You’ll never never know unless you Galapa-go.

The Galapagos Islands have a bit of a reputation – think the wildest wildlife, colourful underwater worlds and some of the most remote beaches and rock forms on earth. Spend nine days discovering this explorer’s dream, staying at the bustling centres of Isla San Cristobal, Isabela and Santa Cruz, and top and tailing your island escapade in Ecuador’s capital, Quito. Volcanoes, marine iguanas, playful sea lions and the giant tortoise all await on this animal-focused island getaway – what’s not to love about the Galapagos?

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Terms & Conditions

Start
Quito, Ecuador
Finish
Quito, Ecuador
Destination
Ecuador
Style
Basix
Theme
18 to 29s
Code
GGYV
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18, Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 15

Travel solo, together

You're never alone when travelling solo with Intrepid

Why you'll love this trip

  • Check out the highland haven of Quito – Ecuador’s vibrant mountainous capital. If you’ve got time, why not extend your stay here and discover the historic Old Town and Volcan Pichincha lookout.

  • The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the most unique wildlife on earth – many you may not have heard of before! Spot blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, frigate birds and so much more on your island escape.

  • Consider a range of optional activities to enhance your wicked wildlife stops with your small group. Snorkelling at Kicker Rock? Swimming alongside sea lions near Isla Lobos? It’s up to you!

  • Take land-side visits to San Cristobal’s Interpretation Center and Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center to discover more about the islands’ history and conservation efforts to preserve this far-flung paradise.

  • By staying on the islands, you’ll get the best of both worlds – discovering the forests, beaches and marine hotspots by day, and chilling out in town by night.

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip information (ETI) for more important details on this.

  • This trip travels from island to island on speedboats. If you have trouble with motion sickness, we recommend you visit your doctor before the trip to get some motion sickness medication.

  • Wildlife is a big focus on this trip. You'll be taking part in activities such as bird watching, swimming and making visits to museums. It's a great trip for those who love nature and animals.

  • This trip includes a 17 km hike (approximately 6-7 hours) on rocky terrain. We recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes that offer good support.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Oct 2018 to 31 Dec 2019.
View the 2020 itinerary
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Ecuador. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5 or 6 pm. Sitting at an altitude of 2850 metres above sea level and 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.
Optional Activities
  • Cotopaxi - National Park Hiking Tour - USD95
  • La Ronda - Free
  • Antisana Trek Full day from Quito - USD120
  • Quito City Tour - USD42
  • Quito - Otavalo Indian Market (Full day) - USD70
  • Quito - Papallacta Hot Springs (Full day) - USD70
  • Quito City Tour by Night (Optional) - USD35
  • Quito - city tour + the Equator line - USD75
  • Saquisili Indian Market & Cotopaxi National Park Full Day from Quito - USD95
  • Quito - Bellavista Cloud forest (Full day) - USD110
  • Quito Market Discovery - USD99
  • Quito - Sweet & Culinary Experience - Urban Adventures - USD103
  • Condors and Culture in Otavalo - USD156
  • Quito - Old Town & Gastronomic- Urban Adventures - USD99
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
This morning, head to the airport with your group leader and fellow travellers to board a flight bound for Isla San Cristobal, with a short stop at Guayaquil. Depending on flight schedules, this flight may be early in the morning – your group leader will provide you with all the details at your welcome meeting. Once arrived, take an included visit to the San Cristobal Interpretation Center and learn about the natural history of, and human impact on, the Galapagos. Afterwards, you’ll have time to explore on your own. Perhaps take a hike up to Frigatebird Hill or head to Mann Beach to spot some sea lions lazing on the shore. If you hit the water for a spot of snorkelling, be sure to keep an eye out for sea turtles, an array of colourful fish and even the odd sea lion coming up to swim with you!

