Travel Notices

Galapagos Islands Adventure

Explore the flora, fauna & spectacular scenery of two biodiverse Galapagos Islands: Santa Cruz & Isabela, with an extra night on Isabela! Optional extension to Quito

Overview

This season or version is currently unavailable.
Check out the open departures.
Style Small Group TourTravel with a small, intimate group of no more than 16 likeminded travelers (and often much fewer), escorted by an English speaking guide and/or tour manager for some or all of your journey. (Some exceptions, including special promotional packages, may accommodate up to 30.) More of these packages
Dedicated tour escorts & guides throughout
Departures Group Size 15 travelers max
Themes ActiveBucket ListNature & Wildlife
Activity Level Advanced
What to Expect This fast-paced, locally hosted tour involves a significant amount of walking or hiking, often on uneven terrain, and reaches high altitudes requiring a high level of physical fitness to fully enjoy the trip. Travel safely and confidently with our new health & safety protocols.
Already booked? Find everything you need to know before you go, including information about passport & visa requirements, flights, luggage, and more.

Get updates about this package

Be the first to know about new dates, itinerary changes, discounts, and more.

Also subscribe to:

The Galapagos Islands are among Ecuador's jewels. More than 600 miles offshore in the Pacific, these islands are home to fascinating birds and animals such as marine iguanas, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, pelicans, and more! Follow in the intrepid footsteps of Charles Darwin on an active adventure and discover the unique wildlife that inspired his theory of evolution. Stay on Santa Cruz and Isabela Islands, traveling from island to island via speedboat rides for an incredible Galapagos experience, which includes flights, first-class hotels, and most meals, as well as a fast-paced program of hiking, exploration, and observation of the islands' delicate ecosystems.

So lace up your boots, strap on your daypacks, and don't wait a moment longer to book this incredible adventure.

 

Package includes

  • Flights
  • Transfers
  • Hotel
  • Meals
  • Guides
  • Round-trip flights from Miami (MIA) or Fort Lauderdale (FLL) including taxes & fees
  • All transfers, ground transportation & Galapagos flights
  • Transportation between islands in shared charter speedboat
  • Superior class accommodations in Quito and in the Galapagos
  • 10 Meals: 6 breakfasts, 1 lunch & 3 dinners
  • Comprehensive sightseeing tours with a naturalist guide on the islands
  • Snorkeling gear
  • Galapagos National Park Fee ($100), Transit Control Card ($20), & Isabela Port Fee ($10)

Optional add-ons

  • Flights from other cities are available. Request pricing when making your reservation.
  • Optional Quito Extension

Why you'll love it

  • Discover Los Gemelos, two collapsed lava chambers teeming with great biodiversity.
  • Mingle with giant Galapagos tortoises at a 600-acre private reserve.
  • Explore Tortuga Bay with a small hike to the famous prickly-pear cactus forest where you will see an abundance of wildlife, such as Darwin Finches, Lava Lizards and more!
  • Kayak at Punta Estrada and see the iconic blue-footed boobies.
  • Look for whales, dolphins, and manta rays as you set off for Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island via charter speedboat.
  • Snorkel alongside sea lions, sea turtles, penguins and more in the islands’ warm, shallow waters.
  • Observe the fascinating marine life in the crystal-clear waters of Concha de Perla.

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1 Depart USA/Arrive Quito, Ecuador

  • Depart the USA on your flight bound for Quito, Ecuador
  • Upon arrival in Quito this evening, meet our representative and transfer by hotel shuttle service to your hotel for check-in

Wyndham Quito Airport or similar

Full Day Itinerary
Colorful buildings of Old Town, Quito

This evening, arrive in Quito (9,350 feet above sea level). After customs formalities, you will be met and transferred by scheduled shuttle service to your hotel for check-in and overnight.

Day 2 Quito, Baltra Island & Santa Cruz Island

  • Transfer to the airport for your flight to Baltra Island
  • Take a short ferry ride to Santa Cruz Island
  • Enjoy a welcome lunch with fellow travelers
  • Discover Los Gemelos lava chambers
  • Explore a 600-acre private giant tortoise reserve
  • Continue to Puerto Ayora for check-in and welcome drink

Hotel Solymar Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Giant tortoises, Santa Cruz Island

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight to Baltra, the gateway to the Galapagos Islands. Next, take a short ferry across Itabaca Channel to Santa Cruz Island, and then drive through the various microclimates on your way to the village of Puerto Ayora on the island's south side. Enjoy a welcome lunch with fellow travelers.

