TRANSFER AIRPORT (Baltra) /HOTEL (Isla Santa Cruz) *One Way Additional visits included
Welcome at the Baltra airport and free transfer by bus to the tip of the Itabaca channel, where you will proceed by a public ferry service in the Island of Santa Cruz. Transport will be waiting in order to transfer you to Puerto Ayora, area where the hotels are located on the Island. On the way, you will have the opportunity to visit the lava tunnels and a Turtle reserve. Visit to the Scientific Charles Darwin Station, where you can learn more about the Galápagos Islands; the species that live in this enchanted place, its origin, the theory of Evolution, the conservation programs, and observe some Giant Turtles in captivity.
(Transfer operates daily at 12h45pm)
**Surcharge for transfer airport / hotel in Galapagos, for flights arriving before 10h00am and after 12h30pm: USD 75.00 per person
REFERENCE PRICE: USD 65
TRANSFER HOTEL / AIRPORT (One way - Baltra)
Our tour guide will pick you up at your hotel to go to the canal of Itabaca, where a ferry will take you to Baltra Island. At the port you will board a bus of your airline that takes you to the airport. En route you are going to visit a coffee plantation which is part of a social responsibility program. The encouragement for the organic coffee cultivation contributes to the conservation of plants and soil and therefore is deemed to be a perfect model of sustainable tourism.
(Transfer operates at 8h00 am, arrival at the airport at approximately 10h30 am)
** Surcharge for transfer hotel / airport in Galapagos, for flights departing before 10h30am: USD 75.00 per person
REFERENCE PRICE: USD 50
FULL DAY YACHT TOUR WITH LUNCH
SIB: Daily Pick-up Hours: between 6:00 – 8:00am
Departure early in the morning from your hotel and transfer to port of Itabaca channel to board the yacht where you will enjoy the tour with lunch included. At the end of the tour we will transfer you back to your hotel.
Below you can find our site options for this tour:
SANTA FE ISLAND - Departure at 08:00 am.
We navegate for approximately 45 minutes in an exclusive artisan fishing yacht.
The tour begins with the arrival to Santa Fe, we will di some bird watching in the cliffs of the island. We will enter the Santa Fe Bay and do a dinghy ride where we will observe colonies of sea lions, blue footed boobies and marine iguanas. If conditions are favorable (clear wáter), we will be able to observe “Tintoreras” or Galápagos Sharks.
Without a doubt in this island we will find sea turtles, stingrays and a wide fish diversity . All this in the " Marine Aquarium area".
Finishing the tour will proceed to go to “Playa Escondida” or hidden beach for snorkeling, where we will be able to see Galapagos sharks, water has a depth of 1 meter and we will be accompanied by a colony of sea lions.
We will have a lunch break. And then return to Puerto Ayora in the afternoon.
Important Note: Snorkeling equipment (goggles and fins) is not included. Renting wetsuites are also recommended.
BARTOLOME ISLAND & BAHIA SULLIVAN
Bartolome is famous for Pinnacle Rock, a towering spearheaded obelisk that rises from the ocean’s edge and is the best known landmark in the islands. Galápagos penguins—the only species of penguin found north of the equator—walk precariously along narrow volcanic ledges at its base. Sea lions snooze on rocky platforms, ready to slide into the water to play with passing snorkelers. Just below the surface, shoals of tropical fish
dodge in and out of the rocks past urchins, sea stars and anemones. A perfectly crescent, pink-and-white sandy beach lies just to the east of the pinnacle. Sea turtles use the beach as a nesting site and can sometimes be found wading in the shallow water near the shore, or resting in the sand to recover from the arduous task of digging nests, laying eggs and covering them over.
Penguins dot the nearby rocks of the next landing site, less than a kilometer along the eastern shore. Here the submerged walls of a tiny volcanic crater give the impression of a fountain pool. This dry landing—no wet feet!—is the entrance to a 600-meter (2000-foot) pathway complete with stairs and boardwalks leading to Bartolome’s summit. The route is not difficult and presents a museum of volcanology; a site left untouched after its last eruption, where cones stand in various stages of erosion and lava tubes form bobsled-like runs from the summit. At the top you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Santiago Island and James Bay to the west, and far below, Pinnacle Rock and our beach, where the crystal blue waters of the bay cradle your yacht.
