eastern mouth of Itabaca Channel, between Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island. Here, you can see many of the almost ever-present creatures, such as sea lions, Creole fish and Blue-striped sea slugs. You will also have a good chance of spotting mobula rays cruising by – sometimes in small schools. Whitetip reef sharks are also commonly sighted here. And, if you are lucky, you might see some Galapagos sharks and hammerheads.

Tortuga Bay Tour: Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos, Tortuga Bay is a place where you might spot local surfers trying to catch the best wave. It’s also common to spot sea lions, sea turtles, pelicans, Whitetip reef sharks and marine iguanas in these waters.

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 3
Tour of Bartolome Island, North Seymour Island + Bachas Beach, Santa Fe Island, South Plazas Island + Carrion Point, OR Tortuga Bay

AM: This morning you will be picked up at the hotel and taken to Itabaca Channel, where you will embark on a ship to sail to an island and/or a beach close to Santa Cruz Island. The site you will visit depends on different factors such as National Park Regulations, weather, and tides. The four options are as follows:

Bartolome Island: This island possess 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.

North Seymour Island & Bachas Beach: Should we travel to North Seymour Island today, after a dry landing 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. This option also includes a stop on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, where we will visit the long and sandy Las Bachas Beach, one of the most important nesting beaches for sea turtles. Here you can also find flamingos, Black-winged stilts, sea lions, herons, marine iguanas, and — with a little bit of luck — tiny Galapagos penguins. In addition, this beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but they then spend 3 to 5 years without breeding. At this paradisiacal site, we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago; these were once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. In fact, the beach got its name because the English word “barges” was hard to pronounce for the local people – hence “Bachas” Beach. You will also have the opportunity to swim on this soft white sand beach or explore the fascinating underwater by snorkeling.

South Plazas Island & Carrion Point: Located just east of Santa Cruz Island, South Plaza Island can be accessed by a dry landing on the northern part of this life-filled islet. Here you will encounter colonies of sea lions and land iguanas. While on the steep banks, you can see numbers of birds – like nesting Tropicbirds and Fork-tailed seagulls – but most of all, you will enjoy the beautiful views from either atop the steep banks or while strolling along the base of the cliff. Opuntia cactuses grow on this island and the vegetation changes color throughout the year. With this option, we will also travel to Carrion Point, which is close to the eastern mouth of Itabaca Channel, between Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island. Here, you can see many of the almost ever-present creatures, such as sea lions, Creole fish and Blue-striped sea slugs. You will also have a good chance of spotting mobula rays cruising by – sometimes in small schools. Whitetip reef sharks are also commonly sighted here. And, if you are lucky, you might see some Galapagos sharks and hammerheads.

Tortuga Bay Tour: Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos, Tortuga Bay is a place where you might spot local surfers trying to catch the best wave. It’s also common to spot sea lions, sea turtles, pelicans, Whitetip reef sharks and marine iguanas in these waters.

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 4
Tour of Bartolome Island, North Seymour Island + Bachas Beach, Santa Fe Island, South Plazas Island + Carrion Point, OR Tortuga Bay

AM: This morning you will be picked up at the hotel and taken to Itabaca Channel, where you will embark on a ship to sail to an island and/or a beach close to Santa Cruz Island. The site you will visit depends on different factors such as National Park Regulations, weather, and tides. The four options are as follows:

Bartolome Island: This island possess 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.

North Seymour Island & Bachas Beach: Should we travel to North Seymour Island today, after a dry landing 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. This option also includes a stop on the northern coast of Santa Cruz Island, where we will visit the long and sandy Las Bachas Beach, one of the most important nesting beaches for sea turtles. Here you can also find flamingos, Black-winged stilts, sea lions, herons, marine iguanas, and — with a little bit of luck — tiny Galapagos penguins. In addition, this beach is one of the main nesting sites of sea turtles in the Galapagos. A female can lay eggs 3 or 4 times with an average of 70 eggs each, but they then spend 3 to 5 years without breeding. At this paradisiacal site, we will also find the remains of barges that sank long ago; these were once property of the United States Navy when they operated an airbase on Baltra Island during World War II. In fact, the beach got its name because the English word “barges” was hard to pronounce for the local people – hence “Bachas” Beach. You will also have the opportunity to swim on this soft white sand beach or explore the fascinating underwater by snorkeling.

South Plazas Island & Carrion Point: Located just east of Santa Cruz Island, South Plaza Island can be accessed by a dry landing on the northern part of this life-filled islet. Here you will encounter colonies of sea lions and land iguanas. While on the steep banks, you can see numbers of birds – like nesting Tropicbirds and Fork-tailed seagulls – but most of all, you will enjoy the beautiful views from either atop the steep banks or while strolling along the base of the cliff. Opuntia cactuses grow on this island and the vegetation changes color throughout the year. With this option, we will also travel to Carrion Point, which is close to the eastern mouth of Itabaca Channel, between Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island. Here, you can see many of the almost ever-present creatures, such as sea lions, Creole fish and Blue-striped sea slugs. You will also have a good chance of spotting mobula rays cruising by – sometimes in small schools. Whitetip reef sharks are also commonly sighted here. And, if you are lucky, you might see some Galapagos sharks and hammerheads.

Tortuga Bay Tour: Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos, Tortuga Bay is a place where you might spot local surfers trying to catch the best wave. It’s also common to spot sea lions, sea turtles, pelicans, Whitetip reef sharks and marine iguanas in these waters.

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.

Read More
Breakfast - Lunch - Dinner
Day 5
Departure for Mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil)

AM: Concluding this amazing experience in the Galapagos Islands, after breakfast at the Red Mangrove Lodge 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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Breakfast

Red Mangrove’s: Prices

2018 - Price per person
PersonsDouble
StandardSuiteSuperior
2US$ 2,984US$ 3,591US$ 3,044
Included in the price:
  • Taxes
  • Transfers from/to Baltra airport
  • Visits as specified in the itinerary
  • Bilingual (English/Spanish) guide services
  • Transportation during your stay
  • Full board
  • Accommodation for 4 nights at Hotel Red Mangrove (breakfast included)
  • Snorkeling equipment for daily tours (face mask and snorkel)
Not included in the price:
  • International and domestic airfare
  • Entrance into the Galapagos National Park ($100)
  • INGALA Immigration Control Card ($20)
  • Lunch (5th day) – extra drinks
  • Tips and personal expenses
  • Activities and services not specified above
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