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Best of Both Worlds Santa Cruz – Isabela

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If you’d rather speak than email, give us a call: 1-212-245-1211. We love talking about diving the Galapagos! We can answer any questions you have.

8 Days / 7 Nights
GPS Baltra Airport, Galapagos
Tour Details

This Galapagos land-dive tour is perfect for those who want a real blend of topside and diving.  If you are a mixed couple (diver/non-diver), we can arrange daily tours on the diver’s dive days. The best dive sites in the central islands are accessible only from Santa Cruz. You can see dive site descriptions in our Itinerary options below.

Isabela is a magical place in Galapagos with powdery white sand, abundant wildlife (above and below the water), active volcanoes and stunning vistas. Many naturalist cruises have it on their itineraries. Sierra Negra is the 2nd largest caldera on an active volcano in the world.  

Below the itinerary are the hotels options we recommend. All of our hotels on Isabela are oceanfront! 

Departure & Return Location

GPS Baltra Airport, Galapagos

Departure Time

Flexible based on your flight

Price

Pricing based on double occupancy / non-suite. Upgrades available.
2022 Standard Hotel
$1750 pp
2022 Boutique Hotel
$1950 pp
2022 Ocean Front Hotel
$2920 pp
Single Supplement
$800

Price Includes

  • 7 Nights Hotel
  • All Scuba Gear
  • Breakfast at hotel. Lunch & Snacks on tours.
  • Park Certified Bi-lingual Dive Guide / Naturalist Guide
  • All ground transportation
  • Transfer from/to airport on day of arrival/departure

Price Excludes

  • Airfare to Galapagos
  • TCT card ($20) & National Park Entrance Fee ($100)
  • Water Taxis ($2 pp) and Isabela Dock Tax ($10 pp)
  • Dinner
  • Personal expenses and gratuities
Availability
Terms
Misc

This program is available all year. As all tours are on strict itineraries, we can’t deviate from the schedule much, if at all. 

Payment Terms:

  • Non-refundable (transferable okay) 50% of rate is due within 10 days after reservation.
  • Balance due in full 90 days prior to departure

Cancellation Terms:

  • 90 days prior or less prior to departure – Full payment due & non-refundable
  • Deposit may be transferred to another person.
  • Rates are based on double occupancy. A single supplement is available.
  • Suites and upgrades are possible. Please inquire.
  • Other hotels are also possible. Please inquire.
  • We also work with some AirBnBs. Please inquire.
Notes

Each day, you will be collected for your tour, whether it is diving or a land visit. Each afternoon, you will be returned to your hotel. You are free to have dinner anywhere you want and we do have recommendations.

Please bring your C card and log book (if you have one).  All diving is no decompression diving and lead by Park certified dive guides. 

  • Full kit scuba gear. No computers.
  • AL80 tanks
  • Daily dive boats are 10-12 mt / 32-40 ft with a head
  • Land visit boats are 20 mt / 60 ft with galley & cabins for changing
Itinerary Best of Both Worlds Santa Cruz - Isabela

Our Best of Both Worlds Santa Cruz package includes diving the best sites from Santa Cruz in addition to land visits typically only accessible from a naturalist cruise. 

We always recommend a day of diving before you dive Gordon Rocks, a dive site in the central islands that used to be on the Aggressor’s itinerary until the rules changed and the dive site became the exclusive domain of daily dive operators. It can be as challenging, if not more so, than the northern dive sites. 

Day 1TUE: Arrival. Highlands of Santa Cruz

You will be met at Baltra Airport, escorted across the Canal and transferred first to a private ranch in the Highlands of Santa Cruz where you will walk around observing the iconic giant tortoises of Galapagos in their natural habitat.

Afterwards, you will be transferred to your hotel in Puerto Lopez.

Day 2WED: Dive North Seymour & Mosquera

Travel Time: Approx 1 hour car and boat travel from Puerto Ayora.

The North Seymour topography consists of gradual steps descending from the island shoreline, declining 8 meters to a beautiful rock reef, before reaching the sandy bottom at 16–18 meters. Diving at Seymour provides the opportunity to swim with many white and blacktip reef sharks, as well as being a favorite resting place for large numbers of green sea turtles. Though Seymour does not as famous for hammerhead sharks as other sites, it is still possible to see small schools at both Seymour sites, swimming along the current.

