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Red Mangrove Galapagoes Lodges - Galapagos IslandsRed Mangrove
Galapagos Tours

Galapagos Islands Lodges and Hotels
Day Tours

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 Red Mangrove Lodges (main page)  |  Aventura Lodge  |  Red Mangrove Restaurant  |  Floreana Lodge  |  Isabela Lodge  |  Darwin's Triangle Tour - 6-Days / 5-Nights  |  Darwin's Triangle Tour - 5-Days / 4-Nights  |  Galapagos Express Tour - 5-Days / 4-Nights  |  Diving Tours  |  Day Tours  |  Custom Tours  |

 
Red Mangrove Galapagos Lodges

Day Tours

What you will see on Red Mangroves Day Tours: Sea lions, seals, penguins, giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies; Turquoise waters and white sand beaches; Lava tubes, volcanic craters, desert cactus and vistas for miles... Where do you want to go and what do you want to see in the Galapagos?  

Day Tours include: Darwin's Triangle, Floreana Island, Isabela Island, Beach and Bay Tour, Tortoise Quest, Galapagos Tree house Camping and other programs exclusively for Red Mangrove Galapagos Lodges guests. 


Beach And Bay Tour 

Departure: 10:00 AM (10:00)
Return: 3:00 PM (15:00) 

Description: Depending on the tide, departure will either be from our own dock or the main dock in Puerto Ayora.  Our shaded speedboat will comfortably whisk you in roughly 10 minutes to "La Loberia" Island, named after its large colony of sea lions.  You will have the chance to snorkel with these frolicking creatures, a great opportunity for photos if you have underwater housing for your camera.  

Keep an eye out for sea turtles and try not to be so distracted by the playful sea lions that you forgot about the great variety of colorful fish.  

Next we will travel over to Tortuga Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches on Santa Cruz Island with powdery white sand and calm turquoise water.  On the way through the bay, you may see sea turtles, Galapagos sharks, reef rays, pelicans, blue footed boobies and herons in the mangrove forest lining the bay's side as well as other Galapagos marine birds.  We will disembark for a quick walk to observe marine iguana colonies sunning and sneezing the salt from their recent outings at sea.  The 'long' walk (10 minutes) back to Tortuga Bay is through a cactus forest above a carpet of crimson Sesuvium ground covering.  It is a stunning array of colors against the beautiful blue skies, the black volcanic rock, the white sand and the emerald Cactus Forest - Galapagos green or deep blue sea.  Just remember to keep an eye on the path so you don't step on a marine iguana as they are very abundant in this area.  By the time you get back, we will have your box lunch laid out so that you can enjoy eating in the sun or under the shade of our umbrellas or one of the trees that line the beach.  No doubt you will have many Galapagos ground finches nearby hoping to pick up crumbs from your lunch.  As tempting as it is, please do not feed the finches.  Outside food products may disturb their digestive tracks or cause other harm.  After lunch, enjoy a swim in this peaceful bay or just relax awhile.  

Blue Footed Boobie - Galapagos IslandsNext we will go to Punta Estrada where we will sail through the Canal de Amor (Tunnel of Love).  Many endemic birds nest or rest in the cavernous walls providing wonderful up close and personal photo opportunities with blue footed boobies, pelicans, lava herons, frigates and more.  We will disembark for a short, rocky walk where you will probably need to step around the sleeping sea lions to walk out on the dock above volcanic rocks dotted with bright orange/red sally lightfoot crabs before heading over to a viewing platform to observe resting white tipped reef sharks in abundance.  If you wish (and/or weather/visibility permits), we will bring the boat around to the Canal entrance where you can snorkel with the sharks.  Eagle rays have also been known to visit this canal.  

Minimum 2 passengers 

You will need: 

  • Sunglasses 
  • Sunscreen 
  • Sport sandals or water shoes 

  • Swimsuit 
  • Camera (with underwater housing if you have it) 

Includes: 

  • Snorkeling gear and wet suits if desired 
  • Fresh Towels 

  • Beach chairs and umbrellas 
  • Box Lunch, snacks and beverages 
     

Notes: 

The resting white tip reef sharks are completely harmless to snorkel with.  
Box Lunch includes a sandwich, chips, fruit and beverages.  If you have special dietary needs, please notify Reception 24 hours in advance.   
Recommended gratuities: $20 for groups of 4 or less; $5 per person for groups of 4 or more.  

