5 Day Mangrove Roots Day Tour

Looking in at Galapagos Habitat while coming into port from Academy Bay.


Within these five alluring days of Galapagos day tours, you’ll see plenty of Santa Cruz and incredible sites on the other nearby islands.  There will be opportunities for snorkeling, hiking, swimming, and so much more.  You’ll be equipped with the best guides available, as well as snorkel, fins, and face masks for any possible snorkeling activities.  Please keep in mind that all activities are subject to National Park regulations.  

When arriving at the Galapagos airport, you must first pass through the Galapagos National Park entrance and then onto baggage claim.  Continuing through the airport with your baggage you will scan your belongings once more and then finally pass through.  

Special Note: The following itinerary includes all necessary details on each day’s activities.  If you have further questions please contact your Account Manager or Travel Agent.  

Day 1: Transfer In + Highlands of Santa Cruz + Charles Darwin Research Station (Lunch and Dinner)

Day 2, 3 & 4: Visits will vary to the following Islands: Bartolome / Santa Fe / North Seymour & Bachas Beach Plazas & Carrion Point / Tour of Bay and Tortuga Bay (Breakfast, lunch, and dinner)

Day 5: Transfer Out. (Breakfast only)

Inside the Charles Darwin Research Station

Inside the Charles Darwin Research Station, you can find a plethora of information about the Galapagos Islands.

Day 1: Arrival and Transfer In

Welcome to the Galapagos Islands.  Your guide will meet you at the airport where you will take a shuttle to the end of Baltra Island to take a ferry to Santa Cruz.  Once at Santa Cruz another shuttle will be waiting to take you to visit the highlands.  

In the highlands, Giant Tortoises can be seen in their natural habitat.  While visiting this area you will visit a local ranch where lunch will be provided.  Afterwards, the shuttle will take you to the Charles Darwin Research Station.

The Charles Darwin Research Station is one of the most important sites for visitors. It is a research facility that has an extensive collection of Galapagos plant life specimens carefully preserved and also acts as a biological research station and active breeding center operated by the Charles Darwin Foundation.  Their biggest conservation efforts are to one day eliminate all invasive and non-native plants and animals destroying endemic species within the islands.  

After the visit to the Research Station, you will be brought to the Galapagos Habitat Eco Luxury Hotel.  Enjoy the rest of the afternoon/evening at the hotel in your accommodation and the services provided by the hotel.

Days 2, 3 & 4: Day Tours

Important Note: During days two, three, and four of your program you will visit the various islands described below.  The specific islands and visitor sites you will visit will be confirmed with your guide before you are picked up in the morning for the day tour.  Each morning you will be picked up at the hotel by your guide. The island visits are not specified beforehand due to changing availability and climate conditions.

Sullivan Bay, Bartolome Island

This island is also known as Bartolome, an excellent visitor site.

Bartholomew Island

Bartholomew is an island surrounded by turquoise waters and beautiful beaches.  It will take about 2 hours to arrive by boat.  Upon arrival, the tour begins by climbing the boardwalk and staircase.  When you reach the top you will see a spectacular landscape.  Sullivan Bay and the famous Pinnacle Rock can be seen clearly from here.  

The island is a now extinct volcano with a variety of red, orange, green, black and shiny volcanic formations. This is the perfect place to observe Galapagos penguins. Moreover, you can snorkel with sea turtles, sharks, white-tip reef sharks, tropical fish, sea lions and many other unique marine species. After lunch, you will visit Sullivan Bay. Here you can see some amazing lava formations, the product of a volcanic eruption in 1903. This is an excellent example of the typical forms and colors that contrast with older types of lava.

Also, take into account that Bartholomew Island is a breeding ground for green sea turtles. They come to the shores of the island to nest through the months of January and March every year. The tour on the island will end at approximately 5:00 pm and you will be transferred back to the hotel.  

Santa Fe Island - landing site when visiting.

Receive a warm welcome when you arrive at Santa Fe Island!

Santa Fe Island

Santa Fe is one of the central islands in Galapagos surrounded by an incredible turquoise bay and usually hosts a large colony of sea lions. The island is protected by a natural barrier of rocks where sea lions like to gather. It will take about 40 minutes of navigation on the ocean to arrive by boat.  When landing at the site you will discover a beautiful sandy beach, if you are lucky a colony of sea lions will be resting and enjoying the sun when you arrive!

Following the guide on one of the paths, you may find one of the endemic land iguanas found only on this island, the Santa Fe Iguana. Their main foods are the leaves and fruits of the large and thick cactuses, Palo Santo, which are also endemic to the island and are are one of the major attractions. Crabs, night herons, sea iguanas, mockingbirds, and doves are seen frequently in this area. After the walk, lunch will be served on the boat. Afterwards, you’ll have the opportunity to do some snorkeling. The bay is excellent for practicing this activity and is perfect to find species such as sea tortoises and stingrays. The tour ends at approximately 5:00 pm.

At this time you’ll take a boat back to Santa Cruz, roughly 40 minutes and then you’ll be transferred back to the Galapagos Habitat.

North Seymour Island during dry season.

This island is colored a beautiful red during the dry season.

North Seymour

You’ll be picked up at the hotel and transferred to the Itabaca Channel to board the yacht that will take you to North Seymour Island.  This place is great for hiking. There is a circular path about 2 miles long that crosses the interior of the island and allows you to explore the rocky coastal path. On this trail, you will be able to discover some of the largest seabird colonies in the Galapagos Islands.

Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to observe the nesting sites of blue-footed boobies and the bright and colorful frigatebirds that are visible throughout the year. These two species represent one of the biggest attractions of Galapagos. The male frigates inflate their red chest when they try to attract or draw attention to the females. These birds are also well known to steal food from the blue-footed boobies, and other bird species for that matter. Additionally, you cannot miss the funny ritual dance performed by the blue-footed boobies in order to win over a female mate, or how they find the perfect pebble and place it by the females feet as a gift.

After lunch, we will go snorkeling and hopefully find sea turtles, Galapagos sharks, and perhaps there will be sea lions playing around in the surf along the shore. After a few hours of this activity, we will visit Bachas Beach.  At this beach, you can choose to rest and/or swim in the wonderful Galapagos waters. Tour will end at approximately 5:00 pm. Once more you will be transferred back to the Galapagos Habitat hotel afterward.

A frigatebird displaying his red chest, trying to attract a mate.

Plazas Island

After about 2 hours of navigation, you will finally arrive at Plazas Island.  The first attraction to be seen are large colonies of sea lions. Then, just a few meters from the dock, a group of land iguanas can almost always be observed. The trail your guide will take you on goes through to the other side of the island, which is very small and rectangular. You will walk along a ravine sharing the path with land iguanas, some marine iguanas, and birds such as blue-footed and Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls and tropical birds. Apart from this, frigatebirds and pelicans can be found within the area.  Lunch will be served onboard the vessel.

Despite its small size, this island is the home of a large number of species. It is famous for its extraordinary flora, including attractive and beautiful trees and cactuses where a large colony of Galapagos land iguanas lives. Therefore, this island is very popular among local and foreign visitors. Depending on the season, the vegetation will change its color from bright green in the rainy season to orange and purple in the dry season. You cannot miss this spectacular landscape! The tour will end at approximately 5:00 pm. Afterwards, you’ll be transferred to the hotel.  

Entering Tortuga Bay and Playa Brava - one of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos Islands.

Tortuga Bay and the beautiful Playa Brava (Mad Beach)

Bay Tour and Tortuga Bay Visit

The bay tour, also known in Spanish as “Tour de Bahía”, is a must do in the Galapagos. This tour combines snorkeling, hiking, learning more about the islands and a bit of relaxing too. During the tour, you will visit fascinating spots like the “Lobería” and “Las Grietas”.

Las grietas is an amazing place to visit on a Santa Cruz day tour where you can snorkel in naturally made crevasses.  You’ll be surprised at how many different species you can see below the surface in these clear pools.

Tortuga Bay is a beautiful white and powdery beach that seems to go on forever.  Walking to the beach takes about 45 minutes at a leisurely pace.  The very well paved path takes you through an Opuntia and Candelabra cactus forest.  Watch your step as the many lava lizards that live here scatter around.  Keep your eyes peeled for wild giant tortoises living in the forest as well.  The forest is also home to numerous Darwin finches, mockingbirds, and yellow warblers. As you enter the white sandy beach, you will have a chance to observe different marine species like stingrays and baby reef sharks in the shallow waters of the beach.  There may even be a few marine iguanas coming in and out of the water. At the end of the beach is a large mangrove ecosystem. Continue walking to this area for a totally different type of beach to find more stingrays, fish, sharks, sea turtles and pelicans diving for their dinners. Along the small cliffs, you can see blue-footed boobies along the sides.  A short boat ride of about 20 minutes takes you back to the Puerto Ayora Pier.

Day 5: Transfer Out         

After a complete breakfast at the Galapagos Habitat, you will be transferred to the ferry that will take you back to Baltra airport for your flight back to mainland Ecuador.

5D/4N Mangrove Roots Itinerary Rates

5D/4N Itinerary1 pax2 pax3-5 pax6-9 pax10-16 pax
Rates per person in double accommodation in US Dollars.

5D/4NSGL Room Supplement

Prices Include:
• Taxes.
• Transfers in/out and from/to Baltra airport.
• Visits as specified in the itinerary.
• Bilingual Naturalist Guide.
• Transportation during the stay.
• Lunch and dinner included on the daily tours (1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th day).
• Accommodation for 3 nights at Galapagos Habitat Eco Luxury Hotel (breakfast included).
• Snorkeling equipment for daily tours (face mask and snorkel).

Prices Do Not Include:
• Air ticket.
• Entrance to the GPS National Park ($ 100).
• Ingala Card ($ 20).
• Lunch and dinner on the 5th day and extra drinks.
• Tips and personal expenses.
• Activities and services not specified above.


**All itineraries are subject to change due to weather, sea conditions, availability, guide knowledge and experience in regards to safety, including Galapagos National Park regulations and authorities.

  • This tour package includes roundtrip transportation to/from the airport.
  • Rates are per person in US dollars.
  • Extra bed for children: $ 100 + 24% taxes – per night.
  • Single Room Supplement rates are per person in US dollars / per 3 nights.
  • Pick-ups for the day tours are made between 06:45 am to 7:30 am.
  • The return or departure schedule of the tours are approximate. Times, island visits, and activities may vary due to availability, climate, or logistical conditions.
  • A supplement of 15% will be applied on the holidays of Christmas, New Year’s Eve and Ecuadorian Carnaval.

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