4.11 8 Reviews

San Juan Islands Adventure

  • 6 Days
  • 12 People Max

    14 people max

  • Activity Level 2
    • Activity Level 2

      On the Move

      Sure, I own some hiking boots, they're even worn in, but they don't go on long trips. I like my creature comforts and I like to give a range of activities a go.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Seattle, Washington
  • Trip End: Seattle, Washington
San Juan Islands Trip

Just off the coast of Washington state, discover the magic of the Pacific Northwest on our San Juan Islands Adventure.

Wander small towns, bike through fragrant lavender fields and let time stand still on our 6-day San Juan Islands adventure and hiking tour. Starting and finishing in Seattle, the only thing between you and the ultimate adventure holiday is a short ferry ride to Friday Harbor. Time will immediately slow down as you kayak the pristine waters of San Juan Island and stop for a coffee or ice cream in picture-perfect quaint towns. Expansive views no camera can give justice to will reward you as you climb Mount Constitution and hike to Lime Kiln Park Lighthouse. All the while, keep watch for whales, seals and porpoises playing amongst the waves. As day turns to night, indulge in some of the finest wining and dining in the Pacific Northwest and stay in cosy accommodations with superb views. There's no doubt you'll fall in love with this splendid part of Washington state as you embark on our San Juan Islands adventure and hiking tour.

San Juan Islands Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Seattle, Washington Trip End: Seattle, Washington
  • Day 1Bike to American Camp

  • Day 2Explore San Juan Island by kayak & bike

  • Day 3Hike & bike around San Juan Island

  • Day 4Explore Orcas Island and Whale-watching!

  • Day 5Hike Mount Constitution

  • Day 6Hike Cascade Falls, farewell!

  • Day 1

    Bike to American Camp

    Our journey will start with a morning shuttle from Seattle to Anacortes before catching a ferry to San Juan Island. You'll notice the hustle and bustle of city life begin to fade as we pass the picturesque islands of Lopez and Shaw. We'll arrive onto the Island at Friday Harbor, a charming, historic, walkable seaport just steps from the ferry landing, and disembark, enjoying lunch before heading out to explore the coastal town.

    This afternoon we'll make our way to American Camp, located on the southern end of the Island. The camp was occupied by the U.S. Army from 1859 through to 1874 due to a water boundary disagreement with Great Britain, and American soldiers lived here during the peaceful 12-year joint occupation of San Juan Island. After you've checked out the site, saddle up for your first bike ride of the trip back to Friday Harbor.

    Our accommodation for the next 3 nights, the Friday Harbor House reflects the charm and serenity of the San Juan Islands, offering a modern, comfortable inn with beautiful views and perfect little modern touches. Wake up each morning with your coffee and panoramic views of the San Juan Channel.
    Friday Harbor House (All meals)

    Biking Distance: 16 kilometres, (10 miles), hilly

  • Day 2

    Explore San Juan Island by kayak & bike

    After a scrumptious breakfast overlooking Friday Harbor, we’ll make our way over to Roche Harbor, a historic seaside resort steeped in rich history and surrounded by lush gardens, for a morning of kayaking. After gearing up, we'll head out on the water to paddle the quiet bays and shoreline. Keep your eyes peeled for sea lions, bald eagles, otters, porpoise and – if you’re lucky – orca whales! This afternoon, after we've enjoyed a packed lunch at Pickens Island, we'll drive through cottage country to the San Juan Island National Historical Park where the English Camp is located.

    The English Camp is where the British soldiers lived during the boundary dispute over the ownership of the island until the islands were awarded to the United States by Kaiser Wilhelm I in an arbitration agreed by the parties in the 1872 Treaty of Washington. Once we've explored the camp we'll slowly make our way back to Friday Harbor by pedal, enjoying the coastal views from the rolling hills. Along the way we'll stop off at a winery to taste award-winning estate-grown wines in the coolest-climate growing region of Washington State. We'll be back in time for you to explore the Friday Harbor shops if you wish, or you can enjoy a soak in the large outdoor Jacuzzi back at the Inn. You're on your own for dinner tonight to enjoy one of the many local hotspots in Friday Harbor - ask your guides for their recommendations!
    Friday Harbor House (Breakfast, Lunch)