Large schools of barracuda, snapper, and other reef fish are also in abundance, and the rock reef is an excellent place to search for well-camouflaged octopi. A personal favorite, of ours, however, are the schools of spotted eagle rays that glide through the channel just above the sand, occasionally joined by devil and manta rays.

Mosquera: When you fly into Baltra, Mosquera is the spit of sand between Baltra and North Seymour easily visible from the sky. 

Diving at Mosquera and its fringing rock reef is similar to Seymour until you reach the largesandy-bottomed platform and rock drop of around 21 meters. Here you can relax underwater and wait for the schools of magnificent eagle rays, hammerhead sharks, blacktip reef sharks, and the occasional, elusive, Galapagos shark. Manta rays are a special treat anywhere and sightings at Mosquera are certainly a possibility. On the sandy-bottomed platform you will be amazed by the Galapagos garden eels — thousands of them, as far as the eye can see, craning out of their tunnels to take in all the currents have to offer.

Day 3THU: Dive Gordon Rocks

Travel Time: 45 min – 1 hour from Puerto Ayora.

Dive Difficulty: Though Gordon Rocks can be a calm and easy dive at times, it is known for strong currents and is, therefore, best suited to advanced divers. Please ask for advice on booking if you have experience of fewer than 30 dives.

Gordon Rocks is an extinct volcanic crater with a sandy bottom of 32 meters at its core and a wall drop around the outside of about 65 meters.

The site has three exposed rocks that surround the crater and three pinnacles found under the surface at the northern edge of the crater, found between six to eight meters underwater. There is one larger pinnacle of approximately 21 meters below the surface in the center of the crater.

The strong currents found at Gordon Rocks make it an excellent home for schools of hammerhead sharks, some of the most iconic animals found in the Galapagos. Schools of up to 50 sharks (or more if you are lucky) can be found circling the rocks through the current, giving divers ample repeated views of these extraordinary creatures. White and blacktip reef sharks also frequent the area, as well as green sea turtles, sea lions, stingrays, eagle rays, large schools of barracuda and snapper, and the occasional majestic manta ray or Mola mola.

 

Day 4FRI: Free Morning. Transfer to Isabela.

Travel Time: Approx 2 -2.5 hours from Puerto Ayora to Isabela.

Pick up at dock and transfer to hotel. Free time for the beach before dinner.

Day 5SAT: Sierra Negra Volcano Trek

Day 6SUN: Los Tuneles. Transfer to Santa Cruz

Day 7MON:

Day 8TUE: Departure

You need to leave Puerto Ayora 3 hours prior to your flight. 

Hotels
Standard Santa Cruz
Boutique Santa Cruz
Waterfront Santa Cruz
Standard Isabela
Boutique Isabela
Waterfront Isabela

Posada Del Mar is a simple, but attractive option in standard rooms. It is so well located. It is close to the dock and many restaurants, including everyone’s favorite, Galapagos Deli, which is on the ground floor of this hotel!

Galapagos Pearl is it’s own little compound. It is near a number of restaurants, galleries and the entrance to the National Park in Santa Cruz. 

 

 

  

Ikala is a beautiful hotel located about 3 blocks back from the main dock and close to many restaurants.

La Isla is a lovely small hotel just off the main avenue that runs seafront in Puerto Ayora. It’s less than one block to restaurants and the fishermen’s dock. 

 

SolyMar is right in the middle of everything in front of the sea. It’s within walking distance to the main dock, to restaurants and to the fishermen’s dock. 

 

Isabela Beach House is a stunning location on the ocean front. Watch sea lions, marine iguanas and sometimes even penguins in front of this hotel.

 

IsaMar is another boutique ocean front option on Isabela. It was constructed by someone from the Sierra, so seems like an adobe with quaint touches, modern facilities and high ceilings in each room.

Casita de la Playa is a quaint oceanfront hotel in a fantastic location.

 

Casa de Marita is oceanfront with a wonderful restaurant and grounds. This was the original ‘nice place to stay’ in Isabela.

 

Photos