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Follow in Darwin’s footsteps and discover the wealth of the Galapagos’ flora and fauna both underwater and topside on this nine night adventure on Santa Cruz and Isabela islands.

The itinerary includes six mesmerising dives where you can expect to encounter eagle rays, several species of shark, turtles, schools of colourful reef fish, barracuda and sealions, to name just a few. On land you'll get to observe the infamous Galapagos giant tortoise, hike in unique environments, look out for endemic wildlife and walk barefoot in the sand.

Discovering two of the main islands of the Galapagos allows for plenty of water and land-based opportunities, maximising wildlife encounters and creating plenty of memories of this magical destination. It's suitable for divers, snorkellers, adventurers and those who are unable to stomach a week long liveaboard! 

Read SCUBA editor Simon Rogerson's blog on hammerheads in the Galapagos

Suggested Itinerary

  1. Day 1: Fly to Ecuador

    You will be met on arrival and transferred by shuttle bus to your accommodation for an overnight stay.

  2. Day 2: Continue to the Galapagos Islands

    Fly from mainland Ecuador over to the Galapagos Islands. You will be met on arrival and visit Los Gemelos en route to the Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge. Los Gemelos (The Twins) are two enormous collapsed lava chambers in the Santa Cruz Highlands, famous for their lush topography, panoramic views and bird life.

    Later, visit the Darwin Research Station and check in at the dive centre before returning to your accommodation for an overnight stay.

  3. Days 3-4 : Galapagos Islands Dive Adventure

    Over the next two days enjoy four dives from Santa Cruz. Witness the wonderful marine life the Galapagos has to offer. Look out for rays, sharks and a variety of fish species. There is a daily programme of dive sites which includes the cleaning station at Floreana, hammerhead shark encounters at Mosquera and Gordon Rocks for the more experienced divers.

    Any non-diving travel partners will be transferred to the pier for a daily sailing tour, accompanied by a naturalist guide, to explore the famous islands such as Bartolome, North Seymour, South Plaza or Santa Fe.

  4. Day 5: Santa Cruz Bay tour & transfer to Isabela Island

    This morning enjoy a tour of the bay which offers amazing wildlife encounters. Keep an eye out for the seals at Loberia as well as marine iguanas and plenty of birdlife. This afternoon, journey to Isabela by boat and on arrival, transfer to your accommodation and check in for a two night stay. Evening at leisure.

  5. Day 6: Isabela Island boat tour to Tuneles

    This morning, take a boat trip to Tuneles (Cabo Rosa) where you’ll observe the lava topography and have the opportunity of more wildlife encounters. It’s possible to get in the water and snorkel, the highlight being a sea lion encounter. Topside, look out for blue footed boobies and pelicans. Return to accommodation for dinner and overnight stay.

  6. Day 7: Isabela Island boat tour to Las Tintoreras, return to Santa Cruz

    This morning, take a boat trip to the small island of Las Tintoreras to observe and interact with its incredible wildlife, the highlight here being a small colony of penguins often resting side by side with blue footed boobies. It’s possible to snorkel here in the canals formed by lava, where you may encounter white-tip sharks. In the afternoon, transfer back to Santa Cruz and check in to your accommodation for a further three nights.

  7. Day 8: Dive adventure continues

    Today, enjoy two more dives from Santa Cruz. It’s a free day for any non-diving travel partners who have the opportunity to join an alternative trip (local payment) or simply relax. Evening at leisure.

  8. Day 9: Discover Santa Cruz

    Today you will visit Tortuga Bay, a white sand beach and lagoon accessed by a boardwalk. You will be accompanied by a naturalist guide, observing the local flora and fauna amongst the mangrove ecosystem. Spend time relaxing on the beach and then transfer to a ranch for lunch. This afternoon, continue to the highlands to visit a giant tortoise reserve to observe these unique creatures in their natural habitat. Return to accommodation for dinner and overnight stay.

  9. Day 10: Begin your journey home or continue your adventure

    This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to the mainland where you’ll join your overnight flight back to the UK.

    Want to continue your adventure? Discuss your options with the Dive team.

  10. Day 11: Arrive UK

You should note: It is possible to do a shorter version of this before or after your liveaboard. Contact a member of the Dive team for more information.

Key info

Our trip ideas are offered to inspire you and can be tailored to suit your requirements.
  • Duration and price including flights from/to UK: 11 days from £4,275 pp
  • When to go: Jan-Dec: Thursday departure recommended
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Flights from the UK
    • 9 nights accommodation
    • Most meals
    • Guided Galapagos tour
    • English speaking naturalist guide
    • 3 days, 6 dive pack
    • Full diving equipment
    • Transfers
Featured locations:

Santa Cruz

The rocky coastline and mangrove lined inlets of Santa Cruz Island are ideal for divers to spot sea turtles, sharks and rays. Home to the Charles Darwin Research Station, there are also healthy populations of tortoises, land and marine iguanas and birds.

  • Ideal for viewing: marine iguana, Galapagos giant tortoise, white-tip reef shark, Galapagos shark
  • Excellent for: Liveaboard diving, Resort based diving


Shaped like a seahorse, Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos, and one of the most volcanically active places on earth. Surrounded by stunning turquoise waters, turtles, sea lions, whales and Galapagos penguins are common sightings.

  • Ideal for viewing: Galapagos giant tortoise, marine iguana, Galapagos penguin, humpback whale
  • Excellent for: Resort based diving

Galapagos Islands

Their radiant fish and bizarre animals make the Galapagos a world-class diving and unique wildlife destination. Fed by nutrient rich waters from the tropical Pacific Ocean, the magical marine life enchants and fascinates in equal measure.

  • Ideal for viewing: whale shark, Galapagos shark, scalloped hammerhead shark, giant oceanic manta ray, Galapagos penguin
  • Excellent for: Liveaboard diving, Resort based diving, Singles diving, Group diving, Shark diving, Hammerhead shark, Whale shark, Manta ray
Suggested accommodation is shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Casa Natura Galapagos Lodge

Set amongst the forest in the highlands of Santa Cruz, this family run lodge is perfectly located for those looking to disconnect and enjoy the unique nature of the Galapagos Islands.