Trip Type : Small Group Tour
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Best of Galapagos

Intrepid Travel Preferred
Has very high quality customer experiences and demonstrated commitment to responsible travel practices. read more
4.7 . Excellent
98%
Travel Style: For those looking to maximize their sight seeing time. You thrive on a packed day’s schedule from 8 am to 6pm, with some (but limited) free time. Most activities and meals included. Full on
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: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
10 days
From: $ 3,375 $ 338 / day
Checking price

Overview

Highlights

  • Get acquainted with the beautiful churches and graceful boulevards of Quito, Ecuador's capital
  • The Galapagos Islands played a profound role in forming Charles Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection. Explore the islands on this in-depth adventure, coming face-to-face with some of the most extraordinary wildlife on earth
  • Get your blood pumping as you scale a volcano on Isabela Island, get up close and personal with giant tortoises on Santa Cruz Island. These nearly extinct creatures are one of the greatest drawcards to the Galapagos
  • This is a land based Galapagos trip, we use locally owned hotels on the islands. On this trip you will have more opportunities to interact with the locals as opposed to staying on a boat.

Short Description

Amazing wildlife, both on land and underwater, is the drawcard of the remote Galapagos Islands. Tour the Galapagos' outstanding natural beauty and interesting history by foot and boat on this active adventure. Trace Darwin's theory of evolution, spot colourful, bizarre and beautiful creatures and have an experience that is completely out of this world as you discover the incredible Galapagos Islands.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Spend most of the time outdoors. Common trip themes and activities include cycling, hiking, kayaking, whitewater rafting.
Itinerary Focus Active
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport N/A
Start City Quito
End City Quito
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Itinerary

Day 1 Quito

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Quito, Ecuador. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader. Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America, sitting at an altitude of 2,850 metres with a view of Volcan Pichincha on the horizon. On day 1 there is a city tour to show the beautiful Colonial style buildings and help you explore the nooks and crannies of cosy Old Town. We’ll be back in Quito at the end of the trip, giving you a chance to further experience the city. Notes: Due to the high altitude of many of places we visit, the air is thinner and some people can suffer altitude sickness, regardless of age, gender or fitness. Please see the 'Is This Trip Right For You?' and 'Health' sections in the trip notes for more information. Optional Activities in Quito: Urban Adventures: If you are interested in any of the Urban Adventures listed you will need to contact your booking agent or  Urban Adventures directly. Urban Adventures information for Quito can be found here: https://www.urbanadventures.com/search?q=quito Cotopaxi Volcano, for something more active, head out to the 5,897 metre high Cotopaxi Volcano – drop by the National Park museum, then hike for around 2 hours and visit the picturesque Limpiopungo Lagoon. Quilotoa Lagoon, if you’re into lagoons, maybe take a full day trip to the stunning Quilotoa Lagoon. Early in the morning, drive 3 hours south through the local communities and Andes views of the Avenue of Volcanoes. Then hike (2 hours return) to the beautiful Quilotoa volcano crater lagoon, before returning to Quito. Something more chill is a full day at the Papallacta Hot Springs – take a scenic drive, reaching heights of 4,150 metres, and then relax in springs with views to the towering Antisana Volcano. Papallacta-Something more chill is a full day at the Papallacta Hot Springs – take a scenic drive, reaching heights of 4,150 metres, and then relax in springs with views to the towering Antisana Volcano. Please note, the prices listed below include entrance fees, however these are paid separately by you during the tour. Some tours require a minimum of 2 passengers to operate. (Please note prices listed are subject to change)

Day 2 Isla San Cristobal, Galapagos

Early morning transfer to Quito airport (approximately 45 minutes - 1 hour) for our flight to San Cristobal Island, Galapagos. The flight will take approximately 3.5 hrs including a stop in Guayaquil to pick up additional passengers (you will not need to disembark the plane) Departure time will be between 8.20am and 10.30am depending on flight schedule time. The Galapagos National Institute has introduced a Transit Control Card. This card has a cost of US$20 and it must be purchased by every person travelling to the Galapagos Islands. You will need to purchase this card upon arrival to the domestic airport on day 2, prior to checking in to your Galapagos flight. Our flight will stop once in Guayaquil to pick up more passenger's (approx 3.5 hours total). Upon arrival we will need to go through immigration and pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of US$100 in cash (small bills please). We transfer from the airport to the hotel (approximately 15 minutes) Soon after, travel to La Loberia where you'll put on snorkelling gear for the first time and go for a swim with sea lions, and maybe even some sea turtles. Continue back to town. Tonight you may wish to head out with the group and enjoy some of the fresh seafood available.

