Complete Galapagos - Itinerary B Trip Notes

Complete Galapagos - Itinerary B

Last Modified: 10 Oct 2013
Complete Galapagos - Itinerary B
Trip code: GLSB
Validity: 16 Feb 2013 to 31 Dec 2013
Steeped in natural history and teeming with wildlife, the Galapagos Islands serve as the ideal destination for both exploration and relaxation. Climb aboard a comfortable, modern boat and sail smoothly around the blissful waters of the Galapagos, leaving no stone unturned. With land iguanas and Sally Lightfoot crabs scuttling across the volcanic-affected landscape, and giant tortoises, manta rays, sea lions and tropical fish swimming in the surrounding blissful waters - and a multitude of brightly coloured bird life in the skies - there’s a thrill around every corner. Experience the Complete Galapagos on this ultimate adventure around these vibrant and rugged South American isles.
The operator for this trip is our experienced sister company Geckos Adventures. Your group will therefore be a mixture of Intrepid booked passengers and other international like-minded travellers.
Table of Contents
StyleDeparture taxEmergency contact
ThemesImportant notesEmergency funds
MapGroup sizeVisas
ItineraryYour fellow travellersIssues on your trip
Itinerary disclaimerSingle travellersWhat to take
Culture shock rating AccommodationHealth
Physical ratingMealsTravel insurance
Physical preparationTransportResponsible Travel
Included activitiesGroup leaderA couple of rules
Money ExchangeAlternate Joining point The Intrepid Foundation
Spending moneyArrival complicationsFeedback
TippingAlternate Finish point
  • Original trips are classic Intrepid adventures. With a mix of included activities and free time, they offer plenty of opportunities to explore at your own pace and take part in activities that really get beneath the skin of a destination. While the occasional meal may be included, you'll have the freedom to seek out your own culinary adventures. Accommodation is generally budget or tourist class (2-3 star), but you're as likely to find yourself as a guest of a local family as staying in a hotel or camping. Transport will vary as well. Depending on the destination and the itinerary you could find yourself travelling on anything from a camel to a train or a private safari vehicle. It's all part of the adventure! Original travellers have a desire to make the most of their travel time and really get to know a place, its people and cultures.
Sailing, Wildlife
Complete Galapagos - Itinerary B
Day 1 Quito
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Ecuador.
Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6:00pm on Day 1.
You can arrive at any time as there are no activities planned until this important meeting. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel 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.
Sitting at an altitude of 2,850 m 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.
As this trip spends very little time in Quito, we recommend you spend a few extra days before or after your trip to experience all the city has to offer.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 2 Baltra/Isla North Seymour
This morning we transfer to Quito Airport for our early morning flight to the Galapagos Islands. Be prepared for an early start as this could mean leaving the hotel as early as 4am. A US$10 per person transit card is payable on departure at Quito Airport and a US$100 per person national park entry fee is payable on arrival. Please have cash on hand for these transactions as using credit cards can be time consuming.
On arrival in the Galapagos we are met in the arrivals hall and then transferred to our boat, the M.Y. Pelikano, anchored a short distance away. Once on board you'll be assigned your cabin, before we set sail.
From here we sail to North Seymour, probably one of the Galapagos’ most visited islands. A short loop takes us along the sandy beach with good views of Daphne Major and Minor before the trail takes us inland into a palo santo forest and low, bushy vegetation. Enjoyable for both its wildlife and views from the beach, the island is also the nesting ground for the magnificent frigate bird. Also look out for blue-footed booby, sea lion and marine iguana.
Motorised yacht (1 nt)
Day 3 Isla San Cristobal
This morning we visit the tiny Isla Lobos and spend the morning relaxing by the island's rocky shores where blue-footed boobies build their nests. This is also home to many sea lions and may get our first sight of other spectacular Galapagos residents like the Sally Lightfoot crab and the magnificent frigatebird.
