Start the day early, catching our speedboat in the morning and heading to Santa Cruz Island. From May to November, a flight is recommended rather than transfer by speedboat due to the possibility of rough seas. When we arrive at Santa Cruz, we will enjoy a hearty breakfast close to the docks before heading up to the highlands for a busy day of multi-sport activities. Drive to an off-the-beaten-path area of Santa Cruz Island, and when we reach a high point on the road we switch to mountain bikes for a long downhill glide on freshly paved roads to Garrapatero Beach. On the ride, pass small farms and enjoy views of the ocean and the distant islands.
Once we are on the beach at Garrapatero we may see a few local families, but few, if any, tourists. We will paddle the bay in sit-on-top sea kayaks, enjoying our last day on the water in the Galapagos, while looking for sharks, rays, turtles, and sea birds. Later we will have a specially prepared lunch before heading back to Puerto Ayora and our next adventure.
Once back in the town, you will have the option of staying and shopping for souvenirs, or (if time allows) walking the 3 km boardwalk to Tortuga Bay, and checking out one of the largest and most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos. At Tortuga Bay you can walk on the beach, swim, or even snorkel a bit more.
Tonight we stay in Santa Cruz’s largest town, the small picturesque port of Puerto Ayora. Although it has the largest population in the Galapagos, Puerto Ayora is still a small, intimate place where you will find friendly local bars, shops, and restaurants, as well as places to stroll along the water’s edge. There is everything you need for a mellow night in the Galapagos.
On day 9 it’s time to depart. After a morning visit to the Charles Darwin Research Center, transfer to Baltra for your return flight back to mainland Ecuador. Of course, you may extend your stay for a few days. There’s lots of scuba diving and naturalist day trips you can take to explore some of the other fascinating Galapagos islands.