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Galapagos Islands Tours & Ecuador Adventures

Galapagos Islands Tours & Ecuador Land Tours

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Hear from our Happy Guests
4.85/5 Rating | 6,500+ Reviews

What our guests are saying about our Galapagos Islands Tours

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Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - May 2024

Dorothy

"An extraordinary trip with a great guide and fun group of new friends. Pablo was so knowledgeable and showed us fantastic sights. The accommodations were top notch, the food excellent, and the itinerary perfect.

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"An extraordinary trip with a great guide and fun group of new friends. Pablo was… read more

"An extraordinary trip with a great guide and fun group of new friends. Pablo was so knowledgeable and showed us fantastic sights. The accommodations were top notch, the food excellent, and the itinerary perfect. read less

5 Stars (511 reviews)

D Dorothy | May 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - May 2024

Galapagos May 2024

"Holy cow I can't say enough about the care and attention shown by Pablo and Paolo. This trip exceeded most of my expectations. The wildlife is incredible!

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"Holy cow I can't say enough about the care and attention shown by Pablo and… read more

"Holy cow I can't say enough about the care and attention shown by Pablo and Paolo. This trip exceeded most of my expectations. The wildlife is incredible! read less

5 Stars (511 reviews)

B Brian | May 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - May 2024

Following in Darwin's Footsteps

"Our trip to the Galapagos was great. We were fortunate to have two amazing guides - Pepo and Paulo were a well organised machine. Both were really knowledgeable and very passionate about showing their guests this very special part of the world.
Having the opportunity to snorkel amongst the turtles, sea lions and other sea life was incredible even if we were a little disconcerted to find ourselves amongst many sharks.
This was a very special time and we have memories that will last forever.

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"Our trip to the Galapagos was great. We were fortunate to have two amazing guides… read more

"Our trip to the Galapagos was great. We were fortunate to have two amazing guides - Pepo and Paulo were a well organised machine. Both were really knowledgeable and very passionate about showing their guests this very special part of the world.
Having the opportunity to snorkel amongst the turtles, sea lions and other sea life was incredible even if we were a little disconcerted to find ourselves amongst many sharks.
This was a very special time and we have memories that will last forever. read less

4 Stars (511 reviews)

J Jenny | May 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - May 2024

Can't Imagine this Trip without Active!

"Going to Galapagos was a trip of a lifetime that we wouldn't want to piece together on our own. Active Adventures took care of the details and made all the connections. We felt we had the best local guides and the best local tours with skilled people that were happy to share Galapagos treasures. We didn't miss a thing!

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"Going to Galapagos was a trip of a lifetime that we wouldn't want to piece… read more

"Going to Galapagos was a trip of a lifetime that we wouldn't want to piece together on our own. Active Adventures took care of the details and made all the connections. We felt we had the best local guides and the best local tours with skilled people that were happy to share Galapagos treasures. We didn't miss a thing! read less

5 Stars (511 reviews)

N Nancy | May 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - May 2024

Great Guides

"I really cannot say enough about the experience, professionalism, and expertise of the guides on this trip (Pepo and Paulo). It really makes the trip when you are in such good hands. To me the guides and the experience they provided were a key benefit of doing this trip through Active Adventures.

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"I really cannot say enough about the experience, professionalism, and expertise of the guides on… read more

"I really cannot say enough about the experience, professionalism, and expertise of the guides on this trip (Pepo and Paulo). It really makes the trip when you are in such good hands. To me the guides and the experience they provided were a key benefit of doing this trip through Active Adventures. read less

5 Stars (511 reviews)

S Sara | May 2024

Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure - April 2024

One the the BEST trips I’ve ever been on!

"Our Peru/Galapogos trip with Active Adventures was awesome!! We had Zac as a guide for our Peru part of the trip, Pepo for our Galapagos portion. They were both very knowledgeable and passionate about showing us the history and beauty of where they are from. Zac was hilarious, kind, and understanding and even had us over to his beautiful house for lunch one day for authentic Peruvian food catered by his family’s catering company. Pepo also is a wonderful guide. We were able to go to his parents’ farm on San Cristobal Island, climb up into their boat/tree house, which was really fun! It’s impossible to describe all the wonderful information they taught us in this paragraph…but I do plan on requesting Zac for a Northern Patagonia trip in the future - he was THAT wonderful!!!! And if I go back to Galapagos, I would definitely ask for Pepo!!!!

