Santa Cruz & San Cristobal
6 Day Galapagos Island Hopping Diving Program
Shared / Private 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. Afterwards you will be brought to your hotel.
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. The rest of the late afternoon you will have time off to spend on your own. You can wander along the boulevard of Puerto Ayora or if time allows it you can 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.
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.
DIVE BOAT 1
DIVE BOAT 2
GORDON ROCKS* / NORTH MOSQUERA
SEYMOUR CHANNEL / DAPHNE
SOUTH MOSQUERA / NORTH MOSQUERA
SEYMOUR CHANNEL / NORTH MOSQUERA
SEYMOUR POINT / GORDON ROCKS*
DAPHNE / GUY FAWKES
SEYMOUR POINT / SEYMOUR CHANNEL
PLAZAS / GORDON ROCKS*
SOUTH MOSQUERA / DAPHNE
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 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.
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.
Travel style & Departures
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.