Uncover the legendary Galapagos Islands

The mythical status of the Galapagos Islands is richly deserved. Find out why on a wildlife-filled adventure that’s within everyone’s reach. Isolation from the rest of the world for millions of years has given the islands a unique biodiversity and they’re filled with rare and distinctive species. Cruise between the volcanic islands of San Cristobal, Isabela and Santa Cruz and get up close to these animals as you wander alongside giant tortoises in the highlands, glide through azure waters with sea turtles and make friends with sea lions as blue-footed boobies and frigates land on volcanic rocks next to you. You’re sure to feel like a professional naturalist on this unforgettable trip to the Galapagos.

Lock in your 2020 holiday for €20

Book a 2020 trip by 31 August and you’ll only pay a €20 deposit to secure your spot.

Terms & Conditions

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Isla Santa Cruz, Ecuador
Explorer, Wildlife
Physical rating
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 15

Why you'll love this trip

  • The Galapagos Islands played a profound role in forming Charles Darwin's Theory of Natural Selection. 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

  • 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

  • Snorkel through underwater worlds replete with colourful wildlife

  • 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.

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.


This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019.
View the 2020 itinerary
Welcome to San Cristobal! Today you'll be joining with other travellers arriving from Quito.
This afternoon take an included visit to the Interpretation Centre and learn about the human and natural history of the Galapagos islands.
Afterwards perhaps hike up to Frigatebird Hill or head to Mann beach and chill.

  • Hotel (1 night)
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
Joining point instructions:

Please see the joining point instructions included in your essential information.
Enjoy a free day on Isla San Cristobal. You may also like to take an optional boat ride to Kicker Rock or Isla Lobos. This is one of your leader's favourite optional activities. You'll be able to observe the famous Galapagos marine life along the way, and have the opportunity to go snorkelling with sea turtles, eagle rays and the harmless Galapagos shark, just to name a few.
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kicker Rock excursion - USD120
  • Frigate Bird Hill - Free
  • Mann Beach - Free
  • Snorkelling gear rental - USD5
  • Isla Lobos. - USD80
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Please note this optional activity can only be booked with 8 or more passengers.
Early in the morning, take a two-and-a-half hour public speed boat ride to Isla Santa Cruz.
Once in Santa Cruz have breakfast and Settle into the hotel.
Mid-morning visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The station's visitor centre and museums contain information about the islands and the conservation efforts being made to preserve the unique ecosystem here. It's also a great place to have close encounters with giant tortoises. In the afternoon, head to the higher part of the islands to observe these giants roaming in their natural habitat.
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to Isabela Island. Check-in to the hotel and enjoy breakfast.
The island is the largest in the Galapagos and one of the most volcanically active places on earth. A worthwhile optional activity today is an excursion to Tintoreras Island, home to the rare Galapagos penguin. 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.
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Isla Tintoreras - USD47
  • Isla Isabela - wetsuite rental - USD15
  • Kayak rental - USD30
  • Isla Isabela- Snorkeling in Concha y Perla - Free
  • Isabela Island – Snorkelling gear rental - USD5
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 learn about the preservation program of this unique species.
Take a bus to the highest part of Isabela Island 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 five and six hours both ways, but at the top you'll be able to enjoy spectacular views. 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, there isn't much shade along the way so be sure to come prepared with your hat and sunscreen etc.
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.
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel back to Santa Cruz in the morning. We'll enjoy breakfast back in Santa Cruz. Consider taking part in some of the optional activities available, 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 an alcove.
  • Hotel (1 night)
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.
Optional Activities
  • Scuba Diving - Galapagos islands - USD280
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Departing airport:
The closest airport is Baltra. 

If you are making your own way to the airport later in the day, the easiest way is to take a taxi (approximately USD$26) to the port followed by a ferry (USD$1.00) across the channel and then USD$5.00 for the bus to the airport.

If you plan on departing from an alternative airport in the Galapagos you will need to make your own way there also, this will involve ferries which your tour leader can advise you on and assist you with. Please ensure you allow enough time for this by speaking with your travel agent. If you wish to take advantage of the included transfer to Baltra airport it will be early this morning as you will be joining the travellers that have booked the longer version of this trip ending in Quito. Their flight usually departs Baltra airport at approximately 10:00am and they leave the Hotel at 7am, you will still need to cover the costs of the ferry and bus.   


6 breakfasts


Speed boat, Private vehicle, Public bus


Hotel (6 nights)

Included activities

  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal -Snorkelling in Tijeretas hill
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes)
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

Before you board your flight to the islands, at either Quito or Guayaquil Airports, you need to purchase your Galapagos Transit Control Card (US$20) at the Consejo de Gobierno counter in the entrance hall; if you haven’t purchased this card you might be denied boarding. You will need to be at the airport at least 2 hours prior to the departure time as this can be a lengthy process. You will also need to have cash on hand as credit cards are not accepted.
After you have purchased Transit Control Card you will have to check your luggage at SICGAL counter where they seal your check in bags; then proceed to the check in counter of your respective airline.
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.

Strict rules apply in the Galapagos Islands aimed at protecting and preserving its unique biodiversity. Intrepid strongly agrees and supports these rules which range from times of the day that a destination can be visited to the distance kept between people and wildlife and especially not removing anything from the environment ( shells and corals for example) – all these rules will be explained in more detail by your Leader on the ground. Not adhering to these rules can lead to hefty fines for travellers and can result in Intrepid losing the license to operate in the Galapagos Islands – these rules must be adhered to by all, without exception. Failure to adhere to the rules can result in being removed from the trip without refund.

For more information, please follow this link: http://www.galapagos.org/travel/travel/park-rules/

Please see the joining point instructions included in your essential information. It's important you let us know no later than 15 days prior to departure, where you plan to join this trip

This trip finishes at the Santa Cruz Hotel (for departure flights Baltra airport is the closest airport)

You also have the option today to go scuba diving. To do this activity you will need to already have a scuba diving certification. All dives finish by 12.30pm and, since you need to wait at least 18 hours between diving and boarding a flight, you will need to stay in Santa Cruz at least 1 additional day. Where you will dive depends on when your trip ends and how long you can stay in Santa Cruz. See below for diving locations and experience level required:

Mondays: Dive off Floreana. Basic/Intermediate level
Tuesdays: Dive off Santa Fe. Basic/Intermediate level
Wednesdays: Dive off Seymour Canal & Mosquera Sur. Basic/Intermediate level
Thursdays: Dive off Gordon Rocks. Advanced level
Fridays: Dive off Beagle & Daphne. Intermediate level
Saturdays: Dive off Seymour Punta & Mosquera North. Basic/Intermediate level
Sundays: Dive off Gordon Rocks. Advanced level

We can assist you to book extra accommodation and we can make a booking with the diving company for you.

Due to hotel availability a single supplement is not available on this trip.

This trip has a longer version GGRR which includes return flights from Quito.

Some of the hotels in the Galapagos do have internet connections however it's often very slow and may not always be functional.

Please note that in the Galapagos many of the hotels hot water services are limited and as such hot water may not always be available and cold showers maybe the only option.

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.

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