Sea Lions, Galapagos, Ecuador

The Enchanted Galapagos Islands

Join us for a seven-day, six night Galapagos Tour which will begin the Sunday after the Chautauqua.

The Galapagos are situated approximately 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador and are made up of 19 islands and include the surrounding marine reserve. Three ocean currents converge in the Galapagos which allows for a mix of marine species. The ongoing volcanic activity combined with the isolation of the islands has led to the development of unique animal life that are unafraid of humans including the land iguana, the giant tortoise and different types of finches. Those animals were the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution after he spent time in the islands in 1835.

We will stay on Santa Cruz Island which is the second largest island of the Galapagos archipelago and has all seven vegetation zones.  Your home for the week will be Puerto Ayora which will be the launching point for our day tours.  Highlights of Santa Cruz include the Charles Darwin Research Station, Giant tortoises in the wild, Tropical Vegetation in the highlands and 6 out of 15 Galapagos BIG15 wildlife: Galapagos giant tortoise, frigatebird, land iguana, blue-footed booby, American flamingo and the Galapagos sea lion.




The schedule at a glance. Keep scrolling for more in depth descriptions.

Sunday:  Fly to Baltra. Visit El Chato Reserve, lava tubes and Los Gemelos Craters

Monday: Boat tour of Santa Fe Island.

Tuesday: Highlands Farm Tour: Visit a coffee farm, brewery and Garrapatera Beach.

Wednesday: Boat tour to North Seymour Island.

Thursday: Las Grietas, Charles Darwin Center, Tortuga Bay

Friday: Leave for Quito.

What is and isn't included

What is included: 

Six nights hotel (including the night in Quito before flying out.)

4 lunches and breakfast daily

Guide starting in Quito

Galapagos Bilingual Naturalist guide on Boat Tours

All activities as described: El Chato Tour, Day trip to Santa Fe, Day trip to North Seymour, Trip to the Highlands, Las Grietas, Tortuga Bay and Charles Darwin

All ground transport

Tour card

What is not included:

Meals where not specified

Airfare to and from Galapagos ($400 to $500)

$100 entrance fee to Galapagos National Park

Tips and alcoholic beverages.

Wet suit rental

Activities in your free time.

Cancellation Policy

We will need 10 people to run this trip and if we do not reach that, you will be refunded your money.

This will be high season in the Galapagos and once payments are made to reserve the hotel and boat trips, strict cancellation policys go into effect.

August trip:  If you cancel before June 1st,  you will forfeit $1000 per person and an admin fee of $75 per person.  We may have some leeway depending on how many we have registered and we will work with our contacts in the Galapagos for partial refunds, however they are not guaranteed.

If you cancel after June 1st, there is no refund. Again, we will work with our contacts for partial refunds as able.

October trip: If you cancel before August 1st, you will forfeit $1000 per person and an admin fee of $75 per person. We may have some leeway depending on how many have registered and we will work with our contacts in the Galapagos for partial refunds, however they are not guaranteed.

If you cancel after August 1st, there is no refund. Again, we will work with our contacts for partial refunds as able.




August 6-11, 2023

Couple $3600

50% Deposit Required

August 6-11, 2023

Single $2100

50% Deposit Required

October 8-13, 2023

Couple $3600

50% Deposit Required

 October 8-13, 2023

Single $2100

50% Deposit Required

Galapagos giant tortoise on Santa Cruz Island in Galapagos National Park


Flight to Baltra Island. The only thing on this island is the airport. After we collect our bags, we hop on a bus for a 10-minute ride to the ferry. After a five-minute ferry ride across the channel, you will be on Santa Cruz. Our transport will take us towards Puerto Ayora with two stops along the way. The first stop is Los Gemelos (Twin Craters) which are located in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. They are not actual volcanic craters caused by an impact, but rather sink holes that were created when the roof of empty magma chambers collapsed from tectonic shifts and erosion.

This area has a very different climate from other parts of the island and are surrounded by the special scalesia trees. It is the habitat for bromeliads, orchids, mosses, lichens and many birds. Here, you are able to find the famous vermillion flycatcher,  eight species of Charles Darwin finches, and every so often view the short-eared owl.