From here we continue on to Cerro Brujo, a fine powder beach on San Cristobal’s north coast. A nearby lagoon was once mined for salt, used for preserving food, but today it is a place for watching lake and coastal birds. The beach is also home to Sally Lightfoot crabs, brown pelicans and blue-footed boobies and offers wonderful views, with Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock) visible, where we head to after some time snorkelling and relaxing on the beach. Leon Dormido is the magnificent basalt remains of a crater in the middle of the sea, the shape resembling a sleeping lion. The rock rises 150 metres above the surface and is divided into two parts by a narrow channel. We cruise through the channel, with nesting seabirds on either side of the boat, tropicbirds overhead, marine iguanas in the water and resting on the rocks and many sea lions also present.
Motorised yacht (1 nt)
Day 4 Isla Espanola
Today we cruise to Española, the southernmost and one of the oldest islands of the Galapagos group. Due to its remote location, Española has a high variety of endemic fauna. It is the breeding site of nearly all of the world's 12,000 pairs of waved albatrosses and also home to colonies of blue-footed and masked boobies. Trails from the golden beaches, where sea lions bathe and marine iguanas make their way towards the water, lead us right through the middle of booby colonies, and Galapagos doves and mockingbirds are also often seen.
We take a trail to a cliff-top viewpoint, where we gain a magical panorama. Boobies line the rocky shoreline beneath us, while frigatebirds may be seen overhead; nearby enormous male sea lions can be seen lounging and albatross use the cliffs as their ‘runway’, helping become airborne by the southeast winds that blow across this part of the island. If we’re lucky we’ll see the elaborate courtship rituals performed by albatrosses before the female chooses her lifelong mate.
In the afternoon we visit Gardner Bay, where our wet landing taking us to one of the archipelago's longest stretches of white sand. It’s a great beach to relax on – just look at the many resting sea lions for proof! The rocks in the bay provide excellent snorkelling opportunities, with reef sharks, turtles and many species of tropical fish, including surgeon, parrot and angelfish often seen.
Motorised yacht (1 nt)
Day 5 Isla Floreana
This morning we visit the island of Floreana in the south of the archipelago. It’s one of the most beautiful islands and is also interesting in terms of human history as it was one of the earliest to be inhabited. In 1793 a post office barrel was erected for mariners to post their mail and assist in delivery of mail to the United States and Europe. This custom continues today with Galapagos visitors leaving letters and postcards to be collected by the next passing boat – send one of your own and check if there are any you can deliver back home.
Afterwards we explore the island’s magnificent geography, with particularly impressive lava tubes found a little inland from Post Office Bay. The marine life in the bay is also spectacular and is one of the best sites for swimming with turtles. The wet landing at Punta Cormorant leads to a hike that reveals the wonderful and unusual colours present in nature in the Galapagos. You land on a greenish-coloured sand beach and then hike a well-marked trail beginning in black mangrove beds before heading towards a lagoon where many flamingos gather - their vivid pink contrasting splendidly against the water. The island’s endemic plant life here is also noteworthy and, on our walk, we pass Galapagos millwork, passion flower and the unique button mangrove.
Mirador de la Baronesa is located north of Floreana Island, in Bay La Olla. It is a tuff basalt formation between Cormorant Point and Post Office Bay. The ascent of the trail is fairly easy, except for the last 33 metres where the gradient is steep; however, steps have been built in this final stretch. Depending on the weather you may have the option for a panga ride to the Mirador which is excellent for viewing marine life with opportunities to see golden eagle rays, sea turtles, sea lions and Galapagos penguins. As we walk the trail, our guide informs us of the interesting mangrove formations nearby as well as the important human history of the area. From the viewpoint, the sweeping views take in the coastline from Enderby Island to Post Office Bay, including Cerro Straw and the pool of flamingos at Punta Cormorant.
Motorised yacht (1 nt)
Day 6 Isla Santa Cruz
Today we visit Santa Cruz itself, the second largest island in the Galapagos.
The small town of Puerto Ayora is the economic hub of the archipelago, and is also home to 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, and keen to learn more about conservation efforts to preserve the unique ecosystems of the Galapagos. It also offers visitors their best chance for close-up encounters with giant tortoises, and you can see many newborn and young giant turtles - part of the breeding program to reintroduce them to their natural habitat.
