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Tour: 10-Day Galapagos and Amazon

  • Galapagos Snorkel Turtle
  • Kicker Rock in the Galapagos
  • Sacha Lodge Amazon
  • Sally Lightfoot Crab
  • Monkey in the Amazon
  • Bird in the Amazon
  • Galapagos Tortoise
Tour Highlights
  • See the famous giant tortoises and marine iguanas in their natural habitat
  • Search for wildlife and learn about indigenous life in the Amazon
  • Optional Kayaking, SUP and Biking adventures in the Galapagos
Contact To Book

Tour Itinerary

Day 1
Arrive Santa Cruz, Visit Highlands, Explore Town

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Provided.

This morning, you’ll fly to Santa Cruz or Baltra to be exact. This little island off the coast of Santa Cruz is home to the airport. Your guide will be waiting for you and the adventure will begin right away! As you make your way to Puerto Ayora, the capital of Santa Cruz, you’ll begin your first activity with a stop in the highlands to visit a private giant tortoise reserve. You’ll be able to see these massive creatures in their natural habitat cooling off in a watering hole or munching away. You’ll also have the chance to explore some nearby lava tunnels and gain a better appreciation of the natural forces that created these islands.

You’ll continue on to Puerto Ayora, and after a quick check-in, head out to explore town. Santa Cruz is the most populated of all the islands and its bustling port city is the tourist capital of Galapagos. Tonight, your guide will lead you to the Calle de los Kioskos (Kiosks Street). This little back street is closed down each night as the small stall restaurants set up table and chairs in the middle of the street for open-air dining. If you’re looking for where the locals eat, look no further!

Day 2
Visit Tortuga Bay and Charles Darwin Research Station, Public Boat to Isabela

Breakfast and Lunch Provided.

This morning we’ll take a short walk that ends in white sand and luscious waves. Tortuga Bay is a gorgeous beach accessible only by foot and laden with choices. Do you want to swim, sunbathe, bodysurf or do all three? A leisurely 45-minute path leads to the beach area and along the way you may spot lava lizards and birds in the surrounding trees. 

Upon arrival at the first soft, white sandy beach, you’ll be greeted by some perfect surf. Further along you can reach Tortuga Bay, a calm bay that is sheltered by mangroves and ideal for swimming, sometimes friendly baby sharks can be seen here too! There’s a nice walk through a cactus forest, a chance to spot nesting blue-footed boobies or massive marine iguanas.

We’ll head back to town in time for a quick visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station. We’ll learn about the stations successes in repopulating the islands with the once endangered land iguana and several species of giant tortoise. From the collection of the eggs to the age of release, we’ll observe how the giant tortoises are raised and readied for life on their own.  CDRS is optional.

After lunch, we’ll hop on board for our boat ride to Isabela Island – the largest island in the Archipelago. After check-in, we’ll go for a stroll through the picturesque town of Puerto Villamil. Along its white sand beach we’re sure to find the perfect spot to toast in our first Isabela sunset, arguably the most beautiful of all the islands.

Day 3
Hike Sierra Negra Volcano and Volcan Chico, Optional Kayak

Breakfast and Lunch Provided.

Lace up your hiking boots – we’re hiking up a volcano! Sierra Negra is one of the most active volcanoes in Galapagos; its last eruption was in October 2005. As we hike to the perimeter of the caldera, we’ll be on the lookout for bird species found only in the highlands like the bright red Vermillion Flycatcher and the elusive short-eared owl. Once we reach the rim, we’ll be met with a 9km view that stretches across one of the most active calderas in the world.

We’ll continue around the rim, stopping at various lookouts along the way, en route to Volcan Chico. Volcano vents dot the landscape and colorful minerals can be found in some lava rocks. Both “aa” and “pahoehoe” lava flows have occurred here, creating an otherworldly-looking landscape. We’ll cross fields of lava and small lava tunnels until we reach a lookout that boasts breathtaking views reaching to the north of Isabela.

