Santa Cruz – Isabela – San Cristobal
Galapagos on a backpacker budget
This backpacker program includes a self-guided instruction manual that helps you easily make your own way to and from places. We made sure to include an incredible snorkeling tour to discover the underwater life of Galapagos, too. Explore the islands together with every fellow backpacker you meet in your comfortable hostels.
6 days, 5 nights
accommodation on Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal
including tours of visiting nearby islands
Arrival Santa Cruz
Today you will arrive to the airport of Baltra, one of the Galapagos Islands. You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to the island Santa Cruz. You will first cross the Itabaca channel by a ferry boat and then you will continue by car. Your first stop will be at the highlands of Santa Cruz. The “Parte Alta” as the highlands are called in Spanish is very lush and green and is the natural habitat of the giant Galapagos tortoises. You will visit a private ranch where you will have lunch. Here you walk between the trees and search for the giant tortoises that prefer to stay close to the small lagoons. You also will visit the lava tubes, which are formed when the surface of a lava stream solidifies, but the inside stays liquid and flows out like a river. After this tour you continue by private transport to your hotel. Here you will have a meet & greet with one of our staff members who will explain the rest of your backpacker itinerary to you. You have the rest of the afternoon free to explore Santa Cruz on your own.
Transfer to Isabela island, tour las Tintoreras
In the morning you will have to be early at the dock of Santa Cruz from where you will take a lancha (motorized small boat) to the island of Isabela. The boat ride will take about 2 hours and depending on the weather, it can be a bit bumpy. Arriving to the dock of Isabela you will go to your backpacker hotel.
In the afternoon you will have a half day tour to ‘Las Tintoreras’. The islet Las Tintoreras is located south of Puerto Villamil which you will visit in a small boat with a naturalist guide. During your boat ride you will most likely be able to observe Galapagos penguins, blue footed boobies, sea lions and more. The bay of Tintoreras is connected to a crevice of crystal clear water, that’s shallow and when the tide is low, the entrance closes. In this crevice, you can see how reef sharks rest and swim. After half an hour you will set foot to the islands. Most of the trail is lava AA, except for a white sand beach and a black stone beach. At the first beach are colonies of sea lions, it is also a nesting site for marine iguanas, during the nesting season. Throughout the trail you can see many marine iguanas in the rocks or under the mangroves. Las Tintoreras is one of the few places where the iguanas breed successfully because of the absence of non-native animals that could kill the youth. After the walk it is time to snorkel in the bay.
Explore the island of Isabela, boat to Santa Cruz
Today you will have the morning off to explore the beautiful island of Isabela on your own. In the afternoon you need to make your way from your hotel to the dock of Isabela. Here you will take the lancha back to Santa Cruz Island, which will take about 2 hours. Once you have arrived, you will make your way to your backpacker hotel on Santa Cruz.
Optional day tour to uninhabited islands
Today is a free day for an optional day tour to one of the non-habitat islands; Seymour, Bartolome, Santa Fe or Plazas. Or an optional snorkeling tour to Santa Fe or Pinzon. We can book option one of the following day tours for $210,00 pp. or if you would prefer only a snorkel tour for $140.00 pp (no disembarking on islands, just snorkeling and lunch to the islands Pinzon or Santa Fe). Which one this is, will be confirmed with you in a later stage. See the descriptions of the day tours in the next tab or here. In all backpacker tours lunch and snorkeling equipment is included.
Crossing to the island of San Cristobal, free afternoon
In the morning you will go from your hotel to the dock of Santa Cruz from where you will take a lancha (motorized small boat) to the island of San Cristobal. The boat ride will take about 2 hours and depending on the weather, it can be a bit bumpy. Arriving to the dock of San Cristobal you will go to your hotel. In the afternoon you will have time to walk around in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, you can go to the breath taking beach Loberia, snorkeling in Las Tijeretas, visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Centre or go to the beach Playa Mann to enjoy the sealions once more. Enough to do here and explorer by yourself. Our tip is going to Loberia, a beautiful white sanded beach. Here you can make a small walk passing the lazy sea lions that sleep on the beach, towards the iguanas on the rocks. And take a swim and snorkel between sea lions, turtles and iguanas in the turquoise seawater. How to get there you will get in the welcome package upon arrival.
Transfer to the airport of San Cristobal
In the morning you will have time to explore the island of San Cristóbal on your own. At the end of the morning you need to go to the airport of San Cristobal. From here you will take your flight back to the mainland, where this backpacker program will end.