Kicker Rock at sunset near the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Amazing Galapagos Island Hopping Tour: Santa Cruz, Isabela, San Cristobal

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Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited

Galapagos / Ecuador

Places Visited

Quito, Galapagos Islands, Santa Cruz Island, North Seymour Island...

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Suggested Duration

12 Days

From vibrant seabird breeding grounds to cliffs crossed by penguins, the Galapagos is filled with the endemic and unusual. This Galapagos Island hopping tour explores the archipelago's different regions and ensures none of this eclectic splendor is missed. It's all packaged together: the diversity of the central islands, the marine life and volcanoes of the West, and the seabirds of the East. Unparalleled, unusual, unique... every island offers a fresh slice of natural wonder.

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • Explore the Galapagos wonder by hopping between different islands, each with its own unique mix of endemic flora and fauna
  • Start in the Central Galapagos and use Santa Cruz as a base for exploring North Seymour's seabird breeding grounds and dramatic volcanic islets
  • On Western Isabela, you're safely immersed in a land of erupting craters, indelible marine sites, and strange giant tortoises
  • Discover the strange wildlife of San Cristobal, including red-footed boobies and white-sand beaches filled with sea lions
  • Kayak and glass-bottom boat ride through pristine bays, intimately observing creatures like Galapagos penguins and playful fur seals
  • Snorkel around eclectic marine sites and admire huge pelagic creatures abnormally found so close to shore, like Galapagos sharks and large rays
  • Enjoy the archipelago's finest luxury hotels and admire wildlife from your own balcony
  • This trip offers the unique opportunity to discover different highland areas, enabling you to spot disparate species of giant tortoise and delightful endemic birds

Detailed Description

Natural wonder roves around the Galapagos, stretching from the new lava flows of the West to the old islands of the East. Everywhere is still adapting, changing with unpredictable ocean currents and the eruptions of craters. As landscapes are modified, their residents must evolve: turtles change their shells, iguanas their colors, and birds their feet. By undertaking one of our Galapagos Island tours, you can authentically witness these dramatic changes. And to do this without a cruise, you'll need to go island hopping. Three islands offer luxury accommodation in distinct parts of the archipelago. From these bases it's easy to make excursions to an array of sites and other islands that symbolize the diverse wonder of the Galapagos. This Galapagos Island hopping tour offers the freedom to explore at your own pace, plus a privacy and space that can't be found on a cruise.

This itinerary makes the full Galapagos archipelago accessible for those wishing to stay on land. Using three different bases, you explore a world of endemic flora and fauna, visiting the majority of the region's most memorable sites. Start on Central Santa Cruz Island, traveling into the highlands to see giant tortoises, then along the coast to discover everything from sea lion-engulfed beaches to a breeding ground for blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. Underwater sites unravel the layers of the islands' marine beauty, easy spots where you can snorkel from the shore or ride in a kayak. Small islets painted rouge and strange volcanic pinnacles continue an exploration that cuts across the raw splendor of the Galapagos. These central islands are an ideal introduction to both a myriad of species and landscapes.

Travel west by boat and spend the next three nights on Isabela, a young island that's home to five continually erupting volcanoes. Here you feel the active force of evolution, showcased by a trip to the summit of an active caldera. From a luxury lodge in Puerto Villamil, you also take excursions along a sublime coast; Galapagos penguins waddle along cliffs, flightless cormorants dive into the depths, various shark species are spotted under the water, and strange seabirds hang around volcanic cliffs. This is where you find the archipelago's weird and wonderful congregated together, perhaps even diving and feeding together when whales and sharks push fish towards the surface.

From Isabela you head for natural history, flying to the east towards the oldest island in the archipelago, San Cristobal. Endemic life is all around, from the strange San Cristobal lava lizard to the tweeting of Darwin's finches. From a luxury base in capital Puerto Baquerizo you explore this haven for unusual seabirds. You'll see the only site in the world where the three booby species can be spotted together, plus various sites that can be visited without a guide. This easternmost part of the archipelago is also home to the Galapagos' best beaches; bays of coralline white sand that shimmer against the ocean blue. Languid sunbathing hours are the norm here, although the repose is often interrupted by the grunting antics of sea lions. Like everywhere in the Galapagos you're entering their island, an unspoiled canvas where humans are mere visitors. Step along their trails, share their beaches and immerse yourself in the drama of their evolutionary world because this tour offers Galapagos island hopping at its most complete.

Starting Price

$11,695 per person (excluding international flights)

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all activities and tours
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip

Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.

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