Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands Adventure Tours

Come explore one of South America's best kept secrets with us!

Ecuador (which includes the Galapagos Islands) may be one of the smallest countries in South America, but its diversity might surprise you. This destination offers everything an adventurer could want including distinctive wildlife, world-class snorkelling and scuba diving, dense Amazon rainforests and magical cloud forests to hike in, lively markets to explore and a charming world heritage listed capital city.

We've got the best way to explore the Galapagos Islands - especially for landlubbers - and while you're in this part of the world, you won't want to miss the hiking, rafting, biking and caving on our mainland Ecuador adventure tour. Did we mention a mild spring-like climate year-round and incredibly welcoming locals?

Trip Reviews

4.47 out of 5 (from 1075 reviews)

A Trip Through Wonderland

“A wonderful trip through a Wonderland! Everything in Galapagos went like clockwork which was due to detail planning and meticulous management by the team in Galapagos. Jose, our guide, was excellent and he was a fountain of knowledge and information. It was a pleasure having him as our guide.

The Giant Tortoises were the main highlight of the trip. At the ranch in Santa Cruz we hiked around the tortoise country. There were tortoises of various sizes. There were even some tortoises in a marsh that was completely covered with red algae. From a distance it looked like artificial turf of a tennis court, except that there were tortoise shells sticking out from it! We saw giant tortoises lounging in the mud, eating in slow motion (for us anyway!), walking deliberately across the fields carrying their huge shell effortlessly and of course trying to hide. When disturbed they made a loud hissing sound and recessed their heads into their carapace while bringing their strong front feet with sharp claws in front of their faces in a defensive posture. We spent a long time basking in the splendor of these magnificent creatures. They were truly extraordinary and it was a highlight of our trip to spend time in their presence.

One of the caretakers at the tortoise breeding facility in Isabela Island showed us an eight day old tortoise which was barely bigger than the egg it just recently hatched from. It is humbling to realize that this tiny creature will one day become a giant of this land and will outlive us, our children and our children’s children. Live long and prosper, adorable little dude!

The other main highlight of the trip was the marine iguanas. They melded their prehistoric bodies into the crags and crevices of the volcanic rocks and left strange trailing marks on the restless sand. Then there were the brightly colored marine iguanas. They had red and green splotches over their entire bodies. The males fought with each other to gain the highest spot on the rocks. They moved slowly on land and swam elegantly in water. They were a surreal sight.

The other highlights of the trip were, sea lion rookery at La Loberia beach, dolphins and fin whales, kayaking in Isabela bay, snorkeling in the Tintoreras, fearless penguins, sunset on the black sand beach in Floreana, magnificent flamingoes, graceful eagle rays and of course the blue footed boobies at Darwin Bay.

My favorite moment was at Darwin Bay in San Cristobal Island where the wind was a balmy seventy and frigate birds circled the sky. The sun peeped through lazy clouds in the horizon while a yellow finch darted in front and vanished into the towering cacti. It was the time of the day when brown pelicans searched for their last bit of morsel before retiring for the day. Blue footed boobies preened on guano covered rocks as they too ready themselves for the passing of the sunlight. Perhaps the sea lions noticed the passing of the light. They are aptly described as lumbering on land but in the water they darted frantically. They must sense a final feeding before retiring for the night. The water where a few stragglers still snorkel lazily is bluish green and the surf hitting the cove is as bright as a fresh coat of vanilla ice cream. Looking over them all was the statue of Charles Darwin, his back to the cove. He was welcoming us all to his beloved Galapagos. The sun started to gently descend into the horizon and an eerie calmness descended upon the land. The frantic feeding of the yellow finned tuna had given way to tranquility, a silent waiting but not a permanent ending. The frigate birds had finally ceased their hovering. They were now perched on the cliffs and on a few precariously hanging trees. There was no one there as the sun finally set over the magnificent Galapagos. It was a moment of unimaginable peace. It was a moment worthwhile to have come so far for.

I carry in my heart the wonder and beauty of the Galapagos and the hospitality of the people. That will remain with me forever. Thanks for making that happen.”
– Idaho, United States
Tortuga, January 2015
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