Discover the Galapagos Islands through an active land tour that will deliver the most extraordinary elements of this world-class nature-heaven. As you kayak, mountain bike, trek or snorkel you will experience incredibly close encounters with sea lions, iguanas, giant tortoises, boobies, rays, a myriad of tropical fish! This is a socially and environmentally responsible tour that provides many benefits to local island communities. Learn and enjoy from top adventure and nature guides that will immerse you in the realm of natural history and evolution.
- Duration: 10 days
- Arrival: Daily
- Departure: Daily
- Destinations: Quito, Galápagos Island
|Day 1||Arrival in Quito||—||Quito|
|Day 2||Arrival in Galapagos||(B)||San Cristobal Island|
|Day 3||Galapagos Island Tour||(B) (L)||Sea Lions Island|
|Day 4||Galapagos Island Tour||(B) (L)||Isabela Island|
|Day 5||Galapagos Island Tour||(B) (L)||Isabela Island|
|Day 6||Galapagos Island Tour||(B) (L)||Isabela Island|
|Day 7||Galapagos Island Tour||(B)||Santa Cruz Island|
|Day 8||Galapagos Island Tour||(B)||Santa Cruz Island|
|Day 9||Galapagos Island / Flight to Quito||(B)||Quito|
|Day 10||Flight to your next Destination||(B)|
Day 1: Arrival in Quito
Welcome to Quito! The biggest, best-preserved colonial city of America was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire.
Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. If you desire, Advice Peru can help you to organize a day trip.
In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel for a welcome briefing; there will be plenty of time to discuss details and answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day.
Day 02: Travel Day to Galapagos Islands (San Cristobal Island)
Today we get ready to explore the most amazing archipelago in the Pacific coast and the place where Charles Darwin based his theory of the evolution of species off of.
We board a morning flight from Quito to the island of San Cristóbal. Once we arrive, we will travel to the hotel in the town of Puerto Moreno and a conduct a short briefing about the next days, before the adventure begins.
In the afternoon we head to “La Loberia,” which is both the home beach and nursery for large Galapagos sea lions. We can spot them launching over rocks or just lazy dozing in the sand. We also get to see yellow warbler birds, frigate birds, and several species of Darwin finches along the beach. In-between the rocks we can find marine iguanas, which you can only see in Galapagos. We also have the time to go for a refreshing swim, explore the waters with our snorkel equipment and enjoy the beach.
Day 03: Snorkel at Kicker Rock and Visit to Isla de los Lobos (Sea Lions Island)
In the morning, we will take a speed boat to Kicker Rock, also known as the Sleeping Lion (Leon Dormido) because of its resemblance. This site is located off the coast of San Cristobal. The remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea, two vertical rocks rising 500 feet above the ocean, form a small channel that is navigable by small boats.
This Galapagos Islands natural monument has become a favorite sight due to the many tropicbirds, frigate birds and boobies that fill the sky in this area. Beneath the sea, the crystal waters offer a brilliant show of colorful tropical fish, such as rainbow fish, and sharks, like hammerhead-, reef- and white tip sharks.
After lunch, we visit Sea Lions Island (Isla de Los Lobos). This appropriately named island is ripe with noisy, frolicking, jolly sea lions who will welcome us to their home with open fins. This island also offers great snorkeling opportunities as well as the chance to see blue-footed and Nazca boobies.
Day 04: Exploring Isabela on Two Wheels
In the morning, we take a short flight to Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago and the place where the most volcanic activity in the Galapagos is reported.
The island is formed by six shield volcanoes; Alcedo, Cerra Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf. Five of these volcanoes are still active, and therefore make this island is one of the most volcanically active places on earth. During our island crossing, we will be on the lookout for dolphins and whales (July to October).
In the afternoon, we head out on our mountain bikes to explore the beautiful coastline on an exclusive trail, taking us through an incredible ecosystem with a wide variety of wildlife. We start with a visit to the Wall of Tears, a massive wall built with lava rocks. This site dates back to the ‘50s, when Isabela was used as a penal colony and prisoners were forced to build the wall to keep them from going mad because of the isolation they experienced.
As we continue our ride along the coast, we explore pristine, white sand beaches, mangrove forests and lagoons. This area is filled with diverse bird life, including American oyster catchers, herons, flamingos, finches and many shore birds, as well as the ubiquitous sea lions and marine iguanas.
After dinner, we can enjoy a breath-taking sunset on the beach of Puerto Villamil.
