Can’t decide between a cruise and land-based Galapagos tour? Detour’s new Galapagos Multisport trip with Floreana, Isabela, and Santa Cruz Islands may be the perfect solution. On these few islands, you get to experience the Galapagos at a completely different pace than those on a cruise but still swim with penguins, hike to see giant tortoises, paddle by nesting blue-footed boobies, and snorkel alongside sharks. Both private tours and weekly group tours are available throughout the year.
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN GALAPAGOS, TRAVEL TO FLOREANA ISLAND
DAY 2: FLOREANA HIKING AND SNORKELING
DAY 3: MINI-GALAPAGOS & BABY TORTOISES ON ISABELA ISLAND
DAY 4: VOLCANO HIKING ON ISABELA ISLAND
DAY 5: ISABELA ISLAND’S HISTORY AND WILDLIFE
DAY 6: SANTA CRUZ TORTOISES, BIKING & BBQ AT THE BEACH
DAY 7: DARWIN STATION & TRAVEL TO SAN CRISTOBAL
Why a Multisport?
While traveling by small cruise ships is the traditional way to experience the Galapagos, independent travelers have been seeking other ways to explore the Islands and separate themselves from the crowds. For many, a cruise’s schedule is too structured and doesn’t leave any time to be active or explore on your own. A land-based trip is a good alternative, but these trips usually lacked the abundance of wildlife you’d see on a yacht-based tour. This new tour, operated by our trusted partners at Tropic, combines the active and independent style of a land-based tour, without missing the world-class snorkeling and wildlife viewing you would get on a cruise.
Floreana Island is scarcely inhabited, with only 150 residents and only one teeny beachside lodge, making this idyllic island a world apart from the hotels and t-shirts shops of San Cristobal and Santa Cruz Islands. This historic and remote outpost is unique to our multi-Island adventure tour options in the Galapagos, allowing travelers to hike and explore the way early explorers once did. Here, you get to hike to see Frigatebirds and stand-up paddle over turquoise water to spot rays and tropical fish gliding below the surface. On Floreana, Giant Tortoises roam the hills, sea lions lounge on the white sand beaches, and green sea turtles swim in the waves with you while snorkeling. You even get to meet local Floreana residents who host you for dinner at their home.
Isabela Island has long been our favorite Island for snorkeling, laid-back Island culture, and hiking volcanoes. The abundance of wildlife on Isabela is easy to spot, much of it accessible just on the edge of Puerto Villamil. You’re very likely to spot Penguins, Blue-Footed Boobies, Marine Iguanas, White-Tipped Reef Sharks, and juvenile Giant Tortoises — maybe all on the same day. We explore on foot, by bike, paddling on kayaks and snorkeling; each activities allows us to see wildlife more easily and not scare it away with noisy crowds.
Why Santa Cruz?
While many land-based tours are based here, we have found ways to avoid the crowds and see as much wildlife as possible. Hiking in the lush highlands gets you up close and personal with some the largest of the Galapagos’ Giant Tortoises lumbering through the brush. We bike on mellow backroads to a lovely whitesand beach, visited only by locals, for kayaking and a BBQ lunch. Of course, we end the trip with a visit to the world famous Charles Darwin Research Station.
This trip is designed to combine the best of the land-based and cruise tours, so travelers can be active and engaged while exploring the natural wonders of the Galapagos. We’re also excited to offer this program because we feel it’s a good model for sustainability in the Islands. Carefully managed tourism is one of the only options for the Islands’ longtime inhabitants and inevitable newcomers to help preserve the each area’s unique ecosystems and wildlife. By educating tourists, employing the local community, and accommodating travelers in low-impact lodging, the overall effect of tourism can be a positive contribution to other conservation efforts.