The thing we loved the most about our Intrepid Travel Active Galapagos Adventure was the fact that we stayed on land each night. It gave us an intimate view of life on the islands. I bet you didn’t know this, but 28,000 people live on the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador and contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to stay on a boat.

galapagos-map

We were wary about not being on a cruise. We thought that it was the way to do the Galapagos Islands and when we chose our adventure with Intrepid in January, I have to admit we didn’t dig deep into the research. It wasn’t until we returned from Antarctica that we actually looked closely at our itinerary and saw that we weren’t on a cruise ship.

“Oh no” we thought to ourselves, “isn’t the Galapagos Islands all about cruising from destination to destination?”

It turns out that we wouldn’t have done it any other way. We had plenty of time in the water snorkelling on five different occassion where we swam with sharks, played with sea lions and watched iguanas chomp on algae while the famous Galapagos giant turtles swam by.

We kayaked in the bay of St. Isabella where sea lions followed and jumped alongside our boats and we lazed on secluded beaches on pristine white sand.

What really struck home was when we talked with our guide Sambo. He told us that many people don’t realize that they can stay on the Galapagos Islands. The come here and give their money to the large corporations who own the ships and the local people never sea a penny. With tours like ours, the money goes directly to the local economy.

Galapagos Active tour-16

Our Guide Sambo

We ate at local restaurants, had the evenings to walk around the island and shops at stores and markets and drank fresh Ecuadorian coffee at locally run coffee shops each morning. It was heavenly.

Our favourite island was San Cristobal. It had that laid back feel of a Caribbean town with the unique atmosphere that only the Galapagos can have. Sea Lions slept on park benches and waddled through the streets while Boobies, Frigate Birds and Pelicans basked in the sun.

Galapagos Active tour-13

Yes, this is the Active Galapagos Tour!

Galapagos Active tour-5

Mountain Biking on San Cristobal

We spent 2 nights on San Cristobal where we started off with a downhill mountain bike ride followed by a nature walk and stop at the beach fabulous meals at local eateries. The fried white fish was my favourite! and had amazing snorkelling from our own personal boat that we had for the entire week.

boat in Galapagos Islands

Our Boat in the Galapagos Islands

It was then off to San Isabella for 3 nights. 

En route we stopped for some fantastic snorekeling where we really got up close and personal with sea lions. We even stopped at the island of Florenza for a hike in the jungle to explore a Pirate’s Cave and have our first encounter with the giant Galapagos tortoise.

Feeling thoroughly exhausted and sun burnt from the past couple of days, it was straight to bed after our buffet dinner at our family run guest house on San Isabella.

It’s a good ting too, we had an early start for our volcano hike the next morning through the spectacular lava fields and cones of the still active Sierra Negra. The last eruption only happened in 2005 and we hiked around the world’s second largest Calderra. (If you are wondering, the largest is in Yellowstone, USA)

Galapagos Active tour-25

Dave and Deb at Sierra Negra Calderra in Galapagos

It was on this island that we had dinner at the coolest restaurant/bar on the beach, Bar de Beto. We had delicious coconut shrimp, but it wasn’t necessarily the meal that caught our attention as much as the atmosphere. Located directly on the water they had a huge fire burning and cool music playing. This is definitely a place for chillling.

We spent three glorious days on this island, kayaking, hiking, cruising and spotting iguanas. I can’t decide it the snorkelling was the highlight or if it was the kayaking.

Galapagos Active tour-24

Having a Blast Snorkelling with Active Galapagos

Interacting with sea lions above and below the water is an incredible experience and as we paddled along the shore, sea lions played and followed our kayaks for the entire excursion. They are so curious and cute, you just want to sweep them up and cuddle with them.

Our final stop was the ultra busy Santa Cruz.

This is the point where all the large cruise ships stop and it felt like Grand Central Station. This is the tourist hub of the Galapagos and Bermuda shorts and Hawaiian shirts were abundant. That’s ok though, they were all standing in line to wait for their zodiacs back to their ships as we had the evening to enjoy drinks at the local bars and shop at the local shops.

Galapagos Active tour-22

We had two days here where more hiking, sea turtles were on the agenda, as well as a trip to the Charles Darwin Station.

We even had the opportunity to surf on the most pristine beach you’ll ever see. Unfortunately we were on round two of our sunburns so we passed on more sun and spent the afternoon walking along the vibrant streets of Santa Cruz shopping for souvenirs and enjoying a much needed siesta after this action packed, extraordinary travel through the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador.

Book your own Intrepid Travel Tour and receive a 10% discount off your trip. Simply by following ThePlanetD, you automatically save!
Book Now and quote promo code 6659

intrepid-travel -discount

Read more at http://theplanetd.com/marine-iguanas-feeding-underwater-amazing/#c2tEURS47208rAY8.99

 

 

You may also like

Leave a comment

21 Comments

  1. Ali

    This looks like so much fun! I’d much rather stay on the islands instead of on a ship. I will definitely look for a trip like this whenever I get around to visiting the Galapagos!

  2. Amanda

    This sounds like such a fun trip! And this is why I love Intrepid Travel so much – that you actually stay ON the islands and your money goes directly into the local economy.

  3. Pingback: Swimming with Sharks and Video

  4. Pingback: Animal Photos of the Galapagos

  5. Hilda Postenka

    I did Intrepid’s Active Galapagos land-based tour in February, and I highly recommend it. Sambo was a great guide! He was so enthusiastic and knowledgeable about the Galapagos Islands. It was nice to see his picture in your article.

    1. debndave Post author

      Hi Hilda, Thanks for taking the time to stop by. I am so glad that you loved the Active Galapagos tour as well and how awesome is that that you had Sambo as a guide as well. He is great!

  6. Pingback: Galapagos Tortoise, The Gentle Giant

  7. Pingback: Playing With Sea Lions

  8. Pingback: Playing With Sea Lions in the Galapagos | Travel Guides

  9. Pingback: A Cycling Adventure in the Galapagos

  10. DonnaJim

    We just finished the same Intrepid Active Galapagos trip with Sambo and loved it. Although I haven’t done a cruise, I can’t imagine not staying on the islands and walking around interacting with the environment and people. Highly recommend it. Galapagos is amazing!

    1. debndave Post author

      I agree with you Donna. I can’t imagine not being on land. it is getting into the vibe of the island that is truly special. And the highspeed boats take you to where you need to go during the day.

  11. Pingback: Sierra Negra, Galapagos | Adventure Travel Blog | The Planet D

  12. Pingback: Explore the Galapagos Islands with Intrepid Travel and ThePlanetDNoi that Fami - N?i th?t Fami | Noi that Fami

  13. Pingback: The Galapagos Islands with Intrepid Travel | Travel Blog | The Planet D

    1. debndave Post author

      They were simple but good. Above basic accommodations but not luxurious either. We stayed at local hotels on the islands and they were great. Double beds with private baths.

Comments are closed.