    Kayaking Time: 2 hours

    Biking Distance: 16 kilometres, (10 miles), hilly

  • Day 3

    Hike & bike around San Juan Island

    Today we'll head out to explore San Juan Island by bike and by foot, starting with a shuttle from Friday Harbor this morning. Make sure to pause and take in the expansive views as we make our way to the historic Lime Kiln State Park. Set on a rocky bluff at the west end of San Juan Island, it's considered to be one of the best whale-watching spots on earth. We’ll embark on a short hike loaded with picturesque views while watching for the 80+ Orca that call these shorelines home. The pods, which also include humpback and minke whales, pass through the area every May through September, with peak times depending on salmon runs. After lunch, we’ll hop on bikes to pedal over to Pelindaba Lavender Farm – an experience for all the senses! Here they cultivate all their lavender flowers in organically certified fields and extract the essential oils from these flowers in their own on-site distillery. We'll be able to explore the farm and purchase any products if you wish! The day’s adventure will end back at Friday Harbor once we arrive on our bikes and there will be time to freshen up before dinner tonight in Roche Harbor.
    Friday Harbor House (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 1-2 hours

    Biking Distance: 17.74 kilometres, (11 miles), 1-2 hours on the bike

  • Day 4

    Explore Orcas Island and Whale-watching!

    This morning we'll depart San Juan Island after breakfast and take a short ferry over to Orcas Island. We'll take a lovely 4.3-kilometre (2.7-mile) loop hike around Cascade Lake that offers intimate views of the lake and its pine-studded shores. Along the western banks, you'll have various viewpoints on the banks of the lake. You may also catch a glimpse of a deer or two on your venture. After completing the hike enjoying some lunch, we'll board a boat and get ready to go whale watching! This all-afternoon tour will take you to the best spots to look for all the different kinds of whales of this area and learn how they hunt, interact, and migrate. We'll then drive across to the Rosario Resort where you will stay for the last two nights of the trip. Rosario Resort & Spa was built over 100 years ago by a Seattle shipbuilder and it offers comfortable and relaxing guest accommodations with beautiful views of the Islands including the magnificent East Sound and Cascade Bay. We'll dine tonight at the resort's restaurant featuring fresh, locally sourced, and creative house-made seasonal cuisine.
    Rosario Resort & Spa, Orcas Island (All meals)

    Cascade Lake Hiking Distance: 4.2 kilometres, (2.7 miles), 1-2 hours

    Whale-watching: 3 hours

  • Day 5

    Hike Mount Constitution

    Surrounded by small, scenic State Park-designated islands, Orcas Island is a playground for adventurers, so this morning we’ll explore one of the many trails of Moran State Park. Named after Robert Moran, the Seattle Mayor and ship builder who provided the land, the park is 5,424-acres and offers abundant camping, five freshwater lakes for swimming and more than 30 miles of hiking, bicycling, mountain biking and equestrian trails. If you’re feeling energetic, we'll take a hike up Mount Constitution to the highest point in the San Juan Islands (it’s worth the effort – the views are spectacular!). We'll head around the left side of Mountain Lake, and then continue on to Twin Lakes, before starting your jaunt to the top of Mt. Constitution. Sitting on the crest is a stone tower replica of Russian watchtowers constructed in the Caucasus during the 12th century. We'll enjoy lunch on the trail and head back down in time for freshening up before our last dinner. Tonight we'll wrap up our active day with a farewell dinner at The Mansion at Rosario and toast to a great trip exploring the San Juan Islands!
    Rosario Resort & Spa, Orcas Island (All meals)

    Hiking Distance: 6.4 kilometres, (4 miles), 4-6 hours
    Elevation Gain: 457metres (1,500ft)

  • Day 6

    Hike Cascade Falls, farewell!

    This morning, find a refreshing, majestical waterfall as we hike a 1.3 kilometres (0.8-mile) loop trail located near Eastsound, Washington with other falls scattered along the way. Enjoy watching the water rush down the rocks as you're enveloped in a lush forest. Watch for birds flitting through the trees! We'll then make our way to the Orcas Ferry Landing to catch our final ferry back to Anacortes, with a packed lunch provided for the journey. Once we've landed in port we'll have a drive before dropping you back to either the hotel or the airport. This is the end of your trip and we’ll leave you refreshed and invigorated from the good food, exercise, rest, and great times you’ll have had with us!
    (Breakfast, Lunch)

    Cascade Falls Hiking Distance: 1.3 kilometres, (0.8 miles)

Tour Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
USD $4499/pp (+tax)

Our New Zealand trip fares are subject to Goods and Services Tax (GST 15%)

