Ecuador: Island Galapagos – San Cristobal, Isabela,Santa Cruz – Quito

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Active Galapagos

Eldorado for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers

  • Natural wonders of the Galapagos – meet some of the most extraordinary animal species in the world
  • Discover fascinating underwater worlds with snorkel and diving goggles
  • Conquer the Sierra Negra volcano on Isabela Island
  • Giant tortoises on Santa Cruz
  • Swimming race with sea lions
  • Discover Galapagos with hotel comfort and thus more opportunities to meet the residents

The Galapagos Islands are one of the last true natural paradises in the world. Even Charles Darwin was enchanted by the extraordinary flora and fauna of the islands. On this trip, you too can explore the unique natural beauty, history and wildlife of the Galapagos by foot, boat, hike or underwater. Climb a volcano on Isabela Island and get up close and personal with giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island. These nearly extinct creatures are one of the biggest attractions of the Galapagos Islands. Follow in Darwin’s footsteps and discover colorful, exotic animals and a region that you will remember forever once you have experienced it. This is a land based Galapagos trip, we use local hotels on the islands.

Travel Program

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Quito, Ecuador. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2pm. Please look for a notice in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you can’t organize a flight that will arrive on time, you might want to arrive a day early so you can attend. We will be happy to book additional accommodation for you.

One of the most attractive cities in South America, Quito sits at an altitude of 2,850 meters with a view of the Pichincha Volcano on the horizon. We will be back in Quito at the end of the trip, giving you the opportunity to further explore the city.

Optional Activities
– Quilotoa Lagoon (Full Day) – USD100
– Papallacta Hot Springs (full day) – USD70
– Hiking Tour in Cotopaxi National Park – USD95
– Quito Market Discovery – USD98
– Quito Culinary Experience – USD104
– Quito Legends and Culture Tour – USD79

Accommodation: Mid-range hotel

Overnight hotel (-/-/-)

Early morning we fly to Galapagos Island of San Cristobal, your gateway to the Galapagos Islands!

After joining up with your fellow travelers who start their trip right on the islands, we head to La Loberia where you don your snorkeling gear for the first time and go for a swim among sea lions and maybe see sea turtles. Back in town, you have the evening at leisure. Maybe you go out with the group and enjoy the fresh seafood that is available here.

Activities included:
Snorkeling in La Loberia (1.5 hours)

Accommodation: Mid-range hotel

Overnight hotel (-/-/-)

Today begins with a 45 minute boat ride to Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock). Along the way we may spot nesting frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies. There is also the opportunity to swim among playful young sea lions. At Leon Dormido, you can snorkel and look out for sea turtles, manta rays, and maybe the odd harmless Galapagos shark. The currents can be quite strong so it is important that you are a confident swimmer to take part in this activity. If you have any concerns, please speak to your guide. Lunch will be taken on the boat, after which we will go to the Interpretation Center. Here you can learn more about the history of the “Enchanted Islands” and the conservation projects, who strive to preserve them. Continue to Frigatebird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas), located two kilometers from the Interpretation Center. It’s quite a strenuous climb, but the stunning views of the bay are well worth it. In the late afternoon or early evening we return to the city.

Extra Information:
If we are unable to visit Leon Dormido, we will alternatively visit Isla Lobos where sea lions, seabirds and marine iguanas are abundant.

Activities included:
Excursion to Leon Dormido or Lobos Islands
Visit to the Interpretation Center on Isla San Cristobal (45 minutes)
Hike to Cerro Tijeretas viewpoint (1 hour)

Accommodation: Mid-range hotel

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

Early in the morning we take the boat towards Isla Floreana, which should take around 2.5 hours. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife like dolphins and whales along the way. Upon arrival on the island, you can snorkel in the clear waters and stop for lunch. Afterwards, continue to a black sand beach owned by the Witmers, descendants of the first settlers in Galapagos. This town, Puerto Velasco Ibarra, has about 150 residents and a fascinating history of deaths, disappearances and murders. In the late afternoon we say goodbye to Floreana and continue to Isla Isabela (approx. 2 hours). From Isabela Port it is a short transfer to the hotel where we will spend the night (about 15 minutes).

Note: Please note that a port fee of USD 10 must be paid by each visitor upon arrival at Isla Isabela.

Activities included:
Snorkeling at Floreana

Driving time: approx. 2 hours

Accommodation: Mid-range hotel

Overnight Hotel (B/L/-)

We start the second day on Isla Isabela with a short bus ride (approx. 15 minutes) to the Arnaldo Tupiza Turtle Center where you can observe giant tortoises in all stages of development. The center is home to almost a thousand giant tortoises preparing for their life in the wild. We then head to a brackish water lagoon to spot flamingos. In the afternoon we board a small zodiac (panga) and drive to Las Tintoreras (Shark Alley). Keep an eye out for blue-footed boobies and the famous Galapagos penguin. Upon arrival we take a short walk on this isolated island and popular iguana nesting site. Snorkel in a tranquil bay teeming with colorful fish and winding underground lava tubes. This area is frequented by green sea turtles, who like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom. In the late afternoon, head back to town in search of your own sandy resting place and enjoy your first Isabela sunset, arguably the most beautiful on the island.