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"Our Peru/Galapogos trip with Active Adventures was awesome!! We had Zac as a guide for… read more

"Our Peru/Galapogos trip with Active Adventures was awesome!! We had Zac as a guide for our Peru part of the trip, Pepo for our Galapagos portion. They were both very knowledgeable and passionate about showing us the history and beauty of where they are from. Zac was hilarious, kind, and understanding and even had us over to his beautiful house for lunch one day for authentic Peruvian food catered by his family’s catering company. Pepo also is a wonderful guide. We were able to go to his parents’ farm on San Cristobal Island, climb up into their boat/tree house, which was really fun! It’s impossible to describe all the wonderful information they taught us in this paragraph…but I do plan on requesting Zac for a Northern Patagonia trip in the future - he was THAT wonderful!!!! And if I go back to Galapagos, I would definitely ask for Pepo!!!! read less

5 Stars (67 reviews)

J Joyce | April 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - April 2024

One could not ask for anything better than the Galapagos with Active Adventures!

"I had the most incredible time on my Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure, and I would not hesitate to recommend this trip to friends! As someone who tends to get seasick, I was pleased to find a Galapagos trip that balanced water activities and comfortable nights on land. Active Adventures had the perfect trip itinerary.

Our guides, Pablo and Paolo, were the backbone of our adventure. Pablo's deep love for the islands and his commitment to their preservation were truly inspiring. Paolo, on the other hand, was our go-to person for everything, from snorkel gear to room arrangements. Their dedication and smiles made our trip even more memorable, and we all knew we were well cared for during our adventure.

Pinning down a highlight from this trip is challenging because we saw so much incredible wildlife, but watching a pod of 40-50 sperm whales, cows, and calves drifting in the ocean together was such a one-off experience that I do not think anything could ever top it. I am so grateful for this rare opportunity to see such magnificent animals.

My recommendation to anyone considering booking a Galapagos trip with Active Adventures is to do so. You will not regret it,…

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"I had the most incredible time on my Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure, and I would… read more

"I had the most incredible time on my Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure, and I would not hesitate to recommend this trip to friends! As someone who tends to get seasick, I was pleased to find a Galapagos trip that balanced water activities and comfortable nights on land. Active Adventures had the perfect trip itinerary.

Our guides, Pablo and Paolo, were the backbone of our adventure. Pablo's deep love for the islands and his commitment to their preservation were truly inspiring. Paolo, on the other hand, was our go-to person for everything, from snorkel gear to room arrangements. Their dedication and smiles made our trip even more memorable, and we all knew we were well cared for during our adventure.

Pinning down a highlight from this trip is challenging because we saw so much incredible wildlife, but watching a pod of 40-50 sperm whales, cows, and calves drifting in the ocean together was such a one-off experience that I do not think anything could ever top it. I am so grateful for this rare opportunity to see such magnificent animals.

My recommendation to anyone considering booking a Galapagos trip with Active Adventures is to do so. You will not regret it, and the memories you come home with will warm your soul for days and months afterward. read less

5 Stars (511 reviews)

T Tracey | April 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - April 2024

Very active adventure, as promised!

"We had a wonderful time on this trip. Our guide and assistant were absolutely the best. Pablo is probably one of the best nature and historical guides on any tour and anyone would be lucky to have him as their Galapagos tour guide.

The accommodations included great breakfasts, large and clean rooms and were all very centrally located. Great hotel for meeting in Quito at the beginning and end of the trip as well.

The rest of the food on the trip was also delicious and plentiful.

We also very much enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers and look forward to keeping in touch with them.

Overall this was an amazing trip with a great itinerary, interesting people, and friendly, safe and informative guides.

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"We had a wonderful time on this trip. Our guide and assistant were absolutely the… read more

"We had a wonderful time on this trip. Our guide and assistant were absolutely the best. Pablo is probably one of the best nature and historical guides on any tour and anyone would be lucky to have him as their Galapagos tour guide.

The accommodations included great breakfasts, large and clean rooms and were all very centrally located. Great hotel for meeting in Quito at the beginning and end of the trip as well.

The rest of the food on the trip was also delicious and plentiful.

We also very much enjoyed the company of our fellow travelers and look forward to keeping in touch with them.

