The Galápagos Islands aren't just all about cruising! This one-week trip keeps you close to the action — and trust us, there’s always plenty of action on the archipelago — while keeping costs lower than you’d expect for a sweet island adventure. Plus, there’ll be no lack of activities to keep you moving, with everything from snorkelling to a volcano hike of Sierra Negra.
- Travel Style : 18-to-Thirtysomethings
- Service Level : Basic
- Physical Grading : 2 - Light
- Merchandising : Planeterra Project
- Trip Type : Small Group
- What's Included:Your G for Good Moment: Floreana Community Restaurants, Floreana Island. Interpretation Centre Visit (San Cristóbal Island). Hike to Sierra Negra volcano (Isabela Island). Isabela Highlands camping. Charles Darwin Research Station (Santa Cruz Island). Isabela Municipal Tax. Opportunities for snorkelling, swimming, and incredible wildlife encounters. Internal flights. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
- Highlights:Snorkel with sea lions, travel by public speedboats around the Galápagos Islands, camp in the middle of nature, visit Charles Darwin Research Station, hike Sierra Negra volcano.
- Dossier Disclaimer: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.
- Itinerary Disclaimer: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.
- Itinerary Notes:Please note for the nights spent camping on this trip, the campsites are located in the remote highlands of Santa Cruz and Isabela Islands. During free time and included activities there will be opportunities to explore the towns and coastal areas on these islands, but in an effort to create a wilderness experience, the camping is not located in the towns.
- Important Notes:ADD-ON
1) This trip can be booked on its own or as an add-on to many of our Galápagos Islands yacht based adventures. Please speak to your sales GCO about how you can mix and match with other programs.
The itinerary is subject to further changes dependent upon new regulations made by the Galápagos National Park or seasonal points of interest.
3) GALÁPAGOS ISLAND PARK ENTRY FEE
The Ecuadorian government currently levies a Galápagos 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 Galápagos, 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.
5) All travellers are required to pay the tax on domestic flights in Ecuador. Foreign travellers are exempt form this, and proving you are indeed a foreign traveller can be done by providing us with your international ticket number (ITN). Travellers who do not submit international ticket numbers at least 30 days prior to Day 1 of their tour will be required to pay the domestic tax on all included flights.
Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.
- 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. For the Galápagos, our CEOs are naturalists certified by the Galapagos National Park.
- Group Size Notes:Max 16, avg 12.
- Meals Included:5 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
- Meals: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.
- Transport:Plane, public speedboat, van, pickup truck, public bus
- About our Transportation:We will travel via both public and private speedboats between the islands. This is a fun way to travel but those who experience motion sickness may want to ensure they bring any medications or use preventative measures against an upset stomach.
- Local Flights:All local flights are included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process these tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
BAGGAGE ALLOWANCE FOR DOMESTIC FLIGHTS TO/FROM THE GALAPAGOS:
Maximum one piece of luggage per person weighing a maximum of 23 kilograms (50 pounds), plus one carry-on piece weighing a maximum of 10 kilograms (22 pounds).
- Solo Travellers:We believe solo 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 solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
- Accommodation:Multi-share hostel (4 nts), camping (2 nts), simple hotels (2 nts).
- About Accommodation:We camp at private campsites on the various islands, each with shared bathroom facilities with toilets, showers and sinks. All camping equipment (with the exception of your sleep sheet and pillow) is supplied, including camp mattresses and sleeping bags.
G-supported Floreana Guesthouse
We are investing in community training and infrastructure to develop the first ecological, community tourism program in the Galapagos Islands that sees both the islands small entrepreneurs and its unique wildlife as the primary beneficiaries of this project.
- Joining Hotel:For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
- Joining Instructions:If you have paid in advance for an arrival transfer, a G Adventures representative will be at the airport to meet you. If for any reason you are not met at the airport, please call our local support line. If you are unable to make contact for whatever reason, please make your way to the joining point hotel via taxi.
Please note that Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned for that day other then your welcome meeting in the evening, so you can arrive at any time. Similarly the last day is a departure day during which no activities have been planned.
A G Adventures Representative will organize a short meeting soon after arrival, during which you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. A welcome note will be left for you in the hotel so you have all the necessary information regarding the meeting time and your transfer times back to the airport the next day. If you arrive late, s/he will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
Excess luggage can be stored free of charge at the joining hotel during your tour if desired.
Getting from Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport to the city centre:
The Quito International Airport is approximately one hour outside of the city centre where your joining hotel is located. The easiest and cheapest way to get there is by organizing a taxi at the desk within the airport (approximately $30 USD). Immediately after the customs and immigration area, as you head to the exits, you will find a taxi stand. We strongly recommend you pay for the car at set rates from the taxi stand and therefore won't need to worry about sorting out a ride outside the airport facilities, where the situation tends to get more chaotic with many drivers vying for few clients. The taxis outside the airport area do not belong to the Taxi Airport Union and may charge higher fares.
There is also a shuttle available with the bus company Aeroservicios. Aeroservicios charges 8 USD to board a bus which will take you from the new airport to the old airport. The buses are new, comfortable, and often include wifi. From the old airport, a taxi to get to your hotel would generally cost $5 USD depending on the distance and location.