Day 3 Isla San Cristobal, Galapagos

Today begins with a short boat ride to Leon Dormido (approx 45 mins) or Isla Lobos, observing along the way the abundant marine life that Galapagos is renowned for. On the way we might be able to spot nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies and/or might swim/snorkel with playful young sea lions. Here we can snorkel keeping an eye out below for sea turtles, manta rays and maybe the odd harmless Galapagos shark, to name a few. This snorkeling is in open sea, on occasion the currents can be quite strong so it's particularly important you are a confident swimmer for this activity. If you have any concerns, please ensure you speak with your leader. Included lunch today is a packed box lunch on board the boat! Unfortunately it is against National Park rules to eat on the beach. Later we will head to the interpretation Center. Learn about the history of the 'Enchanted Islands' and the conservation projects which seek to preserve the unique Galapagos wildlife. Next, make our way to Frigatebird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas), which is located two kilometres from the Interpretation Center, southwest of Isla San Cristobal. It's quite a climb to the top, but well worth the amazing views of the bay. From here you can also see Kicker Rock, an eroded volcanic formation protruding from the sea which has become an emblem of the island. We'll return to town in the late afternoon/early evening.

Day 4 Isla Floreana/Isla Isabela, Galapagos

Take an early morning boat ride today towards Floreana Island, which should take about 2.5 hours. Along the way keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as dolphins and whales. On arrival to the island, snorkel in the clear blue waters and then break for lunch. Afterwards venture to a black sand beach which belongs to the Wittmers, decedents of some of the first settlers on the Galapagos. The town here, Puerto Velasco Ibarra, has about 150 residents and an intriguing history involving deaths, disappearances and murders. Later in the afternoon, wave goodbye to Floreana and continue to Isabela Island (approximately 2 hours) From Isabela Port it's a short transfer to the hotel where we will spend the night (approximately 15 minutes)

Day 5 Isla Isabela, Galapagos

Start your second day on Isla Isabela with a short bus ride (approximately 15 minutes) to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center where you'll observe giant tortoises in all stages of development. The centre has almost a thousand giant tortoises training for life on their own. After our visit make your way to a brackish lagoon where we will be able to observe flamingos. In the afternoon after an informative visit, 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, return to town in search of your own sandy resting spot and enjoy your first Isabela sunset, arguably the most beautiful of all the islands.

Day 6 Isla Isabela, Galapagos

Start your last day on Isla Isabela by heading towards the Sierra Negra Volcano (approximately 45 minutes by bus), one of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos and the second largest crater in the world. Weather permitting, take a challenging hike of around 17 kilometres up the rocky mountain, which takes between five and six hours. 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.

Day 7 Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Today you will start the day with a kayak around Isabela before transferring by private speedboat to Isla Santa Cruz.  Once you arrive on Santa Cruz you will head to a restaurant that offers a typical Ecuadorian lunch package, simply referred to as "Menu". Usually this consists of a frsh juice, basic entree (usually a soup) as well as a main meal. These lunch deals are very popular throughout Ecuador so it' a great way to eat like a local.  In the afternoon you will have free time to further explore the town or go on an optional excursion to the Charles Darwin Research Centre.  

Day 8 Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos

This morning we will walk to Tortuga Bay (3.5 kms) one way and enjoy some time on the beach. In the afternoon visit the higher part of the islands to observe the giant tortoise roaming in its natural habitat. Afterwards visit a locally owned Sugar cane farm. Here the farmers will show us the process in which sugar cane is processed and turned into alcohol. Take the opportunity to try some! Tonight, enjoy an included group dinner.

Day 9 Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos/ Quito

We say goodbye to the Galapagos today and take a flight back to Quito (Please note the flight will make a stop in Guayaquil) You'll arrive back to Quito later afternoon. Perhaps head out for a final group dinner.

Day 10 Quito

This morning your adventure comes to an end in Quito. As there are no activities planned for the final day, you can depart the accommodation at any time. Because there is little time spent in Quito on this trip, we recommend staying a few extra days to see more of Ecuador. If you choose to stay on, we’d be happy to assist you with booking accommodation. Ecuador has some of the most beautiful churches in the Americas, including the lavish La Compania de Jesus, which is decorated with seven tonnes of gold. Not far from the capital, there are volcanoes, hot springs and Incan ruins to explore. Consider doing one of our one-day sightseeing tours of Quito, which can include the Old Town, markets and the city's culinary delights (see urbanadventures.com).

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 3,375
Price Per Day: $ 338 per day
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Checking price
Start DateFinish DateBase PriceDeparture GuaranteedAvailability 
May-23-2019Jun-01-2019$ 3,635NoSold Out Reserve
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Stride Featured in

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3,163 Intrepid Travel Travel Reviews & Ratings

98%
4.7 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 2,356
Great 625
Average 101
Disappointing 37
Terrible 39
Value
4.7
Guide
4.7
Activities
4.7
Lodging
4.7
Transportation
4.7
Meals
4.7

Best of Galapagos

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I have now had 5 Intrepid experiences

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I have now had 5 Intrepid experiences and have found the tour leaders to be very dedicated and helpful and knowledgeable.

I thought the trip was good, but

4.0
Details
Value4.0
Guide4.0
Activities4.0
Lodging4.0
Transportation4.0
Meals4.0
I thought the trip was good, but there were a few things that kept me from giving a 9 or 10 (10 should be nearly impossible to attain)

Excellent local guide, amazing location, ethically sensitive

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Excellent local guide, amazing location, ethically sensitive and with an awareness of the need to support local economy and peoples.