Overall this was an amazing trip with a great itinerary, interesting people, and friendly, safe and informative guides. read less

4 Stars (511 reviews)

D Denise | April 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - April 2024

Galapogos

"I was very impressed with this trip. I wanted to be amazed and Active Adventures delivered, I learned or saw something new almost every single minute of the trip, each day was a stunning experience. Our guide Pablo was worth every penny Active Adventures must pay him with his wealth of information and ability to teach. Client safety was always paramount no matter where he was taking us.
Paolo was a workhorse with the sweetest disposition and always approachable. I could not believe the efficiency of his timing for our transportation, loading our luggage while we ate, and taking care of the smallest requests. He was wonderful. We never waited for transportation, our accomodations were always ready when we arrived, plus he was so much fun to be around.
This trip was extremely well organized with an interesting variety of activities. Each day was full and my only frustration was the lack of time to relax, explore, or shop. I actually skipped a couple dinners so I could do just that; grab an icecream, leisurely walk the beautiful beach, and watch a sunset.
I loved this trip! Thank you

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"I was very impressed with this trip. I wanted to be amazed and Active Adventures… read more

"I was very impressed with this trip. I wanted to be amazed and Active Adventures delivered, I learned or saw something new almost every single minute of the trip, each day was a stunning experience. Our guide Pablo was worth every penny Active Adventures must pay him with his wealth of information and ability to teach. Client safety was always paramount no matter where he was taking us.
Paolo was a workhorse with the sweetest disposition and always approachable. I could not believe the efficiency of his timing for our transportation, loading our luggage while we ate, and taking care of the smallest requests. He was wonderful. We never waited for transportation, our accomodations were always ready when we arrived, plus he was so much fun to be around.
This trip was extremely well organized with an interesting variety of activities. Each day was full and my only frustration was the lack of time to relax, explore, or shop. I actually skipped a couple dinners so I could do just that; grab an icecream, leisurely walk the beautiful beach, and watch a sunset.
I loved this trip! Thank you read less

5 Stars (511 reviews)

J Julie | April 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - April 2024

Our Guide made this trip

"Pablo and Paolo were our guides and they made this trip special. From when they picked us up at the San Cristobal Airport to when we departed Santa Cruz, we were treated like the only guests on the islands. Pablo shared his knowledge of the islands, with enthusiasm. His story about the 2005 Sierra Negra Volcanic eruption was captivating. The boat rides between the islands held special memories. We saw a pod of about 40 whales including babies who were then joined by a pod of dolphins. This was mind-blowing. We spent 24 hours on Floreana Island, another special place. The black beaches and tortoise nursery were spectacular. I feel that my time on the islands was well spent and due to Pablo and Paolo, my knowledge of the area increased exponentially.
The travel between Quito and the Galapagos is long. On the first full day of travel, Pablo and Paolo packed in a lot of activity after the plane ride. On the day we returned to Quito we had one stop at a crater on our way to the airport. Once we arrived at our hotel in…

read more

"Pablo and Paolo were our guides and they made this trip special. From when… read more

"Pablo and Paolo were our guides and they made this trip special. From when they picked us up at the San Cristobal Airport to when we departed Santa Cruz, we were treated like the only guests on the islands. Pablo shared his knowledge of the islands, with enthusiasm. His story about the 2005 Sierra Negra Volcanic eruption was captivating. The boat rides between the islands held special memories. We saw a pod of about 40 whales including babies who were then joined by a pod of dolphins. This was mind-blowing. We spent 24 hours on Floreana Island, another special place. The black beaches and tortoise nursery were spectacular. I feel that my time on the islands was well spent and due to Pablo and Paolo, my knowledge of the area increased exponentially.
The travel between Quito and the Galapagos is long. On the first full day of travel, Pablo and Paolo packed in a lot of activity after the plane ride. On the day we returned to Quito we had one stop at a crater on our way to the airport. Once we arrived at our hotel in Quito we were on our own, that is not all bad, I was exhausted. Breakfast the following morning, day 10, was the last day we saw our travel companions.
I'd like to mention this was my first experience as a single traveler. The guests on these "active" trips have a similar mindset and are very welcoming. read less

5 Stars (511 reviews)

L Lee | April 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - March 2024

Exceeded Expectations

"Every step of this adventure was amazing! Pepo and Paolo, our guides, made the logistics of the trip seamless, but more importantly, their knowledge, experience and pride in their Islands and its people gave us a real understanding of the marvel that is the Galapagos. The trip could not have been better and we will look for other opportunities to travel with Active Adventures.

