Tour Galapagos' wildlife highlights on an active adventure

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 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.


Start
Isla San Cristobal, Ecuador
Finish
Isla Baltra, Ecuador
Destination
Ecuador
Style
Original
Theme
Walking & Trekking, Wildlife
Code
GGTG
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 16

Why you'll love this trip

  • Learn about the unique habit of the marine iguana. This dinosaur-like little creature has an iridescent sheen and is only found on the Galapagos Islands

  • Snorkel the incredible marine life-filled waters of Kicker Rock, also known as Leon Dormido, one of the best snorkelling spots in the Galapagos and an absolute highlight for many travellers

  • Many come to Isla Santa Cruz just for the giant tortoises. Get up close and personal with these enormous animals, as they drag themselves through the sand

  • Kayaking is just one of the exciting activities on offer here. Take a boat out into the Pacific and enjoy the ride

  • Birdwatching in the Galapagos is quite an experience. Watch the aerobatic routines of blue-footed boobies and the death defying stunts of the frigate birds, as they whizz through the air

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.

  • The sun in the Galapagos islands is incredibly strong due to its close proximity to the equator, ensure you are well prepared with suncreen, sun hat, sunglasses and a rash guard if desired.

  • This trip does include snorkeling on multiple days throughout the itinerary. Confident swimming skills are required to take part in this tour.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2019 to 31 December 2019. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2018 - 31 December 2018

Welcome to lush Isla San Cristobal. Your Galapagos adventure is finally here! Kick it off with a classic local pastime: snorkelling in La Loberia La Loberia. You'll get to swim with playful sea lions and maybe even some sea turtles. Tonight you may wish to head out with the group and enjoy some ceviche (fresh raw fish and lime) in the balmy night air of this island paradise.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla San Cristobal- Snorkeling in La Loberia (1.5 Hours)
Optional Activities
  • Wetsuit (shortsleeve) hire for 7 days - USD40
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
There are two ways to hook up with your group once you arrive. If you're coming from Quito on Sunday, you can meet your guide in San Cristobal airport at 11:30 am. If you're arriving from Quito on Friday, you can do the same thing at 12:30 pm. Prefer to arrive a little early and check out some of the island on your own first? That's totally fine, you can join the group at the Hotel Casa de Nelly after 12 pm on whichever day the tour is scheduled to begin.

Please advise us where you plan to join this trip no later than 15 days prior to departure. If you are going to be late for either of these meeting times, please contact the local emergency number located in the 'Essential Trip Information'.
Skate across clear waters teeming with marine life on the way to the shapely Leon Dormido (kicker rock) or uninhabited Isla Lobos, depending on the weather and how rough the ocean is. The bulbous, bright red chest of the frigate birds that nest in both areas makes them easy to spot, though the blue-footed boobies tend to be trickier because their feet are as pale and clear as the sky and sea. Both areas are spectacular for snorkeling, and manta rays and harmless Galapagos sharks frequent their waters. Eat lunch on the boat then head to the Interpretation Center to learn about the history of the 'Enchanted Islands'. Next, climb Frigatebird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas), an invigorating hike that rewards with spectacular views.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • San Cristobal - Excursion to Leon Dormido or Lobos Islands
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal - Cerro Tijeretas View Point (1 Hour)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
This snorkeling is in open sea, on occasion the currents can be quite strong so it's particularly important you are a confident swimmer for this activity. If you have any concerns, please ensure you speak with your leader.
The heat and the sunshine make waking up early in the Galapagos a fair bit easier than doing it at home, but if you're still half-asleep a morning boat ride to Floreana Island should wake you up. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as dolphins and whales, as these majestic mammals are occasional residents of the ocean here. On arrival to the island, snorkel in the sapphire 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 where you will spend the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Floreana - Snorkeling
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Isabela Port Fee: Please note when you arrive at Isabela, you'll need to pay a port fee of USD 10
You may have seen plastic flamingos decorating lawns before, but trust us when we say they are a lot more majestic in person, as you'll see for yourself during a visit to a brackish lagoon where we will be able to observe the slender pink birds. In the afternoon after an informative visit, board a small pangas (boat) and set sail for Tintoreras. Explore this isolated islet and popular iguana nesting site on foot and then snorkel with colourful fish next to winding underground lava tubes. This area is frequented by green sea turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom, which is pretty brave when you consider their proximity to infamous 'Shark Alley'. 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Isabela -Tintoreras or Shark Alley (2.5 Hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Flamingo lagoon visit (30 Minutes)
Optional Activities
  • Wetsuit (Short sleeve) Hire for 7 days - USD40
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Jump on the bus in the morning and in less than an hour you'll be beneath the 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 17 km up the rocky mountain, which takes between five and six hours. 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.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Special Information
Sierra Negra Hike: Please ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes that offer good support. During the rainy season it can get quite muddy. There's 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, sunscreen and plenty of water (we recommend 2 litres per person).
Unfortunately, recycling isn't available on Isabela, so please take your plastic rubbish with you.
You haven't really kayaked until you've done it in the morning of the coast of Isla Santa Isabela. After that dreamy start to your day, hop on a speedboat to Isla Santa Cruz, where you've got a free afternoon to do as you please. Maybe head to a restaurant that offers a typical Eduadorian lunch package, simply referred to as ‘Menu’. Usually this consists of a fresh juice, a basic entree (usually a soup) as well as a main meal. These lunch deals are very popular throughout Ecuador so it’s a great way to eat like a local.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes)
  • Santa Cruz Highlands Visit (3 Hours)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning we will hike approximately 3.5 km to Tortuga Bay beach where we will head out on a kayak excursion in a protected bay. Along the way, keep an eye out for eagle rays, sea turtles and more of our friends the blue-footed boobies. In the afternoon Head to the Charles Darwin Research Station. By now you've probably grown attached to these gorgeous islands and this is a great opportunity to learn more about conservation efforts currently underway to preserve their unique ecosystems. You can even get close to giant tortoises which are being raised for the repopulation program. In the evening, enjoy an included group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tortuga Bay Kayak Excursion (1 Hour)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
After a week of sun, sea and salt it's back to reality. Or maybe not, should you choose to continue your journey, there's plenty to see in mainland Ecuador.
Optional Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay visit (45 Minute walk, one way) - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
This trip finishes in Santa Cruz, departure flights should be booked from Baltra airport. If you plan on departing from an alternative airport in the Galapagos you will need to make your own way there. 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 10:15am.  


