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Best of Galapagos

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Best of Galapagos

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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.

Trip Name
Best of Galapagos
Last Updated
2024-04-19
Days
10
Capacity
16
Highlights
  • 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.
  • Acquaint yourself with the beautiful churches and graceful boulevards of Quito, Ecuador's capital.
  • 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, meaning you'll use locally owned hotels on the islands and have more opportunities to interact with the locals as opposed to staying on a boat.
  • By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, The Galapagos Conservancy. Donations support their Women in Sustainable Entrepreneurship (WISE) program, providing capital for sustainability initiatives and empowering female entrepreneurs in the Galápagos.

Itinerary

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance fees only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and maybe on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your group leader or local representative know you are interested at the Welcome Meeting and they can assist. Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high-risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and group leader or local representative are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk. ITINERARY CHANGES Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It's important that you review this information prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weather, local conditions, transport schedules, public holidays, political unrest or other factors, further changes may be necessary to your itinerary once in-country. Your group leader or local representative will keep you up to date with any such changes once your trip is underway.

Day 1 - Quito
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Quito, Ecuador. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 2 pm. Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America, sitting at an altitude of 2850 m with a view of Volcan Pichincha on the horizon. After the welcome meeting, join your local leader for a tour of Quito's historic center. Catch the Matro to the Parque de la Alameda and visit sites such as the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, a famous neo-Gothic church known for the details of its façade that represent Galápagos tortoises, Andean condors, and Amazon alligators. You’ll also visit La Compania de Jesus, considered by many to be the most beautiful church in the Americas. It's claimed that seven tons of gold leaf cover the interior whilst the exterior is decorated with statues, busts, sculpted heads, and a jungle of carved leaves. The tour will finish at San Francisco Square, where you’ll have the option to return to the hotel, or why not get to know your new travelling companions and dine in Quito’s Old Town – your leader will have plenty of recommendations!
Day 2 - Isla San Cristobal, Galapagos
Catch an early morning transfer to Quito airport (approximately 45 minutes - 1 hour) for your 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). After joining up with your fellow travellers and your local naturalist guide on San Cristobal, head to La Loberia where you'll put on snorkelling gear for the first time and go for a swim among sea lions, perhaps spotting sea turtles too. Return to town for a free evening. Maybe head out with the group and enjoy some of the fresh seafood available.
Day 3 - Isla San Cristobal
Take a 45-minute boat ride to Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock) today. On the way, you might be able to spot nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies. You might even get the chance to swim among the sea lions again. At Leon Dormido, you can snorkel and look for sea turtles, manta rays and maybe the harmless Galapagos shark. Eat lunch on the boat, then head to the Interpretation Center. Learn about the history of the 'Enchanted Islands' and the conservation projects that seek to preserve them. Continue to Frigatebird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas) – it's quite a climb to the top, but well worth the amazing views of the bay. Return to town in the late afternoon for a free evening.
Day 4 - Isla Floreana/ Isla Isabela
Take an early morning boat ride towards Isla Floreana this morning. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, including dolphins and whales. Snorkel in the clear blue waters and then break for lunch. Afterward, venture to a black-sand beach that belongs to the Witmers – descendants 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 Isla Isabela, where you’ll spend the night.
Day 5 - Isla Isabela
This morning, you’ll hop on a small Zodiac boat and cruise to Las Tintoreras (Shark Alley), looking out for blue-footed boobies and the famous Galapagos penguin. Take a short walk on this isolated islet and popular iguana nesting site, then snorkel in a calm inlet with colorful fish and winding underground lava tubes. This area is also frequented by green sea turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom. Return to Isla Isabela and visit the Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center, where you'll observe giant tortoises in all stages of development. After learning about the thousand turtles that are preparing for life here, you’ll head to a brackish lagoon to observe flamingos. Later today, take a kayak around the island before finding your sandy resting spot and soaking in your first Isabela sunset – arguably the most beautiful of all the islands!
Day 6 - Isla Isabela
Start your last day on Isla Isabela by heading towards the Sierra Negra Volcano – one of the Galapagos’ most active volcanoes and the world's second-largest crater! Weather permitting, you’ll take a challenging hike of around 17 km up the rocky mountain. After, make your way back to town for some free time to curl up with a book, soak your tired muscles or venture down to the water for a relaxing swim before dinner.
Day 7 - Isla Isabela / Isla Santa Cruz
Jump aboard a private speedboat this morning and head to Isla Santa Cruz. When you arrive, leave your bags at the hotel and head to the Santa Cruz Highlands. Your first stop is a local farm, where giant tortoises roam the grounds. Here, you’ll have a cooking class with an expert chef who will teach you how to make the famed encebollado – a local soup considered one of the best in the world! This hearty dish uses slow-cooked albacore tuna and a Savoury broth made of onions, cilantro and spices. The dish is traditionally served with yuca (a starchy root vegetable) and garnished with lime and green onions. Enjoy the fruits (or soups) of your labour for lunch, then spend some time wandering the grounds with the slow-paced residents. After lunch, you’ll visit an organic sugar cane farm run by a local family for a trapiche tour (a sugar cane mill used in artisanal sugar production). See how the family harvests and processes sugar cane as well as cacao and how it really is a community effort.
Day 8 - Isla Santa Cruz
Take a morning walk in Tortuga Bay after breakfast. Along the way, keep an eye out for eagle rays, sea turtles and blue-footed boobies. After returning to town for lunch, you’ll pass through a local fish market on the way to The Galapagos Conservancy. Here, they help protect the Galapagos' unique biodiversity. Learn how The Intrepid Foundation supports the Galapagos Conservancy Women in Sustainable Entrepreneurship (WISE) program, which provides critical capital for sustainability initiatives and builds the entrepreneurial capacity of Galapagos women. After, head to the Charles Darwin Research Station – an international non-profit organization that’s dedicated to the scientific research and conservation of the archipelago’s environment and biodiversity.
Day 9 - 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 Companie 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).