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"Every step of this adventure was amazing! Pepo and Paolo, our guides, made the logistics… read more

"Every step of this adventure was amazing! Pepo and Paolo, our guides, made the logistics of the trip seamless, but more importantly, their knowledge, experience and pride in their Islands and its people gave us a real understanding of the marvel that is the Galapagos. The trip could not have been better and we will look for other opportunities to travel with Active Adventures. read less

5 Stars (511 reviews)

M Mary Ellen | March 2024

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure - March 2024

Amazing adventure in the Galapagos

"The Ultimate Galapagos Adventure was an amazing trip, four islands, several snorkeling opportunities, beautiful beaches, hiking, biking, and kayaking for variety. The guides were very knowledgable and gave us plenty of information about the geology, ecology, and culture of the islands. Food was delicious, hotels right on the beach with amazing views. The small group experience meant that we had flexibility, everyone got along, and we all were ready to go on time, never had to wait for late comers.

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"The Ultimate Galapagos Adventure was an amazing trip, four islands, several snorkeling opportunities, beautiful beaches,… read more

"The Ultimate Galapagos Adventure was an amazing trip, four islands, several snorkeling opportunities, beautiful beaches, hiking, biking, and kayaking for variety. The guides were very knowledgable and gave us plenty of information about the geology, ecology, and culture of the islands. Food was delicious, hotels right on the beach with amazing views. The small group experience meant that we had flexibility, everyone got along, and we all were ready to go on time, never had to wait for late comers. read less

5 Stars (511 reviews)

M Margaret | March 2024

Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure - February 2024

Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure

"Great experience! We had a wonderful trip. Both of our guides were terrific and really made it an awesome vacation for all of us!

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"Great experience! We had a wonderful trip. Both of our guides were terrific and really… read more

"Great experience! We had a wonderful trip. Both of our guides were terrific and really made it an awesome vacation for all of us! read less

5 Stars (67 reviews)

A Anna | February 2024

Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure - February 2024

Peru and The Sacred Valley

"I went on this trip to see Machu Picchu and ended up being amazed by The Sacred Valley, the people (Incas) of the Andes and our Guide Salvador. Our guide brought the people and the land to life!

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"I went on this trip to see Machu Picchu and ended up being amazed by… read more

"I went on this trip to see Machu Picchu and ended up being amazed by The Sacred Valley, the people (Incas) of the Andes and our Guide Salvador. Our guide brought the people and the land to life! read less

5 Stars (67 reviews)

D Dennis | February 2024

Ultimate Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Adventure - February 2024

Machu Picchu and Galápagos Islands

"There were so many wonderful things so see. We loved every day of this trip. Our Peru guide, Salvador, was outstanding, and so very kind. It was great to see Peru through his eyes! Our Galapagos guide Pablo was also very knowledgeable.

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"There were so many wonderful things so see. We loved every day of this trip.… read more

"There were so many wonderful things so see. We loved every day of this trip. Our Peru guide, Salvador, was outstanding, and so very kind. It was great to see Peru through his eyes! Our Galapagos guide Pablo was also very knowledgeable. read less

5 Stars (67 reviews)

D Donna | February 2024

Ecuador the Galapagos Islands Adventure Tours

Explore more on our Galapagos Islands Tours and Ecuador Tour as you hike, bike, kayak, and dive across these stunning bio-diverse landscapes.

Even though the Galapagos Islands may be in one of the smallest countries in South America, they have a shockingly high diversity in landscapes, flora and fauna. Join a Galapagos Islands tour, and you'll explore from the depths of the Amazon rainforest to the magical cloud forests of Santa Cruz Island. Hike the Sierra Negra volcano for jaw-dropping views of the coastline, visit the giant tortoise breeding centre at the Charles Darwin Research Station, snorkel with sea lions at Kicker Rock and wander the world heritage listed capital city of Quito. With highly trained Galapagos Islands National Park naturalist guides, your Galapagos Islands adventure will be one to remember.