Amazing trip. Amazing guide. Great itinerary. Fell

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
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Meals5.0
Amazing trip. Amazing guide. Great itinerary. Fell in love with the Galápagos Islands.

nemo111 was very good- helpful crew nice

5.0
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Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
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Meals5.0
nemo111 was very good- helpful crew nice food, naturalist jairo gusqui lopez was excellent- good knowledge looked after his group. got to see many animals up close so great experience.

It was a great trip which selected

5.0
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Value5.0
Guide5.0
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Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
It was a great trip which selected highlights of the amazing wildlife for us to see in a very limited time

Details

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16

Accomodations

Hotel ( 9 nights)

Guides

You will be met at the Quito hotel by one of our experienced local representatives. They will conduct the group briefing on the evening of day 1 of the trip and also transfer with you to the airport on day 2 for your flight to the Galapagos. On arrival in the Galapagos you will be met your Guide. Our Guides are registered and trained in conservation and natural sciences by the Charles Darwin Foundation and licensed by the Galapagos National Park Service. On your last day in the Galapagos your guide will take you to the airport where you will take an unescorted flight. Our experienced customer representative will be waiting for you upon arrival at Quito airport and will accompany you back to the hotel where you will spend your final night of the tour. All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leaders. Your leader will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the places visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. At Intrepid we aim to support local guides who have specialised knowledge of the regions we visit. If you were interested in delving deeper into the local culture at a specific site or location then your leader can recommend a local guide service in most of the main destinations of your trip.

Additional Information:

Finish point

  • Plaza Sucre hotel
  • Sucre OE2-36
  • Quito
  • ECUADOR

Alternate Finish point

  • For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
  • 27 Apr 2019 (GGTF190427), 02 May 2019 (GGTF190502), 04 May 2019 (GGTF190504), 09 May 2019 (GGTF190509), 11 May 2019 (GGTF190511), 18 May 2019 (GGTF190518), 23 May 2019 (GGTF190523), 25 May 2019 (GGTF190525), 01 Jun 2019 (GGTF190601), 06 Jun 2019 (GGTF190606), 08 Jun 2019 (GGTF190608), 15 Jun 2019 (GGTF190615), 20 Jun 2019 (GGTF190620), 22 Jun 2019 (GGTF190622), 29 Jun 2019 (GGTF190629), 04 Jul 2019 (GGTF190704), 06 Jul 2019 (GGTF190706), 11 Jul 2019 (GGTF190711), 13 Jul 2019 (GGTF190713), 18 Jul 2019 (GGTF190718), 25 Jul 2019 (GGTF190725), 27 Jul 2019 (GGTF190727), 01 Aug 2019 (GGTF190801), 03 Aug 2019 (GGTF190803), 10 Aug 2019 (GGTF190810), 15 Aug 2019 (GGTF190815), 17 Aug 2019 (GGTF190817), 24 Aug 2019 (GGTF190824), 31 Aug 2019 (GGTF190831), 05 Sep 2019 (GGTF190905), 07 Sep 2019 (GGTF190907), 12 Sep 2019 (GGTF190912), 14 Sep 2019 (GGTF190914), 19 Sep 2019 (GGTF190919), 21 Sep 2019 (GGTF190921), 26 Sep 2019 (GGTF190926), 28 Sep 2019 (GGTF190928), 03 Oct 2019 (GGTF191003), 05 Oct 2019 (GGTF191005), 10 Oct 2019 (GGTF191010), 12 Oct 2019 (GGTF191012), 17 Oct 2019 (GGTF191017), 19 Oct 2019 (GGTF191019), 24 Oct 2019 (GGTF191024), 26 Oct 2019 (GGTF191026), 02 Nov 2019 (GGTF191102), 07 Nov 2019 (GGTF191107), 09 Nov 2019 (GGTF191109), 14 Nov 2019 (GGTF191114), 16 Nov 2019 (GGTF191116), 21 Nov 2019 (GGTF191121), 23 Nov 2019 (GGTF191123), 30 Nov 2019 (GGTF191130), 05 Dec 2019 (GGTF191205), 07 Dec 2019 (GGTF191207), 12 Dec 2019 (GGTF191212), 14 Dec 2019 (GGTF191214), 19 Dec 2019 (GGTF191219), 21 Dec 2019 (GGTF191221), 26 Dec 2019 (GGTF191226), 28 Dec 2019 (GGTF191228)
  • Plaza Sucre hotel
  • Sucre OE2-36
  • Quito
  • ECUADOR

Trip ID#:

intrepid-GGTF

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  • Share with your travel companions
  • Track price changes
  • Access private discounts on trips you save
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With a membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
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With your free membership you:

  • Save up to $700 per person!*
  • Access private deals and offers
  • See personalized trip recommendations
  • Save favorite trips
*See Member Savings Program details
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