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Home > Travel Destinations > Ecuador > The Galapagos Loop

The Galapagos Loop

6 Day / 5 Night

Package Overview

Experience the Galapagos Islands with this six day tour, as you explore the flora and fauna of these beautiful and fascinating islands. Tour always starts on Sunday.
Agent Commission Starting At: $253.90

Package Pricing

Package starting at: $2539.00 PP * Prices based on double occupancy. Prices per person in USD.

Travel Itinerary

Day 1
Sunday - Transfer in Santa Cruz - Highlands

Upon arrival in Baltra, we will take a shuttle across Santa Cruz island into the highlands. Visitors are delighted by the island’s variety of life and geology. Beginning at the coast and traveling north along the road to Puerto Ayora, the road climbs through the agricultural zone and into the mist-covered forests of the highlands. Santa Cruz possesses all of the various life zones present in the archipelago, with wonderful birding opportunities. Whether it’s the bright red feathers of a Vermilion Flycatcher or one of Darwin’s finches, almost every land bird present in the islands can be found here. We will stop at one of the ranches and will be able to explore the grounds in search of tortoises. Descending through the Agricultural Zone into the Transition Zone where the Tortoise Reserve is located, the vegetation of the farmlands is replaced by native vegetation. After lunch, we will continue to Puerto Ayora for the rest of the afternoon at leisure.

Optional activity for those arriving early in the day: Tortuga Bay

The trail to Tortuga Bay starts from the main street in Puerto Ayora and takes about an hour walking. The trail goes through the arid zone and many land birds can be seen along the way. Arriving to Tortuga Bay, you will find the first beach “Playa Brava,” with open waters and strong under currents not recommended for swimming. If you continue walking you will arrive to “Playa Mansa” ideal for sun bathing, swimming, and photo-taking. You will also find marine iguanas along the shore.

Meals included: lunch

Accommodations in selected hotel

Day 2

Floreana Island with snorkeling at La Loberia

This morning after breakfast we will depart by speed boat to Floreana Island, where descendants of the first inhabitants of the Galapagos Islands still live. After checking in to our lodge, we will begin our excursion with a walk to Loberia, a sea lion breeding space. Here we will start our first marine excursion in the bright turquoise water, where you may be able to swim with sea lions, marine turtles, manta rays and a variety of colorful coral fishes. In the afternoon we will return to the hotel to relax in the lodge, where you may be able to meet some of the local population and learn about their lives.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodations in selected lodge/hotel

Day 3

Highlands Floreana - Pirates' Cave - Tortoise Breeding Center - Isabela

After breakfast, our guide will pick us up and we will board a “Chiva," an old-fashioned bus from the Island that will take us to the highlands of the Island. On the way, our guide will share some of the colorful history of Floreana's first inhabitants, such as the Wittmers (whose descendants still live on the Island), the "Baroness," and the pirates that once visited here. They will also tell you about the "Enigma of Floreana," involving the deaths of several of the Island´s inhabitants, a mystery that has never been solved. Our naturalist guide will point out the wildlife of this particular island.

Once we reach the Highlands, we will head to “Asilo de Paz,” where we will take a hike, explore pirate caves, and visit fresh water springs that provide water to the islanders. Along the way, we will also see Giant tortoise species from this island. Returning to the lowlands, we will take a speed boat to Isabela. After arriving on Isabela, you can have lunch and relax for the rest of the day on the pristine beaches of the biggest and one of the newest islands.

Optional activity: Wall of Tears with bicycles

After lunch on Isabela, our guide will give you the opportunity to rent bikes so you can take advantage of the afternoon and head to the “Wall of Tears” on your own. If you decide to take this excursion, it is a 6-km ride (one-way) from the lagoon. About half way to the Wall, the trail passes a white sand beach surrounded by lagoons where all four species of mangroves that exist in the Galapagos can be seen. The trail continues through the dry zone until you reach the Wall. A penal colony existed on Isabela from 1944 to 1959. The Wall of Tears was built by the prisoners to keep them busy. It stands 5-6 m high, 3 m wide and is approximately 100 m long, and is a reminder of a sad time of oppression in the history of Isabela. Return to your hotel.

