Exploration Activities


Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel guests exploring the beach.

Explore the Enchanted Islands!

Island Yacht Exploration*

*Visits to North Seymour, Bartolome, South Plaza, Santa Fe and Santiago Island. Check schedules for exact daily tour information.

North Seymour Island

Galapagos sea lion.
Land iguana.
North Seymour Island.
Blue-footed booby.
Magnificent frigatebird.
North Seymour Island.
Seymour Island.

North Seymour was lifted from the ocean floor by a seismic event, and its origins as a seabed give the island its low, flat profile. Cliffs only a few meters high form the shoreline, where swallow-tailed gulls sit among the ledges and rocks. A tiny forest of silver-grey Palo Santo trees stands just above the landing, usually without leaves, waiting for the rains to burst into bloom. This island is teaming with life!

Bartolome Island

Bartolome Island, Galapagos.
Galapagos se lion.
Bartolome Island.
Galapagos hawk.
Bartolome Island.
Snorkeling in Bartolome Island.
Bartolome Island.

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 islands. 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 to play with passing snorkelers.

South Plaza Island

South Plaza Island.
Land Iguana.
South Plazas.
South Plazas ISland.
South Plazas Island.
Nazca Booby.

South Plaza is a small island full of fascinating wildlife, both along its shore and along its dramatic, wind-swept cliffs: sea lions, land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, Opuntia cacti and vegetation that changes colours according to the season. South Plaza is one of Galapagos’ most impressive visiting sites.

Santa Fe Island

Santa Fe Land iguana.
Galapagos Islands.
Santa Fe Island.
Santa Fe Island.
Galapagos sea lions.
Sea turttle in Galapagos.

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 forming an ideal anchorage. 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 underwater lava formations.

Guest snorkeling with a sea turtle in the Galapagos Islands.

Explore the beautiful marine life in the Galapagos Islands.

Beginning and experienced snorkelers alike will quickly fall in love with snorkelling in Galapagos. The Marine Reserve offers opportunities that cannot be found anywhere else in the world, showcasing numerous unusual coloured fish species, enormous sea turtles, and harmless sharks. And sharing the water with playful sea lions is, of course, an unforgettable experience. Some of the best spots: right outside the hotel, las Grietas, Bartolome, North Seymour, Santa Fe.

Giant Tortoises in the Highlands of Santa Cruz

Depart the hotel towards the Highlands of Santa Cruz. From there a short drive across the farming area will lead us to El Manzanillo at the northern edge of the Giant Tortoise Reserve. El Manzanillo is located on the natural path tortoises take every year as they either migrate to higher moist locations during the garúa season (June-September), or descend to the warmer lowlands during the wet season. The Galapagos giant tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra) is the largest living tortoise species, weighing up to 250 kg (550 lb). It plays an important biological role as the top grazer in its habitat. In the wild, these gentle giants slowly barrel their way through the plant cover. The shape of their carapaces varies from island to island. On Santa Cruz, year round, tortoises can be seen grazing on the surrounding vegetation, or wallowing in muddy banks or in a small red-coloured pond (impressively coloured by surface red pond-weeds).

Galapagos iconic specie, the giant tortoise.

Encounter with the iconic species of the Galapagos Islands.

The area is teeming with life: chirping vegetarian-, small-tree, large-tree and woodpecker mockingbirds and flycatchers, as well as ducks, herons and gallinules make this an exciting morning visit. On the return to Puerto Ayora, visit one of the island’s lava tunnels, significant geological formations that take us back in time and allow us to remember how lava flows formed the islands. Lunch at El Manzanillo.

Tortuga Bay
Tortuga Bay in the Galapagos Islands.

Have a great experience in the Galapagos Islands.

Tortuga Bay is located to the southwest of Puerto Ayora, on Santa Cruz Island. Its name means “turtle”, and the island received this moniker because it is the sea turtles’ favourite place to lay their eggs. The stunning white sand beach is considered by many to be the most beautiful in the Galapagos archipelago. The beach is reached via a marked and cobblestoned two kilometre-path that starts at the west end of Charles Binford Street; guests must sign in and out at the National Park control point at the beginning of the path– it is open from 6:00 AM to 6:30 PM daily. There is excellent bird-watching along the path, with plenty of Darwin’s finches and other sea birds. And for active visitors, it is a great place to kayak, snorkel and surf!

