The Galapagos Islands rank among the world’s most extraordinary wildlife destinations. Although every inch of our world has something that makes it ‘unique,’ the islands are that much more sui generis than other places due to the archipelago’s isolation over millennia, which have allowed species to evolve amid the stark volcanic landscapes into new and apparently strange life forms that exist nowhere else on the planet. And on top of that, the creatures one encounters are virtually fearless of humans. It’s a truly magical place.
The award-winning Finch Bay Hotel lies just steps from the beach in a secluded location, across the bay from Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz. Guests cherish the hotel’s privacy, natural surroundings, swimming pool, fine dining and superb service.
There are so many ways for you to make the most of your visit to the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, whether it’s enjoying the hotel itself, designing your own adventure or choosing one of our following carefully curated programs.
FINCH BAY BY LAND
FINCH BAY COMPLETE
FINCH BAY BY SEA
FINCH BAY BY LAND & SEA
Please find a sample itinerary for complete program, contact us for more options.
Choose between the following full day land explorations: Highlands giant tortoises or Tortuga Bay and Darwin Research Station.
Highlands giant tortoises with lunch (guided)
Depart the hotel towards the Highlands of Santa Cruz. From there a short drive across the farming area will lead us to El Manzanillo at the northern edge of the Giant Tortoise Reserve. El Manzanillo is located on the natural path tortoises take every year as they either migrate to higher moist locations during the garúa season (June-September), or when they descend to the warmer lowlands during the wet season. The Galapagos giant tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) is the largest living tortoise species, weighing up to 250 kg (550 lb). It plays an important biological role as the top grazer in its habitat. In the wild, these gentle giants slowly barrel their way through the plant cover. The shape of their carapaces varies from island to island. On Santa Cruz, year round, tortoises can be seen grazing on the surrounding vegetation, or wallowing in muddy banks or in a small red-coloured pond (impressively coloured by surface red pond-weeds).
The area is teeming with life: chirping vegetarian-, small-tree, large-tree and woodpecker mockingbirds and flycatchers, as well as ducks, herons and gallinules make this an exciting morning visit. On the return to Puerto Ayora, visit one of the island’s lava tunnels, significant geological formations that take us back in time and allow us to remember how lava flows formed the islands. Lunch at El Manzanillo.
Tortuga Bay and Darwin Research Station (guided)
Tortuga Bay is a glorious beach that is located southwest of Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Tortugameans “turtle” in Spanish and it was named as such due to the fact that sea turtles have made this one of their favorite places to come and lay their eggs! The stunning, white sand beach is considered by many to be the most beautiful stretch of coast in the Galapagos archipelago. Tortuga Bay is reached via a marked and cobbled 2 kilometer (1.2 mile) path that starts at the west end of Charles Binford Street, not all that far from Puerto Ayora itself. Guests must sign in and out at the National Park control point that sits at the beginning of the path. It is open daily from 6:00 AM to 6:30 PM. The trail and beach provide excellent birdwatching opportunities, with plenty of Darwin’s finches and other seabirds. The beach itself is a great place to go kayaking, snorkeling, and/or surfing!
The headquarters of the Galapagos National Park Service and the Charles Darwin Research Station are located side-by-side, right on the edge of Puerto Ayora. Here, there is an interpretation center open to the public where you may also view their tortoise breeding program as well as giant tortoises in captivity. A visit to the Center is sure to expand your knowledge of this unique, iconic Galapagos animal as well as the ongoing conservation efforts in the islands.
Choose between the following full day island yacht explorations: North Seymour or Bartolome or South Plaza or Santa Fe island.
North Seymour Island
North Seymour was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. Cliffs only a few meters high form the shoreline, where swallow-tailed gulls sit among the ledges and rocks. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rains to burst into bloom. This island is teaming with life!
Bartolome is famous for Pinnacle Rock, a towering spearheaded obelisk that rises from the ocean’s edge and is the best-known landmark in the islands. Galapagos penguins—the only species of penguin found north of the equator—walk precariously along narrow volcanic ledges at its base. Sea lions snooze on rocky platforms, ready to slide into the water to play with passing snorkelers.
South Plaza Island
South Plaza is a small island full of fascinating wildlife, both along its shore and along its dramatic, wind-swept cliffs: sea lions, land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, Opuntia cacti and vegetation that changes colours according to the season. South Plaza is one of Galapagos’ most impressive visiting sites.
Santa Fe Island
Santa Fe offers one of the more beautiful and sheltered coves in the islands. Its turquoise lagoon is protected by a peninsula of tiny islets forming an ideal anchorage. The island lies to the southeast of Santa Cruz within sight of Puerto Ayora. Like North Seymour, Santa Fe has been uplifted seismically, and you can see underwater lava formations.
- 3 nights accommodation
- 1 full-day island yacht exploration
- 1-full- day exploration
- Shared transfers in/out Galapagos
- Snorkel and kayak equipment
- Meals as specified (B,L,D).