- Arrival Complications:We don't expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you 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.
- Emergency Contact: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 Gálapagos, please ensure you have an extra bag you can leave behind at hotel storage and pickup on your return.
Please note that Galápagos 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.
- Packing List:Documents:
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Drybag (Will help keep cameras and essentials dry)
• External battery pack
• Motion sickness tablets
• Snorkel gear (optional) (Only if own equipment is preferred.)
Sleep Sheet and Pillow:
• Sleeping bag liner/sleep sheet
• Travel pillow
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Note: The campsites are located in the highlands of the Islands. The highlands are more humid and receive more precipitation, please make sure to pack a rain jacket and waterproof shoes/boots.
- Laundry:Laundry availability is dependent on the location you're in or the amount of time spent in that location.
We suggest packing enough clothing in case laundry is not available and/or packing laundry soap so you can wash things if needed.
Laundry is available on this trip at camp in Floreana (Day 2-3), Isabela (Day 4-5) and Santa Cruz (Day 6-7).
- Visas and Entry Requirements: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 is your responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
As of Aug. 2019, the following nationalities will require a Visa to enter Ecuador: Angola, Cameroon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, India, Iraq, Libya, Democratic Republic of Congo, Syria, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cuba, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nepal, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Senegal and
Venezuelan nationals entering Ecuador must have a humanitarian visa.
** Please note that by February 2nd 2018, it will be mandatory for every traveler to show proof of insurance (covering medical, accident, death) to the immigration authority at the airport or border crossing into Ecuador. This insurance must cover the traveler for their entire length of stay in the country.
If you do not carry proof of insurance and/or an insurance assistance card that satisfies this requirement, it is possible that your entrance into Ecuador could be denied.
- Spending Money: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.
- Money Exchange: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
Please note that ATMs are located on Puerto Ayora but nowhere else this tour visits in the Galápagos.
- Emergency Fund:Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an 'emergency' fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
- Tipping: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. If you are happy with the service of your CEO/local naturalist guide, recommended tipping amounts for this person would be $5-$8 USD per day.
- Optional Activities:Quito
- Teleférico (8USD per person)
- Quito City Tour and Equator (50-60USD per person)
- Cotopaxi Volcano - Full Day Trip (70-100USD per person)
San Cristóbal Island
- Las Tijeretas Walk
- Snorkelling (Isla Lobos) (70USD per person)
- Snorkelling (Kicker Rock) (110USD per person)
Puerto Baquerizo Moreno
- La Lobería Beach Visit
- Playa Mann Visit
- Los Tuneles Snorkelling (140-150USD per person)
- Islote Tintoreras Snorkelling (45-50USD per person)
- Surfing Lesson (45-55USD per person)
Santa Cruz Island
- Tortuga Bay Kayaking (15USD per person)
Santa Cruz Island
- Swimming at Las Grietas
- Tortuga Bay Hike
- 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 people in the sex trade 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 engage in any form of paid sex work.
- 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 leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. 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:The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
- Feedback:After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we'll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will send it on to you.
- Newsletter:Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
Stay current on how our company invests in our global community through our foundation – Planeterra. Sign up for Planeterra's monthly news to learn more about how to give back and support the people and places we love to visit.
- Minimum Age:Minimum age of 18 years for this trip.
- International Flights:Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
- Group Leader:Local naturalist guide for included activities in the Galápagos Islands (certified by the Galápagos National Park), local G Adventures representative in Quito.
Itinerary (9 days)
Arrive at any time.
Quito/San Cristóbal Island
Fly to the Galápagos Islands. Visit the Interpretation Centre in the afternoon to learn about the natural history of the area. Explore the trails around the centre and opt to snorkel at nearby Las Tijeretas.
San Cristóbal Island
Enjoy a free day to explore San Cristóbal Island, where the sea lion population rivals the human one. Opt to snorkel at Kicker Rock, visit Playa Mann, or La Lobería.
San Cristóbal Island/Isabela Island
Travel by speedboat to Isabela Island. Keep your eyes peeled for wildlife on the way and enjoy a stop for lunch on Floreana Island. Stretch your legs and enjoy a meal at the G supported-community restaurant to support the local community before continuing on to Isabela.
Hike the Sierra Negra Volcano for spectacular views from above. Enjoy free time in the afternoon to go snorkeling, visit the giant Tortoise breeding centre or the Flamingo lagoon.
Isabela Island/Santa Cruz Island
Transfer by speedboat back to Santa Cruz Island, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and enjoy a night in the town of Puerto Ayora.
Santa Cruz Island
Enjoy free time to explore Santa Cruz Island. Opt to visit the highlands, hike out to the stunning Tortuga Bay, or explore the otherworldly Las Grietas freshwater lagoon.
Santa Cruz Island/Quito
Say goodbye to the Galapagos Islands, and take a morning flight back to Quito. Upon arrival in Quito, transfer to the hotel and enjoy a night in the city.
Depart at any time.