Island Hopping in Galapagos
Tours alternatives from ports
Apart from cruises and day trips to the islands, there is one more alternative which is called island hopping or tours from port to port, this is a very good option for those of you who are more interested in the local culture and the many activities every town offers for visitors.
There are four main towns or human settlements in Galapagos, Puerto Ayora being the main town and largest economic population in Galapagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the archipelago, Puerto Villamil on Isabela island , a small population of about 3000 people on the largest island , and puerto Velasco Ibarra on Floreana, which started as the largest population in Galapagos when the islands where annexed to the Ecuadorian territory and at the moment is the smallest human settlement with a population of around 160 people, constantly living there ,this is the island with the richest human history in Galapagos, the original permanent residents of this island came from Germany, although before that Norwegians established a settlement that didn’t las long , it was this group of Germans who started the interesting story of Floreana in the Galapagos islands.
Galapagos Island Hopping Sample Itinerary
You can start your island hopping tour in Galapagos from any of the two main islands with an airport, San Cristobal or Santa Cruz with Seymour’s airport, either way this itinerary gives you an idea of how it works . Arrive at San Cristobal’s airport, this day you will get there by noon, your guide will be waiting for you and take you to your hotel , after this lunch will follow and in the afternoon you will visit the tortoise center at the highlands of San Cristobal where you will see first hand the efforts made by the National Park Authorities to ensure the survival of this species.
The next morning you will take a speed boat that will take you to Santa Cruz island, the second largest island in Galapagos and the main economic town is home to the Darwin Center and the Fausto Llerena tortoise rearing center, same as in san Cristobal, efforts are made to breed giant tortoises in captivity from islands where they are in danger of extinction. In the highlands of Santa Cruz, there are many private farms that offer a wide variety of activities, from hikes, to walks into lava tunnels , some of them are specialized in certain areas like growing coffee, the Galapagos islands coffee is well known around the world and you can learn how the coffee beans are harvested and ground until you get the final produce, a wonderful aromatic organic coffee from this volcanic islands.
After your visit to any of the farms in the highlands of Santa Cruz, you can either take the local transportation back to town or if you still have energy and want to continue with an active day , you can bike down to the port, on the way you will bike along the many farms that provide with fresh produce to the locals.
The next day back on the speed boat and go to Isabela island, the largest islands in Galapagos with many places to visit, start your day early in the morning and after a 45 minutes “chiva” ride (google it) you will get to almost the top of Sierra Negra volcano, depending on what you want you can go for a 20 minutes walk to the top, and see the carter of this volcano , or get on a horse and ride along the rim of the volcano for 12 km until you reach volcán chico, one of the most impressive lava fields in Galapagos, remember that Isabela, is probably the second youngest island in the archipelago, although if you want to exercise a bit more you can hike those 12 km.
After this beautiful active day, go back to town which is located along one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in Galapagos and relax on a hammock at one of the many beach front bars.
After visiting this impressive volcano on Isabela and going swimming at this incredible white sand beach or maybe going snorkeling at the “tunnels” or even at concha y perla in town probably with turtles, iguanas or penguins, its time to take the speed boat back to Santa Cruz, however the trip doesn’t have to stop there, another perfect alternative for a day trip during your Galapagos island hopping tour is Floreana, as we have mentioned before, Floreana or officially known as Santa Maria, has the smallest human population in Galapagos but a t the same time the richest human history, can you imagine an Irish man abandoned there by his ship’s captain because of his bad behavior, made of this person the first permanent resident in Galapagos, exactly there, in Floreana, this inspires the famous Robinson Crusoe novel, the first islands with a permanent “post office” for whalers to get in touch with family and friends back in England, home to one of the four species of mockingbirds in Galapagos and the famous “pirate caves” where buccaneers seemed shelter while visiting Galapagos, make of this island a perfect stop for the history curious traveller.
This is just a very quick and shortened sample itinerary , there are many more things and activities to do in all the four inhabited islands, you can even custom make your itinerary with your own requirements and activities, just let us know please, and we will adjust the trip to your own schedule and interests.