Opuntia Multisport Adventure, 5 Days
Activities: Sea kayaking, hiking, mountain biking, snorkeling, and wildlife interaction
Opuntia Multisport Adventure, 5 Days
This active tour highlights the beautiful environments and wildlife of the Isabela and Santa Cruz Islands of Galapagos through lively activities like kayaking, mountain biking, hiking, and snorkeling. With a special focus on Isabela Island, you’ll get an in-depth view of this huge, sparsely populated island, and an extra night in our flagship Iguana Crossing Hotel. In addition to fast pace and variety, our land-based tourism model provides great accommodations, freedom to explore on your own, low environmental impact, and valuable support for island communities. Our award-winning, world-class guides interpret the sights and make sure every adventure activity is fun and safe. After fun-filled days, return to our boutique Opuntia hotels to relax in comfort and enjoy attentive service and gourmet cuisine in unique settings. The Opuntia Multisport Tour offers adventure, wildlife contact, and oceanfront comfort in only five days!
- Sea kayak and snorkel with sea lions, sharks, marine iguanas, sea turtles, and rays
- Mountain bike our exclusive, eco-friendly route through ever-changing terrain
- Walk amongst giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat
- Hike the rim of an enormous, active caldera and discover extraordinary lava formations
- 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
- Your journey is led by our top-rated adventure guides and local naturalist guides
- 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: Explore and Snorkel Tintoreras Islets – Isabela Island
DAY 2: Hike Sierra Negra Volcano – Isabela Island
DAY 3: Bike Isabel’s coastal Ecosystems – Isabela Island
DAY 4: Kayac Lava Channels, Hike the High Lands – Santa Cruz Island
DAY 5: Charles Darwin Research Station – Santa Cruz Island
DAY 1: EXPLORE AND SNORKEL TINTORERAS ISLETS
Your flight from the mainland touches down at Baltra Airport, where our small aircraft will be waiting to take us on to Isabela Island. After a short inter-island flight, we check into Iguana Crossing, our stylish waterfront hotel in Isabela, and enjoy the first of many delicious lunches. In the afternoon, we head out to Las Tintoreras, a group of small islets within Isabela bay, and walk through the prehistoric landscape of lava rocks and iguanas. The islets are also home to the Galapagos penguin – the only penguin species that lives on the equator.
We spend the afternoon exploring Tintoreras’ many tiny beaches and coves and snorkeling with sharks, sea lions and sea turtles. Our naturalist guide will tell us all about the unique animals we encounter along the way. We return to Iguana Crossing, where the chef prepares us an Ecuadorian Gourmet dinner. After dinner, we explore the sand streets of Puerto Villamil, Isabela´s sleepy beach town. Overnight at Iguana Crossing (L, D)
DAY 2: HIKE SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO
Today we prepare our daypacks for a hike into the highlands of Isabela – an ever-changing world of volcanic geology. After driving up the flanks of Volcan Sierra Negra until the end of the road, we hike through the highlands toward the caldera’s rim. Sierra Negra is one of the world’s most active volcanoes, and erupted as recently as 2005. Its colossal crater is six miles wide and is truly unlike anywhere else on earth.
If we’re feeling energetic, we can continue on to the secondary caldera of Volcan Chico, with its puffing fumaroles and incredible lava formations painted in yellow hues by sulfur deposits. After a long day of hiking in this otherworldly landscape, we stop for lunch at an idyllic restaurant on the slopes of Sierra Negra that also acts as a private giant tortoise reserve. We return to the coast in time to spend the rest of the afternoon on the exotic white sand beaches and enjoy another tasty dinner. Overnight at Iguana Crossing (B, L, D)
DAY 3: BIKE ISABELA’S COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS
After fitting our mountain bikes, we head out for a ride on what is considered the best trail in the Galapagos, which takes us through an amazing variety of coastal ecosystems. From the calm and beautiful white sand beach, we bike through dense mangrove thickets, a shady, fragrant poison apple forest, and alongside a lava tunnel. Along the way we’ll see Galapagos giant tortoises, as well as mangrove finches, American oystercatchers, herons, flamingos and marine iguanas.
We continue to the Wall of Tears, a relic of Isabela’s history as a penal colony. Prisoners were forced to build this massive, isolated wall of lava rocks for no other purpose than to keep them from losing their minds to boredom. If we still have energy after the return trip, we can walk through a mangrove forest to nearby Concha de Perla Bay, with beautiful clear waters and abundant sea life, to end our day with some laid-back snorkeling. Overnight at Iguana Crossing (B, L, D)
DAY 4: KAYAK LAVA CHANNELS, HIKE SANTA CRUZ HIGHLANDS
After an early start this morning, a speedboat takes us across the water to Santa Cruz Island. We arrive at the private dock of the Angermeyer Waterfront Inn. Once we get settled in, it’s time to take our sea kayaks to explore Punta Estrada and Divine Bay on the coastline of Santa Cruz. We paddle into these serene waters through a narrow channel bordered by towering lava walls. Through the clear water, we can see rays and white-tipped reef sharks cruising below us. 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 a stop at the hotel for lunch and dry clothes, we set off to explore El Chato reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to another group of giant tortoises. As we hike through El Chato in the presence of these lumbering giants, our naturalist guide tells us more about their unique history, as well as the other highland wildlife we meet, such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, finches, and frigate birds. We also explore vast lava tubes, and our guides tell us tales of buccaneers that once used these caves to hide from Spanish ships and stash their plundered Inca gold.
Our last stop is Los Gemelos, two deep volcanic sinkholes near the top of the island, surrounded by a beautiful forest of endemic Scalesia trees covered with epiphytes and ferns. In this unique habitat, we keep our eyes peeled for the elusive short-eared owl. After our hike, we return to the Angermeyer Waterfront Inn, where our adventure in this natural wonderland draws to a close with a sumptuous farewell dinner overlooking the bay. Overnight at Angermeyer Waterfront Inn (B, L, D)
DAY 5: CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION
Before heading back to the mainland, we enjoy a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station to talk with the local scientists and learn about their conservation and management efforts in the Galapagos. They also tell us more about the endemic plants and animals we just met, including the intricate evolutionary background of Darwin’s finches and giant tortoises. After bidding a fond farewell to Santa Cruz, we transfer to Baltra Island for our flight back to the mainland. (B)
Rates for Private tour if:
|Number of Guests||1||2||3||4||5 and More|
|Rate per person in double accommodation||$5033||$2796||$2306||$2141||$1978|
Private trips may be confirmed at the date of your choice... contact us to check availability!
Note: rates are valid until December 31/2014.
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 ($10 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.