Biking, ½ day.
For advanced and experienced mountain bikers, let your guide take you on a journey from Cerro Mesa crossing Bellavista to the Cascajo viewpoint. Descend into Cascajo, Trapiche and onto Garrapatero Beach. Experience the different climatic zones in the wetlands, the agricultural area; the arid forest to coastal paths ending your trip on a beach of crystal clear turquoise water and fine white sand.
This adventure starts at "Cerro Mesa" crossing "Bellavista" and the viewpoint of the "Cascajo". At Cascajo we stop to enjoy a phenomenal panoramic view of Santa Cruz and other islands of the archipelago and keep an eye out for a sub species of giant tortoise that lives in the area around the crater of "Cerro Mesa". Then descend into "Cascajo", “Trapiche” and onto "Garrapatero" Beach. Trapiche is a local farm where you can see how the locals produce alcohol from sugar cane and also home of the famous Galapagos coffee. At the beach enjoy bird spotting - Flamingos, Frigates, Mocking Birds and Blue-Footed Boobies; to swim or snorkel here please bring your own equipment.
Includes: transport, mountain bike, box lunch, soft drinks & water, guide, first-aid kit and helmets.
If you would like to explore without a guide, we can provide you with a map and local advice, but we recommend that riders do not venture out alone.
Surfing, ½ day (morning or afternoon).
Due to the islands unique location, some of the best surf waves can be found here which is the reason why many professional surfers come to the Islands.
Members of The Surf Club of Santa Cruz participate in international competitions. But when they are not competing they hold half day surf classes at the Surf School in Tortuga Bay. Take our small boat out to Tortuga Bay where you can learn the theory and then practice riding the waves!
The certified surf instructors will advise you about where the best waves are on any given day. The surfing spots are Tortuga Bay, Cerro Gallina, Las Palmas and El Pelado
Hiking, ½ day.
The Galapagos is the perfect place to see “nature in action” and on foot you can enjoy this firsthand experience with wildlife and nature.
The highest point on Santa Cruz is found in the Highlands in the center of the Island called Cerro Crocker and Puntudo, which sit at 864 meters high. Explore the off-the-beaten-path lava trails through different areas of vegetation full of exotic birdlife nesting in the Miconia trees. This is also one of the best places to see the Galapagos Rail, a bluish purple-black bird that spends most of its time on the ground. On a clear day you may also see Darwin finches, Galapagos Flycatchers, Mockingbirds, Galapagos Petrels and Vermilion Flycatchers.
Includes: transport, guide, snack box, soft drinks & water. Please remember to wear good hiking boots, take waterproof clothing and a hat!
Snorkeling, ½ day.
The Galapagos has some of the best snorkeling in the world. Experience the wonders of the ocean; swim with creatures only previously encountered in an aquarium. Snorkeling in The Galapagos is very much an interactive wildlife experience
This visit can be done in the morning or afternoon, from Puerto Ayora. Climb aboard our small private glass-bottom boat so all the family can see the underwater world of marine life, even if you are not a swimmer! Here is a selection of some of the sites we visit:
Lobería Islet is where you can snorkel with sea lions and marine turtles. Punta Estrada has a beautiful beach surrounded by mangroves and marine birds. Canal del Amor is a “Panga” ride (local fishing boat) around the shore to observe marine birds, sea lions and wonder at the geological formation of volcanic rocks. Canal de los Tiburones is a short hike to a great spot for photographers to capture the beauty of the landscapes, lavascapes and seascapes. Playa de los Perros will be waiting for us with colonies of Marine Iguanas. Las Grietas is one of the most important rock formations in Santa Cruz Island. For the brave hearts amongst you, sharks are easy to find while snorkeling.
The tour runs from 09:00 – 13:00 hrs or 14:00 – 18:00 hrs.
Includes: transport, lifejackets, snack box, soft drinks & water. Please take your own swimwear and snorkeling equipment.
Kayaking, ½ day.
Sea kayaking around the coastline give you access to areas where boats can’t take you. Enjoy the “up close” experience with the wildlife on land and sea!
Meet at the Municipal dock to board the boat that takes us to Playa de los Alemanes Beach, the starting point. After a safety briefing and a description of the area, you are assigned your kayak. At the launch the waters are very calm but approximately 2 miles ahead when you get to the open sea, conditions can be more demanding. Look out for Marine Iguanas, Sea Lions and Sea Turtles. On the mangroves surrounding Academy Bay, you can see Pelicans, Herons and near the cliff the Blue-Footed Boobies and Frigates. The tour continues to a shark nursery area ending on "Punta Estrada" Beach where you can snorkel. After lunch, we hike towards Playa de los Perros beach, home of a Sea Lion colony and Marine Iguanas.
Includes: transport, box lunch, soft drinks & water, kayaks. Please take your own swimwear and snorkeling equipment.
Get fit at the Royal Palm Hotel
Villa Escalesia residents are very welcome to use the facilities at the Royal Palm Hotel.
Our fully equipped gym contains static cycle, multi gym, step machine, Pilates ball, stepper and yoga mats.
Includes: sauna, Jacuzzi, showers, chilled water and towels.
2 all-weather tennis courts which are available in daylight hours.
Includes: rackets and balls
For those of you who like a more gentle sport, we have a table tennis table. This is a fun way to meet other guests and challenge them to a game!
Includes: bats and balls.
Horseback riding at Galapagos Magic Camp 1-3 hours
Many of the horses on the Galapagos Islands are descendants of a group of pure-bred animals brought here by an American colonist before the Galapagos became a National Park. Today these horses have sadly lost their purity but have adapted to the rugged volcanic landscape, giving you a safe, comfortable and enjoyable ride.
The camp is only a 10 minute drive from the hotel. The camp will allocate calm and experienced horses for beginners and the first ½ hour is spent in an enclosed area where riders and horses can get to know each other. Riders can then take the horses into the main field to practice and get ready for a 1-2 hour accompanied ride. For experienced riders, the camp has plenty of horses to choose from. This tour takes around 2-3 hours, led by a one of the camp’s guides. This is a great way to see the Santa Cruz countryside, passing several properties and estates in the lush Highland forests, inhabited by the giant tortoises.
Includes: transport, saddled horse and guide. Please book your horseback riding in advance with concierge.