Today, see Los Gemelos (The Twins), two enormous collapsed lava chambers, an awe-inspiring visual reminder of the power of nature. The path to the lava chambers is a beautiful introduction to the incredible biodiversity of the Santa Cruz Highlands, teeming with endemic flora and fauna, including a scalesia forest draped in liverwort and mosses as well as numerous birds, such as Darwin Finches.

Afterward, drive to a 600-acre private reserve where giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze, and sleep. Feel free to mingle with these gentle giants. As prehistoric as these creatures look, wait until you hear what they sound like! Galápago is Spanish for tortoise, and the islands were named for these fantastic creatures. There will be a selection of field boots for your use if conditions are muddy.

Next, have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the remnants of an illuminated lava tunnel. Created by ancient lava flows, the tunnel is 1,350 feet long with a ceiling nearly 20 feet high in most places, adorned with stalagmites & stalactites, mineral-colored walls, and a rippled lava floor.

Continue to Puerto Ayora to check into your centrally-located hotel.

Enjoy the afternoon at leisure. Spend time exploring the vibrant island-town including boutique shops, local handicraft markets, trendy coffee shops and more—or, enjoy a short, scenic walk to the Charles Darwin Center.

Day 3 Santa Cruz Island & Isabela Island

  • Morning at leisure
  • Board a 2-hour speed boat ride to Isabela Island
  • Enjoy a short exploration of Puerto Villamil

Iguana Crossing Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Marine iguanas, Puerto Villamil

This morning, enjoy your bayside hotel at leisure. This afternoon, board a speed boat and transfer to Puerto Villamil on Isabela Island. The speedboat transfer in open water takes approximately two hours. Upon arrival at Puerto Villamil, check in at your hotel. Afterward, enjoy a short exploration of Puerto Villamil. This evening, meet with fellow travelers for dinner at a local restaurant.

Please note: Transfer between islands is by speed boat and will take approximately two hours, dependent on the weather. The ride can be quite rough. Consider bringing a poncho in case of splashing and sea sickness medication if you are prone to sea sickness. 

Day 4 Isabela Island

  • Visit Concha de Perla
  • Swim and snorkel with tropical fish
  • Walk to Flamingos Lagoon

Iguana Crossing Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary
Mangrove, Concha de Perla

After breakfast at the lodge, set out to see Concha de Perla, which has shallow, calm water, a perfect way to observe the fascinating marine life that inhabits this natural pool of crystal-clear water.   Take a short bus transfer by bus to the entrance and walk over a wooden walkway to reach the bay. You will have the opportunity to swim and snorkel with tropical fish, sea lions, penguins, turtles, and various species of birds. 

This afternoon, visit the Flamingo Lagoon, accessible from your hotel by crossing a wooden path through wetlands.  Observe a variety of birds as well as marine iguanas. Once you reach the lagoon see the pink flamingos rest and feed. The flamingos are another characteristic of Galapagos birds are characterized by their long legs and unique walk. 

Day 5 Isabela Island & Santa Cruz Island

  • Explore a small group of islands called Las Tintoreras
  • Take a walk through a lava field that is home to a colony of marine iguanas
  • Board a speedboat and return to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island

Hotel Solymar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Flamingo

After breakfast at the lodge, board a small craft and head out to Las Tintoreras, a small group of islands located just off the coast of Puerto Villamil. Take an intriguing walk through a jagged lava field, passing abundant colonies of nesting marine iguanas and sea lions, to see a small canal of shallow waters full of resting whitetip reef sharks. After the walk, you have the opportunity to snorkel in this warm, shallow bay surrounded by mangroves for a chance to see whitetip reef sharks, sea lions, sea turtles, and of course, the mystery of the mangrove below the surface. Return to the hotel.

This afternoon board a shared charter speedboat heading back to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Upon arrival at the hotel, check in and enjoy some free time. Later enjoy dinner with your fellow travelers.

Note: Transfer between islands is by speedboat and will take approximately two hours, dependent on the weather. The ride can be quite rough. Consider bringing a poncho in case of splashing and sea sickness medication if you are prone to sea sickness.

