This adventure is perfect for those who want to experience the incredible wildlife and scenery of the Galápagos Islands but prefer to sleep on shore – so your time on the water is limited to commuting between islands. Go ashore at the lesser-visited island of Isabela and spend your days with playful sea lions, giant manta rays, and the Galápagos giant tortoise. This adventure offers a great balance of guided excursions and free time – and optional activities abound.
Swimming and snorkelling in Floreana. Highlands excursion. Biking excursion. Sierra Negra Volcano hike. Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre visit. Puerto Ayora town visit. Santa Cruz highlands visit. Tortuga Bay walk and kayaking excursion. Gemelo twin craters visit. Snorkel and kayak on Isabela Island. Isabela Municipal Tax. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Encounter incredible wildlife, snorkel and swim with sea turtles and manta rays, take a cycle around Isabela Island, hike the Sierra Negra Volcano
The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.
VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1) ITINERARY CHANGES
The itinerary is subject to further changes dependent upon new regulations made by the Galapagos National Park or seasonal points of interest.
2) CONFIRM YOUR DETAILS
G Adventures requires your passport number, full name and date of birth at the time of booking. Please make sure you give this information to your travel agent.
Once you have confirmed your booking please give us your international flight details and advise us if you have any important issues such as allergies, special diets, etc.
3) GALAPAGOS ISLAND PARK ENTRY FEE
The Ecuadorian government currently levies a Galapagos Islands Park entry fee of $100 USD per person. This is payable at the airport upon arrival in the park. It is not included in the cost of the tour, and must be paid in CASH. This fee funds Park maintenance and supervision in Galapagos, as well as ecological study, conservation and infrastructure development in Ecuador’s other National Parks. Entry fees and the funds they generate for the National Park System are among measures taken by the Ecuadorian government to protect its natural heritage.
4) TRANSIT CONTROL CARDS
The Consejo de Gobierno (local government council) have implemented a system of Transit Control Cards at a fee of $20 USD per person. This card is to be purchased in CASH at a counter in the Quito airport before boarding the flight to the Galapagos. Please retain this card along with your passport as you will be required to present this upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands. Please note that this applies to all tourists entering the Galapagos Islands and is a supplement to the existing entry fee to the National Park and is not controlled by tour operators or travel agencies. It is the first of a number of initiatives to track, control and maintain the sustainable tourism targets set out by the Galapagos National Park and the Ecuadorian government in an attempt to preserve the fragile environment of the archipelago.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 15, avg 10
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your leader will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Speed boat, van, pickup truck, local bus, Zodiac.
We believe single travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (7 nights).
My Own Room
Upon arrival at the Baltra airport, you will disembark the plane, enter the airport where you must wait in line to pay your Galapagos Park Fee of $100 US dollars. This fee must be paid in cash. Once you pay for the park fee, you will retrieve your luggage and have one final baggage inspection by the Galapagos National Park authority. You will notice that there are no cars or taxis outside the airport only buses, please take one of the public buses that will take you to Itabaca Canal The ride to the Itabaca Canal is free and takes approximately 10 minutes at which time you will disembark the bus and take your luggage to a ferry. The cost of the ferry to cross the canal is 1 US dollar, please make sure you have small change. Heavier luggage will be put on the roof of the ferry while passengers will enter down below in the seating area. The ferry will cross the small canal taking another 5 to 10 minutes where you will finally arrive to Santa Cruz Island. Disembark the ferry, t ake your luggage and here you find various options to get to Puerto Ayora. You can arrange a taxi, look for a bus. A taxi normally costs $30-40 US dollars while sharing a bus can be much less. The ride takes approximately 45 minutes to get to Puerto Ayora.
Please meet your CEO at 6h00pm at the hotel.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, as soon as possible please contact your starting point hotel, requesting that you speak to or leave a message for your CEO (if you are not on a group tour please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier). If you are unable to get in touch with your leader, please refer to our emergency contact details. If you have pre-booked an airport transfer and have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Quito, Ecuador
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Ecuador: +593 2250 6610
From within Ecuador: 022 506 610
After hours Emergency number
From outside Ecuador: +593 999 506 000
From within Ecuador: 0999 506 000
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We recommend the use of a duffel bag or backpack (whichever you find easiest to carry). A good size daypack is also essential. If you don’t wish to take all of your luggage with you to Galapagos, please ensure you have an extra bag you can leave behind at hotel storage and pickup on your return.
Please note that Galapagos is a protected National Park so your luggage will be checked before arrival and departure to and from the islands. Don’t bring any food, seeds or other organic material that could affect the delicate ecosystem of the islands.
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Credit or debit cards (see personal spending money)
- Cash in US Dollars for drinks, souvenirs and tipping – please note credit cards are not accepted onboard Galapagos vessels.
- G Adventures vouchers and trip details
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film
- Reading/writing material
- Small Daypack for landings – for water, camera etc
- Cover for backpacks
- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Small towel and swim wear
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- Sun hat
- 1 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals
- Small towel and swimwear
- Insect Repellent
- Watch or alarm clock
- Water bottle
- First-aid kit(should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking).
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. IT’S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO HAVE THE CORRECT TRAVEL DOCUMENTATION.
