Exploring the Floreana Highlands
After breakfast, we leave to explore the Floreana highlands on our open-air bus (chiva) – an unbeatable, historic, and comfortable way to see the island.
On the way, our naturalist guide will share the colorful history of some of Floreana’s first inhabitants, such as the Wittmers (whose descendants still live on the Island), the ‘Baroness,’ and the pirates that once visited here. They will also tell us about the “Enigma of Floreana,” involving the mysterious deaths of several of the Island´s inhabitants. The enigma is a riddle from the 1930’s that has never been solved and was featured in the film “The Galapagos Affair.”
After driving into the highlands, we reach Asilo de la Paz (Peace Haven) where our hike begins. We walk up to this historic site, explore the pirate caves, and visit the freshwater spring that provides water for the entire Island, with our guide sharing stories and history along the way. As we traverse the hillside, we can expect to see giant tortoises lumbering around in the vegetation or even on the trail.
We depart Asilo de Paz walking down through a rural area where the local people grow produce for their own consumption. This is a fascinating example of how the island people survived in this remote place and over the years were able to develop an understanding of the local environment and now work to preserve their unique agricultural knowledge. On our way back to the coast, we will make a stop at Claudio’s farm, La Primavera, where we will watch the extraordinary behavior of the frigate birds who ‘dance’ as they wash their salty wings in the fresh water lake on the farm. With a little bit of luck, we may be able to see males puffing up the red pouches on their chests in an attempt to attract females. We’ll also see where some of the delicious fruit and vegetables that we’ve been eating at the lodge come from.
From La Primavera farm we continue by chiva down to Las Palmas, where the Island’s first permanent inhabitant, the eccentric Dr. Ritter, lived and is buried. Arriving in 1926, the German physician believed that with a combination of exercise and the right vegetarian diet he would live to be 150 years old. He didn´t, but his story is one of the many strange episodes that make up the intriguing history of the island.
Making our way back to the lodge, we will be treated to spectacular views of the Floreana shoreline.
Back at Lava Lodge we will prepare a very special barbecue lunch, featuring delicious Cruz family recipes!
After lunch, we have a free afternoon. Practice your kayak or SUP skills, go snorkeling in La Loberia or simply relax and take in the beautiful Galapagos views from the Lava Lodge.
Overnight at Lava Lodge BLD