Galapagos Islands Tours

Island Hopping Galapagos – Santa Cruz and Isabela 5 days

Visit the impressive Galapagos Islands (one of the four Ecuadorian regions) and explore the variety of flora and fauna during an Ecuador journey. During your 5-day Island Hopping Tour you will get to know the Archipelago’s nature and wildlife while being based on Santa Cruz Island and Isabela Island. Isabela is the Archipelago’s biggest island but at the same time the youngest. The nature and wildlife of this island consist of several endemic turtle species and you further have great opportunities to do whale watching. Having Santa Cruz and Isabella as a basis for your Ecuador journey on Galápagos, the next days you explore other islands and admire Ecuador’s biodiversity, nature and wildlife, for example by snorkeling or paddling.

Number of days: 5
Regions: Galapagos
Interests: Nature & Wildlife
Category: Superior
Total CO2 emission, in lb (per day for cruises):

Click on the icons to see details about each visited place.


Day 1 – Santa Cruz Parte Alta
Your guide will pick you up at the airport on Baltra Island. You will take the bus (approx. five minutes) to cross Baltra, take the ferry across the Itabaca Canal to Santa Cruz Island.
You will visit the highlands of this Island (please have your shoes and rain gear ready). Check out the twin craters of Los Gemelos, see giant Galapagos tortoises roaming in nature, and cross through ancient underground lava tunnels. Then visit a reforestation and coffee project and learn about the ways in which people do conservational work on Galapagos.
Finally you travel on to Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz’s principal town. At the hotel you will be met by our representative who will give you your snorkel gear (included).

Day 2 – Uninhabited Island
Today you take a boat to Bartolome Island, South Plaza Island, Seymour or Santa Fe. The uninhabited islands are what makes Galapagos so special: animals that can only be found on these specific islands, endemic plant species, birds that get so close you can almost touch them (please do not though…), and sea lions sleeping in the sun.
Please note that the actual island visited depends on the schedule authorized by the national park authorities.

Day 3 – Isabela
In the morning you take the public speedboat from Santa Cruz to Isabela Island (beware: it can be a rough ride, if you tend to get seasick please take some precautions). In the afternoon you have two options:
Option 1 Breeding Center, Wetlands, Wall of Tears:
Visit the tortoise breeding center and learn about an effort to preserve the Galapagos tortoise population. The coastal wetlands are an area where you can see ponds, beaches, volcanic crevices and caves as well as shore birds, marine iguanas and the typical vegetation of the area. At the end of the day visit the Wall of Tears and learn about the island’s mysterious history.
Option 2 Bay Tour of Isabela (Las Tintoreras):
Look for the small Galapagos penguins on the rocks and snorkel in the bay, looking for sea lions, white-tip sharks, rays, sea turtles and reef fish. Take a moderately strenuous hike through lava formations that are other-worldly and visit a marine iguana colony and a sea lion colony nearby.

Day 4 – Sierra Negra or Tuneles
In the morning you have two options again:
Option 1 Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico:
We will pick you up at your hotel and take you to the highlands (approx. 45 min.) where you start a rather strenuous hike of 1-2 hours to the world’s second largest volcanic crater. If you are up for it, and if the weather permits, you can continue on (1-2 hours) to Volcán Chico and enjoy lava fields, fumarals and the view of the northern volcanoes of Isabela and Fernandina. Lunch is included at Campo Duro, a quaint highland farm with giant tortoises.
Option 2 Lava Tunnels (Los Tuneles):
(Not available when strong currents make the entrance unsafe. Time of pick-up depends on the tide.) If you prefer a snorkel tour: Travel along the coast of Isabela by boat to Los Tuneles, about 45 minutes (sometimes choppy water can make a bumpy ride) where you visit a labyrinth created by the interaction of lava flows and ocean currents. You can trek across lava arches and bridges and snorkel and enjoy an astonishing array of marine creatures.
In the afternoon you have free time which you can use to visit Concha y Perla Bay or just relax on the beautiful white sand beach.

Day 5 – Airport Transfer
Early in the morning you take the speedboat back to Santa Cruz (optional: small aircraft), where you will have breakfast before you are taken to the airport.

Rates and Services

Price per person: US$ 1,365.00
(based on 2 people traveling)

Price includes:

  • English-speaking guide
  • transportation
  • breakfast
  • excursions and activities
  • accommodation in double rooms
  • snorkel equipment
  • Isabela entrance port fee

Not included:

  • national and domestic flights
  • meals not specified
  • drinks
  • gratuities
  • personal expenses
  • entrance fees for museums etc.
  • optional excursions and activities
  • personal travel insurance
  • entrance fees Galapagos ($100 p.p.)
  • Migration Control Card Galapagos ($20 p.p.)
  • water taxis (each ca. $1 p.p.)
  • wetsuit
lava tunnelslava tunnels
twin craters of Los Gemelostwin craters of Los Gemelos
Flamingos in Santa CruzFlamingos in Santa Cruz
Bachas Beach Santa CruzBachas Beach Santa Cruz
beach in Isabelabeach in Isabela
Tortuga on the GalapagosTortuga on the Galapagos


Additional Information

For more information about the Galapagos Islands check out our Galapagos information page.

Wondering what to pack? Check out our packing list.

More questions about the Island Hopping Galapagos- Santa Cruz and Isabela 5 Days Tour?

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