Afterwards we take a bus to the Santa Cruz highlands, where the lush humidity makes it seems worlds away from the island’s arid coastal regions. The interior of the Santa Cruz contains inactive volcanic cones, the rich soil home to many crops, miconia bushes and scalesia, a species that has been called ‘the Darwin’s finches of the plant world’. We visit the largest lava tunnels in the Galapagos and observe great local bird life, including the vermilion flycatcher, Galápagos rail, Galapagos dove and paint-billed cake. The highlands are also the natural habitat of the Galapagos tortoise and there's a good chance we may see them here.
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre
Motorised yacht (1 nt)
Day 7 Isla Plaza Sur/Isla Santa Fe
A small island, Plaza Sur nonetheless possesses abundant life and beauty. From our dry landing, we walk among resting sea lions and on trails that get us amid one of the Galapagos’ largest land iguana populations, resting in the cacti and volcanic landscapes coloured bright red and green by sesuvium. The island’s rugged southern cliffs are an excellent place to spot tropicbirds and swallow-tailed gulls, as well as ‘the gentlemen’s club’, a gathering of male sea lions either too young or too old to be ‘beachmasters’!
Our afternoon stop is Santa Fe, located 2 ½ hours southeast of Santa Cruz. This small island offers a dense concentration of wildlife, and is a fantastic place to see many of the stars of the Galapagos in one, relatively small area. Expect to see the Galapagos hawk, land Iguanas, a variety of finches and the Galapagos mockingbird, sea lions, marine turtles, frigatebirds, Galapagos doves and lava lizards. It’s a naturally beautiful island as well, with one of the most attractive coves in the archipelago, the waters jade green and wonderful for snorkelling. . Our trail follows the coast into the Opuntia Forest Santa Fe's trees are the largest in the Galapagos. Hiking into the island you can see a forest of giant cacti and palo santo trees.
Motorised yacht (1 nt)
Day 8 Isla Bartolome
Beautiful Bartolome is one of the youngest islands in the archipelago and is home to spectacular lava formations, wonderful beaches and rich wildlife - both on land and among its waters. Upon arrival, the evidence of the island’s volcanic past is immediately evidence with lava bombs, spatter and cinder cones. The summit trail leads us to the iconic view of the Galapagos: looking out towards Pinnacle Rock, the twin beaches of the island backing on to each other, the turquoise waters lapping the shores. During the ascent we see a large colony of marine Iguanas and lava lizards. Red mangroves and various cacti all add to the diverse landscape.
After our hike we cool off with a snorkel, where we swim among Galapagos penguin, turtles and white tipped reef sharks! In the afternoon we visit Sombrero Chino, a small islet located near the south-east coast of Isla Santiago. We approach it via a beautiful crescent-shaped, sandy beach that is home to sea lions and Sally Lightfoot crabs. The island is a miniature volcano, shaped like a Chinese hat (hence its name), and along its trails we explore the island’s volcanic origin with its fascinating lava tubes. Opposite Sombrero Chino, on the rocky shoreline of nearby Santiago, Galapagos penguins are often seen. We follow a trail that circles the cove and passes through a sea lion colony and innumerable marine iguanas. The cove also offers some great snorkelling opportunities.
Motorised yacht (1 nt)
Day 9 Isla Mosquera/Baltra/Quito
This morning we sail to nearby Isla Mosquera, an Islet situated between Baltra and North Seymour. This stretch of water is rich in sea life and is a popular spot for both sea lions and marine birds. Watch out for the boobies making their spectacularly quick headlong dives into the water. Isla Mosquera is an uplifted coral reef with long stretches of white sand and rock pools – perfect places to spot Sally Lightfoot crabs. The island also has a very large colony of sea lions as well as a sizeable resident brown pelican population.
We then cruise back to Baltra where we say goodbye to the amazing Galapagos Islands and take our return flight to Quito. Upon arrival back at Quito Airport we will transfer back to our hotel for an overnight stay.
Hotel (1 nt)
Day 10 Quito
There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check the 'Finishing Point Hotel' section for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.