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
27-04-202406-05-2024AUD $ 5,875-
04-05-202413-05-2024AUD $ 6,150-
11-05-202420-05-2024AUD $ 5,487-
14-05-202423-05-2024AUD $ 4,977-
18-05-202427-05-2024AUD $ 5,875-
21-05-202430-05-2024AUD $ 5,591-
25-05-202403-06-2024AUD $ 6,150-
01-06-202410-06-2024AUD $ 5,028-
08-06-202417-06-2024AUD $ 5,615-
11-06-202420-06-2024AUD $ 5,615-
22-06-202401-07-2024AUD $ 5,510-
25-06-202404-07-2024AUD $ 5,510-
29-06-202408-07-2024AUD $ 5,510-
04-07-202413-07-2024AUD $ 5,765-
16-07-202425-07-2024AUD $ 5,710-
20-07-202429-07-2024AUD $ 5,985-
27-07-202405-08-2024AUD $ 5,710-
03-08-202412-08-2024AUD $ 5,814-
10-08-202419-08-2024AUD $ 5,969-
17-08-202426-08-2024AUD $ 5,459-
24-08-202402-09-2024AUD $ 5,509-
27-08-202405-09-2024AUD $ 5,459-
31-08-202409-09-2024AUD $ 5,459-
07-09-202416-09-2024AUD $ 5,459-
10-09-202419-09-2024AUD $ 5,204-
14-09-202423-09-2024AUD $ 5,609-
21-09-202430-09-2024AUD $ 5,969-
24-09-202403-10-2024AUD $ 5,204-
28-09-202407-10-2024AUD $ 5,664-
05-10-202414-10-2024AUD $ 5,664-
08-10-202417-10-2024AUD $ 5,398-
12-10-202421-10-2024AUD $ 5,929-
15-10-202424-10-2024AUD $ 5,664-
19-10-202428-10-2024AUD $ 5,719-
26-10-202404-11-2024AUD $ 5,664-
29-10-202407-11-2024AUD $ 5,664-
02-11-202411-11-2024AUD $ 5,664-
05-11-202414-11-2024AUD $ 5,719-
09-11-202418-11-2024AUD $ 5,824-
12-11-202421-11-2024AUD $ 5,664-
16-11-202425-11-2024AUD $ 5,769-
23-11-202402-12-2024AUD $ 5,664-
26-11-202405-12-2024AUD $ 5,664-
03-12-202412-12-2024AUD $ 5,864-
07-12-202416-12-2024AUD $ 5,864-
10-12-202419-12-2024AUD $ 5,864-
14-12-202423-12-2024AUD $ 5,864-
17-12-202426-12-2024AUD $ 5,864-
19-12-202428-12-2024AUD $ 5,864-
21-12-202430-12-2024AUD $ 5,864-
24-12-202402-01-2025AUD $ 5,864-
26-12-202404-01-2025AUD $ 5,864-
28-12-202406-01-2025AUD $ 5,864-
02-01-202511-01-2025AUD $ 5,714-
04-01-202513-01-2025AUD $ 5,714-
09-01-202518-01-2025AUD $ 5,714-
11-01-202520-01-2025AUD $ 5,714-
18-01-202527-01-2025AUD $ 5,714-
25-01-202503-02-2025AUD $ 5,714-
01-02-202510-02-2025AUD $ 5,714-
08-02-202517-02-2025AUD $ 5,714-
13-02-202522-02-2025AUD $ 5,714-
15-02-202524-02-2025AUD $ 5,714-
20-02-202501-03-2025AUD $ 5,714-
22-02-202503-03-2025AUD $ 5,714-
25-02-202506-03-2025AUD $ 5,714-
01-03-202510-03-2025AUD $ 5,929-
08-03-202517-03-2025AUD $ 5,929-
13-03-202522-03-2025AUD $ 5,929-
15-03-202524-03-2025AUD $ 5,929-