Please be aware that tours may, understandably, vary slightly due to weather, sea conditions, and/or sightings that merit extra time.  Please do not feed or disturb the wildlife nor remove anything at all from the Island.  If you are traveling with children, please monitor their behavior so we may preserve the natural beauty of the Galapagos for generations to come.  
 


Tortoise Quest or Mountain Tour 

Departure: 10:00 AM (10:00)
Return: 2:00 PM (14:00)
Note:
Hours may vary if taking this tour coming in from the Airport 

Description: This tour begins with a trip to "Los Gemelos" (The Twins) - two enormous collapsed lava chambers, an awe-inspiring visual reminder of the power of nature.  The short, easy hike to each of the twins is teeming with endemic flora and fauna, including the remaining Scalesia Forest draped in Liverwort, large and small tree finches, the adorable Vermillion flycatcher and more.  It's a wonderful introduction to the majestic power of the forces of natures and the great biodiversity of the Santa Cruz Highlands.  

Galapagos Tortoise - Santa Cruz Island - GalapagosAfterwards, we will visit a 600 acre private reserve where the giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze and sleep.  Sometimes, it's a bit muddy here, so before we set out, there is a selection of field boots to choose from, large sizes for men are available.  You will be transported through this tropical environment by truck and from there, you walk through fields to mingle with these gentle giants.  As prehistoric as these creatures look, wait until you hear what they sound like!  

After visiting the tortoises, we'll take a 5 minute ride to the entrance of a 450 meter (1350 feet) illuminated lava tunnel.  With a ceiling nearly 20 feet high in most places, this is an incredible opportunity to ramble through the remnants of one of the most powerful forces in nature...lava flows.  Stalagmites, stalactites, sulphur and mineral colored walls and the rippled form of a floor of lava can all be experienced in this uniquely Galapagos stroll.  You emerge just outside a lovely dining area with astounding views of islands in the sea beyond the highlands.  It is here, in the midst of this palette of unique Galapagos sights and sounds that you will be served a wholesome hot lunch.  

For your information: This tour can also be offered upon your arrival from the mainland.  A representative from the hotel will pick you up at the Baltra Airport.  Also, this tour is perfect in combination with our Red Mangrove Galapagos Camping experience, also located in the Santa Cruz Highlands.  
 

You will need: 

  • Sunglasses 

  • Sunscreen 

  • Sneakers or Sports Sandals 

  • Camera 

  • Windbreaker or light rain jacket may come in handy 

  • Shorts or light, long trousers 
     

Includes: 

  • Hot Lunch. (If you have special dietary needs, please notify Reception at least 24 hours in advance.)  

  • Field boots 

  • Transportation to and from the hotel 
     

Notes: 

If you do this tour when leaving the airport, please set out appropriate shoes in the event you need to change. Heels or nice shoes you may wear on the plane are not appropriate for the short walk to Los Gemelos.  Washroom facilities available on location.  Large selection of field boots, including large sizes for men, however nothing smaller than a size 4 for children.  If more comfortable with insect repellent, please use unscented.  

Recommended gratuities: For groups of 4 or less, $20. For larger groups, $5 per person. When you tip the Guide, he shares with any additional drivers as well as the lunch staff.  If time and itinerary permit, this tour is excellent in combination with our overnight Red Mangrove Galapagos Camping. Please be aware that tours may, understandably, vary slightly due to weather, sea conditions, and/or sightings that merit extra time.  Please do not feed or disturb the wildlife nor remove at all anything from the Highlands. If you are traveling with children, please monitor their behavior so we may preserve the natural beauty of the Galapagos for generations to come. 


Overnight In The Red Mangrove Highlands Campground 

Arrival: Approx. 3:00 PM (15:00)
Return:
In the AM the following morning, depending on tours you have booked or if you are departing for the Airport 

Highlands Campground - GalapagosDescription: This is not camping as you've ever known it.  This is culinary camping in the majestic green highlands perched above the blue sea.  The iconic giant Galapagos tortoises graze alongside horses here much of the year and leave a wide trail in the high grass for relatively easy sightings and leisurely observation.  