6 Aug 2023
2023
6 Aug11 Aug
San Juan Islands Adventure 8/6/2023-8/11/2023
Departure Open Open
3 Sep 2023
2023
3 Sep8 Sep
San Juan Islands Adventure 9/3/2023-9/8/2023
Departure Open Open
10 Sep 2023
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10 Sep15 Sep
San Juan Islands Adventure 9/10/2023-9/15/2023
Departure Filling Up Filling Up
17 Sep 2023
2023
17 Sep22 Sep
San Juan Islands Adventure 9/17/2023-9/22/2023
Departure Open Open
24 Sep 2023
2023
24 Sep29 Sep
San Juan Islands Adventure 9/24/2023-9/29/2023
Departure Open Open

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Active Adventure Assurance

Our Active Adventures Assurance

If your plans change or you decide to travel to another destination, you can change your trip to any of our departures in any destination or request a refund (less deposit) up to 90 days out from your original trip start date.

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What Our Guests Say About the Trip

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- May 2022

Amazing trip with great guides

"I had a great time on the Jaguar trip - our guides were friendly, knowledgeable,… read more

"I had a great time on the Jaguar trip - our guides were friendly, knowledgeable, organized, and always helpful. Our porters and camp staff also were friendly and highly competent. The sites chosen by the guides for us to visit were always interesting, and the guides were able to provide great information about them. The information provided to us by Active Adventures was helpful and comprehensive - my only comments regarding the pre-trip information would be to update the materials to clarify that guests need a small day pack for biking and day hikes AND a 30L plus hiking bag for the Inca trail, and the pre-trip information could have included information about tipping for the porters and guides. While it is sensible that the company would not want to pressure guests into tipping a certain amount, everyone in my group had a wonderful time and genuinely wanted to show appreciation to our porters and guides. It would have been helpful to know how much cash we should have with us when departing on the trail to be able to tip each individual adequately, as well as information about when in the trip we would have an opportunity to tip both porters and guides. read less

5 Stars (2056 reviews)

Amy, United States

- May 2022

Bucket list trip for sure!!

"After having had my retirement bucket list trip snatched from under me in 2020, I… read more

"After having had my retirement bucket list trip snatched from under me in 2020, I was delighted to finally take it this April. Active Adventures deserves huge kudos for honouring its commitment to the trip. I travelled with two friends, and we were in a group of 15 on the trip - from the US and Canada. What a fantastic group of people! Best of all though, were our two tour guides from the Galapagos, Pepo and Paulo. They were the best ambassadors for the islands and Ecuador - very knowledgeable, professional, kind hearted - and just plain fun. They made us feel safe and relaxed throughout the trip. The islands are gorgeous - and the wildlife does not disappoint. I found deep ocean snorkelling a bit out of my comfort zone, and wished I had practiced a bit in a pool before I left. However, it is an essential part of the trip, and cannot be skipped. Learning about tectonic plates, volcanoes and the conservation efforts for the giant tortoises was food for thought. As for helpful tips, bring lots of sun screen, sun protective clothing, and bug spray. These items are not readily available on the islands, but they are absolutely essential. Also bring a reusable water bottle as recommended by AA, because although bottled water is available for purchase everywhere, it makes more sense to fill up from the large reusable containers provided and not create plastic waste. I would definitely recommend this beautiful active adventure - my first with this company, but not my last. read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Serena, Canada

- May 2022

Bucket List Trip

"We loved our trip to Galapagos! Our guides, Pepo and Paulo were so knowledgeable… read more

"We loved our trip to Galapagos! Our guides, Pepo and Paulo were so knowledgeable about the islands and loved sharing it all with us. The warm weather was so welcome after a winter in New England. All of the logistics were handled smoothly so that all we had to do was enjoy the varied land and marine wildlife. An amazing trip that I highly recommend! read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Claudia, United States

- May 2022

Somethings really do live up to the hype. This was AMAZING!!

"To be honest, I was a little leery traveling with a new company, with new… read more

"To be honest, I was a little leery traveling with a new company, with new people and well, Covid. But this was abso-fricking-lutely the BEST ADVENTURE TRIP! From our guide, Pepo (who completely hit it out of the park), to the places we saw, to the organization behind the scenes and those wonderful meals, this was amazing! If you want the best way to SEE the Galapagos Islands, this is it. I can't say enough great things about Galakiwi (Active's partner) and our guides. They made this trip unforgettable. Pepo and Paolo answered our flora/fauna questions (we had lots!) and happily shared us what makes this place so special. And man, Pepo can dance - and surf! We're already talking about our next Active Adventure - we can't wait! :) read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Lori, United States

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"Although initially disappointed that the border with Argentina remained closed, the Torres del Paine hiking with Alvaro and Christian was compensation aplenty. read less

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Nick, United Kingdom

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Bucket List Trip!

