Santa Cruz & San Cristobal
Galapagos Island Hopping Dive Tour
Explore the Galapagos with this 6-day program that covers the highlights of the two islands Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. The program includes must do excursions to the most astonishing dive sites as well as instructions for self-guided activities during your free time. It’s designed to discover as much incredible Galapagos wildlife – both on land as under water at spectacular dive sites – as possible, without having to worry about your accommodation and finding your way around.
Day 1 – Arrival, Twin Craters, Giant Tortoise Reserve and Charles Darwin Station (L)
Upon arrival at Baltra airport you will be met with our English speaking guide. At the airport you will first take a shuttle transfer to the Itabaca Channel. A short ferry ride will get you to the other side of the channel in a couple of minutes. From here you will be brought in private transportation to Puerto Ayora, the town of Santa Cruz island.
On the way you will make a short stop at the Twin Craters, a pair of collapsed craters that were formed when the land sunk down into empty magma chambers from ancient volcanoes. You might also encounter some birdlife here. Afterwards you will visit the El Chato Reserve where you can observe the giant tortoises in the wild that are endemic to the Galapagos. Near the ranch you will also have the opportunity to see a lava tunnel from inside. These tunnels were formed as the outer skin of molten lava solidified while the liquid magma continued flowing during a volcanic eruption many years ago. You will have lunch on the private ranch in the El Chato Reserve, before continuing the drive to the town Puerto Ayora. During a guided visit at the Charles Darwin Research Station you can observe more giant tortoises and a couple of yellow land iguana in captivation and you will learn more about the islands’ conservation efforts.
In the late afternoon you are expected at the office of the dive tour operator for a equipment check and briefing for the upcoming dive tours.
Day 2 – Dive excursion from Santa Cruz (B,L)
Today you will go on a full day dive excursion. See the table below for the different destinations per day. The tour includes a check dive and 2 full immersions, the full equipment, lunch and English speaking dive master. Please note that the destinations in the table can vary as the permits for each Galapagos visitor site is being renewed every 1st of April.
|DAY||DIVE BOAT 1||DIVE BOAT 2|
|MONDAY||GORDON ROCKS* / NORTH MOSQUERA||FLOREANA|
|TUESDAY||SEYMOUR CHANNEL / DAPHNE||GORDON ROCKS*|
|WEDNESDAY||SOUTH MOSQUERA / NORTH MOSQUERA||SEYMOUR CHANNEL / NORTH MOSQUERA|
|THURSDAY||SEYMOUR POINT / GORDON ROCKS*||BARTOLOME/ COUSINS|
|FRIDAY||DAPHNE / GUY FAWKES||SEYMOUR POINT / SEYMOUR CHANNEL|
|SATURDAY||PLAZAS / GORDON ROCKS*||SOUTH MOSQUERA / DAPHNE|
|SUNDAY||SOUTH MOSQUERA / SEYMOUR CHANNEL||SEYMOUR CHANNEL / GORDON ROCKS*|
|* MINIMUM OF 25 LOGGED DIVES REQUIRED|
Read more about the different dive sites.
Day 3 – Dive excursion from Santa Cruz (B,L)
Today you will go on another full day dive excursion. See the description of this tour above.
Day 4 – Tortuga Bay or Las Grietas and speedboat to San Cristobal (B)
This morning you will have time off to spend on your own. We highly recommend a visit to Tortuga Bay. This white-sand beach gets its name from the black sea turtles that lay their eggs here. Marine iguanas, crabs and birds can also be spotted here and it is an excellent site to enjoy a relaxing swim. It takes about an hour to walk from the main port on the boulevard in Puerto Ayora to get to Tortuga Bay.
Another option is to take a water taxi from the port and visit Las Grietas, a narrow crack between tall lava rock walls where you can take a swim. The path that leads you to up to Las Grietas passes by the small white sand beach Playa de los Alemanes, a salt lake and interesting cacti. To reach the trail you will first have to take a short water taxi ride from the port in town. Once back in Puerto Ayora you’ll have time to check out the little fish market on the boulevard, where fishmongers cut and sell their wares. Chances are that you’ll see pelicans and sea lions here hoping to catch a free fishy snack.