SEYMOUR ISLAND & BACHAS
It was raised from the ocean layer by a seismic event. Several cliffs with few meters form the beach where swallow-tailed gulls resting on the edge. A small forest of silver and gray Palo Santo trees are very close to our
landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to flower. In this island you may have to give their way to marine iguanas and sea lions, nesting blue-footed boobies and their courtship dance. Later, the rocky beach with white sand, and a large flock of pelicans will be willing to be photographed. On the path we find groups of shrubs in which the magnificent frigates nest. Additionally you will visit Las Bachas, a white coral beach is the best place for sea turtles spawn (specific season), here you can also snorkel.
PLAZAS ISLAND & PUNTA CARRION
This is the southern partner of two small crescent-shaped islands that lie just a few hundred meters off the east coast of Santa Cruz. The northern island is used for scientific purposes only. South Plaza is one of the smallest yet richest islands in the archipelago. Only 130 meters wide (426 feet), it was formed from uplifted seabed, giving it a titled tabletop quality. Our landing is in the channel between North and South Plaza, where the island tilts toward the water.
The approach makes for a lavishly colorful sight! The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline. The rocks have grown thick with green seaweed in places, speckled with bright orange “Sally light foot” crabs. Further up the shore a carpet of scarlet sesuvium succulents serves as groundcover for a grove of luminescent green prickly-pear cactus. Yellow-gray land iguanas sit beneath, waiting patiently for pears to drop.
The trail gradually follows the tilt of the island to the cliffs that overlook the ocean to the south, where swallow-tailed gulls nest. Red-billed tropic birds, masked and blue-footed boobies ride the windy currents. The overlook is a great place for spotting large marine life, including manta rays. Among Plazas Channel passes one of the largest colonies of sea lions in the islands, and about 1000 circulate continuously while males compete for females. The snorkel is prohibited on the island due to the large number of sea lions. Snorkel can be done in Punta Carrion, located 20minutes navigation from Plazas
DRAGON HILL - SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
Is located at northwest of Santa Cruz, dry disembark. The hiking takes approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes ascending a rocky path. Vegetation is dry. In the area it is possible to see marine iguanas, land iguanas (one of the biggest specie in the Islands), birds such as finches. The route goes by a lagoon where eventually, in cold weather, Flamingos can be seen. During December, January, February and March the road is muddy. Snorkeling activity will be done at the beach.
** Full Day yacht excursions are not recommended for children under 5 years old, elderly people, pregnant women or people with limited physical mobility.
Full-day excursions by yacht may be sold only as part of a program with accommodation, GRAY LINE ECUADOR not guarantee the specific location of this visit
REFERENCE PRICE: USD 259
EXCURSION TO TORTUGA BEACH & BAY TOUR (8 hours)
SIB: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
Pick-up Hours: 7:45 – 8:15am
In the morning excursion to Tortuga Bay Beach, after 40minute walk (approx.) we will arrive to this magic place, one of the most beautiful beaches over the Islands, time to swim and enjoy of the beach. Free time for lunch (not included). In the afternoon tour around the bay on board a yacht, we start with a visit to “La Lobería”, named because of the presence of sea lions. Here you will be able to swim or snorkel. Next, we proceed with our tour to the “Canal del Amor” (Channel of Love), at the end of this channel, just a few meters forward, a viewpoint where we can observe reef sharks; from here we continue with a short walk to see the marine iguanas that inhabit in “Playa de los Perros”. Punta Estrada will also be visited.
*Note: shipping used in this excursion is a boat engine with capacity for 12 people.
REFERENCE PRICE: USD 159
EXCURSION TO CERRO MESA & GARRAPATERO (7 hours)
SIB: Daily Pick-up Hours: 8:00 – 8:30am
We leave Puerto Ayora to the higher part of Santa Cruz Island, where we will take our bikes to get to Cerro Mesa Ecological Reserve, to walk its paths admiring flora and fauna, plus the spectacular view of the island and its surroundings from the viewpoint.
