Tours based at Galapagos Hotels
Many people do not find cabins on yachts to their liking, maybe they get seasick? or a little claustrophobic? and as such, they prefer to sleep on dry land. Cruising is a great experience but there are many advantages to being based out of Galapagos hotels too!
Advantages of a Galapagos hotel stay?
There are a number of reasons why a hotel-based Galapagos stay makes sense:
- Enjoy the extra space, being able to walk more than just the deck
- You can wander into the town and choose a different bar or restaurant
- If you need a store for something then it is easy to get to
- You can enjoy aquatic activities but also terrestrial ones (e.g. biking)
- You may like your bed to not rock at night? A light sleeper, seasickness?
- No fixed schedule for dates, cruises are more defined with less leeway
- Extend time post-cruise and relax with spa facilities or swimming pool
- A hotel stay can work out a fair bit cheaper than a cruise
Each hotel we offer will have specific day trips each day, they will be similar in structure and activities so no matter which days you are out in the Galapagos you will have a great experience and see plenty of wildlife. Below are just two examples of possible excursions.
In our humble opinion, if you have the time, of course, the perfect tour would be to take a short cruise to islands that you don’t visit from the Galapagos hotels and then add 2 or 3 more nights in a hotel to enjoy that side of things too and enjoy the perfect combo!
Example 1. Bartolome Island
Leaving your hotel after an early breakfast you will be driven to the other side of Santa Cruz Island to board your yacht. During the following two-hour journey to Bartolome, you’ll get to relax, admire the views and some of the marine life that swims along with us. Keep an eye out! Depending on the time of year, it’s possible that dolphins may swim alongside our yacht!
This volcanic island is only 4.6 square miles in area but has a lot to offer thanks in large part to the wide range of colors that bless it: vivid reds, oranges, greens, and blacks all blend together to create a mesmerizing landscape. The island’s name comes from Sir Bartholomew James Sullivan, a friend of Charles Darwin and Lieutenant aboard the HMS Beagle back in 1835.
When we arrive at the island, we will hop aboard the pangas (dinghy) and head over to the shores of Bartolome for a dry landing at the base of a wooden walkway. We will then begin our walk up the steps, passing lookout points along the way that will allow us to soak in the surrounding scenery and vegetation. Once we reach the top of the stairs there is a high viewpoint that offers one of the most beautiful panoramic views in the archipelago.
After that, we’ll head back down and board the panga which will take us on a refreshing coastal exploration that will last around 30 minutes. Arriving at Sullivan Bay we will disembark via a dry landing and explore the impressive lava field on foot.
Back at the boat a brief pit stop that will allow us to leave the majority of our belongings and change into swimsuits. Once we’re ready, we’ll head out to explore one of the most iconic landmarks in all of Galapagos, Pinnacle Rock. It is here that we’ll have the chance to enjoy a close encounter with numerous different aquatic creatures in the archipelago as we go snorkeling. Colorful schools of fish, sea lions, and even whitetip reef sharks and Galapagos penguins can be occasionally spotted here!
Then we will head back to the yacht for lunch, at which point you’ll get to sit back, relax, and enjoy the food and impressive views of Bartolome Island from the comfort of our lovely yacht. Following that, we’ll set sail back to Santa Cruz Island and drive you back to the hotel.
Example 2. North Seymour & Las Bachas
After you’ve had breakfast at your Galapagos hotels, grab your camera, hat, and sunscreen. From the hotel, we’ll head to the town of Puerto Ayora, where we’ll hop aboard a transfer bus that will then take us on a 45-minute journey up and over the island of Santa Cruz to the Itabaca Channel, where we will board our yacht.
From the Itabaca Channel to North Seymour, our sailing time is approximately 45 minutes. We will arrive at the picturesque island of North Seymour at around 10:00 a.m. and hop aboard our panga (dinghy) to go ashore.
As we begin our hiking excursion of the island, you will notice that there is a difference between North Seymour and its neighboring big sister, Santa Cruz. North Seymour is quite flat! It’s actually the result of underwater uplift rather than volcanic activity, so North Seymour was actually once part of the ocean floor!
This island is packed with wildlife so prepare to be greeted by the lounging sea lions and some of the most iconic Galapagos birds. In fact, North Seymour is home to some of the archipelago’s largest colonies of frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies. So birdwatchers, get ready for some serious twitching. If you’re lucky, you might stumble upon blue-footed boobies in the middle of their quirky courtship display.
Inhabitants of the same space, you should also be able to observe the endemic land iguana, as well as its aquatic relative, the only marine iguana in the world. You’ll also likely encounter the masked cousin of the blue-footed booby, the majestic Nazca booby. At North Seymour, you’ll most likely be able to check off up to 7 out of 15 of our BIG 15 list of iconic species in the Galapagos.
At around midday, we will set sail and head over to Las Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz Island. This journey will take approximately 45 minutes. Once we arrive at Las Bachas Beach, we’ll perform a wet landing and disembark.
After WWII, US military barges were beached and abandoned here. Locals referred to the beach as the barges beach, a name that gradually morphed into “Las Bachas” in Spanish. Today it is an important nesting area for the eastern Pacific green sea turtle. Located on the north shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is a glorious white beach, with several brackish lagoons only a few steps away from the sea. These lagoons are the feeding grounds of various wading birds, from stilts to flamingos.
Fantastic snorkeling, swimming, and simply enjoying the white sandy beach are some of the activities you can enjoy here. Lunch will be ready around 2 pm, at which point we will invite guests to come back aboard to enjoy their meal. We will then sail back to the port and transfer you back to the comfort of your Galapagos hotels.