The Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands

Trip Overview  |  Important Trip Information  |  Additional Experiences  |  Trip Gallery  |  Itinerary Overview

Trip Overview

A once in a lifetime awaits you in Ecuador, especially if you are a wildlife buff. Channel your inner Darwin and visit a few of the marquee islands in the Galapagos Archipelago, home to the amazing Giant Tortoises, Blue footed Boobies, Galapagos Penguins and many more. You will also have an opportunity to hike, kayak, and snorkel, on what is sure to be a trip you never forget.

Price range varies depending on group size, time of travel, accommodation level, and included activities.

Important Trip Information

Accomodations

  • Hotel 8 Nights

Meals

  • 8 Breakfasts
  • 5 Lunches
  • 2 Dinners

Transport

  • Air-conditioned vehicle transfers throughout
  • Private and public speed boats
  • Flights – Quito – Galapagos – Quito

Trip Highlights

  • English speaking guide throughout
  • Isabela Island Tour
  • Tintoreras
  • Sierra Negra Volcano
  • Giant Tortoise Breeding Center
  • Remote Island Excursions
  • Tortuga Bay
  • Full Day winery tour
  • Tigre and Delta Tour
  • Green Tour with Lunch

Exclusions

  • International flights
  • International airport departure tax
  • Any visas required
  • Services not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Late check out at hotels
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned in the itinerary
  • Drinks with included lunches and dinners
  • Tips for leaders, guide and driver
  • Expenditure of personal nature
  • Personal Insurance
  • Optional activities

Additional Experiences
Itinerary Overview
Day 1 - Quito

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Ecuador. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5 or 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. Sitting at an altitude of 2,850 m under the gaze of Volcan Pichincha, Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America. Long and incredibly thin, the city stretches along a central valley formed by the east and west ranges of the Andes. Although compact, Quito’s Old Town is full of historic buildings – there are more than 30 churches to explore, not to mention the fascinating museums.

Included Activities:

Included Meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 2 - Isla Isabela, Galapagos

This morning you will be transferred to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. You will be met in the arrival hall of the airport by a National Park Guide. After lunch time you’ll be transferred to Isabela Island (about 2.5 hrs. navigation).

After your arrival you’ll have a walking tour to know a little bit more about the island and their surroundings.

Included Activities: Isla Isabela walking tour

Included Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 3 - Isla Isabela, Galapagos

In the morning after breakfast you’ll board a small pangas for Tintoreras or Shark Alley. On our way we will go along the coast line in the hope to spot blue-footed boobies and the famous Galapagos penguin who is home on the western part of the arquipelago. On arrival, hop off for a short walk on this isolated islet and popular iguana nesting site that’s home to hundreds of marine iguanas. Snorkel in a calm inlet with colourful fish and winding underground lava tubes. This area is frequented by green sea turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom.

Late afternoon returns to town in search of your own sandy resting spot and enjoy your first Isabela sunset, arguably the most beautiful of all the islands.

Included Activities: Isla Isabela – Tintoreras

Included Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 4 - Isla Isabela, Galapagos

Start the day with a visit to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre for a close encounter with these placid giants. Here you can see tortoises in different stages of development as well learn about the preservation program of this unique species.

Take a bus to the highest part of Isabela Island where Sierra Negra Volcano is located. Weather permitting, go for a hike up to the crater to enjoy spectacular views and the possibility of sighting the rare vermillion flycatcher. The challenging 17-kilometre hike takes between five and six hours both ways, but at the top you’ll be able to enjoy spectacular views. Please ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes that offer good support for the rocky climb.

During the rainy season it can get quite muddy. There is an option to hire gumboots locally, should you wish to do so. During the hike it can get quite hot, there isn’t much shade along the way so be sure to come prepared with your hat and sunscreen etc.

After the hike, make your way back to town in the late afternoon for some free time to curl up with a book or venture down to the water for a relaxing swim before dinner. Unfortunately, recycling isn’t available on Isabela, so please take your plastic rubbish with you.

Included Activities: Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre, Sierra Negra Volcano Hike

Included Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 5 - Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Early in the morning, take a two-and-a-half-hour public speed boat ride to Isla Santa Cruz. Once in Santa Cruz have breakfast and Settle into the hotel.

Mid-morning visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The station’s visitor centre and museums contain information about the islands and the conservation efforts being made to preserve the unique ecosystem here. It’s also a great place to have close encounters with giant tortoises. In the afternoon, head to the higher part of the islands to observe these giants roaming in their natural habitat.

Included Activities: Highlands Visit – Dry Landing, Charles Darwin Research Centre

Included Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 6 - Santa Cruz, Galapagos

On Day 6 you will visit one of the below islands. The island you visit will depend on the day of the week you travel and is limited to the boat capacity up to 16 passengers so we might divide the group to different islands.

