Galapagos Diving Island Hopping & Avenue of the Volcanoes Trekking

Price
£££ From £4299.00 /PP
Highlights
  • Diving North Seymour and Mosquera
  • Diving Gordon Rocks
  • Diving Kicker Rock
  • Lobos Island
  • Cotopaxi Volcano Trek
  • Quilotoa Loop Trek
  • Cloud Forest Hiking
  • Pujili Market
  • Chimborazo Volcano Trek
  • Baños Hot Springs
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  • Details
  • Itinerary
  • INCLUDES & EXCLUDES
  • Photos

Overview

Explore the magnificent Galapagos Islands by embarking on a diving expedition that will take you from island to island over the course of a lifetime! An environment that is unlike any other on the earth is provided by this well-known archipelago, which provides a one-of-a-kind opportunity to come into contact with an extraordinary variety of creatures. Unlike somewhere else on the planet, you will have the opportunity to have close interactions with wildlife. Visitors are frequently urged to take caution when visiting the islands since the animals allow for surprisingly close connection. This is because the islands are so intriguing.
 
As you travel across the Andes of Ecuador, you will come across a world filled with breathtaking landscapes, secret settlements, indigenous cultures, and towering volcanoes among other things. As you travel along the well-known Avenue of Volcanoes in Ecuador's highlands, you will get the opportunity to witness the distinctive personality of the region. While trekking along lonely trails that are frequented by native mountain residents, you will get the opportunity to immerse yourself in Andean culture and traditional ways of thinking.

Itinerary

At 6:00 p.m., meet your tour leader and group.

Welcome to Guayaquil, Ecuador's largest and most populated city, as well as its principal port. The city is the capital of Ecuador's Guayas province and the seat of the same-named canton.

Guayaquil is situated on the western bank of the Guayas River, which runs into the Pacific Ocean at Guayaquil Gulf. The city is the centre of Ecuador's fishing and industrial industries due to its position.

You can spend the day touring the nearby area depending on your arrival time. ARCA Origins representatives can assist you in organising a day trip (please make your request in advance). At 18:00 hours in the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you in the hotel lobby for a welcome briefing. At this point, we will go through the details of the experience and answer any questions you may have. Our first day is an orientation and information day, followed by a group dinner. 

 

Accommodation: Hotel Unipark or similar.

Meals included: None

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your journey to the Galapagos Islands' Baltra Island. When you arrive, you will be met and brought to Santa Cruz, a neighbouring island, via ferry across the tiny Itabaca waterway. We'll proceed by automobile to our first destination in the Santa Cruz mountains. The famed gigantic Galapagos tortoises live in the highlands. You will first visit a private ranch for lunch before going on a stroll in search of the gigantic tortoises. You will also see several lava tubes during this tour, which occur when the surface of a lava stream solidifies. Following this tour, you will be driven to your accommodation in a private vehicle. Here you will meet and greet your local guide, who will explain the day's agenda to you. Spend the rest of the evening relaxing and getting to know this wonderful island.

In the evening, we will assemble your gear at our dive shop and prepare for our first diving stop in the gorgeous Galapagos waters the next day.

Accommodation:  La Casa de Judy or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

The geography of North Seymour consists of gradual stairs off the island's beach that descend 8 metres to a spectacular rock reef before reaching the sandy bottom at 16 to 18 metres. Diving in Seymour offers the chance to swim with several white and black tip reef sharks, as well as a popular resting spot for a huge number of green sea turtles. Though Seymour is not known for hammerhead sharks, small schools can be seen swimming along the channel and around the point in the current at both Seymour locations. Large schools of barracuda, snapper, and other reef fish abound, and the rock reef is an ideal area to look for the well-hidden octopi. The schools of spotted eagle rays that glide along the channel along the sand, occasionally accompanied by devil and manta rays, are a personal favourite.

Travel Time: Approx 1 hour car and boat travel from Puerto Ayora.