Have a glass of wine in a whimsical cave, once part of a lava tube.  Your own personal chef will prepare a delectable four-course meal from the freshest ingredients available while you are served drinks and appetizers as you relax in a comfy chair or swinging hammock in front of a roaring fire.  If you are here during the garua season, the mist begins rolling in as the sun sets and the low lights come on to mark the path between your tree house and the open dining hall... a scene so enchanting, the Islands' moniker springs to mind.  

Since there is no light pollution whatsoever, apart from the garua season, the heavens will be a starlit ceiling above and the lovely low path lights on the ground will seem like an earthbound constellation below as you climb up into your scrumptious tree house and under snow white sheets and warm covers for the night.  Wake up in the morning mist where the vanilla sky outside seems a framed box through your billowing white curtains inside as you look out any of the many windows of your tree house.  Head down to the dining hall for a delicious breakfast of fresh juices, fruits, breads, and eggs.  Unique Galapagos nature, scenery and dining worthy of the setting that even the most discriminating traveler is likely to rave about will leave you with a camping experience you are not likely to forget anytime soon, if ever!  

Giant Tortoise - Galapagos IslandsGiven the proximity, this tour is perfect in combination with our "Tortoise Quest" tour.  Arrive at our Camping Lodge around 15:00 (3:00 PM).  Observe and photograph the tortoises, visit the caves, soak in the stunning scenery, relax in your tree house or one of the hammocks, then take a hot shower after a full day and before your gourmet dinner.  Our camping lodge offers 4 tree houses and 4 platformed tents, each accommodating 2 people.  Each tree house or tent is stocked with fresh cotton towels and pure drinking water.  There are immaculate shared men's and women's washrooms with hot showers, soap, shampoo and conditioner.  
 

You will need: 

  • Sunglasses 

  • Sunscreen 

  • Sneakers are best here 

  • Camera 

  • Shorts or light, long trousers 

  • Sweater, Fleece or Sweatshirt 

  • Windbreaker or light rain jacket may come in handy 
     

Includes: 

  • Transportation to and from the Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge in Puerto Ayora 
    Dinner and breakfast.  (If you have special dietary needs, please notify Reception at least 24 hours in advance.)  
     

Notes: 

Camping Lodge provides umbrellas if needed.  Cocktails and wine on location are extra.  Wine selection is limited, so you may wish to bring your own bottle for this type of meal from Duty Free in Guayaquil or Quito.  Main entrees are usually fresh fish.  If more comfortable with insect repellent, please use unscented.  

Recommended gratuities: For groups of 4 or less, $20. For larger groups, $5 per person. When you tip the Chef, he shares with the assistant Chef and the attendant who takes care of everything else.  If time and itinerary permit, this tour is excellent in combination with our Tortoise Quest / Mountain Tour. Because the location is between the airport and Puerto Ayora, it is also perfect for your first or last night in the Galapagos.  If you do opt for this on the way in, please make sure you have appropriate clothing and shoes since.  For example, heels or nice shoes, dresses, etc that may be appropriate for a plane would not be appropriate for camping.  Please do not feed or disturb the wildlife nor remove at all anything from the setting.  If you are traveling with children, please monitor their behavior so we may preserve the natural beauty of the Galapagos for generations to come. 
 


Charles Darwin Research Station Tours 

We also coordinate guided visits to the Charles Darwin Station. 
 


Bartolome 

Pinacle Rock - Bartolome - Galapagos Islands - (photo by: Allen Unrein)Description: 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 island.  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 and play with passing snorkelers.  Just below the surface, shoals of tropical fish dodge in and out the rocks past sea urchins, sea stars and anemones.  A perfectly crescent, pink-and-white sandy beach is a nesting site for sea turtles, sometimes also found resting in the shallow waters near the shore or in the sand to recover from the arduous task of digging nests, laying eggs and covering them.  Penguins dot the nearby rocks of the next landing site, less than a kilometer away along the eastern shore. 