Galapagos Islands Adventure Tours

Galapagos Island Cruise vs. Galapagos Islands Tour

We've found the best way to experience the incredibly abundant wildlife – in the ocean, on land and in the skies – is by spending plenty of time on the water (kayaking, snorkelling or diving) and by exploring the archipelago's many islands on foot and by bike. What our visitors don't expect is how much they'll enjoy staying ashore each night to get to know the other residents of Darwin's famous outpost, especially our guides, who are its passionate guardians and storytellers. Did we mention a mild spring-like climate year-round and incredibly welcoming locals?

galapagos map

Where are the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are a unique and remote set of islands located around 800 kilometres (500 miles) off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. The area was declared a Marine Reserve in 1986, as it is home to so many unique species. There are 7 major oceanic currents that assemble in the Galapagos marine ecosystem, making it a mecca for a mixture of wildlife - 17% of Galapagos fish species are endemic to the islands.

galapagos best time to visit

Best Time to Visit the Galapagos Islands & Ecuador

Unlike most other wildlife destinations, the animals in the Galapagos Islands can be seen year-round, with few migratory species and no need to wander off in search of waterholes or food. Therefore, there’s no “wrong” time to visit Galapagos, simply different times of the year have different things to see and do.

The best time to visit the Galapagos Islands depends on what you want to do and see. The wet season from January to June ranges between 79°F and 86°F (26°C and 30°C). The weather and water temperature is warmer, and the sea is calmer, making it a perfect time for snorkelling or diving. Many visitors also find the dry season more pleasant for land excursions with abundant wildlife and optimal conditions for sea lions, iguanas, sharks, and whales. 

FAQs about visiting the Galapagos Islands

How many days do you need in the Galapagos?

We recommend a minimum of 5 days to visit the Galapagos Islands. Considering you need to fly in and out or take a 3-day boat journey, you will want to make the most of it! The Galapagos Islands occupy an area of 45,000 square kilometres over 21 islands (13 of those form the 'major islands'.)

Are the Galapagos safe to visit?

While the Galapagos & Ecuador are pretty safe places, we recommend taking the same precautions you would anywhere else - just to be on the safe side! Pickpockets occasionally operate in areas where visitors are found so we suggest you leave any valuables you don’t need with you in the hotel safe (e.g. passports and credit cards). A copy of your passport and any valuables you do need with you should be kept in a passport wallet under your clothes and a small amount of money in your pocket/purse. It’s also a good idea to take a taxi after dark rather than walk.

How long is the boat ride from Ecuador to Galapagos?

It takes 3 days to reach the Galapagos Islands via boat. That's why our tours fly from Quito. 

Where are the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are a unique and remote set of islands located around 800 kilometres (500 miles) off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. The area was declared a Marine Reserve in 1986, as it is home to so many unique species. There are 7 major oceanic currents that assemble in the Galapagos marine ecosystem, making it a mecca for a mixture of wildlife - 17% of Galapagos fish species are endemic to the islands.

How do you get around the Galapagos Islands?

Your transport will be a mixture of bus, plane, boat, bike and your very own two feet on our trips in the Galapagos. You'll spend most time on a boat in the Galapagos Islands as you make your way from island to island during the day. We have domestic flights included in our Galapagos Islands trips to shorten our travel times and to ensure you have the best experience possible. All your transport is included from the start of your trip and we'll drop you at the airport at the end. The details are all listed in the trip specific itineraries.

Where do you stay in the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos islands are located in a unique and remote part of the world, and to maintain an ecofriendly relationship with the environment, large modern hotels aren’t built. We prefer to stay in locally owned accommodation, which can be fairly rustic, to give you a better opportunity to meet the locals and gain a real understanding of life in the islands. We’re also lucky to be able to stay on land every night of the trip where as some operators aren’t permitted to do this.

Can I go diving and snorkelling in the Galapagos Islands?

Wetsuits are provided for diving and snorkeling – SCUBA is recommended for experienced divers only because of strong swells and currents. Snorkeling is equally as good. The diving option includes two dives (additional fee applies). Diving is “subject to conditions” for visibility and we have a qualified dive master on the trip.

Do I need a visa to visit the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador?

It is your responsibility stay up to date on the latest visa and entry requirements for your destination. Please use the CIBT entry tracker on our website as a guideline or visit the relevant immigration webpage for more information regarding this.

Do I need vaccinations to visit Ecuador and the Galapagos?

For the most up-to-date recommendations please check with your doctor or travel clinic, and always go with their recommendations, as these can often change. We strongly recommend that you see a doctor, preferably one with experience in travel medicine, at least 8 weeks before your trip starts to discuss appropriate vaccinations.

Can you help me find international flights to Ecuador?

Our preferred Travel Partner Fuzion Travel can assist with you with flights and other travel arrangements. Let them know your preferred travel plans, including any stopovers or extra nights’ accommodation, and they’ll put everything in place for you. They offer a total travel solution and five star service that you’ll want to tell your friends about!