Dive Difficulty: Seymour is a good place for beginners and experienced divers alike. Though the currents can be moderate to strong on occasion, it is on the whole suitable for people with limited experience. Drift dive.

MOSQUERA

Moasquera is a diversified island off the northern coast of Baltra. It's a wall dive with a light current. The frequent visits by Manta Rays are the main draws to this place. Because there is usually plankton in the water, visibility isn't great, but they come so close that it's not an issue. There are also juvenile Galapagos sharks, white-tipped reef sharks, and eagle rays.

Travel Time: 45 min – 1 hour from Puerto Ayora by car and 30 Minutes by diving boat.

Dive Difficulty: Easy to intermediate due to the wall. The dive isn’t deep, but you have to watch your depth.

Accommodation:  La Casa de Judy or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

Gordon Rocks is an extinct volcanic crater with a sandy bottom at 32 metres and a 65-meter-high wall drop off around the edge. It features three exposed rocks that encircle the crater and three pinnacles that are 5-6 metres below the surface along the northern side of the crater, with one bigger pinnacle that is roughly 21 metres below the surface in the centre. Because of the powerful currents that frequent Gordon Rocks, it is the most accessible location for schools of hammerhead sharks. Schools of up to 50 sharks (or more if you're lucky) can be observed circling the rocks in the current, providing many views of the incredible creatures. White and black tip reef sharks, as well as green sea turtles, sea lions, sting rays, eagle rays, enormous schools of barracuda and snapper, and the rare spectacular manta ray or Mola Mola, frequent the area.

Travel Time: 45 min – 1 hour from Puerto Ayora.

Dive Difficulty: Though Gordon Rocks can be a calm and easy dive at times, it is famous for it’s currents that carry the hammerhead sharks. Therefore, it is best suited to advanced divers. Please ask for advice on booking if you have less than 30 dives experience.

Accommodation:  La Casa de Judy or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

In the morning, you will travel by speedboat to San Cristobal Island. Once we arrive, we will check in at the hotel.

You will have this day at leisure to enjoy this amazing island at your own peace. 

Accommodation:  Blue Marlin or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

Leon Dormido is one of the well-known attractions not only local but also international, if you come to Galapagos you have to pass through Leon Dormido or popular with its scientific name Kicker Rock.  This is the remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea, two vertical rocks rising 500 ft (150 m) above the ocean form a small channel that is navigable by small boats. This Galapagos Island’s natural monument has become a spectacular site due to the many tropic birds, frigate birds and boobies that fill the sky in this area. It has some of the greatest diversity of marine life, located just one hour from the port. It has a depth in the channel of 14 meters to 18 meters. And to it’s sides, is it more than 40 meters. A very ideal place for diving with different kinds of sharks, including hammer heads, many kinds of fish, sea lions, rays, turtles and other marine life etc.

Travel Time: 40 min –  from Puerto Puerto Baquerizo.

Dive Difficulty: Easy to intermediate due to the walls of Kicker Rock, The dive is not too deep, but you have to watch your depth. Sometimes there can be a bit of current, but most of the time there is good visibility. 

Accommodation:  Blue Marlin or similar

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch

This morning, after breakfast, you will be met and transferred to a dock where you will take a quick boat ride to the nearby Isla Lobos. During this boat trip, you will observe a lot of sea life before even setting foot on the island. Upon arrival, enjoy a guided tour where you will have the chance to observe frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, manta rays, sea lions and sometimes sharks that all inhabit the island. The white coral beaches of San Cristobal are great to walk around, relax and swim in the shallow waters before you came back to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. 

Accommodation:  Blue Marlin or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

Enjoy some more free time this morning before transferring to the airport of San Cristobal. From here, you will take a flight back to Ecuador's mainland. Upon arrival in Quito, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for one more evening at leisure before saying goodbye.

Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast.