  • Quito Transfer - Airport to Hotel ()
  • Quito Transfer - Hotel to Airport ()
    Itinerary disclaimer
    Due to the specialist nature of our holidays, day-to-day itineraries should be taken as a guide only and as statements of intent, not contractual obligations. We regularly update our trip dossiers to take into account changes to trekking routes, accommodation, local transport etc. Such changes are a factor of this type of holiday and when made are out of necessity. Other factors such as adverse weather, unforeseen circumstances and other matters entirely out of our control etc can also lead to enforced changes during the course of the holiday. It is not possible to guarantee that any of our holidays will operate exactly as per the anticipated itinerary
    Culture shock rating

    At times local life here will be familiar to that of back home, and at times very different. Services are available most of the time, English may not be the native language, and there may be some cultural differences.
    Physical rating

    Some easy physical activities included in your trip. No physical preparation is required to make the most of the journey.
    Physical preparation
    We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the weeks before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Walking, jogging, swimming or riding a bike are all good ways to increase your aerobic fitness, which will allow you to enjoy the trip to its fullest.
    Included activities
    Included activities are listed in the day-to-day itinerary, all other activities are optional and at your own expense. If you choose not to participate in the included activities on this itinerary, the cost will not be refunded.
    Please note that some of our included activities are contingent on weather conditions. We'll arrange an alternative if an included activity is deemed unsafe.
    Snorkelling equipment is available on board the boat at no extra cost. Wetsuits can be hired for an additional fee if required.
    Money Exchange
    The official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar (USD).
    Please note that in Ecuador automatic money machines often limit the amount you can withdraw. This can be $100 or $200 per day depending on your card.
    With ATMs being widely available in major towns and cities, credit and debit cards are the best way to access money in Latin America (note though that charges are made for each transaction). Please check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions.
    Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to US$100 per day.
    It's also advisable to carry some cash in small denominations bills, for those times when ATMs may not be available. US$ dollars is the most readily changeable currency.
    US$100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other US$ bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.
    Spending money
    Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping, participating in optional activities, and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
    If you have enjoyed the services provided by your guide and crew, a tip would be very much appreciated by them. As a guideline we recommend each passenger consider US$15 per day for the crew and US$7-10 per day for your guide. You can leave tips in envelopes that are placed in your cabin on the last day of your journey.
    Departure tax
    Please allow US$44.30 for international airport departure tax in Quito.
    Important notes
    The Galapagos park fee (US$100) and transit card fee (US$10) are payable upon arrival to the islands (cash only)..This amount is in additiona to your trip payment.
    When booking, please ensure that your details are correct, and double check them on your documents prior to departure. If your passport does not match your booking details, you may be refused entrance to Galapagos National Park. Please make sure that your name is spelt correctly, and that you book using the name in your passport (particularly if you are recently married). If you are issued a new passport with a different number between the time that you book and the time you travel, please take both the old and new passports with you.
    This trip is operated by Peregrine Adventures and you will be joined by other like minded Intrepid and non Intrepid travellers. Single travellers will share accommodation with another traveller of the same sex.
    The minimum age for this trip is 18 years old and bookings for minors, even if accompanied by a parent, cannot be accepted.
    This maritime component of this trip is operated by a fully licensed Ecuadorian shipping operator. The Captain of the vessel will do all that is possible to adhere to the outlined itinerary however it may be changed without previous notice due to such reasons as weather conditions or changes to the Galapagos National Park's regulations. We ask you for your patience and understanding with any changes outside our control.
    Group size
    Maximum of 16 travellers per group.
    Your fellow travellers
    As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit of everyone's travel experience. Remember too that you have responsibilities to the group. If you are requested to be at a place at a certain time, ensure that you don't keep the rest of the group waiting. We have found time and time again that the very best trips we operate are those where the dynamics within the group work well - this takes just a little effort on your part.
    Due to privacy reasons we are unable to provide you with contact details and any personal information about your fellow travellers booked on your trip prior to departure. However you can download Intrepid's FREE Meet Up app to chat with your fellow travellers before your trip. Meet up, discuss your upcoming trip and share the excitement of planning for your adventure. For more information visit:
    Single travellers
    Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Trip Notes. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own room (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.
