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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Please note that internet access can be patchy in the Galapagos so Wi-Fi may not always be available or reliable.

  • Hot water can also be sporadic in some parts of the Galapagos so there may be a few cold showers on the trip.

Itinerary

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

Welcome to San Cristobal, Galapagos Islands. As you start this trip on the Galapagos Islands and join other travellers arriving from Quito, you have two options for joining the group.
SUNDAY DEPARTURES: You can meet the others at San Cristobal Airport at 11.30 am: The guide will be waiting in the arrivals hall with an Intrepid sign for the arriving passengers from Quito.
FRIDAY DEPARTURES: You can meet the others at San Cristobal Airport at 12.30pm: The guide will be waiting in the arrivals hall with an Intrepid sign for the arriving passengers from Quito.
Alternatively you can meet them at the hotel (Casa de Nelly) when they arrive at approximately one hour after the airport meeting time. Check in time for the hotel is 12 pm. If you're making your own way to the hotel, we recommend taking a short cab ride which will cost approximately US$2. 
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'
After joining up with the group, travel to La Loberia where you'll put on snorkelling gear for the first time and go for a swim with sea lions, and maybe even some sea turtles. Continue back to town. Tonight you may wish to head out with the group and enjoy some of the fresh seafood available.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla San Cristobal- Snorkeling in La Loberia (1.5 Hours)
Optional Activities
  • Wetsuit (shortsleeve) hire for 5 days - USD40
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Today begins with a short boat ride to Leon Dormido (approx 45 mins) or Isla Lobos, observing along the way the abundant marine life that Galapagos is renowned for. On the way we might be able to spot nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies and/or might swim/snorkel with playful young sea lions. Here we can snorkel keeping an eye out below for sea turtles, manta rays and maybe the odd harmless Galapagos shark, to name a few. 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. Included lunch today is a packed box lunch on board the boat! Unfortunately it is against National Park rules to eat on the beach.
Later head we will head to the interpretation Center. Learn about the history of the 'Enchanted Islands' and the conservation projects which seek to preserve the unique Galapagos wildlife. Next, make our way to Frigatebird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas), which is located two kilometres from the Interpretation Center, southwest of Isla San Cristobal. It's quite a climb to the top, but well worth the amazing views of the bay. From here you can also see Kicker Rock, an eroded volcanic formation protruding from the sea which has become an emblem of the island. We'll return to town in the late afternoon/early evening.
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
Take an early morning boat ride today towards Floreana Island, which should take about 2.5 hours. Along the way keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as dolphins and whales.
On arrival to the island, snorkel in the clear blue 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 (approximately 2 hours) From Isabela Port it's a short transfer to the hotel where we will spend the night (approximately 15 minutes)
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
Start your second day on Isla Isabela with a short bus ride (approximately 15 minutes) to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center where you'll observe giant tortoises in all stages of development. The centre has almost a thousand giant tortoises training for life on their own. After our visit we take a short bus ride (approximately 15 minutes) to a brackish lagoon where we will be able to observe flamingos.

In the afternoon after an informative visit, board a small pangas for Tintoreras or Shark Alley. On our way we will go along the coast line in the hope to spot blue-footed boobies and the famous Galapagos penguin who is home on the western part of the arquipelago. On arrival, hop off for a short walk on this isolated islet and popular iguana nesting site that’s home to hundreds of marine iguanas. Snorkel in a calm inlet with colourful fish and winding underground lava tubes. This area is frequented by green sea turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom.

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)
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Start your last day on Isla Isabela by heading towards the Sierra Negra Volcano (approximately 45 minutes by bus), 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 kilometres 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. Unfortunately, recycling isn't available on Isabela, so please take your plastic rubbish with you.
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).
Today you will start the day with a kayak around Isabela before transferring by private speedboat to Isla Santa Cruz.

Once you arrive on Santa Cruz you will head to a restaurant that offers a typical Eduadorian lunch package, simply referred to as ‘Menu’. Usually this consists of a fresh juice, basic entrée (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.

In the afternoon have free time to further explore the town or go on an optional excursion to the Charles Darwin Research Centre.
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 the Highlands approximately 3.5kms to Tortuga Bay beach. Along the way, keep an eye out for eagle rays, sea turtles and blue-footed boobies. Later head back to Puerto Ayora.

Tonight, enjoy an included group dinner.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Tortuga Bay Kayak Excursion (1 Hour)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
  • Dinner
This morning at approximately 8am your Galapagos trip comes to an end.


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 - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
  • 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

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.

SCUBA DIVING IN GALAPAGOS:
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 this activity and the extra accommodation required.

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

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.

HOT WATER FACILITIES:
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.

Reviews

Our Galapagos Island Hopping trips score an average of 4.76 out of 5 based on 414 reviews in the last year.

Galapagos Island Hopping, October 2018

Robyn Maxwell

Galapagos Island Hopping, October 2018

Franziska Schauenburg