Map of One Week in the Galapagos Islands  including Ecuador

You’ll 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 seven days discovering this explorer’s dream, staying at the bustling centres of Isla San Cristobal, Isabela and Santa Cruz. 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?

This trip is for 18 to 29-year-olds

Some of our under-30 travellers prefer to get around with people their own age. If that’s you, you’re in the right place!

Over 29? We’ve got over 900 other great adventures to choose from for solo travellers, friends, families, food lovers, hiking enthusiasts, and more.


Start
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Finish
Isla Santa Cruz, Ecuador
Destination
Ecuador
Style
Basix
Theme
18 to 29s, Wildlife
Code
GGYT
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

  • 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.

  • Collect solid gold bragging rights after climbing Isla Isabela's volcano. The views up the top don't get much better than this!

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip involves a lot of travel by boat between the various Galapagos Islands.The good news is that seasickness can often be managed with medication and by consulting a health professional before your trip.

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

  • Wildlife is a big focus on this trip, with activities like bird-watching, swimming and visits to museums.

  • While you're free to go diving if you so choose, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity. This is part of Intrepid's internal safety policy.

  • As this tour starts and finishes on the islands, there is the opportunity on the final day to forgo your flight back to Quito to stay on for Scuba Diving. We can offer this activity on the final day of the tour but it will require an extra night on the islands. See "Important Notes" below for details.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2023 to 31 Dec 2023.
View the 2020 itinerary
Welcome to San Cristobal! Today you'll be joining with other travellers arriving from Quito. 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!
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.
Special Information
Please see the 'Joining Point Instructions' included in the Essential Trip Information.
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.
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. Tonight, join your leader and discover the best food in Puerto Ayora, and possibly even in the Galápagos, at a bustling row of restaurants and stalls with tables spilling into the road. The eateries here may not have the polish of the restaurants along Avenida Charles Darwin, but the food is exponentially cheaper and always fresh, and the lively atmosphere is what makes Los Kioskos more than just a place to eat.
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes)
  • Santa Cruz - Los Kioskos Food market by Night
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.
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.
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. Then, jump aboard a water taxi for a short trip to Punta Estrada we you’ll make your way to Las Grietas. Literally meaning ‘The Cracks’ in Spanish, it's a narrow, rocky crevasse where the earth seems to have split in two, creating a crystal clear swimming hole running more than 100m through the stone. This is undoubtably one of the most unique places to swim or snorkel in the Galápagos, and it is easily accessible from Puerto Ayora. This afternoon, you’ll have the chance to take part in some optional activities, 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. Or you may like to rent some snorkelling gear and discover a whole other world underwater. This afternoon you can choose your own adventure, so ask your knowledgeable group leader for their recommendations.
Included Activities
  • Las Grietas - Swimming Hole & Canyon
Optional Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay walk - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning your Galapagos adventure comes to an end. Say goodbye to your fellow travellers who may be continuing on to Quito to finish their trip. If you would like to spend more time on Santa Cruz, and possibly undertake any of the Galapagos scuba diving options, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).
Optional Activities
  • Quito - Market Discovery Urban Adventure - USD99
  • Quito - Sweet & Culinary Experience - Urban Adventures - USD103
  • Quito - Condors and Culture in Otavalo Urban Adventures - USD156
  • Quito - Old Town & Gastronomic- Urban Adventures - USD99
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
The closest airport to you today is Baltra. Passengers ending this trip in Quito will be taking an included flight at around 10 am. Should you wish to join this transfer to Baltra airport it will be leaving the hotel at approximately 7 am. If you are making your own way to the airport later in the day, the easiest way is to take a taxi followed by a ferry which will cost approximately USD 26. This can be arranged locally. If you plan on departing from an alternative airport in the Galapagos you will need to make your own way, involving ferries which your tour leader can assist you with.

You also have the option today to go scuba diving, if you already have a scuba diving certification. All dives finish by 12.30 pm and, since you need to wait at least 18 hours between diving flying, you will need to stay in Santa Cruz at least one additional day. Where you will dive depends on when your trip ends and how long you can stay in Santa Cruz.

Meals

6 breakfasts

Transport

Speed boat, Private vehicle, Public bus

Accommodation

Hostel (2 nights), Hotel (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal - Snorkelling in Tijeretas Hill
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (1.5 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes)
  • Santa Cruz - Los Kioskos Food market by Night
  • Isla Isabela - Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
  • Las Grietas - Swimming Hole & Canyon

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

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

Prices may go up, so secure your trip today!
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Important notes

Travellers on Intrepid trips that start on or before 31 December 2022 are required to produce proof of full vaccination against COVID-19. Learn more about Intrepid’s COVID-19 policy.

1. Ecuador has implemented COVID-19 testing requirements for entry to the country, including special conditions for Galapagos. Please refer to your government's foreign travel advice for the most up to date information.
2. Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!
Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:
https://www.intrepidtravel.com/en/altitude-sickness
3. Please provide your full name exactly as per passport at the time of booking (including any middle names listed on your passport) for train tickets. Fees may apply for amendments to details within 45 days of departure, and in some cases, you will be required to cover the cost of issuing new tickets.
4. 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.
5. Single supplements are not available on this trip due to hotel capacity restrictions.

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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