Here, the submerged walls of a tiny volcanic crater give the impression of a fountain pool.  This dry landing -no wet feet- is the entrance to a 600 meter (1800 feet) pathway complete with stairs and boardwalks leading to Baritone's summit.  The route is not difficult and presents a museum of vulcanology; a site left untouched after its last eruption, where cones stand in various stages of erosion and lava tubes form bobsled-like runs from the summit.  At the top you will be rewarded with spectacular views of Santiago Island and James Bay to the west, and far below, Pinnacle Rock and Bartolome, where your transportation back will be waiting in the crystal blue waters of the bay. 


North Seymour Island 

Blue Footed Boobies - Galapagos IslandsDescription: North Seymour Island was lifted from ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. Swallow-tailed gulls sit perched in ledges of cliffs only a few meters high from the shoreline.  A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stand just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rain to bring them into bloom.  This island is teaming with life!  You might have to give way to passing sea lions or marine iguanas; blue-footed boobies nests are built beside where the mating pairs perform their cartoonish courtship dance.  Further along, the rocky shore gives way to white sand where large flocks of pelicans amass for a dive-bomb feeding frenzy.  The trail turns inland to reveal the largest nesting site in the Galapagos of the "magnificent frigate bird".   These huge, dark acrobats have a 2 meter (6 foot) wingspan.  The males, with puffed up scarlet throat sacks, sit precariously perched in low bushes to watch over their equally large chicks. 


Las Bachas 

Marine Iguanas - Galapagos IslandsDescription: Las Bachas is a sandy white-coral beach that is major egg-laying site for sea turtles and their departing hatchlings.  On the shore, there are marine iguanas and in the lagoon, flamingos are commonly seen.  A newer site open to visitors, Dragon Hill (Cerro Dragon), is a brackish water lagoon that attracts flamingos, common stilts, pintail ducks and other species of birds.  A short walk up a small hill rewards hikers with nesting iguanas and a great view!  


South Plaza 

Description: South Plaza is 2 small crescent-shaped islands that lie just a few hundred meters off the east coast of Santa Cruz.  The northern island is used for scientific purposes only. South Plaza is one of the smaller, yet richest islands in the archipelago.  Only 130 meters wide (426 feet), it was formed from uplifted seabed giving it a tiled tabletop quality.  Our landing is in the channel between North and South Plaza, where the island tilts toward the water.  This approach makes for a lavishly colorful sight! The turquoise waters of the channel contrast brilliantly with the white sand and black lava of the shoreline.  

Sea Lions - Galapagos IslandsThe rocks have grown thick with green prickly-pear cactus.  Yellow-gray land iguanas sit beneath, waiting patiently for pears to drop.  The trail gradually follows the tilt of the island to the cliffs that overlook the ocean to the south, where swallowed-tailed gulls nest.  Red-billed tropic birds, masked and blue-footed boobies ride the windy currents.  The overlook is a great place for spotting large marine life, including manta rays.  Surf pounds an inlet at the western corner of the island, where a colony of sea lion bachelors make their home.  This would account for the surface of the rocks, polished by the oils of their fur.  The shoreline of Las Plazas is excellent for snorkeling in a sea lion colony of nearly one thousand.  Your guide will find the right spot to swim with youngsters away from areas claimed by the surly bulls. 


Santa Fe Island (Barrington) 

Land Iguana - Galapgos IslandsDescription: 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.  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 the underwater lava formations.  A wet landing on a sandy white beach brings us into contact with one of the many sea lion harems.  Bulls vie for the right of Beach Master while smaller males masquerade as females to make stealthy mating moves. Galapagos Hawks, perched atop salt bushes, are often easily approached.  An ascending trail leads toward the cliffs where a dense thicket covers the inland side.  The cliff side provides an expansive vista.  This is the best place to spot one of the large species of land iguana native to Santa Fe.  Beige to chocolate brown in color with dragon-like spinal columns, these huge iguanas truly resemble dinosaurs.  An indigenous species of rice rat also inhabits the thicket and lucky hikers spot harmless Galapagos snakes.  After the hike, there is nothing more inviting than a swim in the calm waters of the bay followed by watching the sun set behind the island cliffs as dusk settles over the Galapagos. 
 

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