Activities included:
Las Tintoreras or Shark Alley visit (2.5 hours)
Flamingo Lagoon visit (30 minutes)
Giant Tortoise Breeding Center (1 hour)

Accommodation: Mid-range hotel

Overnight hotel (B/-/-)

We start this day on Isla Isabela with a trip to the Sierra Negra volcano (about 45 minutes by bus), one of the most active volcanoes in Galapagos and the second largest crater in the world. If the weather permits, you will undertake a challenging hike of about 17 kilometers up the rocky mountain, which takes 5-6 hours. After the hike we make our way back to town where you can curl up with a book or take a relaxing swim in the sea before dinner.

Special information:
For today’s hike, please wear comfortable hiking shoes that offer good grip. It can get quite slippery during the rainy season. You can rent rubber boots on site if you want. It can get quite hot during the hike and there isn’t much shade along the way. Therefore, you should bring a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water (we recommend 2 liters per person).

Activities Included:
Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 hours)

Accommodation: Mid-range hotel

Overnight hotel (B/L/-)

Start the day with a kayak tour around Isabela before we take a private speedboat to Isla Santa Cruz. Once there, you can visit a restaurant that offers a typical Edwardian lunch menu. This usually consists of a fresh juice, a simple starter (usually a soup) and a main course. These lunch specials are popular throughout Ecuador and it’s a great way to dine like a local. In the afternoon you have free time to further explore the city or take an optional excursion to the Charles Darwin Research Center.

Optional Activities:
Charles Darwin Research Center Visit (45 minutes) – Complimentary

Activities included:
Kayaking on Isla Isabela

Accommodation: Mid-range hotel

Overnight hotel (B/-/-)

In the afternoon we visit the highlands of Isla Santa Cruz to observe the giant tortoises in the wild. We then visit a local sugar cane farm. Here the farmers will show us how the sugar cane is processed and turned into alcohol. Keep an eye out for eagle rays, sea turtles and blue-footed boobies along the way. Later it’s back to Puerto Ayora.

You can also look forward to probably the most beautiful beach on the Galapagos Island: the wonderful white sandy beach of Tortuga Bay. An approximately 2.5 km long hike leads from Puerto Ayora to the curved and fine sandy Bahía Tortuga. The easy trail leads through a dry forest and on the way you can watch lava lizards and listen to the singing of finches and mockingbirds. Sea turtles use the white and soft sand for nesting, hence the name “Tortuga Bay”. We reach the beach after about 30-45 minutes walk. If you don’t want to hike, you can also take a water taxi from Puerto Ayora (about USD 10). Marine iguanas, pelicans and Sally Lightfoot crabs inhabit the beach, which is surrounded by typical coastal vegetation including cacti, saltbrush and palo santo trees.

Activities included:
Excursion to the Santa Cruz Highlands
Hike in Tortuga Bay

Accommodation: Mid-range hotel

Overnight hotel (B/L/-)

We say goodbye to the Galapagos Islands and fly back to Quito (Please note that the flight has a stopover in Guayaquil).
In the late afternoon we arrive back in Quito. Maybe you’ll head out for one last dinner with your fellow travelers.

Accommodation: Mid-range hotel

Overnight hotel (B/-/-)

This morning your adventure ends in Quito. As there are no activities planned for the last day, you can leave at any time.

As there is little time spent in Quito on this trip, we recommend staying a few days longer to see more of Ecuador. If you decide to stay longer, we are happy to help you book accommodation.

Overnight hotel (B/-/-)

Included meals: B=breakfast; L=lunch; D=dinner

What's Included

Services included in the prices:

  • Galapagos active trip according to the program
  • Transport, accommodation and meals according to the program
  • Excursions, activities and visits as per itinerary
  • Snorkeling in La Loberia
  • Excursion to Leon Dormido or Lobos Islands
  • Visit to the Interpretation Center on San Cristobal
  • Visit to the Cerro Tijeretas viewpoint
  • Snorkeling on Floreana
  • Kayak excursion on Isla Isabela
  • Excursion to the Santa Cruz highlands
  • Visit Tortuga Bay with hike on Santa Cruz Island
  • Tintoteras or Shark Avenue, visit to the Flamingo Lagoon, giant tortoise feeding station and hike up the Sierra Negro Volcano on Isla Isabela

Not included:

  • Meals and drinks not mentioned
  • Personal expenses, tips
  • Optional excursions and activities
  • Galapagos National Park Fee (USD 100)
  • Galapagos Transit Card (USD 20)
  • Isabela Port Fee (USD 10)
  • airport taxes and departure taxes

Prices & Dates

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» Additional dates available upon request
» Rates may vary from July 26th to 31th for the national holidays

Prices (per person):

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Deposit for reservations: — USD (– EUR) ✓ Full payment 40 days before. No refund if you cancel less than 30 days!

Places: 🟢 *Available
Trip-code: Number ►ECU-
Duration: 10 days
Participants: Minimal: 4 Maximal: 12
Members: We don’t have an open group to join – We can open a new group – Contact us!
Country / Location: Ecuador
Mountain Guide: Eric Albino Lliuya
Other dates / additional info: Contact us!

3% early bird discount when booking 6 months prior to departure 2023

Legend Booking-information:
EZZ Single room supplement
🟢 On this trip, places are still available.
🟡 On this trip, only a few places left.
🔴 This trip is sold out / closed.

Eric Raul Albino Lliuya

Expert guide certified by AGOMP
General Sales Manager of Peru Expeditions

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