    Motorised yacht (7 nts), Hotel (2 nts)
    The M.Y Pelikano is air-conditioned with 8 twin share cabins, all with bunk berths and private facilities. Single supplements are available on request should you require a cabin to yourself; however, be warned, they are expensive.
    Please see the deck plan images below for a layout of the boat.

    No meals included
    DIETARY REQUIREMENTS: Should you have a special diet requirement (for example vegetarian, celiac, vegan, severe food allergies) it's essential that you inform Intrepid of the specific details at least 10 days prior to departure, in order to make sure the chef on board the boat or on the island can request the necessary food supplies.
    Boat, Plane
    M.Y. PELIKANO: The M.Y. Pelikano was built in 1986 and refurbished in 2012. It can accommodate up to 16 passengers on board, and carries 7 crew plus an English-speaking naturalist guide. The boat's layout is a two-level wraparound deck with a comfortable seating area, bar and indoor dining room. Electricity on board is 110/220 AC.
    Group leader
    For our Galapagos trips we have a highly experienced shipboard staff and crew. Our guides are registered and trained in conservation and natural sciences by the Charles Darwin Foundation and licensed by the Galapagos National Park Service.
    Alternate Joining point
    For trips departing on the following dates, use this joining point.
    09 Nov 2013 (GLSB131109), 23 Nov 2013 (GLSB131123), 07 Dec 2013 (GLSB131207), 21 Dec 2013 (GLSB131221), 15 Feb 2014 (GLSB140215), 01 Mar 2014 (GLSB140301), 15 Mar 2014 (GLSB140315), 29 Mar 2014 (GLSB140329), 12 Apr 2014 (GLSB140412), 26 Apr 2014 (GLSB140426), 10 May 2014 (GLSB140510), 24 May 2014 (GLSB140524), 07 Jun 2014 (GLSB140607), 21 Jun 2014 (GLSB140621), 05 Jul 2014 (GLSB140705), 19 Jul 2014 (GLSB140719), 02 Aug 2014 (GLSB140802), 16 Aug 2014 (GLSB140816), 30 Aug 2014 (GLSB140830), 13 Sep 2014 (GLSB140913), 27 Sep 2014 (GLSB140927), 11 Oct 2014 (GLSB141011), 25 Oct 2014 (GLSB141025), 08 Nov 2014 (GLSB141108), 22 Nov 2014 (GLSB141122), 06 Dec 2014 (GLSB141206), 20 Dec 2014 (GLSB141220), 03 Jan 2015 (GLSB150103)
    Hotel San Francisco de Quito
    Sucre oe3-17 y Guayaquil
    Phone: +593 22951241
    Arrival complications
    We don't expect any problems (and nor should you) but if for any reason you are unable to commence your group trip as scheduled, please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your group leader.
    If you have pre-booked an airport transfer (where available) and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the starting point hotel, following the Joining Instructions in these Trip Notes. Should this occur, please apply to your travel agent for a refund of the transfer cost on your return.
    No refund is available on missed transfers or portions of your trip owing to a different flight arrival or delayed flight arrival. Any additional cost incurred in order to meet up with your group is at your own expense.
    Alternate Finish point
    For trips departing on the following dates, use this finish point.
    09 Nov 2013 (GLSB131109), 23 Nov 2013 (GLSB131123), 07 Dec 2013 (GLSB131207), 21 Dec 2013 (GLSB131221), 15 Feb 2014 (GLSB140215), 01 Mar 2014 (GLSB140301), 15 Mar 2014 (GLSB140315), 29 Mar 2014 (GLSB140329), 12 Apr 2014 (GLSB140412), 26 Apr 2014 (GLSB140426), 10 May 2014 (GLSB140510), 24 May 2014 (GLSB140524), 07 Jun 2014 (GLSB140607), 21 Jun 2014 (GLSB140621), 05 Jul 2014 (GLSB140705), 19 Jul 2014 (GLSB140719), 02 Aug 2014 (GLSB140802), 16 Aug 2014 (GLSB140816), 30 Aug 2014 (GLSB140830), 13 Sep 2014 (GLSB140913), 27 Sep 2014 (GLSB140927), 11 Oct 2014 (GLSB141011), 25 Oct 2014 (GLSB141025), 08 Nov 2014 (GLSB141108), 22 Nov 2014 (GLSB141122), 06 Dec 2014 (GLSB141206), 20 Dec 2014 (GLSB141220), 03 Jan 2015 (GLSB150103)
    Hotel San Francisco de Quito
    Sucre oe3-17 y Guayaquil
    Phone: +593 22951241
    Emergency contact
    In the case of a genuine crisis or emergency only, our partner for this trip, Peregrine Adventures, can be reached on Tel: +61 417 808 800. The local Ecuador operations office can be reached on +593 9 4014877 (from outside Ecuador) or 09 4014877 (from within Ecuador). For further contact details please use the following page:
    Emergency funds
    Please also make sure you have access to an additional US$400, to be used when unforeseen incidents or circumstances outside our control (eg. a natural disaster, civil unrest or an outbreak of bird flu) necessitate a change to our planned route.
    Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. The visa requirements for your trip vary depending on where you are from and where you are going. As a general rule most countries expect that you will have at least 6 months' validity on your passport. On arrival visitors may be asked to present return tickets and evidence of means to cover your intended stay.
    We keep the following information up to date as much as possible, but rules do change - it's important that you check for yourself. Residents from other countries must consult the relevant embassies or your travel agent.
    Australia: Not required
    Belgium: Not required
    Canada: Not required
    Germany: Not required
    Ireland: Not required
    Netherlands: Not required
    New Zealand: Not required
    South Africa: Not required
    Switzerland: Not required
    United Kingdom: Not required
    United States: Not required
    Issues on your trip
    While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.
    We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.
    You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.
    What to take
    What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage and although you won't be required to walk long distances with your luggage (max 30 minutes), we recommend keeping the weight under 10kg / 22lb.
    Most travellers carry their luggage in a backpack, although an overnight bag with a shoulder strap would suffice if you travel lightly. Smaller bags or backpacks with wheels are convenient although we recommend your bag has carry straps. You'll also need a day pack/bag to carry water and a camera etc for day trips.
    You can find Intrepid's Ultimate Packing List on our website. It should be used as a guide only and isn't intended to be a complete packing list.
    There is not a lot of extra space on the boat in the Galapagos, so our general advice is to pack as lightly as possible. Life aboard the yacht is pretty informal, so casual comfortable clothing is best.
    Please bring your own water bottle to refill along the way. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments.
    It is possible to hire a wet suit locally for USD5.00 per day.
    All Intrepid travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.
    You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations and anti-malarial requirements before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements (including a spare pair of glasses) as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. For legal reasons our leaders and guides are prohibited from administering any type of drugs including headache tablets and antibiotics. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.
    A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home.
    It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.
    Travel insurance
    Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.
    When travelling on a group trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.
    If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.
    Please go to our website for links to various travel insurance providers:
    Responsible Travel
    We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller:
    A couple of rules
    Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land, but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for Intrepid travellers. Intrepid's philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter and in particular, the local people who make our destinations such special places. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
    The Intrepid Foundation
    Since Intrepid Travel commenced operating in 1989 we've been committed to giving something back to the communities we visit. One way has been through our support for local humanitarian, development and conservation projects. Many of our travellers want to contribute something too. Whilst it is often tempting to give hand-outs to those less fortunate, this has the potential to promote a culture of begging and dependency. Handouts are not a sustainable way for individuals or communities to live. That’s why we established The Intrepid Foundation – to make it easier for travellers wishing to give back to communities in an effective and meaningful way.
    The Intrepid Foundation is a not-for-profit fund offering a selection of excellent grassroots organisations which you can contribute to. All donations to The Intrepid Foundation will be matched by Intrepid Travel dollar for dollar (up to AU$5,000 per donor and a total of AU$400,000 for all donors in each financial year). And every cent gets there as Intrepid Travel pays for all the administration costs. Donating is simple and secure. Please ask your group leader for information on the projects we support through The Intrepid Foundation or go to our website:
    After your travels, we want to hear from you! This is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next trip if your feedback is completed online within 4 weeks of finishing your trip.