Galapagos Islands Travel by Land

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Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge, Galapagos Islands Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge, Galapagos Islands

Priced from $3,695  Days: 8

Until recently, most Galapagos Island travel was done by cruise ships and boats. 170+ years ago, Charles Darwin had no choice but to tour the Galapagos by boat. Today you do! Now we present a whole new way to experience the unique world of the islands - by land, based in beautiful, comfortable and intimate small lodges, located on several of the main islands. Here you can explore the islands in-depth, walking remote beaches, hiking trails and experiencing the very same wildlife as you would on a cruise. You will also tour the bays and coves with their teeming wildlife by small boat.

The Red Mangrove now has multiple lodges on multiple islands, which offer you complete land-based programs with multiple activities and programs.

Even if you've previously been on a Galapagos cruise, this land-based itinerary provides an even greater, extensive and affordable adventure in Galapagos Islands travel!

Galapagos by Land

  • Itinerary
  • Date - Rates
  • Lodging
  • Map

Sample Itineray for 7N/8D.  Itineraries vary slightly. Check with our office for shorter versions of Darwin's Footprints. 

Darwin's Footprints 

Day 1: Depart Quito - Santa Cruz

Today we fly to Baltra, where on landing we load a bus to Ithabaca Channel for the 5 minute ferry ride to Santa Cruz where we will lunch at Aventura Lodge.

After lunch we depart for Los Gemelos (the Twins) to see the large collapsed lava chambers. This area is known for its flora and fauna. There will be many bird species such as short eared owls and Darwin finches.  

After Los Gemelos, you will take a short bus ride to a 600 acre private tortoise reserve where the Galapagos tortoises roam freely.  Your afternoon will end with a bus ride to the entrance of 1350 feet lava tunnel. Overnight Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge L,D.

Day 2: Santa Cruz - Isabela - kayaking and snorkeling

The morning adventure departs at 8:00 AM heading towards German Beach where we arrive to crystal clear waters where you are introduced to kayaking. You will kayak around the mangroves to spot brown pelicans,  blue footed boobies and red frigate birds floating in the water and on to Franklin Bay where you will watch sea turtles and mantarays.  If there is time, you can snorkel with schools of fish, manta rays and sea turtles at German Beach. 

Lunch is served back at Aventura Lodge before heading out to Isabela which will take about two hours by boat. On arrival, we will enjoy a welcome cocktail, get settled in and enjoy the sunset.  Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge. B/L/D

Day 3:  Isabela

Depart early for Sierra Negro Volcano hike that will take you to a breathtaking overlook. For the hard core hikers, continue on for another hour of hard hiking. We return for lunch at Campo Duro, a beautiful local family's  farm house. 

After lunch grilled on lava rock walk, among the fruit trees on the farm or nap in hammock. Return to the lodge where you can swim, or simply relax at the beach in front of the hotel or take a walk to discover Isabela on your own. Overnight at Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge B,L,D

Day 4: Isabela (Los Tuneles and Wetlands)

Breakfast at the lodge before we depart for Los Tuneles by 45 minute boat ride.  Along the way we will possibly spot giant manta rays, sea turtles, whales.  Easily seen in this area are marine iguanas, blue and masked boobies, sea lions and perhaps Galapagos penguins. 

Los Tuneles is a breathtaking lava arch in the water where you will get opportunity to snorkel. Experience close encounters with schools of fish, rays, sea turtles and if you are lucky Galapagos penguins. 

Return to the lodge for lunch. 

Afternoon is spent at the Galapagos National Park Isabela Breeding Station. There is time to relax or enjoy the little town of Puerto Villamil and Playa del Amor (Love Beach) with its sandy beaches.  Overnight at Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge B,L,D

Day 5: Isabela- Santa Cruz

Breakfast is served at the lodge before you depart for Las Tintoreras and Bay tour where you may see Galapagos penguins and blue-footed boobies. From here the views are stunning with black lava fields, the bright green mangroves, the vibrant sea, with mountains in the background. 

