Serendipity has always been kind to me, and I believe that cultivating the ability to trust serendipity – to follow its compass — is one of the essential travel arts. A journey I took a few years ago to Easter Island provided the perfect example of the gifts that serendipity can sometimes bestow. That journey […]
Land-based journeys have evolved as a wonderful alternative to traditional Galapagos Islands boat cruises, allowing for high-energy days of hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling. This naturalist-led Small Group Adventure takes you to three of the most interesting islands for close encounters with the archipelago’s iconic wildlife and lots of active, island fun.
We meet in Quito, then fly to the Galapagos, with our first two nights on San Cristobal Island. Highlights include a hike on Cerro de las Tijeretas to see frigate birds, walks on beautiful beaches in search of turtles, sea lions, and marine iguanas, and opportunities for stand up paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming in protected bays.
Next up – Isabela Island for three-nights at a beachside hotel, with flamingos, iguanas, and more right out the door! We’ll visit the islands of Las Tintoreras to see white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, pelicans, and blue-footed boobies, visit a mangrove swamp popular with pink flamingos, explore the highlands, hike to the caldera of Volcan Sierra Negra, sea kayak to Villamil Bay – accompanied by sea lions, we hope! – and visit the Wall of Tears. Swim and snorkel opportunities abound.
Santa Cruz is our last island, where we visit a local farm and tortoise reserve, ride mountain bikes down a mountain, paddle in sit-on-top kayaks looking for sharks, rays, turtles, and sea birds, and walk the boardwalk Tortuga Bay to swim, sun, or snorkel.
After a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora, we return to the mainland for flights home.