Then continue to the The Garrapatero beach, where we will enjoy a picnic on the shore , and have the rest of the afternoon to enjoy the beach, and the species that we can find in this place, such as Flamingos and mallards in a nearby lagoon. Rental kayaks (optional).
At an arranged time, return to Puerto Ayora.
Note: You can modify the tour, and instead of cycling, it can be done in a vehicle.
REFERENCE PRICE: USD 199
SCUBA DIVING TOURS
Departure early in the morning from your hotel to port of Itabaca channel; this is where you will board the yacht and have lunch as you enjoy of the tour. At the end of the tour, you will be taken back to your hotel.
Scuba Diving Tours are subject to availability:
SANTA FE ISLAND
This island is a solid structure of basaltic lava rocks about an hour away from our base. The 4 dive sites here generally have excellent visibility and mild currents, making these sites ideal for novices. At the same time, the animals and topography (including a spectacular arch) make them interesting for intermediates and experts. We can see stingrays, eagle rays, garden eels, turtles, sea lion colonies, morays, pelagic fish, and maybe white tip reef sharks and/or hammerhead sharks.
Trip duration: 7-8 hours – Difficulty: Intermediate
This tuff cone formation is a world famous dive site about one hour from our base. There are 4 dive sites in the area, but only two are for novices. The other two sites are for intermediates and experts because there can be strong currents and surge. The Gordon Rocks dive sites are mostly walls with a deep bottom. Blend in and blow few bubbles and you may be blessed with a hammerhead sighting! Hammerhead sharks are the main attraction of Gordon Rocks, where they often conglomerate in large schools. You won't be able to stop looking at this aquarium as you're likely to also see reef fish, large pelagic fish, golden rays, stingrays, eagle rays, turtles, and more rays.
Trip Duration: 7-8 hours – Difficulty: Advanced
NORTH SEYMOUR ISLAND
North Seymour is an uplifted island of lava flow about 90 minutes north of our dive base. There are 5 dive sites suitable for all levels of divers, although sometimes the currents can be strong. These sites have the most different species per square foot of sandy bottom. We can see cleaning behavior, a large garden eel colony, sea turtles, sea lions, fur seals, eagle rays, yellow-tailed grunts, big-eyed jack, and frequently white tip reef sharks and hammerheads. Occasionally, Galapagos sharks can also be seen here.
Trip duration: 8-9 hours – Difficulty: Advanced
An islet with a wall dropping from the surface into the deepest depths, Cousins Rock is home to a big area of sloping rock plates known as a "Planchonal" about two hours from our base. There can be strong currents here that separate the productive and unproductive sides of the dive site. Cousins is full of spectacular endemic young black corals and other sightings may include frogfish, fur seals, sea turtles, sea horses, and usually, hammerhead sharks.
Trip duration 8-9 hours.- Difficulty: Intermediate
This is an isolated offshore turf cone with vertical walls all around it about one hour from our dive base. The main dive site is a shelf of boulders at about 60 feet and the diving can be difficult depending on the currents and surge. We usually see many Galapagos sharks here, some schools of pelagic fish, and multicolored sponges on the rock wall.
Trip duration 7-8 hours. – Difficulty: Intermediate
REFERENCE PRICE: USD 395
** Diving Tours include: all equipment and dive master guides (full 6 mm wetsuit, jacket type BCD with power inflators, regulator with octopus, pressure gauge and depth gauge, mask, snorkel, fins and booties). PADI Diver License is required for each passenger
** Galápagos Tours operations are subject to space availability, changes of itineraries and departure dates without any notice, according to weather conditions, logistic and other operation requirements.
**Tours confirmed by Gray Line cannot be changed or refunded.
** Full day yacht excursion (included in any Program of this collection) can be changed for Scuba Diving Tour with a surcharge of: US$. 120,00 (PADI license is required, includes 2 dives and box lunch)
** Full Day yacht excursions are not recommended for children under 5 years old, elderly people, pregnant women or people with limited physical mobility
** Full day yacht excursions will be sold only as part of a program with accommodation; GRAY LINE ECUADOR does not guarantee the specific location of this visit
** 2016 2nd Edition