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal -Snorkelling in Tijeretas hill
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today is free for you to continue to explore the wildlife-rich and naturally beautiful Isla San Cristobal. There are a range of optional activities that are available to you today – your group leader will be able to recommend some and help book them. You might like to take an optional boat ride to Kicker Rock – an incredible rock island that is home to some of the most interesting snorkelling in the islands. Otherwise, you could book a visit to Isla Lobos, which is known for its populations of blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and sea lions. Consider taking a walk down Ochoa Beach on Lobos and soaking up this wildlife paradise.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Isla Lobos. - USD80
  • Snorkelling gear rental - USD5
  • Kicker Rock excursion - USD120
  • Frigate Bird Hill - Free
  • Mann Beach - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note that the optional activity to Isla Lobos can only be booked if eight or more people wish to participate.
Early in the morning, take a 2.5-hour public speedboat ride to Isla Santa Cruz. Once in Santa Cruz, have some breakfast and settle into the hotel. In the midmorning, continue onwards to the Charles Darwin Research Station. The visitor centre and museum exhibits house a whole range of information about the islands and the conservation efforts being made to preserve the unique ecosystem here. This station is also an ideal place to meet the Galapagos tortoise. Later in the afternoon, continue your search for tortoises when you and your group head to the higher part of the island to observe these ancient giants roaming in their natural habitat.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Rise and shine again early this morning to travel to Isla Isabela. Check-in to the hotel and enjoy breakfast with your group. Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos and one of the most volcanically active places on earth. A worthwhile optional activity today is an excursion to Las Tintoreras – home to the rare Galapagos penguin as well as other unique Galapagos wildlife. The excursion will then take you to ‘shark alley’, where white-tipped sharks rest during the day. This is also a popular nesting site for the endemic marine iguanas.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Isla Tintoreras - USD47
  • Kayak rental - USD50
  • Wet Suit rental - USD10
  • Tunneles Snorkelling - USD120
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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 as learn about the preservation program of this unique species. Afterwards, take a bus to the highest part of Isabela 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 5-6 hours, and at the top you'll be able to enjoy spectacular views. After the hike, make your way back to town in the late afternoon for some free time to relax up with a book or venture down to the water for a swim before dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
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, and there isn't much shade along the way so be sure to come prepared with your hat, bottled water and sunscreen.

Unfortunately, recycling isn't available on Isla Isabela, so please take your plastic rubbish with you.
Travel back to Isla Santa Cruz in the morning, where you’ll enjoy breakfast on arrival. Consider taking part in some of the optional activities available, such as an excursion to Tortuga Bay – an immaculate natural paradise where you can go kayaking, observe marine iguanas and birds or swim with harmless sharks in a cove. You may also like to rent some snorkelling gear while you're here and discover a whole other world underwater. Today you can choose your own adventure, so be sure to ask your knowledgeable group leader for their recommendations.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay walk - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Bid farewell to the Galapagos Islands and all its inhabitants and head to the airport for a flight back to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito Airport, you’ll be transferred to your hotel for an overnight stay. Hit the streets in Quito with some of your travel crew and find a place for some dinner and drinks – you might like to knock back a couple of canelazos (a spiced cinnamon and rum drink)!
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night) (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
After breakfast, there are no activities planned, so you are free to leave the accommodation at any time, provided you comply with the hotel’s check-out policy. That doesn’t mean your adventure has to come to an end! If you would like to spend more time in Ecuador’s capital, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.

Meals

5 breakfasts

Transport

Plane, Speed boat, Private vehicle, Public bus

Accommodation

Hostel (2 nights), Hotel (6 nights)

Included activities

  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal -Snorkelling in Tijeretas hill
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes)
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)

Dates & availability

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There are currently no scheduled departures on our Essential Galapagos trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD $ ISABELA PORT FEES:
A Galapagos Transit Card fee of US$20 is payable on departure from Quito Airport (or whichever airport in Ecuador you are flying to the Galapagos from). The Galapagos park fee (US$100) and Isabela Port fee (US$10) are payable upon arrival to the islands (cash only). These amounts are in addition to your trip payment.
When booking, please ensure that your details are correct and they match your passport.
Your passport must match the booking details provided to us; otherwise it could cause issues with your transit card and internal flights resulting in purchasing a new card and flights at your own expense.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS:
Single supplements are not available on this trip due to hotel capacity restrictions. 

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.

View Essential Trip Information

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