Meals

7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 dinner

Transport

Boat, Public bus, Speed Boat, Private Vehicle

Accommodation

Hotel (6 nights)

Included activities

  • Isla San Cristobal- Snorkeling in La Loberia (1.5 Hours)
  • San Cristobal - Excursion to Leon Dormido or Lobos Islands
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal - Cerro Tijeretas View Point (1 Hour)
  • Floreana - Snorkeling
  • Isla Isabela -Tintoreras or Shark Alley (2.5 Hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Flamingo lagoon visit (30 Minutes)
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes)
  • Santa Cruz Highlands Visit (3 Hours)
  • Tortuga Bay Kayak Excursion (1 Hour)

Dates & availability

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Important notes

JOINING THIS TOUR:
As this trip starts in the Galapagos, there are two joining points available.
San Cristobal Airport- 11:30am on day 1
Casa de Nelly (start hotel)- Address: Manuel Agama S/N y Alsacio Northia. San Cristobal Galapagos-Check-in time is usually 12pm (Passengers from Quito and Leader will usually arrive at approximately 12:30)
Please advise no later than 15 days prior to departure, where you plan to join this trip.
Customer services phone number to call while in Galapagos if any issues: 09940148
DEPARTURE AIRPORT
This trip finishes in Santa Cruz, departure flights should be booked from Baltra airport.

GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD & ISABELA PORT FEES
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.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS:
A single supplement is available on this trip.

STARTING IN THE QUITO:
This trip has a longer version which includes return flights from Quito.

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

DIVING IN THE GALAPAGOS:
We do not offer diving as a part of our Galapagos program and due to Intrepid's internal safety policy our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity.

On June 30th Peruvian authorities released a new list of regulations for visiting Machu Picchu, which came into effect from July 1st

The main points impacting our visits are:

1. Tickets are now only valid only for one entry, that means that passengers cannot leave the site and re-enter as we have in the past.
2. Once the passengers begin on a chosen circuit (there are 3 different ones) they cannot walk backwards and once they finish the circuit they must leave the site. They cannot explore afterwards.
3. The two allotted times to visit are 6am-12pm/ 12-4.30pm
4. It will be mandatory to have a guide (Machu Picchu guide, not our Leaders) to visit the site. However, this rule can’t be applied as there are not enough official guides to cover the large amount of people visiting so authorities are being flexible.

These new regulations are affecting how much time our passengers can spend in Machu Picchu, in the past, after a 1-2.5 hour tour passengers could stay longer to explore the site unguided, this is not possible anymore.

Our only alternative is to make passengers explore the upper part of Machu Picchu (Sun gate and Inka Bridge) before their guided tour starts (so about 2 hours before meeting the guide). Your Tour Leader will provide more information on what the group options are at the Welcome meeting.

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.

Reviews

Our Galapagos Island Hopping trips score an average of 4.74 out of 5 based on 352 reviews in the last year.

Galapagos Island Hopping, June 2018

Paul Heard

Galapagos Island Hopping, June 2018

David Hamdan