Galapagos Multisport Adventure, 7 Days
My family of 4 recently returned from the Opuntia Multi-sport Adventure. I can’t recommend the trip highly enough for active families and anyone who wants a unique experience in the Galapagos. Here are some reasons to consider this kind of land-based adventure:
1. Freedom. The diversity of adventures was mind blowing. We were snorkeling with sea lions within an hour of arrival. From our gorgeous, spacious hotel rooms, we watched the many cruise boats shuttle their clients into the ports for a rushed look around before heading back to their cramped quarters. After our guided activities each day, we had hours to explore the charming towns at our leisure and walk the most beautiful beaches we’ve ever seen.
2. Knowledge and Support. Our guide was a resident of the islands who gave us amazingly in-depth interpretation about the landscape and culture. He was warm and funny, and he gave us great “locals” advice on things to do in our spare hours. When one minor miscommunication occurred, the company addressed it immediately and got us exactly what we needed. It’s great to know someone has your back like that when you are traveling. They also helped us arrange a 3-day extension so we could SCUBA dive and explore even more on our own.
3. Value. The Galapagos is not a cheap destination, but our tour was less than all the cruise itineraries we looked at. We appreciated the value even more when we spent 3 days on our own and saw how expensive meals can be in the port towns. Considering the gourmet meals provided, the personalized guiding, and the private transport, you really do get an exceptional value for such a diversity of experiences. They don’t cut corners.
We are recommending the trip to all our friends and we would go back in a second! The Larson Family - USA
Activities: Sea kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, snorkeling, and wildlife
Galapagos Multisport Adventure, 7 Days
The 7-day Opuntia Multisport Adventure is based on decades of experience in multisport touring. This weeklong Galapagos Land Based adventure brings you face-to-face with unique wildlife.
Kayak through clear waters with sea turtles, sharks, and sea lions, hike active volcanoes, mountain bike picturesque coastlines, snorkel tropical waters alive with color and movement, and relax on sandy beaches next to fearless sea lions and marine iguanas. After long days of fun in pristine natural settings, return to our eco-friendly boutique hotels for gourmet meals and refined hospitality.
Your adventure will be led by a team of local certified naturalists and the best adventure guides in the world, and supported by the highest quality brand-name gear. The Opuntia Multisport Adventure is the ultimate combination of adventure, comfort, and wildlife interaction.
This is the best way to get face-to-face with Galapagos wildlife. We combine supreme accommodations with fun activities: Kayaking, mountain biking, snorkeling, hiking, and of course – relaxing at the Opuntia Hotels.
- Sea kayak with sharks, marine iguanas, sea turtles, and sea lions
- Walk amongst giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat
- Snorkel with tropical fish, rays, sea lions, and sharks
- Hike the rim of an enormous, active caldera and discover extraordinary lava formations
- Mountain bike our exclusive, low-impact route along pristine coastline
- Relax on beautiful beaches with playful sea lions and countless marine iguanas
- Enjoy the exceptional service, comfort, and cuisine of the finest hotels in the Galapagos
- Award-winning guides serve as your liaison to the local culture and wildlife
- Protect the environment with our sustainable, eco-friendly activities and green hotels
- Support the local economy and get in touch with the local vibe with our land-based model
- Minimal transit time, only one short flight and one speedboat ride over the week
- Travel at ease with our top technical safety standards and liability insurance coverage
DAY 1: Interpretation Center, Hike and Snorkel Tijeretas – San Cristobal Island
DAY 2: Kayak and Snorkel in San Cristobal’s Northern Coast
DAY 3: Bike the Coastline, Explore Tintoreras Islets – Isabela Island
DAY 4: Volcano Hiking in Sierra Negra – Isabela Island
DAY 5: Hike The Highlands of Santa Cruz Island
DAY 6: Kayak in Lava Wall Channels, Hike to tortuga Bay – Santa Cruz Island
DAY 7: Charles Darwin research Station. and transfer to airport
Take advantage of our Early Bird Discounts on selected departures!
DAY 1: INTERPRETATION CENTER, HIKE AND SNORKEL TIJERETAS
After a morning flight to San Cristobal Island, we’ll greet you at the airport and head to Casa Opuntia Hotel, with its prime waterfront location and some of the best seafood in San Cristobal. After lunch and a quick introduction, we begin our journey at the Galapagos Interpretation Center to learn about the unique wildlife, geology, history, and social dynamics of the Galapagos.