Detailed Trip Notes
Located on the Equator, the Galapagos climate is tempered by the Humboldt Current, so you do not experience extreme heat found elsewhere at this latitude. The warmest weather is December to June, when temperatures range from 22-33°C (72-90 °F), and the water temperature is in the mid 20s (mid 70°F). From July to November, temperatures are cooler and range from 18-24°C (60s -75°F), when average water temperature rarely reach 21°C (70°F).
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available some may not accept all international credit or debit cards. You may need to try at more than one machine if the first does not accept your card. You should also check with your bank before leaving to ensure that your card works internationally. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. Please bring USD banknotes in denominations smaller than 100, as they can be hard to exchange in Ecuador. 100 dollar bills of certain series (e.g. CB B2) can be especially hard to cash! CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent). As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service.
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Please note your Adventure travels to high altitude, in Quito. This is medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Most people can travel to 8,000 feet with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with some people irrespective of fitness and age. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are effected on your Adventure, please consult your physician.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your CEO has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Your CEO will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy or explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgment when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Protests and Demonstrations- Protests and demonstrations, even those that are well intended, have the potential to turn violent with no warning. Counter protests can also turn violent. Action by security forces to disperse demonstrators and protesters may occur at any time. If you are in an area where demonstrators or protesters are gathering, avoid the temptation of staying for a good photo opportunity and leave the area immediately.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards) have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk.
We take all prudent measures in relation to your safety. For ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling, please visit:
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that, as a minimum, an average level of fitness and mobility’ is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our CEOs work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at:
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel Insurance: Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your CEO, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all clients must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
Through our commitment to responsible tourism we have developed the Planeterra Foundation, a non-profit organization dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of people and communities around the world through support of international charities, local organizations and community projects in the places that we visit on our tours. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit www.planeterra.org
Planeterra Dollar-A-Day Program
Our Dollar-A-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to help us give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar per day for the duration of their tour. 100% of these proceeds will go directly to support our G Adventures for Good projects.
To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking)
Travel Forum - The Watering Hole
Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you’re interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.
CEO/naturalist guide while in the Galápagos Islands (certified by the Galápagos National Park Authority), Local G Adventures representative in Quito.
Allow USD135-175 for meals not included.
7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 2 dinners
PRODUCT_LINE: SEGA, ID: 24463
Day 1: Santa Cruz/Puerto Ayora
As reaching the hotel in Santa Cruz (Puerto Ayora) from the Baltra airport can be tricky, exit the airport and head for the public bus to Itabaca Canal. From there, take a ferry across the canal to Santa Cruz Island. From the ferry terminal, opt to take a taxi or bus to Puerto Ayora, typically a 45-min ride.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2: Santa Cruz (1B, 1L)
Visit the highlands of Santa Cruz to observe the Galapagos giant tortoise in its natural surroundings. The area is also famous for amazing lava tunnels, some of which are more than 1km (.6 mi) long! From this elevation, the panoramic views of the other islands are stunning.
Later in the day, head to Tortuga Bay, a beautiful beach with fine white sand to visit marine iguanas, do some kayaking, or soak up some sun.
Santa Cruz Highlands Excursion
Tortuga Bay Kayaking
Day 3: Santa Cruz/Floreana Island (1B, 1D)
After a free morning, depart Santa Cruz and head to Floreana Island. Keep an eye out for dolphins and the magnificent albatross along the way. Enjoy an introduction to snorkelling directly off Black Beach on the island. After, head up to the seldom-visited highlands of Floreana. Hear tales about the pirates, whalers, seal hunters and bucaneers who once lived in this isolated and unique landscape.
Black Beach Snorkelling
Floreana Highlands Excursion
Speedboat (2.00-3.00 hours)
Day 4: Floreana Island (1B, 1L, 1D)
Walk along the black sand beach to Loberia to enjoy beach snorkelling or swimming. Please be sure you are a comfortable swimmer. The water here can be rough and the currents are strong.
Loberia Snorkelling Excursion
Day 5: Floreana Island/Isabela Island (1B, 1L)
Take a morning speedboat journey to Isabela Island. Visit “Tintoreras”, Shark Alley to kayak and observe the white tip reef sharks found swimming in the channels between the rocks. Get a close-up view of pelicans, frigatebirds, and diving blue-footed boobies. Watch for manta rays and rare Galapagos penguins, of which only 800 pairs exist. Snorkel in the calm waters of Concha de Perla and keep an eye out for marine life.
Concha de Perla snorkelling
Las Tintoreras (Shark Alley) Excursion
Speedboat (2.00 hour(s), 37km)
Day 6: Isabela Island (1B, 1L)
Take a full day tour on Isabela Island that includes a trek up the Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Galapagos boasting the second largest crater in the world. Hike to the summit to experience a birds-eye view of the magical landscape.
Stop by the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre on the way back to town. In the evening, opt for a surfing lesson or relax at the bar or on the beach and enjoy a nice cold beer or cocktail.
Sierra Negra Volcano Excursion
Private Vehicle (3.00 hour(s), 55km)
Day 7: Isabela Island/Santa Cruz (1B)
Enjoy a day free for activities in Isabela Island, where how much activity is involved is up to you. In the afternoon, set sail for Santa Cruz Island and dock at the town of Puerto Ayora. After a late hotel check-in, enjoy free time to explore this bustling little town and sample some of the local restaurants and bars, or maybe do some souvenir shopping in one of the many shops.
Speedboat (2.00 hour(s), 46km)
Day 8: Puerto Ayora/Santa Cruz (1B)
Depart at any time.