Finch bay 8 day holiday
This land-based holiday is a good alternative to a Galapagos cruise.
You have all the comforts of the hotel plus a range of guided tours
taking in several islands as well as Santa Cruz.
Finch Bay 8 Day Holiday
Prices from: £2,795pp for 7 nights
Enjoy all the facilities of Finch Bay Eco Hotel just across the bay from Puerto Ayora town on the island of Santa Cruz, and take advantage of the many excursions and activities for a fun-packed week in the Galapagos Islands.
This land-based holiday is a good alternative to a Galapagos cruise. You have all the comforts of the hotel plus a range of guided tours taking in several islands as well as Santa Cruz. Most days include a certain amount of free time when you can take it easy of do some independent exploring.
The itinerary has been designed to offer a mix of adventure and relaxation. Sailing on the hotel’s yacht you visit neighbouring islands to see the unique flora and fauna of the archipelago, led by an expert guide, and have opportunities to explore by kayak. On other days you take trips to other parts of Santa Cruz island. At the Charles Darwin Research Station you can learn about the islands’ natural history and find out about ongoing conservation projects which provides a real insight into life in the Galapagos. There’s also plenty of time to relax at the hotel, by the pool or on the beach, and savour delicious food at the restaurant.
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- 7 nights at Finch Bay Eco Hotel
- 4 days exploring neighbouring islands
- 3 days of guided tours on Santa Cruz
- Chances for swimming, surfing and kayaking
- Relax at the hotel
DAY 1: MONDAY
On landing in Baltra you’re welcomed by Finch Bay’s naturalist guide and transferred to the hotel’s yacht, which sets out to North Seymour while lunch is served on board. Your guide leads this first excursion, a great introduction to the plant and animal life of the Galapagos. Watch brightly coloured frigatebirds, sea lions dozing by the shore and marine iguanas crossing your path. Wildlife here is unfazed by humans and close encounters, impossible elsewhere, are common here. Later you travel by yacht and speedboat to Santa Cruz, to check into Finch Bay Eco Hotel and settle in to your room. Lunch, dinner
DAY 2: TUESDAY
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast before heading to the Giant Tortoise Reserve at El Mazanillo. These gentle giants are quite at home in this environment with its abundant vegetation and ponds and you have plenty of time to watch them. This is also a good place to see birds including herons, flycatchers and mockingbirds. After lunch in the highlands you visit an organic farm to learn about food production and sample some of the produce, before returning to the hotel to enjoy a swim in the pool or stroll along the beach. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 3: WEDNESDAY
Board the hotel yacht for a full day excursion to Santa Fe. You land at a picturesque white sand beach which is a favourite with sea lions. There are huge prickly pear cacti here, too, and if you look carefully you may spot large land iguanas. Your guide leads a hike on the island, and afterwards there’s time to go swimming and snorkelling in the calm waters of the bay. Re-board the yacht for the voyage back to Santa Cruz, arriving at Finch Bay in the late afternoon. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 4: THURSDAY
Today you visit Divine Bay on Santa Cruz near the hotel, by boat or kayak as you prefer. This cove is sheltered by reefs and flanked by mangroves and is a haven for wildlife. The waters teem with fish and turtles, and you may glimpse rays and reef sharks, too. Herons relish this rich fishing ground and blue-footed boobies can be seen on the cliffs. You can walk to Playa de los Perros beach for views of marine iguanas. Lunch is served at the hotel and in the afternoon you visit the Charles Darwin Research Station for an overview of the history and geology of the islands and to spend time among juvenile giant tortoises at the breeding centre. Later you have the option to explore Puerto Ayora before heading back to the hotel. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 5: FRIDAY
Sail to South Plaza, with colourful sesuvium vegetation and steep cliffs. Follow a trail past prickly pears, keeping a look out for the land iguanas beneath as they wait patiently for the fruit to fall. There are good chances to see both Nazca and blue-footed boobies, and you’re sure to come across sea lions by the shore. You continue to Punta Carrion, where you can go snorkelling among tropical fish. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 6: SATURDAY
Today you travel to Bartolome. The first landing offers chances of swimming and snorkelling with penguins, and the second leads to a trail up to the highest point of the island. This is one of the most photographed views in the Galapagos Islands, looking down to the beach and the sharp splinter of Pinnacle Rock, with Santiago in the background. Walking back down you can see lava formations, a reminder of the geology of the islands. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 7: SUNDAY
Cross the bay to Puerto Ayora this morning for the 2km walk to Tortuga Bay, an opportunity for some bird watching. Tortuga Bay is a beautiful white sand beach where you can see turtles, marine iguanas and have the chance to join a surfing class if you wish. Alternatively you can go kayaking in the mangroves, to spot many species of birds plus rays and sharks. Later enjoy a packed lunch from the hotel and a swim before the 30 minute voyage back to Finch Bay and the hotel. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
DAY 8: MONDAY
Following breakfast it’s time to pack your bags and leave the hotel. En-route to Baltra you stop off at the Twin Pit Craters for a short walk to admire the varied vegetation and plants including orchids. You continue on to Baltra airport arriving in time to check in for the flight back to the mainland. Breakfast
Price from (pp sharing): £2,795 (ex. international flights)
Includes: Arrival and departure transfers, 7 nights twin share accommodation, hotel taxes, meals as specified, highlands tour, 4 days of yacht excursions, visit to Charles Darwin Research Station, visit to Twin Pit Craters, use of snorkelling gear, use of hotel facilities
Excludes: International flights and taxes, return flights from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos, visas, drinks, Transit Control Card for Galapagos US$20 pee person subject to change without notice, Galapagos National Park Fee, currently US$100 but liable to change and to be paid locally in US$, tips, items of a personal nature.
Getting there: This holiday starts and ends in Baltra in the Galapagos Islands. Return flights from the UK to Quito cost from about £675, depending on season and availability, and return flights from Quito to Baltra cost from £425. We normally book these for you.
Departure dates: This is an 8 day package that starts and ends on a Monday and operates year round subject to availability.
Finch Bay Eco Hotel
Situated on the opposite side of the bay from Puerto Ayora, the largest town in the Galapagos and site of the Charles Darwin Research Station, this hotel makes a great base for exploring Santa Cruz and nearby islands.
Whether you stay in a garden view room (20.2 square metres) or ocean facing suite (32 square metres), air conditioning will keep you pleasantly cool and you’ll have comfy beds, black- out curtains and an en-suite bathroom as well as a private balcony with hammocks where you can relax.
The hotel has a large swimming pool and deck overlooking the bay, a good place to unwind after island excursions, and the beach is just a few steps away. Indoors there is a lounge and a bar. Dining is a pleasure with dishes made from seasonal produce, much of which is grown in the hotel’s own vegetable garden, and most meals are served on the terrace in the fresh air and within sight of the ocean.
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We know and love the Galapagos Islands, and would be delighted to help you plan your perfect Galapagos holiday. Call 01473 890499 and speak to one of our Galapagos travel specialists today.