After enjoying a hearty sense of accomplishment, we’ll make our way back to town in early afternoon. You are free to take it easy or partake in an optional activity - a leisurely kayak around the sheltered bay area of Puerto Villamil. Galapagos penguins (the only penguin found north of the equator), sea turtles and rays frequent these shallow waters and blue-footed boobies, frigate birds and pelicans may be seen resting along the shore and in some nearby mangrove trees.

If you prefer, you also have the option to rent a bike and head to the Wall of Tears. Return to town just in time for a sunset dip before your independent dinner. As always, your guide will be more than happy to help you find a local spot to dine.

Day 4
Visit Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, Fly to San Cristobal, Visit La Loberia

Breakfast and Lunch Provided.

After breakfast, we’ll head off for a leisurely walk through a coastal lagoon. If we’re lucky, we’ll see some pink flamingos along the way! This mangrove-lined path will lead us to Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center where we’ll see giant tortoises in all stages of development. The center has almost one thousand giant tortoises training for life on their own!

This afternoon, you’ll take an early flight to the island of San Cristobal, the oldest and eastern-most island of the Galapagos archipelago. You’ll arrive just in time for lunch before you head out for your first activity: a visit to La Loberia.

La “Loberia” is an area frequented by sea lions. In other words, it’s a sea lion hang out! There we’ll be able to watch sea lions sunbathing and vying for our attention. They play, they nap and sometimes, they pose for pictures! If you’re keen for a swim, hop on in.

On the way back to town, your guide will point out their favorite spots to dine.

Day 5
Snorkel at Kicker Rock, Optional Bike Ride or SUP

Breakfast and Lunch Provided.

Today we take to the water to get a glimpse of the underwater world of Galapagos. First, we’ll cruise along the coast in our boat identifying shore birds like the great frigate and famous blue-footed booby. Then we’ll drop anchor for an introductory snorkel where we’ll get our fins wet in search of damselfish, puffer fish, and, hopefully, curious sea lion pups.

Next, we’ll continue to Kicker Rock, or Leon Dormido as it’s known by the locals, to explore the final remains of a tuff cone rising over 143 meters out of the ocean. If Kicker Rock were a building, it would have almost 50 floors! Along the edge and through a channel of this drastic compact ash formation, we’ll be on the hunt for sea turtles, spotted eagle rays, chocolate chip starfish, and, with any luck, a Galapagos Shark or two. Don’t worry: they won’t be as interested in you as you are in them!

A beautiful beach accessible only by boat will be our final stop. After lunch on board, feel free to spend your time swimming in the turquoise water or snapping photos of Kicker Rock in the distance.

We’ll head back to town late afternoon and have some time to explore town. Perhaps you’ll want to grab a sunset beer or cocktail by the waterfront and watch the spectacular sunset. Another optional activity is to grab a bike and explore town, or head out into the bay with a member of our local staff for some SUP fun! 

Tonight, we head to one of our favorite spots for some open air dining. It’ll be a well-deserved farewell feast as this is the last night in the Enchanted Islands! 

DIVING: Occasionally, the option to dive is available.  Please inquire in advance.

Day 6
Optional Visit to Interpretation Center & Tijeretas, Depart San Cristobal for Quito

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Provided.

Squeeze in some souvenir shopping, head to the beach for one last swim or visit the Interpretation Center to learn about the history and mystery of the archipelago. This educational center explains how the islands were discovered and what makes them so special. You can learn about Charles Darwin’s visit and the present day efforts to protect this amazing World Heritage site. There’s a short hike to Tijeretas, a panoramic lookout over the town and Kicker Rock, for those who are interested.

This afternoon, you’ll fly back to the mainland to prepare for the next part of your adventure – the Amazon!

Day 7
Fly to Coca from Quito, transfer to Amazon Lodge

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Provided.