Wildlife Observation
Guests exploring the highlands of Santa Cruz Island and encounter with giant tortoises.

The giant tortoises are among the most famous species of the Galapagos Islands.

Wildlife observation is the prime reason why so many people choose to visit the archipelago. Nowhere else in the world can we observe animals so closely, so calmly. Galapagos’ iconic wildlife shows no fear of humans, providing us with an amazing opportunity to see their daily lives – mating rituals, the birth and feeding of their young, competition for scarce resources – from no more than 2 meters (6 feet) away. As we journey through the islands’ haunting volcanic landscapes, much like Charles Darwin before us, we find inspiration in the unique endemic species that have evolved in ways unexpected and we leave with another perspective on the greater patterns that govern life on Earth.

Las Grietas
Las Grietas in the Galapagos Islands.

Enjoy unique adventures in the Galapagos Islands.

Our walk to Las Grietas takes us through a mangrove and oputia cactus-filled landscape as we pass through old salt mines before reaching a series of volcanic crevices that have become a popular swimming and snorkeling destination for visitors to Santa Cruz. Jump off the rocks into the crystalline waters, a mix of fresh water from the highlands and Pacific Ocean waters that attracts numerous marine species and offers a great place to cool off on a hot day.

Charles Darwin Research Station
Guests at the Charles Darwin Research Station in Galapagos Islands.

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit this research station used by scientists and conservationists from all around the world!

The headquarters of the Galapagos National Park Service and The Charles Darwin Research Station are located side by side on the outskirts of Puerto Ayora. There is an interpretation centre open to the public and also one may view the tortoise rearing program. Those guests who do not have the opportunity to explore the highlands of Santa Cruz and see tortoises in their natural habitat will have the chance to see tortoises here. And for those who have already seen them in the wild, a visit to the Centre will expand their knowledge of this unique, iconic Galapagos animal.

El Garrapatero Beach

Garrapatero Cove and beach are considered to have the finest sand in all Galapagos! We enjoy a soothing dip in the waters; take a small trip on a tandem, sit-on-top kayak; lie on the beach; or walk a short distance to a brackish lagoon, home of stilts, plovers, pintails and flamingoes.

Island Hopping
Island Hopping in the Galapagos Islands.

Ready to explore more of the Enchanted Islands?

Metropolitan Touring’s innovative island hopping concept allows you to discover the best of the two most beautiful islands in the Galapagos: Santa Cruz and Isabela. On each island, stay at the best hotels with the most comfortable accommodations and wake up well rested to brand new inspiring views.

Relaxing Activities

The pool at the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel.

Enjoy a relaxing moment in our hotel’s pool.

Sometimes we want an active vacation. Other times, the best vacation is one in which we just lie back and enjoy the best of what our surroundings have to offer us. Or we can choose to combine both. At the Finch Bay, the hotel itself offers many opportunities to take it easy, be it resting on a pool lounge or a hammock, or digging our bare toes into the sand just steps away from our room. Sip a cocktail at the bar or indulge with fine dining at our renowned restaurant and end the day with a massage or watch as the stars illuminate the night sky with constellations from both the northern and southern hemispheres.

Puerto Ayora and other short walks

The hotel’s central location means you can enjoy a short stroll to Las Grietas or a walk on the beach, and of course, explore the town of Puerto Ayora. With its small cafes, boutiques and nightclubs, there is a little something to entertain everyone. Check out everyday life for locals at the farmer’s market on Saturdays or visit the fisherman’s wharf any day of the week and watch out for sea lions who want to taste the day’s catch. You will also find banks, pharmacies and – for our SCUBA diving guests – it’s a relief to know there is a 24/7 hyperbaric chamber in town.

  • Relax at the Pool
  • Beach at your Doorstep
  • Short Walks
  • Massages
  • Stargazing
  • Balcony and Hammock
  • Fine Dining
Stroll the street of Puerto Ayora

Explore the town of Puerto Ayora

The view of Puerto Ayora in the Galapagos Islands.

Take a walk in Puerto Ayora!