Begin by hiking the sierra climate around the Limpiopungo lagoon (13000 ft/3800 m) on the foothills of the Rumiñahui volcano. From here, we have the best views of Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world. There is also the possibility to see wild horses, wild bulls and some bird species. Concluding our day, we will drive to Isinlivi where we will spend the night.

Accommodation: Llullu Llama Lodge or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

The charming Andean mountain landscapes will inspire us today on a trek along the Toachi canyon for 13.5 km (8.4 mi). Experience stunning views of small villages and indigenous people working in the fields. We will hike down to the canyon of the Toachi River and then back up to the main road that will take us to Chugchilán, a small town located on the middle of the Quilotoa loop. Here we will find our Eco-house accommodation, and in the afternoon, we can explore the village with the great opportunity to gain a bit of cultural experience with the locals.

Accommodation: Hostal Mama Hilda or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner.

Early in the morning after breakfast we will start our hiking adventure for 11 km (6.9 miles) on small trails blazed by the mountain people and still used by locals to transport products and to travel across the canyons to reach neighboring communities. While trekking on this trail, it is common to see the traditional custom of exchanging goods with one another, bartering is still being utilized today. We will venture down into impressive canyons to later climb back up to the top of the crater rim, where you will be rewarded with spectacular views of the Quilotoa Lake. The majesty of this place will take your breath away. 

Enjoy a beautiful picnic with the best views from the volcano and transfer 2,5 hours to lodge in a magical hacienda in the foothills of Chimborazo volcano.

Accommodation: Hostería Andaluza or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

Early in the morning, we will drive through valleys and farming villages to reach the Chimborazo Volcano, the highest mountain in Ecuador with an elevation of 6310 m (20702 ft) above sea level; whose summit is the furthest point from the center of the earth on the entire planet. On a clear day, the majestic peak of Chimborazo dominates the view for many kilometers. Visiting this spectacular national park includes a short hike for 0.9 km (0.57 mi) to reach the elevation of 5000 m (16404 ft) where the glacier begins. On the hike, we will try to spot a few of the animals that inhabit this volcanic climate such as the Andean condor, cara-cara, hummingbirds, and the timid wild Vicuñas. Once extinct in Ecuador, they were reintroduced into the wild and are now protected; this beautiful animal is related to the alpacas and llamas. A delicious picnic will be organized at the base camp before we leave.

Accommodation: Casa de Luis or similar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.

Baños is a town well known for its spectacular location right at the foothills of the active Tungurahua volcano and is an excellent place for outdoor activities including: horseback riding, canyoning, hiking, mountain biking, climbing and rafting. It is one of the most popular and important tourist spots in the country, you will find many Ecuadorian families vacationing here. One look to this delightfully green mountain town and you will know why. Surprisingly, it is pleasant and unspoiled. This morning we will hit the road of the waterfalls. The first stop will be at the Bride´s Veil waterfall, where we will take the Tarabita (cable car) to get across the Pastaza River. Then, we will hike down for one hour to the Pailon del Diablo waterfall, the second highest in Ecuador. After a day full of adventures in the cloud forest, you will enjoy the scenic ride returning us to Quito City.

Accommodation: Swissotel Quito or similar

Meals included: Breakfast.

International departures, end of services. Take with your memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a “buen viaje”!

Meals: Breakfast.

Price Includes

  • Transportation: Comfortable land transportation. Fast public boat to move in between islands.
  • Accommodation as described in the itinerary
  • Meals: 13 Breakfasts, 8 lunches, 2 dinner
  • Gear: Snorkeling mask and fins, life vest, diving equipment.
  • Trip Leader: Certified AO expert English-speaking adventure Trip Leader and naturalist local guides in Galapagos National Park.

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Airfare Guayaquil - Galapagos - Quito round trip
  • Single Supplement
  • Airport transfer (international flights)
  • Travel insurance (mandatory)
  • Meals not described in the itinerary
  • INGALA transit card: USD 20 per person
  • Galapagos National Park fee: USD 100 per person
  • Tips for guides and drivers

Photos