After our visit, we hike to Tijeretas along natural trails formed of lava rocks. The path is surrounded by native plants like Galapagos cotton, palo santo, acacia, and cacti, and we will spot blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, pelicans, herons, gulls, warblers, mockingbirds, and finches in the vegetation and sea cliffs. Our guides interpret this amazing flora and fauna in the context of the natural history we just learned. We also enjoy scenic views of the rugged coastline and the tranquil town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno.
We cool off from our hike with a refreshing snorkeling session at postcard-worthy Carola Beach, surrounded by sea turtles, sea lions, and marine iguanas, and bask in the setting sun. After dinner, we’ll explore the friendly, laid-back beach town and stroll down the boardwalk to visit the neighboring colony of Galapagos sea lions. Overnight at Casa Opuntia (L, D)
DAY 2: KAYAK AND SNORKEL IN SAN CRISTOBAL’S NORTHERN COAST
Our second day begins with a morning of kayaking along the coastal bays and coves of San Cristobal’s north coast, full of bluefooted boobies, frigate birds, sea lions, and sea turtles. We may visit Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock), Punta Pitt or Cerro Brujo. The visiting site will depend on the week day and Galapagos National Park regulations.
We’ll put on snorkels and fins to interact with sea lions, as well as marine iguanas and countless reef fish. We’ll swim with spotted eagle rays, golden rays, Galapagos sharks, starfish, clams, and fish of every shape, size, and color. With luck, we might even see some menacing but harmless hammerhead sharks! After a full day spent exploring the seas, we head back to Casa Opuntia for a delicious dinner and a well-earned rest. Overnight at Casa Opuntia (B, L, D)
DAY 3: BIKE THE COASTLINE, EXPLORE TINTORERAS ISLETS
After breakfast, we say goodbye to San Cristobal and take a quick small-plane ride to Isabela Island. Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos and is still being formed by six active shield volcanoes. In fact, Isabela is one of the most volcanically active spots on the planet.
Upon arrival, we embark on a bike ride that will take us through a wide variety of environments and ecosystems. Along the way, we’ll pass through white sand beaches, mangrove forests and brackish lagoons, and a lava tube cave. As we ride, we’ll pass giant tortoises, flamingos, and other wildlife. At the end of our ride, we arrive at el Muro de las Lagrimas (the Wall of Tears). When Isabela was used as a penal colony, prisoners were forced to construct this towering wall of lava rocks for no other reason than to keep them distracted from the madness of isolation.
After lunch, we explore Tintoreras, a set of small islets filled with hidden coves and beaches. Here, we will find the peculiar, endemic Galapagos penguin and other marine life. At the end of the day, we retire to the boutique Iguana Crossing hotel to relax in its infinity pool or take a stroll down the seemingly endless white sand beach. After a gourmet dinner, we can enjoy the well-appointed lounge or wander the idyllic sand streets of Puerto Villamil. Overnight at Iguana Crossing (B, L, D)
DAY 4: VOLCANO HIKING IN ISABELA’S HIGHLANDS
This morning, we’ll drive up the flanks of the Sierra Negra volcano until the road ends. Here, we continue on foot and hike into a surreal world of geological history. On the hike up, we can admire incredible views of the surrounding volcanoes and sea, as well as the distinctive highland ecosystem around us. But the real prize is at the top – when we arrive at the rim of the Sierra Negra volcano, we are treated to a truly breathtaking vista.
Sierra Negra is the second largest active caldera on the planet, over six miles at its widest point. We’ll hike the rim of this enormous crater and, if we feel energetic, continue on to the caldera of Volcan Chico, an otherworldly landscape of vibrant hues created by sulfur deposits. Here we can explore spectacular lava formations and fumaroles. After a stop at an idyllic tortoise reserve for lunch, we’ll head back to the lowlands in time to spend our last afternoon on Isabela relaxing on the perfect beaches and soaking up the island-life atmosphere. Overnight at Iguana Crossing (B, L, D)
DAY 5: HIKE THE SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS
Wake up with the sea breeze as we travel by speedboat to Santa Cruz Island, keeping an eye out for whales and dolphins along the way. We land right on the private dock of the Angermeyer Waterfront Inn and check in before heading to El Chato in the Santa Cruz highlands to find the famous giant tortoise in its natural habitat. It is truly an honor to walk in the stately presence of these gentle giants, who can live to be over 175 years old. We will also see pintail ducks, Darwin’s finches, frigate birds, egrets, and the vermillion flycatcher.