Meals included: breakfast

Accommodations in selected hotel

Day 4

Sierra Negra and Chico Volcanoes

After breakfast, we will travel by car to the mountainsides of the Sierra Negra Volcano. We will walk about two hours to reach the crater of the volcano. There we will have a wonderful view of the crater and with a little bit of luck, we will be able to see the sparrow hawk of the Galapagos. We will get to know the geology of the Sierra Negra Volcano. Most of the part of this island was formed by AA lava. We will have a box lunch and visit el Chico Volcano before returning to the hotel.You will have the afternoon at leisure to enjoy marvelous coral sand and turquoise water beaches.

Optional activity: Tintoreras Islets after Sierra Negra

The Tintoreras Islets, located a short distance from Puerto Villamil, is home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches, surrounded by mangroves, is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully. Reaching the Isle of Tintoreras, we will see a lot of these species.

Optional activity instead of Sierra Negra Volcano:

We will visit a unique place in the islands, “Los Tuneles.” Our adventure begins on a 45 minute speed boat ride. Our experienced captain will securely lead us across the waves that normally hide this treasure. The Tunnels were formed millions of years ago when rivers of liquid lava ran across the island, reaching the coast shore. The cold water froze their superficial layer isolating the interior while liquid lava kept flowing into the sea. When the eruption finished, a hollow structure was formed and its wall later broke, allowing water to come inside and creating a tunnel. Our guide will take us along hundreds of tunnels while we snorkel and discover the marine life such as sharks, lobsters, penguins, sea lions, boobies, and marine turtles, among other endemic species from the Galapagos. A snack will be served on board our boat. If we are lucky enough, we will have the chance to witness giant manta rays feeding in open waters.

Meals included: breakfast, box lunch

Overnight in selected hotel.

Day 5

Tortoise Breeding Center, Flamingo's Lagoon, Santa Cruz

After breakfast, our guide will take us to visit the Famingo’s Lagoon. This is a approximately 2 km trail where we will learn about the vegetation and geology of this young island, Isabela Island. Arriving to the Flamingo's Lagoon, we might be able to see flamingos feeding in the lake. This is an artificial lake, caused by the excavation for construction. We will visit the Tortoise Breeding Center, where you will learn more about the reproduction and breeding of tortoises. We will return to Puerto Villamil to take our boat and transfer to Santa Cruz.

The rest of the afternoon is at leisure in Puerto Ayora.

Accommodation in selected hotel

Day 6

Charles Darwin Station

After breakfast, we will head to the Charles Darwin Station. The center is a wealth of information on habitats and local conservation, as well as other fascinating facts. The most striking attraction of this station is certainly the Tortoise Breeding Center, where it is possible to view tortoises of varied sizes and shapes. Travelers here can freely walk and get their photos taken with the tortoises. Among other inhabitants at the center, you can see the land and marine iguanas and different species of birds.

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Meals included: breakfast

Additional Package Information

 Package Includes

  • All meals, accommodations, excursions mentioned as included in the itinerary
  • Bilingual Naturalist guide on all excursions
  • Private speed boat
  • Snorkeling equipment

 Package Does Not Include

  • International airfare.
  • Entrance fee to the Galapagos National Park ($100 pp)
  • Galapagos Migration Card ($20 pp)
  • Excursions mentioned as optional.
  • Drinks and meals not mentioned as included.
  • Gratuities

 Package Notes

  • Price quoted in standard room category, breakfast only plan.
  • Optional activities are available at an added cost.
  • Extension packages are available for an added cost.
  • To prevent any loss due to cancellation, travel protection is recommended.
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Ecuador Package 15 of 16

6 Day / 5 Night Ecuador Vacation Package

General Information

  • Capital: Quito
  • Government: Republic
  • Currency: US dollar (USD)
  • Area: total: 283,560 km2, water: 6,720 km2, land: 276,840 km2
  • Population: 14,573,101 (July 2009 est.)
  • Language: Spanish (official), Amerindian languages (especially Quechua)
  • Religion: Roman Catholic 95%
  • Electricity: 110-220V/60Hz (USA & European plugs)
  • Calling Code: +593
  • Time Zone: UTC-5

Points of Interest

  • Santa Cruz
  • Floreana Island
  • Asilo de Paz
  • Sierra Negra and Chico Volcanoes
  • Tortoise Breeding Center
  • Flamingo's Lagoon
  • Charles Darwin Station