A girl and her mom spot a rare

Galapagos Islands Vacations

8 Day/7 Night Itinerary: This will start with the first four days from the 6 day schedule and then continue with the following schedule.

Day 5 Isabela – Santa Cruz

Morning- Breakfast at the lodge. After breakfast we will depart for the Las Tintoreras and bay tour. From the main dock, we will take a short boat ride to Las Tintoreras islet. We will tour the bay en route, checking out the blue-footed boobies and Galapagos penguins basking in the sun on the rocky shore. Arriving at Las Tintoreras, we walk and explore this unique and rugged lava field, contrasted by the turquoise sea and deep green of the mangrove forest. Hundreds of marine iguanas and sea lions lounge about and a shallow water channel provides excellent viewing of napping white-tipped reef sharks. With the impressive volcanoes of Isabela visible in the distance, this extraordinary setting will remain in your memory for years to come. Before returning to the lodge we have the option to spend some time snorkeling in hopes of seeing these calm white-tipped reef sharks, sea lions and sea turtles and exploring the mangroves from below.

Back at the lodge for lunch.

Afternoon- Depart to Santa Cruz. Our boat ride will take approximately 2 to 2.5 hours depending on the sea conditions.

Arrival and check in at Aventura Lodge.

After you have checked in, the rest of the afternoon is yours to enjoy. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. Take time to relax and discover the town of Puerto Ayora. Or you may prefer to borrow a bike and ride through town to the path that takes you to Tortuga beach. The bike ride is about ten minutes and the trail to the beach is roughly one and a half miles and takes 30-40 minutes. It’s a lovely trail of paved stones through an arid forest that includes Opuntia trees and many scurrying lava lizards. There are finches and Galapagos mockingbirds in the trees. Once on the beach you see marine iguanas and a number of seabirds including blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. The powdery sand feels wonderful between the toes. Continuing another half mile along the beach takes you to a calm bay, lined with mangroves, called Playa Mansa. Blue herons, pelicans, marine turtles and friendly white-tipped sharks frequent the bay.

Briefing, dinner and overnight at the Lodge

Day 6- Santa Cruz

Morning-Breakfast at the Lodge. We will depart at 9:00 AM for Garrapatero beach. This adventure will consist of a 25-minute bus ride to the trail head. From here we will take a mild 15-minute hike that leads straight to the beach. The beach is three kilometers (1.8 miles) of sparkling sand, surrounded by lovely mangrove trees, outlined with crystal blue water; El Garrapatero remains a serene and stunning tropical paradise. Marine iguanas, oystercatchers, patillos and mockingbirds are also known to frequent this remarkable place. An adjacent fresh water lake houses a variety of other unique creatures from herons to grebes.

Return to the lodge for lunch

Following lunch, we will depart for a guided tour of the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here, you will learn about one of the most successful reptile breeding programs in the world. The Charles Darwin Research Station was founded in 1964 and is supported by over 100 scientists and researchers from around the world. The scope of research centers on conservation efforts in the Galapagos Islands.

Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at your leisure. Take time to relax and discover the town of Puerto Ayora. Or you may prefer to borrow a bike and ride through town to the path that takes you to Tortuga beach. The bike ride is about ten minutes and the trail to the beach is roughly one and a half miles and takes 30-40 minutes. It’s a lovely trail of paved stones through an arid forest that includes Opuntia trees and many scurrying lava lizards. There are finches and Galapagos mockingbirds in the trees. Once on the beach you see marine iguanas and a number of seabirds including blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. The powdery sand feels wonderful between the toes. Continuing another half mile along the beach takes you to a calm bay, lined with mangroves, called Playa Mansa. Blue herons, pelicans, marine turtles and friendly white-tipped sharks frequent the bay.

Dinner and overnight at the lodge.

Day 7 Santa Cruz

Morning - Following breakfast at the lodge, your guides will accompany you on an escorted tour to Tortuga Bay. Our walk to Tortuga bay will take us on a path that merges with a giant opuntia and candelabra cactus forest. This trail also serves as home to numerous Darwin finches, mockingbirds, yellow warblers, lava lizards and many more of the Galapagos endemic and native species. When we reach the white sandy beach, we will have a chance to see many different marine species, such as sting rays and baby reef sharks in the shallow waters of the mangrove ecosystems. After swimming, we will take a very short hike to the marine iguana nesting site. For our walk back, we will travel through a prickly pear forest carpeted in crimson sesuvium that features black lava outcroppings that are home to more marine iguana colonies. We will take a short boat ride back to the lodge.
Lunch at the lodge

Afternoon - we travel to the highlands of Santa Cruz for an encounter with a cultural site full of tradition and history, to offer a better portrait of face of Galapagos as charming and magical as our famous natural sites. We will begin the journey with a ride through the towns of Santa Rosa and Bella Vista to better observe the daily life of the native islanders as we drive on to explore the remote roads that lead to the Trapiche Sugar Cane Mill & Farm. Upon arrival we will be greeted by the owner and founder of this farm, famous for its coffee and sugar. After a brief explanation of the farm operations, by the owner, we will watch a brief demonstration of their traditional sugar mill to better understand how it is used to extract the nectar of the sugar cane. Following this demonstration, we will have a chance to taste the coffee and the fresh honey that is also extracted from the sugar cane, during the processing of the nectar at high temperatures. Our next stop will be at the sugar cane liquor distillery. At the end we will enjoy complimentary shots of this famous sugar cane liquor served with tangerine and oranges as is tradition of the owner

Source: www.rowadventures.com
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