"I finally made it to Patagonia! And I couldn't have done it with a better… read more

"I finally made it to Patagonia! And I couldn't have done it with a better company! This was my 5th tour with Active!
The landscape was even more breathtaking than I had imagined. And every guide was so much fun to hang out with and incredibly knowledgeable about the culture and the land. If you are planning a trip to Patagonia and you love being in the outdoors, this is the tour company for you! read less

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Jolene, Canada

- April 2022

West Coast is a must visit

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and we weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent… read more

"This is our second Active Adventures trip and we weren't disappointed. The itinerary was excellent and food and accommodation of a high standard. We loved the West Coast scenery. The walks were amazing, particularly around Lake Matheson and Punakaiki. Kayaking on Okarito Lagoon, heli-hiking on Franz Joseph Glacier and the scenic flight over Mt Aspiring National Park out to Milford Sound were fantastic experiences. Our guide Clare was first class. Everything was organised to perfection and nothing was too much trouble. read less

5 Stars (2 reviews)

Robert, New Zealand

- April 2022

Fabulous trip!

"First “big” trip in 2 years due to the pandemic. Honestly, more anxiety than excitement… read more

"First “big” trip in 2 years due to the pandemic. Honestly, more anxiety than excitement prior to the trip but once I arrived in the Galapagos, the excitement hit and so glad my friend and I decided to go on the adventure together. AA tour made the trip really easy. I really like the balance of being “active” and some downtime of my own. The tour guides were friendly and very knowledgeable. The meals were all very good except for the first night dinner on San Cristobal Island…to me, it wasn’t good. I thought the fish weren’t well prepared and tasted too fishy. Another person ordered the same meal and I noticed she hardly touched hers. Later I found out hers was too salty. Another low light for me was the accommodations on Floreana Island. Apparently, very limited hotel selections on the island. Hotel Wittmer was ran down and we all had cold showers that night. I also found a smashed dead mosquito with blood on the wall! Isabela Island was fun and where we stayed was wonderful. I wish we had more time on Santa Cruz Island. All in all, I had a fantastic trip and would recommend this trip to my friends who enjoy the outdoor and animals! read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Hui-Chien, United States

- April 2022

Wonderful wildlife adventures

"The Tortuga trip was full of once in a lifetime experiences. Pablo, our guide was… read more

"The Tortuga trip was full of once in a lifetime experiences. Pablo, our guide was so passionate about the islands and knowledgeable about the wildlife and all aspects of our trip. We swam with sea turtles, rays, sea lions, and sharks!. The land tortoises were great to see in their natural habitat and in the breeding centers. I learned so much about the history of the islands, the environment, Darwin's studies and plans for the furture on the island. The snorkeling in Los Tunels was the highlight as well as the hike to the volcano lava fields. The Galapagos is truely a unique and fascinating place. read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Barb, United States

- April 2022

Great experience

"Well organised trip read more

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Adrian, New Zealand

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Almost to Antarctica

"The Condor trip and the W Trek were wonderful. I was there in early February… read more

"The Condor trip and the W Trek were wonderful. I was there in early February and the weather was good; clouds mixed with sun, and surprisingly warm…but windy. The guides, as always, were special and took care of everything. The scenery is amazing, and constant for the entire 4+ days. The Argentina border was closed so the trip was modified to include the Chile Lake District, and I opted out of that portion of the trip because it was similar to the Active Adventures Puma trip which I did a couple years ago (also a great trip!). Even doing only the W Trek was great…and I hope to return for the whole trip! read less

5 Stars (1175 reviews)

Mark, United States

- April 2022

Great trip with Great people

"I could write pages about our Tortuga trip in April . Instead I will just… read more