In the afternoon you will take the speedboat to San Cristobal island, which takes about 2,5 hours. Upon arrival in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, chances are high that you will be welcomed by many sea lions that are resting on a small part of the beach right next to the port. After checking in at your hotel, you are expected at the office of the dive tour operator for a equipment check and briefing for the upcoming dive tour.
Day 5 – Dive excursion to Kicker Rock (B,L)
Today you will go on a full day dive excursion to Kicker Rock. The tour includes a check dive and 2 full immersions, the full equipment, lunch and an English speaking dive master. Please note that there will be both snorkelers as divers aboard on this tour. The group will split at the water activities. Kicker Rock is a striking rock formation and is located a couple hours off the western shore of San Cristobal. Jutting out of the water, the rocks stand vertically at hundreds of feet above the ocean divided by a small channel. Blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies and frigate birds often rest here. It’s also the perfect snorkel and dive spot as you could encounter different sharks, tropical fish, turtles, manta rays and sometimes even hammerhead sharks here. After the dive activity you will visit one of the nearby beautiful remote beaches before heading back to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. A box lunch will be served on board.
Depending the time at which you will be back in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, you will have some free time in the (late) afternoon to spend on your own. We recommend a visit to the very interesting Interpretation Center, where you can learn about the geological and natural history of the Galapagos islands, as well as the efforts to protect its uniqueness. Other options to visit are Playa Mann, Playa Punta Carola and Cerro Tijeretas.
Day 6 – Departure (B)
Enjoy your last morning on the Galapagos Islands strolling around the boulevard or nearby beach Playa Mann. You will be picked up from your hotel and brought to the San Cristobal airport, from where you will fly back to the mainland of Ecuador.
|Budget accommodation||Standard accommodation||Comfort accommodation|
|Price per person
(based on 2 passengers)
|Price per person
(based on 1 passenger)
Take a look at the photos of our Budget, Standard and Comfort accommodations.
- Meals as indicated in the itinerary (“B”=Breakfast, “L”=Lunch)
- Shared group excursions as described in the itinerary
- Full dive equipment, 2 immersions, a check dive and an English speaking dive master during each dive excursion
- Bilingual local naturalist guide during other excursion(s)
- Transfer in on the first day in private transportation with an English speaking guide
- Transfer out on the last day in private transportation with a Spanish speaking driver
- Itabaca Channel ferry
- Transportation by public speedboat between islands
- Information package with clear instructions for self-guided activities and other helpful tips
- Flights from/to Galapagos (around $550 p.p.)
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100 p.p.)
- Migration Control Card ($20 p.p.)
- Transportation between your hotel and port when travelling between islands (we recommend to take a taxi; some hotels are at walking distance from the port)
- Water taxis (about $1 p.p.)
- Personal expenses
This is a partially Shared Tour / Group Tour and partially Private Tour. This means that there will be other people besides yourself (or your travel party) taking part in most of the excursions of this program. As every traveler is following their own itinerary on the Galapagos the group composition during your excursions can vary from day to day. Your airport transfers on the islands will always be on a private basis for you (or your travel party) only.
This tour can start on any day of the week.
You will be picked up from Baltra airport (GPS) upon arrival.
Make sure to buy a flight on the first day that flies into Baltra Island (GPS) and flies out of San Cristobal Island (SCY). Your arrival flight can arrive any time, but it’s recommended to book a flight that arrives between 9:00 AM and 12:30 PM at Baltra Island to enjoy the activities on the first day on a nice pace. Your departure flight can leave any time of the day, but it’s recommended to book a flight that leaves a little later in the morning / afternoon, to enjoy your last morning on the Galapagos.
What to bring?
- Sunscreen and sunglasses
- Hat or lightweight scarf
- Layered clothing
- Bathing suit and towel
- Hiking shoes
- Motion sickness pills
- Insect repellent
- Reusable water bottle