You may go the Galápagos Islands for the wildlife, but the active life is worth the trip, too! Even if you weren’t bumping into giant tortoises, sea lions or strutting flamingos at every turn, this would still be a fantastic multisport vacation. The landscapes are like nothing you’ve ever seen, and the climate is great. Too bad for most visitors that they tour the islands by cruise ship. Everybody can get stir-crazy in the limited space. That’s why Classic Journeys pioneered trips on the islands with stays in luxury boutique hotels where you’ll have plenty of elbow room, a seaside pool, and maybe some blue-footed boobies right out the back door. We have easy access to amazing lagoons for snorkeling and kayaking, great trails for hiking and mountain-biking, and white beaches for lounging. All activities and gear are included and arranged for you seamlessly.
#1 Isabela Island
Take to the water to kayak with sea lions, green sea turtles, and marine iguanas while keeping your eyes sharp for blue-footed boobies in the trees along the shores as well as watching how they hover over the sea and dive for fish.
#2 Volcan Sierra Negra
The islands are some of the most volcanically active spots on earth. You won’t forget this walk along the rim of 500,000-year old Volcan Sierra Negra. Up here, along the six-mile-wide crater, you get one of the most spectacular views in the islands.
#3 Las Tintoreras
Board a panga (a comfortable, flat bottom fishing boat) to explore Las Tintoreras, a cluster of small islets that are one of the few spots where Galápagos penguins live. Take the opportunity to go snorkeling with the penguins in the clear blue waters of the lagoon. These waters also draw green sea turtles, vivid reef fish and fearsome-looking but utterly harmless marine iguanas.
#4 Santa Cruz Island
The island is home to giant tortoises that can grow up to 500 pounds and live for 175 years or more. Follow your guides along a scenic trail to the tortoises’ natural habitat in the highlands at El Chato Reserve. The same rich volcanic soil that the animals love is perfect for growing coffee, sugar cane, and fruit, as you’ll discover afterward on a visit to a family-owned plantation.
#5 Santa Fe Island
Boat to Santa Fe Island for a day of snorkeling and barbeque, the island is a non-stop photo op with plenty of chances to spot an incredibly wide variety of wildlife, from sea lions and sea turtles to Galápagos hawks, Nazca boobies and so much more.
#6 Punta Estrada
Hop into a sea kayak and paddle through towering lava channels towards Punta Estrada and Divine Bay. The water is so clear that you can see the manta rays and white-tipped reef sharks gliding below.
#7 Tortuga Bay
Tortuga Bay is widely regarded as one of the best beaches in the Galápagos. The snow-white sand is football-field wide and the waters are great for a swim or even a little wave-riding. And as you know by now, there’s always a good chance of spotting marine iguanas, light-footed crabs, herons, and other incredible wildlife.