After your walk, there is time to snorkel in the warm bay surrounded by mangroves for an opportunity to see white tipped reef sharks, sea lions, sea turtles and the mangroves below the surface. 

Lunch is served at Isabela Lodge before departing to Santa Cruz which takes about two hours navigation. Overnight at Santa Cruz Aventura Lodge B,L,D

Day 6: Santa Cruz

Depart after breakfast for a bus ride to Garrapatero Beach where you will enjoy white sand beaches that are an easy 15 minute walk away. There is time to relax on the beaches, watch for various bird varieties, and marine iguanas.

Return to the lodge for lunch. 

The afternoon is at the Charles Darwin Research Center. Overnight at Santa Cruz Aventura Lodge. B,L,D

Day 7:  Santa Cruz

After another delious breakfast, there is an walking tour of Tortuga Bay around the giant cactus forest where many marine iguanas nest. There are many bird species nesting in the area such as warblers, mocking birds, finches.  Land lizards are seen in this area along with many endemic species. Entering the bay offers a chance to observe sting rays, white tipped sharks and mangroves in the shallow waters. There is time to swim in the bay.

Lunch is served before heading to the Highlands of Santa Cruz where the famous Trapiche Sugar Cane Mill and Farm are located. The farm owner will give a tour of the farm where sugar cane and coffee are harvested.  The tour will end with a sample of sugar cane liquor served with tangerine and oranges is served as a farewell drink.  Overnight at Santa Cruz Aventura Lodge. B,L,D

Day 8: Santa Cruz - Quito - home

Transfer to airport for flight home.

We can add on day trips in Quito, Amazon Rain Forest lodges or boats down the Amazon, or Peru.  Contact our office for options. 

Date - Rates:

Rates 2016

Darwin's Footprints


Suite -

Ocean View

Superior -

Ocean View

Standard -

Mangrove View

Single $5,595 $5,195 $4,595
Double $4,495 $4,195 $3,695
Triple $4,295 $3,995 $3,495



 Suite -

Ocean View 

 Superior -

Ocean View 

 Standard -

Mangrove View 

Single $3,795 $3,395 $3,295
Double $3,195 $2,995 $2,595
Triple $2,795 $2,595 $2,295



Suite -

Ocean View

Superior -

Ocean View

Standard -

Mangrove View

Single $3,195 $2,895 $2,595
Double $2,595 $2,395 $2,195
Triple $2,495 $2,195 $1,995

Included: Transfer on arrival into the islands, excursions in the islands, all meals while at the Red Mangrove properties. 

Add: 4 transfers, 3 nights superior hotel in Quito (two nights prior the islands and one night on the return), Otavalo Market tour or Quito city tour: from $1,395 per person. 

Add diving to package: $250 pp per day and inludes 2 tanks and all equipment. It can be added on Day 2 rather than snokeling. Subject to change.

Not included: air from Quito to islands, park fees and transit fee ($695 pp--subject to change).  Air from your home to Ecuador. Meals not indicated on itinerary.

Tour Details


Deposit: 30% per person non-refundable deposit due at time of booking. 

Cancellation Policy: Non-refundable balance due 90 days prior to travel dates. 

Insurance: Because many advance logistical arrangements have been made prior to the running of this trip, we must adhere to the above policy. In addition, please be aware that many insurance policies do not cover illness and accident expenses outside of the U.S., and Medicare does NOT cover any such expenses at all. In light of this, we strongly recommend trip cancellation and supplemental insurance.

A travel insurance quote will be sent to you upon registration, or you can purchase it from our site by clicking on the "Purchase Travel Insurance" in the left-hand column. Our insurance carrier is Travelex.


You'll stay in the comfortable Red Mangrove lodges: Aventura, Floreana and Isabela. Each lodge is located right on the shore and features excellent food and an attentive staff in addition to your expert, licensed guides for your daily explorations of the islands.

Aventura Lodge


Isabela Lodge