Trip Type : Group Tour
The Galápagos Islands & Ecuador tour

The Galápagos Islands & Ecuador

Go Ahead Tours
4.9 . Excellent
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
10 days
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  • Quito’s UNESCO-recognized historic center
  • One-of-a-kind animal encounters
  • Snorkeling with sea lions & penguins
  • Dramatic volcanic landscapes
  • Flightless cormorants & fearless hawks

Short Description

Ecuador puts new meaning behind the saying, “good things come in small packages.” In terms of flora, fauna and opportunities for adrenaline-packed adventure (think zip lining through cloud forests and swimming alongside sea turtles), South America’s second smallest country runs the gamut. Journey to Quito for a taste of Ecuadorean culture and Incan legend. Then, island hop through the Galápagos, where you’ll move from mangrove swamps to lava flows to sunny shorelines, encountering scores of exotic creatures along the way.

Groups are between 25-60 people, typically ~30-40. Usually there will be many opportunities to split off and enjoy meals and excursions in smaller groups. This is the most economical way to travel, saving up to 40% versus booking the same itinerary yourself.
Trip Type Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Quito
End City Quito

Trip Includes

  • 4 nights in handpicked hotels & 4 nights aboard the M/V Galápagos Legend
  • Breakfast daily, 4 lunches, 4 dinners on board the ship, 2 three-course dinners with beer or wine on land
  • Private deluxe motor coach
  • Multilingual Tour Director
  • Select entrance fees

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Day 1: Flight & late-night arrival in Quito

After your flight, arrive late this evening in Quito and settle into your hotel.

Day 2: Sightseeing tour of Quito

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Today, embark on a guided sightseeing tour of Quito before meeting your fellow travelers at tonight’s welcome dinner.

Enjoy a walking tour of Old Town, passing by the Legislative Palace, Independence Square and the Metropolitan Cathedral of Quito

Enter La Compañia, the city’s Baroque church, to view its gold leaf interior

Step inside the 16th-century Monastery of San Francisco

Drive up Cerro Panecillo hill for views of the city and surrounding volcanoes

Day 3: Free day in Quito

Meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Quito or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Mindo Cloud forest $119pp* Details

Galápagos Islands 4 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Galápagos Cruise

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

This morning, fly to the small island of Baltra to board your cruise.

Boat aross the narrow channel separating Baltra from Santa Cruz Island

Cruise to Black Turtle Cove, where you may see turtles, rays and sharks swimming among the mangroves

Day 5: Santiago Island & Rabida Island

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After a wet landing, you’ll enjoy the southeastern portion of Santiago Island before continuing to Rabida Island.

Spend the morning exploring the extensive lava flows, swimming and snorkeling in Sullivan Bay and spotting flamingos, sea turtles, sea lions and migratory birds

Transfer to Rabida Island, where the volcanic geology creates red sand beaches

Take a dinghy ride along the cliffs to snorkel and observe nesting seabirds

Day 6: Isabela Island

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

After a wet landing, begin your exploration of Isabela Island, the largest in the Galápagos archipelago.

Snorkel with the sea turtles that swim just off the shore of Urbina Bay

See the giant tortoises that live on the slopes of the nearby Alcedo Volcano

Tour Tagus Cove and see the blue-footed boobies that nest there

Go on a dinghy ride and enjoy the option of deep sea snorkeling

Day 7: Espinosa Point & Vicente Roca Point

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Today’s dry landing is at Espinosa Point, formed by lava flows over thousands of years.

View the area’s marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs and the fearless Galápagos hawk

Take a dinghy ride to Vicente Roca Point and the Bolivar Channel, where you can snorkel with sea lions, sea turtles and penguins

View dolphins and whales that are attracted to the Bolivar Channel by the cold waters of the Cromwell Current (seasonal, June to September)

Otavalo 1 night

Day 8: Transfer to Otavalo via Quito

Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Disembark the ship to further explore Santa Cruz Island in the Galápagos before making your way to Otavalo, a market town in the Andes Mountains.

Journey to the Santa Cruz highlands, northwest of Puerto Ayora, to visit a giant tortoise nature reserve

Walk through the humid forest landscape to see these slow-moving reptiles in action

Return to Baltra and board your flight back to Quito on the mainland

On the way to Otavalo, stop to see the Quitsato Sundial, a monument located on the equator, where you’ll view a demonstration of equatorial effects

Later, enjoy a farewell dinner with your fellow travelers.

Day 9: Otavalo market visit & departure

Meals: Breakfast

Visit the Otavalo market to browse the stalls, shop for indigenous crafts and attend a local weaving demonstration. Later, transfer to the airport for a late-night or early-morning flight or continue your adventure in Peru.

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 10: Arrival in the U.S.

Arrive home.

Please note: Due to varying flight schedules, some travelers may depart on the morning of day 10, arriving home later that evening.


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4.9 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
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Great 1
Average 0
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Terrible 1

The Galápagos Islands & Ecuador

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Company Reviews

Go Ahead has a problem dealing with travel plans when they don't go as planned.

