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Follow in Darwin’s footsteps on this seven night land and sea adventure including visits to Santa Cruz and Isabela islands.

This itinerary includes eight mesmerising dives where you'll encounter eagle rays, sharks, marine iguanas, nudibranch, schools of colourful fish and sea lions 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 the main islands of the Galapagos allows for plenty of water and land-based opportunities, maximising wildlife encounters and creating plenty of memories. It's suitable for divers, snorkellers, adventurers and those who are unable to stomach a week long liveaboard! 

Suggested itinerary

  1. Day 1: Depart the UK for Ecuador

    Transfer 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. Transfer to the Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge on Santa Cruz and spend the afternoon at leisure, or refreshing your diving skills.

  3. Day 3: Dive Santa Cruz. Discover Los Gemelos and Las Primicias

    This morning enjoy two 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.

    After lunch, hike to see Los Gemelos (The Twins) two enormous collapsed lava chambers in the Santa Cruz Highlands, famous for their lush topography, panoramic views and bird life.

    Continue to Las Primicias, a private reserve where Galapagos tortoises roam freely in their natural habitat. A highlight for most visitors.

    Overnight at Adventura Lodge.

  4. Day 4: Dive Santa Cruz and transfer to Isabela

    Enjoy two more dives this morning, before making the two hour crossing to Isabela

    Transfer to the Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge where you will be greeted with a welcoming cocktail. Evening at leisure.

  5. Day 5: Dive Isabela. Discover Las Tintoreras

    Visit Isla Tortuga in the morning for two dives and the chance to see anything from seahorses to manta rays.

    After lunch it's time to discover Las Tintoreras, a small volcanic islet with an incredible wealth of wildlife. Here you will walk across lava fields and have a chance to swim/snorkel amongst the mangroves. Keep an eye out for blue footed boobies, Galapagos penguins, colonies of marine iguanas and sea lions. The picturesque views across the bay are majestic.

    Overnight at Isabela Lodge.

  6. Day 6: Explore Isabela and transfer to Santa Cruz

    Today is all about exploring the island and wildlife of Isabela. Keep an eye out for the colourful flamingo as you make your way to the breeding station, where you'll learn all about the Galapagos tortoise, the largest and most endagered of its species.

    Continue on a boardwalk hike through the wetlands, a habitat for numerous migratory birds and flamingo, ending up on the beautiful Playa Del Armour where you can walk barefoot through the sand.

    After lunch, transfer back to Santa Cruz. Afternoon at leisure.

    Overnight at Aventura Lodge.

  7. Day 7: Dive Santa Cruz. Visit Charles Darwin Research Station

    Enjoy a further two dives this morning before taking a tour to the fascinating Charles Darwin Research Station, a facility with over 100 staff from scientists to volunteers who conduct research and environmental education for conservation of the Galapagos and its precious wildlife.

    Overnight at Aventura Lodge.

  8. Day 8: Sea kayak Itabaca Channel

    Spend your last morning in the Galapagos sea kayaking in the calm, turquoise waters of Itabaca Channel that separates Santa Cruz and Baltra. The scenic coastal adventure includes the chance to observe pelicans perching in the mangroves, sea birds on the stunning cliffs and sea lions resting on the rocks. Take your mask, as you can snorkel from your kayak. Expect turtles and countless schools of tropical fish. 

    Afternoon at leisure to relax or shope for souvenirs in Puerto Ayora.

    Overnight at Aventura Lodge.

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

    Transfer to the airport for your return flight to mainland Ecuador.

    Either continue your journey home or extend your trip by exploring the Ecuadorian Amazon or the Ecuadorian Andes.

  10. Day 10: Arrive UK

You should note: It is possible to do a shorter version of this after your liveaboard. Discuss your options with a member of the Dive team.

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: 10 days from £4,765 pp
  • When to go: Jan-Dec: Daily throughout the year
  • Included in the price/package:
    • Flights from the UK
    • 8 nights accommodation
    • Guided Galapagos tour
    • English speaking naturalist guide
    • Full board meal plan in the Galapagos
    • 8 dives
    • Full diving equipment
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

Isabela

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 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 options are shown below. Please contact us for further recommendations.

Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge

Situated on the island of Santa Cruz, this eco-friendly lodge enjoys a unique position inside a red mangrove forest to offer the best view of Puerto Ayora’s bay. It offers a range of rooms and suites, all with scenic views of the ocean.

Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge

This lodge sits on a three kilometre white sand beach in Puerto Villamil on the largest island in the Galapagos, Isabela. Enjoy active volcanoes, outstanding dive and snorkelling opportunities and close-up wildlife encounters.