Day 6 Santa Cruz Island & Tortuga Bay

  • Set out on a tour of beautiful Tortuga Bay
  • See exotic native species on a walk through a cactus forest
  • Continue to a sandy beach to observe marine creatures in the shallow water
  • After a chance to swim, take a short hike to an iguana nesting site
  • Walk through a prickly pear forest
  • Kayak in Punta Estrada to visit the home of the blue-footed boobies
  • Enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant

Hotel Solymar Breakfast & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Lava lizard

After breakfast, enjoy a walking tour of Tortuga Bay. A short hike down a path will take you through a cactus forest, home to numerous Darwin Finches, Mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers, Lava Lizards, and many more of the Galapagos’ endemic and native species. From the white sandy beach, you will have a chance to observe different marine species, like sting rays and baby reef sharks, in the shallow waters of the mangroves.

After an opportunity to swim, take a short hike to a marine iguana nesting site. The walk back is through a prickly pear forest carpeted in crimson sesuvium with black lava outcroppings. Continue on foot back to the hotel, or if a water taxi is available, you can pay for a short boat ride back to the hotel. 

This afternoon, kayak at Punta Estrada, where you will paddle through towering lava channel walls to visit the home of the blue-footed boobies.
 
Enjoy a farewell dinner on your last night in the Galapagos this evening.

Day 7 Santa Cruz Island & Quito

  • Transfer to the Baltra airport for your flight back to Quito.
  • Transfer to your hotel.

Wyndham Quito Airport Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary

Transfer to the Baltra airport for your flight back to Quito. Transfer to your hotel. 

Day 8 Depart Quito/Arrive USA

  • Transfer to the airport in the morning for your return flight to the USA.
  • Or, take advantage of your already included airfare and extend your stay in Quito!

Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary

Transfer to the airport in the morning for your return flight to the USA.

Inter-Island Transportation

The Galapagos Islands are connected by shared charter speedboats that take travelers from one island to another. Most of the boats tend to be small, and the trip from island to island is in open water and can be choppy. Be patient with this means of transport, as it is not possible to enjoy the incredible experiences found only on these islands without being able to get from place to place. Generally, speedboat trips can last 2 hours. 

Important Travelers Notes

Due to the fragile ecosystem on the islands, there are very few roads accessible by motorized vehicles. Some venues within the islands may be accessed by foot only. When touring the islands, you may expect considerable amount of walking, often on uneven terrain. If you are prone to motion sickness, we highly recommend that you bring medication to counter the effects of motion sickness. We strongly recommend that you consult with your physician regarding any concerns.

The hotels on this tour are among the finest properties available on the Galapagos, These are small, intimate and unique hotels, with all the necessary amenities, but accommodations are more basic than lavish, as the delicate island ecosystems cannot support large luxury hotels.

Quito Optional Extension

Why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare to extend your stay in Quito! Passengers taking the post-tour extension will arrive in the U.S. 2 days later than the dates listed.

Day 7 Arrive Quito

  • Upon arrival in Quito this evening, transfer to your hotel for check-in

Swissotel Quito Breakfast

Day 8 Quito

  • City tour of Quito
  • Visit the Equatorial Monument, the "Middle of the World"
  • Ride on the gondola up to approximately 13,285 feet for a breathtaking experience

Swissotel Quito Breakfast, lunch & dinner

Full Day Itinerary
Mitad del Mundo

Today, enjoy a city tour of Quito. Arguably one of the loveliest South American cities, Quito offers a spectacular setting surrounded by mountains and several snow-capped volcanoes, including the still-active Mt. Pichincha. Begin your walking tour at the Presidential Palace. Next, continue to the Monastery of San Francisco, Quito's oldest church and the most significant colonial building constructed in Latin America. Visit the largest neo-gothic basilica in the Americas, noted for its gargoyles in the form of native Ecuadorian animals such as iguanas, armadillos, and Galapagos tortoises. The next stop, La Compañía de Jesús, has an ornate and richly sculptured facade and interior with colored columns, 10-sided altars, and gilded balconies.

After lunch, drive north of Quito to the Equatorial Monument, the Mitad del Mundo ("Middle of the World"), commemorating the exact place where Charles Marie de la Condamine established the Equator, where you can stand with one foot in the northern and one in the southern hemisphere.
For those interested in seeing a spectacular panoramic view over Quito and the snow-capped surrounding volcanoes of Cayambe, Cotopaxi, and Chimborazo, take a ride on the Teleférico. This gondola lift transitions to approximately 13,285 feet above sea level for a breathtaking experience. 

