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Essential Galapagos

9 Days | You’ll never never know unless you Galapa-go.

4.9 out of 5 based on 14 reviews submitted.
18 to 35s
From
USD $1,728
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This trip is for the 18 to 35 year olds

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 nine days discovering this explorer’s dream, staying at the bustling centres of Isla San Cristobal, Isabela and Santa Cruz, and top and tailing your island escapade in Ecuador’s capital, Quito. 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?

Trip overview

Map of Essential Galapagos including Ecuador
Start
Quito, Ecuador
Finish
Quito, Ecuador
Theme
18 to 35s
Destinations
Ecuador
Physical rating
Indicates how physically exerting a trip is, and how fit you will need to be to enjoy it. More info on physical ratings
Style
Basix
Ages
Min 18 - Max 35
Group size
Min 1 - Max 15
Trip code
GGYV
This trip generates 69 kg of CO2-e per person per day.
We offset these emissions on your behalf. But we know that is not enough, so we also have a carbon reduction target.

Why you'll love this trip
  • Check out the highland haven of Quito – Ecuador’s vibrant mountainous capital. If you’ve got time, why not extend your stay here and discover the historic Old Town and Volcan Pichincha lookout.
  • 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.

Is this trip right for you?
  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the Essential Trip information (ETI) for more important details on this.
  • This trip travels from island to island on speedboats. If you have trouble with motion sickness, we recommend you visit your doctor before the trip to get some motion sickness medication.
  • Wildlife is a big focus on this trip. You'll be taking part in activities such as bird watching, swimming and making visits to museums. It's a great trip for those who love nature and animals.
  • This trip includes a 17 km hike (approximately 6-7 hours) on rocky terrain. We recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes that offer good support.

Itinerary

Map of Essential Galapagos including Ecuador

Inclusions

Meals

5 breakfasts

Transport

Plane, Speed boat, Private Vehicle, Public bus

Accommodation

Hostel (2 nights), Hotel (6 nights)

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)
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay walk
  • Las Grietas - Swimming Hole & Canyon
Add on activities
  • Cotopaxi - National Park Hiking Tour - USD95
  • Quito - La Ronda Walk - Free
  • Antisana Trek Full day from Quito - USD120
  • Quito City Tour - USD42
  • Quito - Otavalo Indian Market (Full day) - USD70
  • Quito - Papallacta Hot Springs (Full day) - USD70
  • Quito City Tour by Night (Optional) - USD35
  • Quito - Leader led city tour + the Equator line - USD75
  • Saquisili Indian Market & Cotopaxi National Park Full Day from Quito - USD95
  • Quito - Bellavista Cloud forest (Full day) - USD110
  • Quito - Urban Adventures: Legends and Culture Tour - USD50
  • Isla Lobos. - USD80
  • Snorkelling gear rental - USD5
  • Kicker Rock excursion - USD120
  • Frigate Bird Hill - Free
  • Mann Beach - Free
  • Isla Tintoreras - USD47
  • Kayak rental - USD50
  • Wet Suit rental - USD10
  • Tunneles Snorkelling - USD120

Dates and availability

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Important notes

1. 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
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.

Read Essential Trip Information

Reviews

4.9 out of 5 based on 14 reviews submitted.
Reviews are from travellers who have completed their trip and want to share their experience. We show all reviews, but may remove any that include profanity or inappropriate content, are unrelated to the trip or reveal personal details.

Filter by rating

Ivo · Traveled January 2024
I enjoyed the trip with Intrepid a lot. The small group of like minded young people and the phenomenal tour guide made for a great trip
Review submitted 19 Jan 2024

gregory · Traveled November 2023
Review submitted 12 Dec 2023

Andrea · Traveled March 2023
This trip was a once in a lifetime experience! Hotels, food and guide were fantastic. Couldn’t recommend this tour enough. 7 days in the Galapagos is the perfect amount of time.
Review submitted 28 Mar 2023

Danny · Traveled December 2022
The Galápagos Islands is a bucket list destination for many, and it was incredible to get up close to the unique wildlife. I would like to have gotten off the beaten tourist path though.
Review submitted 01 Feb 2023

Geordie · Traveled November 2022
My guide was amazing, I learned so much from her about the islands and its historical past and its cultural heritage. The Activities were amazing I just wished i had more time to do all of them. If your thinking about doing this trip, just do it! It’s a life changing trip.
Review submitted 25 Nov 2022
Essential Galapagos
From
USD $1,728