Flight to Santa Cruz – Giant Tortoise Farm – Beach Camp
*Note: At this time, the Galapagos National Park has denied permits to camp at our Santa Cruz location due to an issue with rodents. During these nights you will stay in charming local accommodations. Camping on San Cristobal remains as planned.
You will meet your tour leader and the rest of your group at the hotel before your flight to have a short orientation meeting in order to answer any last-minute questions you may have. With your group, you'll travel back to the airport for a two-hour flight from mainland Ecuador to the fabled Galápagos Islands. Upon arrival on the island of Baltra, there will be a short bus transfer, then a 10-minute ferry ride across the Itabaca canal. Then we begin our first kayaking excursion! We will kayak about an hour in the Itabaca canal, or channel, a natural seaway between Baltra and Santa Cruz islands. This is a great introduction to Galapagos wildlife including pelicans, blue-footed boobies, other seabirds and perhaps a turtle or sea lion.
After kayaking, we continue by bus to the highlands on Santa Cruz Island to a private farm to see the giant Galapagos tortoise. Perhaps no animal creates a more iconic image of the Galapagos than these fascinating animals. You get an intimate view of these lumbering, peaceful-looking creatures, sure to be a highlight of your visit. While on the farm we also have a delicious lunch of local specialties, then continue on to see one of the more intriguing geological features of the island, the “lava tunnels.” Created as flowing magma cooled down, these bigger-than-a-subway tunnels are accessed via a stairway and their fascinating formation is explained by your guide.
We continue our travels on Santa Cruz Island, one of the 13 main islands of the 61 islands and islets that comprise the Galapagos. By late-afternoon, we arrive at our evening camping area on a secluded beach where we set up tents and settle in for a peaceful night. There may be time for a short snorkel in the bay followed by dinner beneath the stars.
Overnight at Beach Camp or Hotel
Meals Included: B,L,D