THE BEST KEPT SECRET OF SOUTH AMERICA
Aka the Galapagos. Colorful beaches, exotic animals, and island views like nothing I had ever seen before. The Galapagos are officially my favorite islands.
Forewarning: It's strongly recommended to go through a tour group. I went through Viafa Ecuador (mainly for those who speak Spanish) during my quick trip (3 days, 2 nights). In my short trip I visited two of the major islands; Santa Cruz, and San Cristobal. My day to day itinerary is below, and as always don't hesitate to ask any questions.
- 6:00am-9:00am: Flight from Quito to Galapagos
- Note: Once you land in the Galapagos you will have to go through customs. Here's the big surprise, anyone who is not an Ecuadorian citizen must pay $100 in cash...Ecuadorians only pay $6.
- 9:00am-10:30am: Follow signs for the shuttle bus, and you'll take a short ride to another shuttle boat. The boat will take you from the tiny island of Baltra (in which you landed on) to Santa Cruz (literally you could swim across if you wanted to test your fate with sharks).
- 10:45am-11:30am: From the shuttle boat you'll drive 45 minutes to hotel
- 11:30am-12:00pm: Arrive at Hotel Dejavu
- 12:00pm-1:00pm: Lunch at El Chocolate (included in tour price)
- 1:00pm-3:00pm: Explore Santa Cruz center. There are coffee shops, boutiques, and multiple restaurants. Take a short walk from El Chocolate toward the water and you might be able to see some seals that have washed ashore.
- 3:00pm-6:00pm: Explore the Charles Darwin Center. A great place to understand Charles Darwin's journey, the history of all the Galapagos islands, and the endangered species living on the islands.
- 6:00pm-7:00pm: Dinner at El Chocolate (included in tour)
- HOTEL: Dejavu was clean and the staff was great. The only issue we had was the WIFI...but of course the days we went everyone's WIFI was completely down.
- 6:00am-7:00am Breakfast provided at the hotel. Special request as usually breakfast doesn't start until 7:00am.
- 7:00am-10:00am Make the journey to San Cristobal. Tour guide will pick up from the hotel, and will drive down to the boat dock. Then you'll make your way on the shuttle boat for a 1.5-2 hour ride directly to San Cristobal.
- 10:00am-2:00pm You'll start the tour down by the dock and walk toward the multiple beaches on the west coast. Along the way you'll see seals, iguanas, and endangered birds that are only found on the island. The tour will also take you to the mountain where Charles Darwin first landed on the Galapagos. Keep walking and you'll find the best snorkeling spot on San Cristobal.
- 2:00pm-3:00pm: Late lunch (included in tour)
- 3:00pm-5:00pm: Make the journey back to Santa Cruz
- 6:00pm-7:00pm: Dinner at El Chocolate (included in tour, restaurant provided meal)
- If the meals aren't enough there are plenty of other restaurants close by, however additional meals are not included in the tour.
- 6:00am-7:00am: Breakfast at the hotel (again by special request).
- 7:00am-9:00am: TORTUGA BAY. A 15 minute drive, and a 30 minute walk you'll be in Tortuga Bay to see the sun finish rising. This was my favorite part of the entire trip so don't miss it!
- 10:00am-11:00am Head back to the hotel, collect your things, and then drive to Twin Peaks.
- 12:00pm-3:00pm: Take the same journey as you did before back to the airport. Highly recommend late afternoon flights so that you can enjoy the morning, and there is less room for error.
- 6:00pm Arrive back in Quito
There you have it, the Galapagos islands. Comments, questions? Let me know what you think!