What's included on your Galapagos trips?

Accommodation

In Ecuador mainland you'll stay in hotels and jungle lodges, and on the Galapagos Islands you'll stay on dry land, meaning you're free to walk around each evening and get to know the residents of these famous isles.

Transport

Your transport will be a mixture of bus, plane, boat, bike and your very own two feet on our trips in the Galapagos. You'll spend most time on a boat in the Galapagos Islands as you make your way from island to island during the day. We have domestic flights included in our Galapagos Islands trips to shorten our travel times and to ensure you have the best experience possible. All your transport is included from the start of your trip and we'll drop you at the airport at the end. The details are all listed in the trip specific itineraries.

Meals

All your meals are included as described in the itinerary except on your free days. We have found that people enjoy checking out what is on offer by themselves sometimes, so you can go and see what's out there! On every other day and especially after any long hikes, we've chosen places to eat that can cater for our hearty appetites, work well with our small groups (they know we are coming) and provide us with an authentic destination specific culinary experience. There are always options for you, so you can either be brave or choose something more familiar. On the hiking portion of our trips (such as on the Inca Trail) we work with an outstanding team of cooks who will amaze you with what they can produce on a campsite miles from the nearest town. You can be assured that on all our trips we will make sure you are very well fed.

Trip leaders

Our trips are all led by an experienced Trip Leader. Our Trip Leaders are very proud to work with Active Adventures and often lead our trips for many years, for which we are very lucky and very grateful as it means we're able to consistently offer a fantastic level of service. They work closely with our local specialist guides to provide you with a seamless, fun, exciting and memorable trip. They will happily share with you as much or as little as you want to know about the history, culture, social aspects and lifestyle of the country you are visiting. In the Galapagos Islands you will be accompanied by a specialist Nature Guide, qualified to provide you with plenty of information about the species that make their home on the islands.

What kind of clothing should I be packing?

Once you've booked your trip, you'll have access to a gear list in your portal on exactly what to bring along. The gear list is carefully thought out to provide you with everything you need to be warm and happy, or cool and relaxed, whatever the weather! So it is best to bring everything we recommend along, if you don't bring everything you need, we can't guarantee your comfort.

Do I need hiking boots or are hiking sneakers okay?

If you have good ankles that will be able to cope pretty well with varied terrain, then good hiking shoes or sneakers should be fine, but if not then hiking boots will give you better support.

What is the food like in the Galapagos?

Ecuadorian base ingredients are usually combinations of chicken, fish, shrimp, corn, potato, quinoa, rice and seasonal fruit. If you’re vegetarian or vegan your options may be more limited. Vegetarians should ask for un plato vegetarian (a vegetarian dish). Vegan choices may be limited though we’ll do our best to help find things you may like.

What if I need a special diet?

We are accustomed to catering to the following special diets:

  • vegan (no meat or animal products)
  • vegetarian (no meat products)
  • fishatarian (vegetarian, and eat fish)
  • no red meat (eat chicken & fish)
  • gluten intolerant (no wheat, rye, barley or oats)
  • lactose intolerant (no dairy products)

You will get the opportunity to specify your particular requirements when you fill in our pre-trip questionnaire. If you have any other dietary requirements please let us know well in advance, via email or the online questionnaire.

What is the currency in Ecuador/Galapagos?

The currency of Ecuador is the US dollar (USD)

How much spending money should I bring and where do I get local currency?

Your trip fare includes all transportation, guiding, meals and activities (except any optional activities). We recommend bringing around US$100-200 with you, and have the option to withdraw more if required. 

ATMs are a convenient way of getting cash in Ecuador. In cities they are readily available but in smaller towns they may occasionally be out of order. 

Credit cards can be a great back up in Ecuador in larger establishments, but may not be accepted in smaller places. Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted, whereas AMEX is less readily accepted. 

What altitude will we be at in the Galapagos?

Quito is located at 2,850m (9,350 feet) and the highest elevation reached in the Galapagos is 1,000m (3,300 feet). If you’re concerned about the altitude on your arrival into Quito, chat to your doctor about a Diamox prescription or consider taking alternative treatments of ginkgo or Oxyshot/Oxishot.

What language do they speak in Galapagos?

Spanish is the main language of Ecuador with English being spoken in some hotels, airports and tourist areas but not everywhere. Your Active Adventures South America trip leader will be there to translate for you in most scenarios though it’s worth learning a few basic Spanish phrases before hand!