22-03-202531-03-2025AUD $ 5,929-
25-03-202503-04-2025AUD $ 5,929-
01-04-202510-04-2025AUD $ 6,139-
05-04-202514-04-2025AUD $ 6,139-
08-04-202517-04-2025AUD $ 6,139-
10-04-202519-04-2025AUD $ 6,139-
12-04-202521-04-2025AUD $ 6,139-
15-04-202524-04-2025AUD $ 6,139-
17-04-202526-04-2025AUD $ 6,139-
19-04-202528-04-2025AUD $ 6,139-
24-04-202503-05-2025AUD $ 6,139-
26-04-202505-05-2025AUD $ 6,139-
03-05-202512-05-2025AUD $ 6,139-
08-05-202517-05-2025AUD $ 6,139-
10-05-202519-05-2025AUD $ 6,139-
17-05-202526-05-2025AUD $ 6,139-
22-05-202531-05-2025AUD $ 6,139-
24-05-202502-06-2025AUD $ 6,139-
29-05-202507-06-2025AUD $ 6,139-
31-05-202509-06-2025AUD $ 6,139-
07-06-202516-06-2025AUD $ 5,714-
14-06-202523-06-2025AUD $ 5,714-
19-06-202528-06-2025AUD $ 5,714-
21-06-202530-06-2025AUD $ 5,714-
28-06-202507-07-2025AUD $ 5,929-
03-07-202512-07-2025AUD $ 5,929-
05-07-202514-07-2025AUD $ 5,929-
12-07-202521-07-2025AUD $ 5,929-
15-07-202524-07-2025AUD $ 5,929-
17-07-202526-07-2025AUD $ 5,929-
19-07-202528-07-2025AUD $ 5,929-
26-07-202504-08-2025AUD $ 5,929-
02-08-202511-08-2025AUD $ 5,714-
09-08-202518-08-2025AUD $ 5,714-
16-08-202525-08-2025AUD $ 5,714-
23-08-202501-09-2025AUD $ 5,714-
28-08-202506-09-2025AUD $ 5,714-
30-08-202508-09-2025AUD $ 5,714-
06-09-202515-09-2025AUD $ 5,714-
11-09-202520-09-2025AUD $ 5,714-
13-09-202522-09-2025AUD $ 5,714-
18-09-202527-09-2025AUD $ 5,714-
20-09-202529-09-2025AUD $ 5,714-
25-09-202504-10-2025AUD $ 5,714-
27-09-202506-10-2025AUD $ 5,714-
04-10-202513-10-2025AUD $ 5,929-
09-10-202518-10-2025AUD $ 5,929-
11-10-202520-10-2025AUD $ 5,929-
16-10-202525-10-2025AUD $ 5,929-
18-10-202527-10-2025AUD $ 5,929-
25-10-202503-11-2025AUD $ 5,929-
30-10-202508-11-2025AUD $ 5,929-
01-11-202510-11-2025AUD $ 5,929-
06-11-202515-11-2025AUD $ 5,929-
08-11-202517-11-2025AUD $ 5,929-
13-11-202522-11-2025AUD $ 5,929-
15-11-202524-11-2025AUD $ 5,929-
22-11-202501-12-2025AUD $ 5,929-
27-11-202506-12-2025AUD $ 5,929-
04-12-202513-12-2025AUD $ 6,139-
06-12-202515-12-2025AUD $ 6,139-
11-12-202520-12-2025AUD $ 6,139-
13-12-202522-12-2025AUD $ 6,139-
16-12-202525-12-2025AUD $ 6,139-
18-12-202527-12-2025AUD $ 6,139-
20-12-202529-12-2025AUD $ 6,139-
23-12-202501-01-2026AUD $ 6,139-
25-12-202503-01-2026AUD $ 6,139-
27-12-202505-01-2026AUD $ 6,139-

Accommodation

Hotel ( 9 nights)

Transport

Plane,Speed Boat,Private Vehicle,Taxi,Public bus

Map