Day 05: Hiking to Sierra Negra Volcano and Kayaking in Tintoreras
After driving up from Puerto Villamil to the trailhead, we prepare our backpacks and hike into a young forest ecosystem, a world of recent geological history. Our destination is the rim of Sierra Negra Crater, an active volcano which last erupted in October, 2005. Upon arrival, we will have in breathtaking views and the opportunity to explore the circumference of the massive, lava-filled crater, over six miles across at its widest point. If we feel energetic enough, we can continue our hike to Volcan Chico, a secondary crater that has a wild landscape of puffing smoke roles and colorful lava formations; great examples of the dramatic geological events that have forged the Galapagos Islands over past millennia.
In the afternoon, we return to Puerto Villamil and we go kayaking in Tintoreras to watch sea lions, penguins, turtles and marine iguanas.
Day 06: Lava Tunnels Exploration
Today, we explore the amazing formations of lava created by the last eruptions of the Volcanic Island along the seashore. This magical place is been featured by BBC /National Geographic for different documentaries. It is a labyrinth of lava arches inside the breakers with crystal clear water full of huge sea turtles, eagle rays, sea lions, fish, white tipped reef sharks and more. Turtles navigate their own highway from the mangroves to the open sea through “Los Tuneles.” Here, we will have the best snorkeling opportunity with all these beautiful animals, including the curious Galapagos penguin playing around.
Before or after the trip, you can enjoy some optional activities such as snorkeling at “Concha de Perla”, taking surfing lessons, or just relax on the exotic white-sand beaches of Isabela Island. We recommend that you to take some time to visit the giant tortoise breeding center.
Day 07: Santa Cruz, Charles Darwin Research Station and Highlands
In the morning we embark on a fast boat ride from Isabela to Santa Cruz Island. During our island crossing, we will be on the lookout for dolphins and whales (July to October). Once we arrive, we will check in at the hotel. We will have time to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about many of the endemic species we met during our adventure, as well as the ongoing conservation and management efforts on the Galapagos Islands.
In the afternoon, we head to the ‘El Chato’ Reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to the famous Galapagos tortoise. Hiking through El Chato’s beautiful scenery with those lumbering giants is an unforgettable experience! We also see other highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers and finches on our hike. We can also observe frigate birds which gather to wash the salt off their feathers at a fresh water lake.
We return to Puerto Ayora to spend the evening in Galapagos’ most populous town.
Day 08: Free Day in Santa Cruz
Today, you can experience the Galapagos at your pace! As an option, you can go on a self-guided exploration walk through a dry forest to Tortuga Bay (about 3 ½ miles long), a beautiful white sand beach and nesting side to thousands of marine turtles. This beautiful place is perfect for swimming or snorkeling. Alternatively, you can join any of the optional activities (at an extra cost), such as a trip to Floreana Island, Bartolome Island or a scuba-diving day trip, just to mention a few.
Day 09: Travel to Baltra Airport – Flight Back to Quito
After our final breakfast on the Galapagos Islands and taking some last photos of sea lions, we have a travel to Baltra’s airport in time to catch the flight back to the mainland.
Day 10: Departure & End of Services
International departures, end of services. Take with you memories and photos, and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador as soon as possible to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a “buen viaje”!
Feel free to ask about flights, we can offer quotes at affordable rates!
- Quito – Galápagos
- Galápagos – Quito
- San Cristóbal – Isabela
- Transportation: Sea transportation Santa Cruz – Isabela islands, private and comfortable land
- Accommodation based on double occupancy
- Activities: Snorkeling at Kicker Rock and Isla de los Lobos, trekking to the top of Sierra Negra active volcano in Isabela Island, snorkeling in Lava Tunnels, kayaking in Tintoreras, biking to the Wall of Tears, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, hiking in Santa Cruz highlands
- Meals: 9 breakfasts, 3 box lunches
- Gear: snorkeling mask and fins, life vest, mountain bikes, helmets, kayaks and paddles
- Trip Leader: Certified expert, English-speaking adventure trip leader (minimum 4 people for this service) and local nature guides in the Galapagos National Park
- Your own room supplement: $556 USD
- International flights
- Airport transportation (international flights)
- Travel insurance (mandatory)
- Meals not described in the itinerary – estimated budget $240 USD
- INGALA transit card: $20 USD per person, cash only (subject to change)
- Galapagos National Park fee: $100 USD per person, cash only (subject to change)
- $10 USD pier-use fee at Puerto Villamil
- Snorkeling gear (mask and fins) for optional activities: $8 USD per day per person
- Wet suit for rent: $10 USD