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, boat and bike 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.

Quito, Ecuador
Quito, Ecuador
Physical rating
Cultural rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12
Carbon offset
0kg pp per trip



Bienvenidos! Welcome to Quito, Ecuador. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 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. With Colonial style buildings, a cosy Old Town and plenty of nooks and crannies to explore, you may like to take a stroll this evening and see some sights. 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.
Welcome to San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands. As you start this trip on the Galapagos Islands and join other travellers arriving from Quito, you have two options for joining the group. You can meet the others at San Cristobal Airport at 11.30 am or you can meet them at the hotel (Casa de Nelly) when they arrive at 12.30 pm. Check in time for the hotel is 12 pm. Please advise us where you plan to join this trip no later than 15 days prior to departure. After joining up with the group, head out together 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. Soon after, travel to Las Loberias 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 for a 'Welcome to Galapagos' dinner of the islands fresh seafood and local produce.
Our second day in Isla San Cristobal begins with a short boat ride to either Leon Dormido or Isla Lobos (approximately 45 minutes), and along the way observing the famous Galapagos marine life. On the way, you might also be able to spot nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies, and you might go snorkelling with playful young sea lions. On arrival at the islet go snorkelling, keeping an eye out for sea turtles, manta rays and maybe the odd harmless Galapagos shark.
Take an early morning boat ride today towards Floreana Island, which should take about two and a half hours. 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 Witmers, 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 for the evening. When you arrive at Isabela, you'll need to pay a port fee of USD 5.
Start your second day on Isla Isabela with a leisurely walk through a coastal lagoon, where you might see Flamingos. This mangrove-lined path leads to Isabela’s 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 an informative visit, board small pangas for Tintoreras or Shark Alley. 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. In the 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.
Start your last day on Isla Isabela by heading towards the Sierra Negra Volcano, 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 13 kilometres up the rocky mountain, which takes between five and six hours. Please ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes that offer good support. 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.
Begin the day with a with a kayak excursion in a protected bay. While here, search for the protected Galapagos penguin – the only penguin found close the equator. Along the way, keep an eye out for eagle rays, sea turtles and blue-footed boobies. After lunch, head to Isla Santa Cruz, the tourist capital of Galapagos. Check in to the hotel and then go for a short walking tour of Puerto Ayora to visit the local fishermen's market.
Your second day on Isla Santa Cruz begins with a visit to the higher part of the islands to observe the giant tortoise roaming in its natural habitat. In the afternoon, take a walk to Tortuga Bay, a gorgeous beach accessible only by foot. Choose to go swimming, sunbaking or bodysurfing - or do all three. Finally, make your way back to town for one last dinner on these enchanted islands.
Before leaving Isla Santa Cruz today, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The station's visitor centre and museum are essential stops for anyone interested in the archipelago's natural and human history. This is also a great opportunity to learn more about conservation efforts to preserve the unique ecosystems of the Galapagos. You can even get close to giant tortoises which are being raised for the repopulation program. Afterwards, say goodbye to the Galapagos and take a flight back to Quito.
View trip notes to read full itinerary


7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 dinner
Bicycle, Boat
Hotel (9 nights)
Included activities
  • Isla Isabela - Flamingo lagoon visit
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre
  • Isla Isabela- Kayak rental
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center
  • Isla San Cristobal - Leon Dormido or Isla Lobos visit
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre


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For information about altitude sickness click here

Trip notes

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Your trip notes provide 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 trip notes


Our Active Galapagos trips score an average of 4.8 out of 5 based on 278 reviews in the last year.

2015 Active Galapagos , September 2015

2015 Active Galapagos , September 2015