From Quito, fly into the great rainforest known as the Amazon and after a snack and bathroom break in Coca, you will head to the pier with your representative from the lodge. From there, you’ll take your motorized canoe ride to the lodge. Sacha Lodge is about a 50 mile / 80 km journey away. It takes roughly two hours of travel along the Napo River to get there, and along the way you’ll likely spot herons, spoonbills and many other interesting birds of the Amazon.                                                                              

The lodge itself isn’t on the Napo River, but instead across Pilchicocha Lake. To get there, you will take a 30 minute walking trail from the river to the lake, with very good chances of seeing and hearing monkeys along the way. Finally, a dugout canoe ride across the lake brings you to Sacha Lodge, with its thatched roof huts nestled amongst the trees of the rainforest.

Soak up your surroundings upon arrival, go for a swim to cool down, or spot birds and watch the sun set from the lake. You will also have time to visit the Butterfly Farm with your naturalist guide to learn about the colorful species of the Amazon. You’ll receive an introduction to the lodge facilities and after a filling dinner; head out on a guided night hike or canoe ride, in search of wildlife, in the Amazon!

Day 8
Canopy Walk, Liana Chica Trail, Medicinal Plant Lesson

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Provided.

An early morning will have you up with the sounds of the forest. Today’s adventure starts with a canopy walk, which is about a 30-minute walk from the lodge, along the Liana Chica trail. The canopy walk is ideal for birding, and watching what goes on in the tree canopy of the Amazon jungle. With multiple towers that have observation decks, the Canopy walk is 36m high and 275m long.

After the canopy walk, another trail will take you down to ground level where you will feel dwarfed by massive fig and kapok trees. Your native guides will also give you a lesson on how they, and their ancestors, have used various Amazon plants for medicinal purposes. 

The afternoon activities are up to you. There are numerous trails around the lodge, which offer different experiences. You can choose to take an easy walk along the Napo River in search of plants and wildlife, or take a more challenging trail into the forest in search of the dusky titi monkey. The lodge itself has fantastic views of the surrounding forest and many species have been spotted from the comforts of hammocks viewing areas at the main lodge building, so if you want to just “relax” that is always an option as well.

Day 9
Cultural Experience, Piranha Fishing, Wildlife Canoe Rides, Canopy Tower

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Provided.

Expect a full-on busy day of exploring and learning today! The Lagartococha trail is your introduction to native culture and learning about the intricate relationship between forest and people here in the Amazon. Many trees are believed to have spirits and there is a legend of the devil-man of the forest. The end of this trail reaches Lagartococha Lake, a swampy area explored by canoe that is home to anacondas, capybaras, caimans and various monkeys including capuchin and squirrel monkeys. 

After lunch back at the lodge, it is time to learn how to fish for piranhas, before heading out on one of the best wildlife canoe trails at the lodge. The canoe ride passes through monkey habitats (including howler monkeys) and areas frequented by river otters and three-toed sloths. Eventually you’ll end up at the massive 135ft Kapok tree tower.

From the tower, watch the sun set and spot birds and animals in the forest canopy. On clear days you can see as far as the snow-capped Andean mountains. Return to the lodge after dark, enjoying a night canoe and hike excursion, where frogs, caimans, bats and all sorts of nocturnal creatures will bring the forest to life.

Optional: If you prefer, you can head into Yasuni National Park this morning (at extra cost) to view four different parrots at an impressive clay lick.

Note: Keep in mind that activities mentioned in this itinerary are an example only. Exact activities and hiking trails will vary on every trip, based on ideal wildlife sightings and personal preferences.

Day 10
Boat ride back to Coca Airport, Flight from Coca to Quito

Breakfast Provided.

After an early morning breakfast, say goodbye to your Amazon home and the creatures that live here. A motorized long boat ride back up the river will take you to Coca. You’ll be assisted to the airport to board your flight to Quito, from where you’re free to continue your own travels in Ecuador.

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