Those who opt out of the Teleférico can enjoy a visit to the Quito National Museum. NOTE: The Teleférico experience reaches high altitudes and may not be suitable for all passengers. Warm clothes are suggested.

Later this evening, join fellow travelers for an included dinner.

Day 9 Quito & Otavalo

  • Explore the Otavalo Market
  • Visit the Peguche Waterfall

Wyndham Quito Airport Breakfast & lunch

Full Day Itinerary
Otavalo Market

After breakfast, visit the Peguche Waterfall, which offers excellent views of the falls from several hiking trails and bridges.

Following lunch, travel to Otavalo, the land of the “Otavaleños” Ecuadorian community, where all families speak Quichua as their first language and Spanish as their second. See women in colorful embroidered clothing and men in broad-brimmed hats with blue ponchos.

Explore the Otavalo Market located around the Plaza de Ponchos, Ecuador's most famous indigenous market. The Otavaleños travel to the town to sell a multicolored variety of handicrafts, including sweaters, ponchos, hats, necklaces, and other handmade products.

Later today, transfer to your hotel.

Day 10 Depart Quito/Arrive USA

  • Transfer to the airport for your early morning flight home

Breakfast

Full Day Itinerary

Transfer to the airport in the morning for your return flight to the USA.

Hotels

Wyndham Quito Airport
Wyndham Quito Airport
First Class

Experience the warmest of welcomes when you visit the 4-star Wyndham Quito Airport hotel. With a prime location at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), the Wyndham Quito Airport is your top choice for an overnight stopover or day-room in transit. From the moment you step into the lobby, you will find impeccable services and amenities. Relax in your well-appointed room, indulge in the finest international dishes at the onsite restaurant or meet up with friends at the lobby bar for a signature cocktail.

More information

Hotel Solymar
Hotel Solymar
First Class

Hotel Solymar is centrally located on Puerto Ayora's main street and within walking distance of a variety of cafes, restaurants, and shops. The hotel features ocean access on Pelican Bay, and a beautiful patio for guests to enjoy the nature of the Galapagos.

More information

Iguana Crossing
Iguana Crossing
Tourist Class

The Iguana Crossing Boutique Hotel sits on the waterfront of the most beautiful beach on Isabela Island. It is surrounded by the national park wetlands and overlooked by the six majestic volcanoes on the island. The friendly staff will make your stay as carefree as possible so you can relax and enjoy.

More information

Swissotel Quito
Swissotel Quito
Superior First Class

Swissotel Quito is one of the city’s top luxury hotels, located in the commercial and residential area of the Floresta neighborhood.

More information

In the unlikely event that a particular hotel is not available, a similar or better hotel may be substituted.

Reviews & Photos

We love hearing your stories and seeing your photos! Here are some moments other travelers captured on this package. Or check out our entire fan photo gallery.

Check out independent, verified reviews from real travelers on Feefo.

Trip Details

More Common Questions

Other Packages

On Sale Small Group Tour Ecuadorian Amazon Cruise Adventure
from $4199 w/ Flights from $3799 Tour Only 9 days
per person, double occupancy,* during sale**
On Sale Small Group Tour Peru, Galapagos Islands & Quito
from $6749 w/ Flights 17 days
per person, double occupancy,* during sale**
* Advertised prices may include an "Instant Savings" discount and/or sale discount, available for a limited time. Prices reflect these discounts. Advertised prices are per person, based on double occupancy; single occupancy rooms may be available for an additional charge. Advertised prices are the best available based on the least expensive travel dates, departure city, and other options, and do not include optional excursions or other optional items. Your total price will vary based upon the dates, flights, and other options you select during the booking process. For packages including flights, prices include Airline Taxes, Fees & Sept. 11th Security Fee, but do not include excess baggage fees or advance seat reservations. Prices and availability subject to change. More about our prices.

** Sale discounts valid for a limited time on for new bookings only. Not valid for Biblical Journeys tours or private, custom, or group travel. Advertised sale discounts generally also include any applicable "Instant Savings" discounts. Bookings made with sale discounts are eligible for travel agent commissions but may not be combined with any other offers, discounts or credits, except our "Instant Savings" discounts.

© Friendly Planet Travel   Privacy Policy