. With its small cafes, boutiques and nightclubs, there is a little something to entertain everyone. Check out everyday life for locals at the farmer’s market on Saturdays or visit the fisherman’s wharf any day of the week and watch out for sea lions who want to taste the day’s catch. You will also find banks, pharmacies and – for our SCUBA diving guests – it’s a relief to know there is a 24/7 hyperbaric chamber in town.

Adventure Activities

Guests encounter with White tip Reef Shark while snorkeling in the Galapagos Islands.

Don’t miss the opportunity to spot a White Tip Reef shark.

Scuba Diving
Guest encounter with Galapagos sea lions while Snorkeling in Santa Cruz.

The breathtaking upwellings in the Galapagos Islands.

You haven’t experienced the Galapagos until you see what’s below the water! The diving is truly world class and often rumored by pro divers to be completely unique.

Finch Bay Hotel offers PADI designed programs to allow guests to experience the thrill of SCUBA diving in a safe and fun environment. This diving package was designed by pro divers to highlight the best the Galapagos has to offer. A comprehensive underwater experience for adventurous divers that want to take home unforgettable memories. Most dive sites within the central islands are included, making this package a complete winner.

North Seymour, Daphne Minor, Cousins Rock, and the always amazing Gordon Rocks. Right on Santa Cruz.

Dive sites (number of dives per site):
Santa Fe (2), North Seymour (2), Daphne Minor (2), Mosquera Islet (2), Gordon Rocks (2), Cousins Rock(2), Floreana (2).
Note: Dive sites may be changed due to sea conditions, availability, National Park restrictions or safety requirements

Species which can be observed:
Among other marine life that can be found in the Galapagos Marine Reserve we find: large Galapagos garden eel colonies, sea turtles, rays, yellowtail grunts, bigeye jacks, and schools of snappers. We also have frequent sightings of shark, snake eels, sea turtles, mantas, amberjacks, barracudas. And often, we get to play with the many sea lions which reside on the beach and observe tropical fish, multicolored sponges, moray eel, octopus, and more.

  • Rays: Eagle and Manta Rays, Stingrays
  • Sharks: Hammerheads, White-Tipped Reef Sharks, Galapagos Shark,
  • Eels: Tiger Snake Eels, Moray Eels, Garden Eels,
  • Galapagos Giant Sea Turtles
  • Barracuda, tropical fish, the pelagic big fish, octopus, etc.
  • Crabs, oysters and starfish
  • Endemic Fish: Scorpionfish, Heiroglyphic Hawkfish, Cardinalfish, and much more..!

Note: Marine life encounters cannot be guaranteed

























Updated Scuba Iguana May 13/2016

Guests kayaking in Santa Fe Island in Galapagos.

Enjoy unique adventures in the Galapagos Islands!

Paddling around the waters of the Marine Reserve is a great way both to get some exercise and spot unique endemic wildlife. Birds rest on the cliffs that form the edges of the islands. Sea lions and their pups lie meters away on the beaches. Some of our favourite kayaking spots: Tortuga Bay, Garrapatero Beach, Divine Bay and Playa de los Alemanes (right outside the hotel gate).

Guest on a surfing adventure in the Galapagos Islands.

Enjoy a surfing adventure in the Galapagos Islands.

Tortuga Bay offers a great opportunity to work on your surfing technique – or learn it for the first time. An internationally recognized surf magnet, it features a spectacular white, sandy beach and surf from groundswells with breaks that offer both lefts and rights. It is rarely crowded, but of course, watch out for rocks, protected marine life, turtles, sharks and rays. And the walk to and from the beach is quite special in and of itself.

Guests on a hiking adventure in the Galaagos Islands.

Have a great hiking experience in the Enchanted Islands.

Explore the otherworldly landscapes formed by volcanic activity, some as recent as 100 years ago. Hikes in Galapagos vary from island to island and give visitors the chance to learn first-hand about geology and, of course, to get selfie distance away from fearless iconic island wildlife.

Biking at Santa Cruz Island in Galapagos.

There are all kinds of activities to have fun on your Galapagos vacation trip.

What better place to enjoy your pastime of biking than on Santa Cruz Island: Beautiful views, no traffic and unique animals on either side of the path. Easy downhill paths lead to easy walks to the beach accompanied by birdwatching opportunities. A great family activity!