"I could write pages about our Tortuga trip in April . Instead I will just say that we were so surprised how much we enjoyed traveling with Active Adventures. We are typically not "group travel" people but in the Galapagos it seems necessary...so many things to line up and local people and facilities to communicate with. AAdventures did this with amazing competency. Things flowed seamlessly. Our guide Pepo and his assistant Paolo were amazing. They seemed to do all this and yet still ENJOY being with us, answering questions and getting everyone excited for the next adventure. I will advise that this is an active trip, not intense but lots of exercise, sweating and moving every day. It is important to know that and be prepared or know that you might skip some of the longer things. I also want to add that the guides' English was beautiful and Pepo's knowledge about the area, the geography and the animals was impressive. To anyone who is worried about the "group" aspect but needs the logistics AAdventures can provide, be assured. They still respect your privacy, your right to skip something if its not for you and the small size makes it not feel chaotic. Food was also very good, fresh and simple but abundant and well prepared. I had dreamed of this trip since I was a little girl and read about the tortoises in National Geographic. I never thought the experience would live up to the dream, but it truly did and I think Active Adventures had a big part in that. read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Lynn, United States

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"This was a trip down memory lane for me revisiting old haunts & visiting new ones. I was thrilled with how it all went & with the experience of our guides & their enthusiasm. The weather was perfect & I achieved everything on my bucket list! read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Colleen, New Zealand

- April 2022

Our 4th trip with Active

"Another great guide. Beautiful diving, biking and hiking adventures. Great local food and accommodations. We… read more

"Another great guide. Beautiful diving, biking and hiking adventures. Great local food and accommodations. We have loved every single Active Adventure. As always though, the Active guides are what make the trip special. This time Pepo and Paulo were absolutely awesome with their knowledge and communication. The people in the group always seem to come together as great friends and we have the guides to thank for that! Can't wait for the next one! read less

5 Stars (1564 reviews)

Paul, United States

Useful Info

What's the maximum group size on this trip?

This trip has a maximum of 22 guests, plus 2-3 experienced guides. We tend to average between 12-18 guests on this trip.

Where does the trip start?

On the first morning of the trip, our two pick-up locations are Radisson Hotel Seattle Airport at 5:45am or the Seattle Airport Marriott at 6am. You are welcome to stay at any hotel in Seattle for your pre-night, though you must make your own way to one of the two pick-up points at the pre-designated times.

Where does the trip end?

Your trip ends with a drop-off at either the Seattle Airport at 5pm in time for flights below or at an airport hotel of your choice in Seattle around 5:30pm

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: We recommend arriving in Seattle at least the day before your trip starts. Many guests like to arrive a day or two early to accommodate potential flight delays and/or explore the city prior to your trip start.
Departure: Flying out on the last day of the trip, we recommend departing from Seattle after 7pm. Earlier flight times will require a separate transfer booked at your own expense.

Will I have contact with my guides before the trip starts?

Your guides will call your cell phone the night before your trip begins to touch base on the first day’s plan. If they don’t get through to you, they will leave a voicemail on your cell phone with all the details you need to plan for your first morning.

What should I bring with me on the first day?

When you speak with your guides the night before your trip, they will give you a detailed description of what to bring with you on Day 1. Typically, this includes a day pack with your rain jacket, sunglasses, hat, camera, etc. Anything you want easy access to during the day should go in your day pack as the rest of your luggage will go in the locked cargo trailer pulled behind the van. Your guides will provide you with a water bottle on the first morning of your trip and will always have water available for refills. There will be snacks available at all times in the van. Your guides will also have bug spray and sunscreen accessible for you to use.

What are your recommended guide gratuity guidelines?

You will have 2-3 guides on your Austin Adventure (depending on group size). We recommend $15-25 per day, per guest, per guide. Typically, gratuities are offered by check or cash in local currency on the final morning of the trip and can either be given to each guide individually or to one guide to be equally distributed. Most of our guides these days also accept gratuities via Venmo (please note this app does not work in Canada). All dining, housekeeping and activity tips are included in your trip price.

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Experience adventure the way you want

You’ll be inspired and exhilarated, enjoying mind-blowing scenery on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike - all at your own pace. Get ready for the trip of a lifetime.

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Every detail covered, to maximise your time

As soon as your trip starts, we've got everything covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport, superb accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

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Group travel for those who aren’t ‘group travellers’

With our small groups of typically no more than 14 (up to 18 max), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like. It’s all about going at your own pace.

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All our carefully selected guides are highly experienced and have deep personal connections to nature and culture. You’ll enjoy a special experience, authentic local knowledge and an adventure like no other.

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4.54 out of 5 from 17045 reviews. That’s pretty solid.

We could hang around all day telling you how wonderful our trips are... but the best people to hear it from are our guests themselves.

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San Juan Islands Adventure