Our flight was late leaving San Diego so we missed our flight connection in Salt Lake City. Go Ahead claims they will "take care" of you if something like this happens...THEY DO NOT!. I had to deal with Delta to go standby on a later flight. We were then told by Go Ahead we would have to FIND and PAY for our own transportation from arrival destination to the hotel which was 60 miles. Next day I recognized a person on our tour who was on the same flight we flew standby and they had a DRIVER WAITING...As we were taking off I'm on the phone to the 3rd different person telling them what flight we were on and they couldn't figure out they had another tour client on the same flight!!Go Ahead has a problem dealing with travel plans when they don't go as planned...and they also don't communicate with each other!!!!!
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We just returned from the Jewels of Alpine Europe. Amazing. Beautiful scenery, great food, wonderful tour director (Jurgen) just a beautiful trip. If you love mountains (The Alps) this is the trip for you.This was my 6th trip with Go Ahead and I have just booked my 7th trip for next year.
Being said, I am a member of GoAhead's World Traveler Club. So, according to the catalog, since I have "six prior trips" I should have achieved Platinum status which entitles you to a higher discount and upgraded travel insurance. However, today I was told that although the catalog clearly states "six prior trips" I have to complete next years trip #7 before I am eligible for Platinum status-technically starting with trip #8. Many of you are repeat GoAhead travelers so I just wanted to share this information. All my trips were wonderful but this policy is misleading and deceitful.
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We did an "amazing" walking tour of the Amalfi Coast on 9/25/2014. From fabulous scenery at every turn, meeting new friends, finding success on the many mountain walks, eating the best food in the world & having the expertise of wonderful tour (Antonio) & local city guides, I once again say, thanks Go Ahead Tours for an unbelievable experience!!

We've done numerous tours through Go Ahead and have always been very happy! We would have never done this trip on our own. Leaving the driving to someone else takes away a lot of the stress of traveling! Enjoyable all the way around!!
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The best!

Had a blast on our European tour !!! Go ahead Tours is the best.

incredible experience!

My sisters and I went on the tour of Castles in Scotland in mid July. This was an incredible experience. Our Guide Shona was funny and personable. She brought music and her love of her native country to us all. I highly recommend this tour. Andi Pisacano
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Great experience!

We just got back from the London/Paris tour. It was the perfect blend of excursions and free time! Tour director was wonderful and so much fun. Guides for the panoramic tours of each city were knowledgeable. Hotel in Paris had wonderful location. London nice hotel, but the location could have been a little better for us. We had a great experience with Go Ahead and our first time in Europe was wonderful!!! I would recommend anytime and will be taking another trip asap.
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Ship Name

M/V Galápagos Legend

Ship Description

Enjoy the Galapagos Islands paradise in a 100 passenger, fully air conditioned cruise ship. The Galapagos Legend has all the amenities of a cruise liner yet it's small enough for that intimate experience with nature. Guests will enjoy the added comfort of extra space in fully carpeted luxurious cabins. The ships facilities include an auditorium for conferences, spacious social areas, culinary delights at the dining room, 24 hour coffee bar and swimming pool with broad sun decks and observation platforms. At night guests can enjoy live music at the piano lounge or cocktail bars.

Trip Photos

Optional Activities

Extension to Peru $1,799 pp

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

Experience Peru in all its diversity. Wander the colonial cities that display the legacy of Spanish conquistadors, explore the ancient Inca capital of Cuzco and visit the lost city of Machu Picchu.

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Standard Group

Maximum Number of People in Group: 35

Maximum tour group size: 35 travelers


Mercure Alameda Quito

The Mercure Alameda Quito hotel offers guests all facilities necessary for business or leisure trips, as well as cultural information about the city. Our 147 comfortable roomswith WIFI provide the perfect setting for combining business and leisure, while our 41 Privilege Rooms will give you a more personalized service, adapted to each guest's individual requirements.

Ship: M/V Galápagos Legend

Cancellation Policy:

If you cancel your reservation, the cancellation fee schedule below will apply. If you are booked in a double/twin room and your roommate cancels his or her tour more than 45 days prior to departure, you will be responsible for paying the single supplement fee. Upon notifying GAT of your cancellation, you will be given a confirmation number that verifies your cancellation. If you purchased travel protection and are cancelling for a reason covered under the policy guidelines, cancellation fees will be reimbursed to you directly from the insurance company. In the event that you have to cancel your tour on the day of departure, you must notify GAT prior to the departure of your first flight. Any penalties for supplemental services/guarantees (including, but not limited to, flights, hotels or late additions) resulting from cancellations made at your request will be your responsibility, and all service fees are non-refundable. Substitution of travelers is not permitted. If you choose not to travel, but fail to cancel your tour prior to the departure date or if you return home before the scheduled completion of your tour, you will not be eligible for any refund or reimbursement from GAT for any unused portion of your trip or costs incurred by leaving your trip early.

For travelers with the travel protection policy (, Go Ahead Tours will reimburse the participant in the form of a credit voucher in the event the participant wants to interrupt their tour due to reasons not covered by their travel protection policy. The voucher is valid for one year from the day of the interruption of the tour and represents the value of the missed time on tour including any unused air, land or sea arrangements already paid for by the participant up to a maximum of $1,000 as determined by Go Ahead Tours. The voucher is personal and non-transferable and may be applied towards a future Go Ahead tour and is not exchangeable for cash. The participant is responsible for any additional costs incurred by interrupting the tour including but not limited to the return flight and other transportation costs due to the interruption. Reservation fees, rebooking fees, change fees, late and returned check fees, revision fees, supplemental fees for international deliveries and special arrangement fees are considered Used Fees once incurred and will not be refundable.

  • If Days Prior to Departure is 71 days or more, then Cancellation Fee  (Includes reservation fee) is $ 450
  • If Days Prior to Departure is 70–46 days, then Cancellation Fee  (Includes reservation fee) is 30%
  • If Days Prior to Departure is 45–8 days, then Cancellation Fee  (Includes reservation fee) is 50%
  • If Days Prior to Departure is 7–0 days, then Cancellation Fee  (Includes reservation fee) is 100%

*Percentages listed above are of the total tour cost, including reservation fee. Listed cancellation fee is applicable per traveler.

Trip ID#:


Trip Excludes

  • International flight charges
  • Passport and visa charges
  • Tipping and gratuity
  • Any kind of insurance
  • Personal expenses

Meals Included:

8 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches and 4 Dinners

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