AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team
AUTHOR The Ecoventura Team
They say you can’t have too much of a good thing, and here at Ecoventura we are inclined to agree.
After all, after being cooped up inside for so long, more and more people are looking for longer trips and voyages, with fewer changes and internal transfers in between.
So whilst we at Ecoventura have traditionally seen guests – be it young couples on honeymoon, more experienced travelers enjoying retirement, multigenerational family and friend trips and everything in between – opt for one of our two stunning week-long itineraries, more and more of our visitors are opting to extend their trip and join us for two back to back itineraries combined.
In fact, back to back trips are proving so popular we’ve decided to offer a discount of 5% on the second week when combining two weeks – so there’s no reason not to!
Take it slow
The growth in more environmentally and socially conscious travel – often referred to as Slow Travel – has led to a rethink about where, and how, to build a trip, with people placing a greater focus on the impact on the environment and the local communities along the way. One recognized way to do this is to spend more time in each place, and do away with the constant packing and unpacking and moving around that so often goes with a short, far-flung vacation.
Combine this with an ever-increasing focus on ecotravel and wellness, where people long to reconnect with nature and the great outdoors, perhaps support conservation efforts or learn more about a local environment or culture, there are few places on Earth that tick the boxes like the Galapagos Islands do. With endless horizons, big blue skies, open seas filled with a startling array of endemic creatures big and small and a host of conservation projects to learn about and support, it’s no surprise that the Galapagos so often features in the world’s top ecotourism destinations.
So if, like so many others, you’re looking to really turn off, unwind, and make the most of all that the Galapagos Islands have to offer, all whilst reducing the environmental impact of your trip and really connecting with this remarkable location, a back to back cruise is the answer!
Two is better than one
With Ecoventura, every cruise can be combined with the voyage before or after it to create a comprehensive two-week trip. And as you move seamlessly from your first week to the second – no repacking required as you will keep your own cabin throughout – the best bit is you will switch from one week-long itinerary to another, with enough variety to avoid any repeats stops, and a host of new beaches, bays, trails, and islands to discover.
Combine the younger, volcanic western islands with the beautiful beaches formed over millennia of erosion in the archipelago’s southern isles. And if you’re not sure which one to start with, take some advice from a fellow passenger.
Read on for more information about the two itineraries we offer, and some extra excursions available to guests who are making the most of a back to back voyage.
Itinerary A – “Beaches & Bays” Southern & Central route
Itinerary B – “Volcanic Wonders” Northern and Western route
When the first cruise ends, and other guests have to go home, any passengers remaining for a second week can choose from additional visits in San Cristobal. Given both itineraries start and end here, this will give you an extra day to get to know the island. There is no need to pay again for entrance fees and no testing is required. And as always, all meals and services are included.
Read on for a few options!
El Junco Lake: El Junco (Spanish for sedge) is the caldera of an extinct volcano and the best opportunity to see the Chatham mockingbird. Located in the highlands, this is the only sizeable freshwater lake in the Galapagos and is a half-hour drive from the town. Along the way, you will pass through different vegetation zones as you gain height, and see the farming community of El Progreso.
Cerro Tijeretas (Frigatebird Hill): Here you will find nesting colonies of both species of frigate birds (Great and Magnificent), as well as lava lizards, ground finches, and the San Cristobal mockingbird. Follow the trail to Punta Carola for a spectacular view.
La Loberia is within walking distance from San Cristobal. There is a short trail that leads to a sandy beach with sea lions and marine iguanas basking in the sun. The vegetation is typical of the arid zone with button mangroves, prickly pear cacti and a rare Gordillo’s scalesia – a flowering plant endemic not only to the Galapagos, but to a particular area of San Cristobal island.
La Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado (Centro de Crianza Gianni Arismendy – Giant Tortoise Sanctuary): Learn about the breeding program for giant tortoises that the national park has established to ensure that these animals continue to thrive despite their endangered status. At the visitor center, you’ll learn about the evolution of tortoises and the threats they face, from invasive species to habitat loss. Along the trail, keep your eyes open for the San Cristobal mockingbird and Calandrinia plant, both endemic to this island.
Both itineraries visit Santa Cruz island, so if you were here last week you can take your pick from various sites only offered to guests enjoying a back to back voyage!
Tortuga Bay: Considered by many to be the most beautiful beach in the Galapagos, this stunning bay is a favorite weekend spot for locals as it is a 30 minute walk on a trail from Puerto Ayora. You can find white-tipped sharks in a cove, Playa de los Perros, where you are allowed to swim and snorkel.
Cerro Mesa (Ecological Reserve): From the top of the hill, you will have a spectacular view of the entire Island of Santa Cruz. There is also a pit crater, one of the largest on the Island. There are trails for walking and exploring the flora and fauna, such as shorebirds, Galapagos pintails, and more.
Las Grietas: A 20-minute walk from Puerto Ayora over lava rocks, Las Grietas is a remarkable rift of ocean water – a ravine in which visitors can swim and snorkel. Mullets, parrotfish and other colorful tropical fish shelter in this secluded ribbon of water.
Playa El Garrapatero: An endless stretch of white sand beach, this is the perfect spot to enjoy the sun and paddle in the warm water. There is a lagoon behind the beach where you’ll find flamingos and white-cheeked pintails.
For more information on each of our itineraries and how best to combine them, get in touch with the team and we would be delighted to help plan your perfect voyage to the Galapagos. We look forward to seeing you aboard soon!