Bartolome:  Bartolome is the most recognizable and photographed island in the archipelago thanks to its distinctive pinnacle rock. You’ll walk along a wood trail to the top of this once-active volcano, seeing the different lava rock formations that were created during the formation of island on the way. At the top you’ll have a fantastic panoramic across to Santiago Island’s Sullivan Bay – look out for the surrounding plants like lava cactus, as well as Darwin`s finches. After the walk, take a zodiac ride along the island to meet the cheeky Galapagos penguins, and then disembark on the beach for some snorkelling. This is a great place to see white tip reef sharks, sea turtles, many fish, and maybe swim alongside sea lions. You’ll then return to Puerto Ayora.

Seymour: The small island of North Seymour is home to many different species of animals, and is the best place to see the frigate birds with their bulbous red throats, watch the iconic blue footed boobies dance, spot land and marine iguanas, and search for Galapagos sea lions and fur seals. On a two-hour walk around this magical island you’ll also spy other sea birds like swallow-tailed gulls and shearwater, as well as many tropical birds. After the walk you’ll return to the boat for lunch, then sail to Bachas beach on Santa Cruz Island. This is a nesting area for sea turtles and there’s a small lagoon where flamingoes can occasionally be seen. You’ll also strap on your mask again for some snorkelling through the beautiful waters.

Santa Fe: Taking an 80-minute boat ride from Puerto Ayora, cruise to one of the most beautiful bays in the Archipelago. Here the pristine colour of the water allows you to see the bottom, and you might swim alongside eagle rays, sting rays, sea turtles and lots of fish. Santa Fe is known for its large colony of sea lions that lounge around on the two beaches. On the shore there are two trails that can be hiked – both give you the opportunity to see the Santa Fe land iguana, which is found only on this island. One of the trails is into the opuntia forest, home to the archipelago’s largest trees, and you can hike along the cliffs. The vegetation of Santa Fe is notable for the very large Prickly Pear Cacti. After the walk, return to the boat, where it’s time for some snorkelling in the pristine waters – sea lion pups will be eager to swim along too. Then make the return journey to Puerto Ayora.

Plazas: South Plazas is located on the east cost of Santa Cruz Island. It was formed from uplifted marine lava and is one of the smallest islands on the archipelago. It’s one of the most concentrated wildlife sites around through. Disembark at a small dock frequently occupied by sea lions, then walk through a small forest of prickly pear cacti, decorated with their yellow flowers, and look out for land iguanas waiting for the fruits and flowers to fall to the ground. Make your way up to the top of a cliff, where you can often see a shoal of the native yellow-tailed mullet in the waters below. Look up for views of swallow-tailed gulls, tropical bird, frigate birds, and pelicans. At the eastern end of the island bull sea lions congregate to rest and recover their energy after losing their territory; and plot to once again become the beach master. After this enjoyable walk, return to the boat for lunch, and then sail to Punta Carrion for some more snorkeling. This is a great chance for underwater photos of sea turtles, white tip reef sharks, sea lions and many fish. You’ll then return to Puerto Ayora.

Included Activities: Day tour in Santa Cruz

Included Meals: breakfast, lunch

Day 7 - Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Today you’’ll have a visit to Tortuga Bay in the morning, walking the path is an experience in itself. We saw lava lizards and a number of birds including a yellow warbler and a Galapagos mockingbird. Some of the birds were curious and flew from tree to tree following us part of the way. We also enjoyed seeing the cactus and other plants along the way.

Once you get to the end of the path you’ll come to Playa Brava. Swimming is prohibited at this beach because of dangerous currents. You’ll need to walk (to the right) along this beach until you come to a path through the mangroves that takes you to Playa Mansa a protected bay where you can swim and enjoy the shade of the mangroves.

Included Activities: Isla Santa Cruz – Tortuga Bay visit

Included Meals: breakfast

Day 8 - Quito

We bid farewell to the Galapagos Islands and all its inhabitants and head to the airport for our flight back to Quito for the last night of our tour. Upon arrival in Quito Airport we are transferred back to our hotel for an overnight stay. Hit the tiles in Quito to talk about all those giant tortoises you saw whilst knocking back a couple of Canelazos. Heavenly.

Included Activities: 

Included Meals: breakfast, dinner

Day 9 - Quito

Our tour ends today after breakfast. There are no activities planned for the final day so we are able to depart our accommodation at any time. If you have not spent time here before, we recommend you stay on a few days as there are many fascinating things to do in and around Quito. Please speak to our customer service representative about any optional activities that might be of interest. They can also assist you in booking a departure transfer to the airport.

Included Activities: 

Included Meals: breakfast

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