Our next stop is the incredible lava tunnels, which formed an ideal hideout for the pirates that once frequented the Galapagos. Legend has it that they were also used to hide Inca gold stolen from Spanish ships. We then hike on to Los Gemelos, two deep volcanic sinkholes at the top of the island, with rocky cliffs surrounding the huge pits of empty magma chambers. Our path takes us through a forest of endemic Scalesia trees, where we will be on the lookout for the elusive short-eared owl. The trees are covered with ferns and epiphytes, and lend the forest a quiet, eerie feel.
In the late afternoon, we retire to the Angermeyer Waterfront Inn. This first-class guesthouse, privately nestled on the outskirts of town, offers attentive service and gourmet cuisine in a truly unique setting. The beautiful waterfront property offers magnificent views of the bay, coastline, and town. Overnight at Angermeyer Waterfront Inn (B, L, D)
DAY 6: KAYAK IN LAVA WALL CHANNELS, HIKE TO TORTUGA BAY
This morning, we’ll head back to sea in kayaks to explore the unique landscape of Punta Estrada and Divine Bay. As we paddle through towering lava channel walls, we can see rays and white-tipped reef sharks below us in the serene, clear water. We can also paddle right up to the fearless blue-footed boobies, lava gulls, herons, sally lightfoot crabs, and marine iguanas perched along the cliffs.
After lunch, we’ll take a short hike through a distinctive dry forest to Tortuga Bay. Along the hike, we find many interesting birds and plants. We emerge from the forest onto Tortuga Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos, with soft, fine sand and pristine turquoise waters, perfect for a relaxing afternoon. As evening comes, we’ll return to our waterfront hotel to celebrate a wonderful trip and enjoy our last evening in the Galapagos. Overnight at Angermeyer Waterfront Inn (B, L, D)
DAY 7: CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION
Before heading back to the mainland, we’ll stop for a visit at the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn from local scientists about the ongoing conservation efforts on these enchanted islands. The Research Station rears endemic plants, land iguanas, and giant tortoises for educational, scientific, and conservation purposes. Here, we can learn more about the diverse evolutionary paths and characteristics of the animals and plants that we just met. After our visit, we transfer to Baltra Island for our return flight to the mainland and bid a fond farewell to the Galapagos. (B)
Rate for Set Group Departures:$3536Rates for Private tour if:
|Number of Guests||1||2||3||4||5 and More|
|Rate per person in double accommodation||$10173||$5652||$4238||$3536||$3243|
Private trips may be confirmed at the date of your choice... contact us to check availability!
Note: rates are valid until December 31/2016.
Accommodations in the premium Opuntia Hotels, all meals as listed (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), top quality adventure and safety equipment, bilingual Galapagos naturalist guide, bilingual adventure guide, all sea, land, and inter-island air transportation. (Guide details dependent on group size.)
Flights to and from Galapagos, entrance fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 USD p.p. subject to change), Galapagos transit card ($20 USD p.p. subject to change), tips, hotel & restaurant beverages.
This itinerary is subject to change without notice due to seasonal changes, inclement weather conditions, and adjustments of Galapagos National Park policy.
BOAT TRAVEL TIME: Two hours
SMALL AIRCRAFT FLIGHT TIME: 40 minutes
ACTIVITY DURATION (PADDLE, HIKE, BIKE, SNORKEL): Two to four hours per activity
ALTITUDE: 0 – 3,688 feet (1,124 meters) above sea level
WEATHER: During the warm season from January to May, air temperature is around 77 to 83 F (25 to 28 C) at sea level. During the cool season from June to December, air temperature is around 70 to 75 F (21 to 24 C) at sea level. Temperature decreases with altitude.
WATER TEMPERATURE: During the warm season from January to May, water temperature hovers around 77 F (25 C). During the cool season from June to December, average water temperature is about 72 F (22 C). Water temperature also varies significantly by location.
SUGGESTED ITEMS TO PACK: Hiking shoes, rain jacket, water bottle, non-cotton trekking clothes, sunblock, sun hat, and repellent.