What time zone is Ecuador and the Galapagos in?

The Galapagos & Ecuador are in the Peru/Ecuador Standard Time. It is -5 hours behind of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT).

What type of plugs and voltage do you use in the Galapagos & Ecuador?

Ecuador operates on a 110V AC system and uses the same type of plug as the USA (two vertical prongs side by side)

Will I have access to internet/WiFi?

WiFi is available almost everywhere in cities and easy enough to find in most towns/villages so you can rely on having regular access during your trip. If you have data roaming switched on, then you'll be able to use the internet on your smartphone, but beware of the fees! WiFi is available at some of the accommodations that you'll be staying at, usually for a small cost so check this out at each location when you arrive, though it may be sporadic.

What is the weather like in the Galapagos?

There are two main weather seasons in Ecuador – the rainy season and the dry season - but these vary depending on your region, as the unique geography means the weather can be very localized, and the temperature will change with your elevation. There are four main geographical areas of Ecuador as follows.
Galapagos: The islands have two distinct seasons. The warm/wet season from January to June, where there can be strong but short periods of rain, but it’s generally sunny and warm. The cool/dry season which lasts from July to December when water temperatures can be chillier and a misty precipitation known as garúa surrounds the highlands. From July to October the seas can be a little rougher, so if you’re prone to sea sickness bring some ginger tablets or something similar.
Highlands/Quito: The climate here is often described as one of ‘perpetual spring’, with warm days and chilly nights and little variation of temperature around the year. June to September is the dry season here, with the wetter months being December to March. Higher altitudes mean average temperatures are very cool, especially at night. Rain can happen in any season, so quality rain gear is essential.

What is El Niño?

Every three to seven years, for a period of anything from 6-18 months, the normal climatic pattern is dramatically disrupted. There is no 'sea of confusion' about temperature zones when El Niño swells into Galapagos waters. The sea becomes uniformly tropical, which for most creatures reliant on phytoplankton-rich oceans is a catastrophe of dire proportions. The cool Cromwell and Humboldt currents that nourish life vanish, replaced by warm, clear waters that are almost entirely devoid of phytoplankton. Starvation hits whole populations, often whole species, with astonishing mortalities. In the last 40 years there have been 5 big El Niño events in the Galapagos, the last one in 1997-8.

What books could I read to learn more about Galapagos?

Here’s our list of recommended books to read before your trip with us and also great books to bring with you!

  • 'Charles Darwin Slept here' by John Woram - The book focuses on the human history of the Galapagos Islands, all the way from a to z.
  • 'Birds, Mammals, and Reptiles of the Galapagos Islands: An Identification Guide' by Andy Swash - Simple, easy to use pocket field guide with excellent photos for identifying species throughout the archipelago. Encompasses all the birds, mammals and reptiles that a visitor might encounter.
  • 'The Galapagos: A Natural History' by Henry Nicholls - Great book to read prior to visiting the Galapagos. Provides general and useful information regarding the history, geology, fauna, flora and conservation of the islands
  • 'Volcanic Galapagos Volcanico' by Theofilos Toulkeridis - The true rock star! Animals aside, Galapagos is a wonderland for geologists. Theo makes geology (with a focus on vulcanology) fun and easy to comprehend. Colorful images and plenty of photos, this book explains the unique geology of every island.
  • 'The Beak of the Finch' by Jonathon Weiner - while the book focuses on the field studies done by the Grants (Peter and Rosemary Grant), Weiner updates the history of the idea of evolution, examining it from its inception with Darwin all the way to the modern-day DNA era The book focuses on the meticulous study of over 20 generations of finches by the grants.
  • 'Flowering Plants of the Galapagos' by Conley K. McMullen - Botany of the Galapagos made simple. This is a great guide of the Galapagos flora, covering endemic, native and exotic plants with a detailed explanation of each species. Conveniently gives a list of plants likely to be seen at popular tourist sites. The introductory bit not only assists readers in knowing where to find specific plants but also provides insight about the ecology of the plants. Beautiful photos accompany the text as well
  • 'Reef Fish Identification: Galapagos' by Paul Humann - The best companion guide for snorkellers (keep in mind that non-snorkellers can use our glass-bottom boat) that are looking to marvel at the fascinating underwater creatures of the Galapagos. As an added bonus, the book also details the ranges and depths at which the fish are likely to be found. Definitely a must-have for all those willing to check out the underwater life of the Galapagos.

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