Next stop is El Chato Reserve. This special reserve is one the few places where you can spot tortoises in their natural habitat. Today, rangers preserve the region by hunting predators and building fortified walls to prevent intruding animals from destroying the remaining tortoise population. The property also features multiple tunnels made of cooled, hardened lava, which you can hike through. We will lunch here and then head to the hotel.

Swimming with Sea Lions on Pinzon Island, Galapagos
Sea Lions, Galapagos, Ecuador


Day trip by boat to Santa Fe Island which is one of the oldest in the Galapagos Islands archipelago, thought to be at least four million years old. It is a small island only about 9.3 square miles. It has a small sandy beach and turquoise blue lagoon. Here you will see a colony of sea lions basking lazily in the sun. You will snorkel here and be able to observe a variety of tropical fish and possibly swim with sea lions, sea turtles, small white tipped sharks, spotted Eagle rays and stingrays all of which are common in the bay.

You can take a hike up a trail that leads to a cliff with a breathtaking view.  Along the way you will see a variety of vegetation such as the large cactus, the Optunia Echios which is a prickly pear variety and can be very large. Another highlight of Santa Fe is the chance of seeing the two types of land iguanas that are found only on this island.

Learning how to make Panela, El Trapiche, Galapagos


After breakfast, we will head back to the highlands to El Trapiche where the hysterical Don Jose will show you how coffee, sugar cane and cocao are all processed. We will then visit El Garrapaterro beach one of Santa Cruz’s most peaceful and tranquil settings. This beautiful 2-mile-long white sand and rocky beach is a tropical paradise. Surrounded by beautiful mangrove trees, the beach is home to an incredible array of birds, most notably, flamingos and mockingbirds. You can also find marine iguanas, shrimp, and oystercatchers. Here you can sunbathe or rent a kayak. We will finish off the day with a tour of a brewery, with samples of course!

Marine Iguanas, Ecuador
Blue Footed Boobies, Isla de la Plata, Puerto Lopez, Ecuador


Today is another boat ride, this time to North Seymour which is a small flat island with a trail about 2 kilometers long. Palo santos trees are endemic to the island and stand just above the landing site. You will also see Opuntia, the local prickly pear cactus which the iguanas feed on. Swallow-tailed gulls sit in the ledges of the cliffs just a few meters from the shoreline. During the hike you may spot sea lions, land iguanas and colonies of blue-footed boobies and magnificent frigates.

In the afternoon, you will stop at Las Bachas, a beautiful coral beach where you can snorkel or enjoy the beach. There are several lagoons nearby where you may spot flamingos.

Las Grietas, Santa Cruz, Galapagos
Las Grietas path, Salt Mines, Santa Cruz, Galapagos


Today we will visit Las Grietas, a 20-minute hike through moon like volcanic rock and salt lakes.  You will then arrive to a stretch of inland crystal-clear emerald- green water at the bottom of an earth fracture. It’s over 10 meters deep, 7 meters wide and 100 meters long. It’s fed underground by a river from one end and ocean water from the other. There are cliffs of dark volcanic rock which rise up on each side making a dramatic contrast against the emerald green water. It is a magical place to swim as you almost float in the water.

Later, you can walk to Tortuga Bay which is the most famous beach in the Galapagos. Just a 30-minute walk along a stone path you will be greeted by a perfect white sand beach where you will get to see Iguanas, Sea lions and baby Reef Sharks. You can snorkel, swim, kayak or sit and soak in the sites.

We will also visit the Charles Darwin Research Center. This national-park site is where over 200 scientists and volunteers are involved with research and conservation efforts. Here they run a captive breeding program for giant tortoises because they are not yet able to survive on their own in the wild. Paths lead through arid-zone vegetation taking you to the tortoise enclosures where you can view these Galápagos giants. There’s also a baby-tortoise house with incubators.

Friday:  Return to Quito


Cerro Meza, highest point on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos

Your hotel for the week is Hotel Las Ninfas in Puerto Ayora.  Just steps away from the pier and main drag in Puerto Ayora, Hotel Las Ninfas has it all. A pool, jacuzzi, lounge area, dining room and morning breakfast buffet.