Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure

  • 8 - 10 Days

    All Prices:

    • 8 Days - USD $5999
    • 10 Days - USD $5999
  • 14 People Max

    5 - 14 guests

  • Activity Level 3
    • Activity Level 3

      Earn Your Lunch

      I stay active on vacation and love the feeling of relaxing after a busy day on the go. I season my trips with a little fresh exercise.

    Read more about the Active Range

  • Trip Start: Quito
  • Trip End: Quito
Galapagos Land and Sea Adventure

Explore from island to island on our Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure.

Hike, cycle, snorkel and swim in the most incredible locations you can imagine on our 10-day Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure. Forget spending your entire trip on a boat and missing out on the incredible culture and wildlife of the different islands. By joining this land-based tour, you'll cruise between a multitude of stunning islands in our comfortable chartered boat, while staying on dry land each night. Starting with a short flight to San Cristobal Island, highlights of this incredible trip include snorkeling with turtles, rays and tame reef sharks at Kicker Rock, kayaking in the beautifully calm Isabela Bay and hiking up Sierra Negra volcano to witness one of the largest active calderas in the world. You'll get up close to some of the most intriguing and docile wildlife on the planet, with visits to tortoise breeding grounds and iguana colonies and even sharing the beach with curious sea lions. We explore amazing lava tunnels, cycle through local townships and learn the mysterious history of Floreana Island, all onboard our Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure.

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure ~ Itinerary

Trip Start: Quito Trip End: Quito
  • Day 1Arrive in Quito

  • Day 2Fly to the Galapagos, cycle San Cristobal highlands

  • Day 3Snorkel with sea lions, turtles and sharks at Kicker Rock

  • Day 4Snorkel and hike Floreana Island

  • Day 5Journey to Isabela, Kayak Isabela Bay, Walk and Snorkel Tintoreras

  • Day 6Hike Sierra Negra Volcano, Volcan Chico lava fields

  • Day 7Free morning or snorkel Los Teneles, Wetlands Walk to Breeding Center

  • Day 8Hike Santa Cruz highlands and Tortuga Bay, visit giant tortoises

  • Day 9Visit Los Gemelos, return to Quito

  • Day 10Quito, depart to home

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Quito

    Your trip begins in Ecuador’s capital city, Quito. If you’re flying in early today, you’ll have a chance to journey to the city from the airport (or your hotel) to explore the beautiful town squares, quaint cafés and colonial architecture. Quito sits in a beautiful valley surrounded by towering volcanoes just 22 kilometers (14 miles) from the equator, giving it a mild, spring-like climate year-round. In the evening, you’ll meet your trip leader and the rest of your group back at the joining hotel, for a full briefing and our first dinner together.

    Hotel EB, Quito (Dinner)

  • Day 2

    Fly to the Galapagos, cycle San Cristobal highlands

    This morning we’ll take a short flight to San Cristobal, the easternmost island of the Galapagos Islands chain and home of the provincial capital, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. After lunch, we’ll head to the town of La Soledad to bike down through the lush highland cloud forest that blankets the top of the island. With stunning views of the coast, we’ll ride to La Loberia, a beach that is home to a large sea lion colony and nursery. This evening, we’ll dine on local produce and fresh fish.

    Casa Blanca or Blue Marlin or similar, San Cristobal (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Biking: 14.5 kilometers (9 miles), 2 hours, flat (vehicle supported)

  • Day 3

    Snorkel with sea lions, turtles and sharks at Kicker Rock

    Today we’ll cruise to Kicker Rock off the coast of San Cristobal, where we’ll don wet suits, snorkels, and masks (and tanks for the divers – diving option extra fees apply) and explore around the remains of an underwater volcano with a rock face rising 150 meters (500 feet) above the surface of the water. Your trip leader will give you a full briefing and then we’ll take to the water to explore the walls of the volcano. There will be chances to see beautiful tropical fish, turtles and sharks as they skirt the edges of Kicker Rock! Afterwards, we’ll visit a picturesque bay to have lunch and a rest before returning to port. Then it’s off to the interpretation center to learn a little about the history and biology of the islands. Later there will be an optional hike to Frigate Hill Lookout to see the acrobatics of the local frigate birds as they dart around the cliff tops stealing the catch from other birds.

    Casa Blanca or Blue Marlin or similar, San Cristobal (Breakfast, Lunch)

    Diving/Snorkeling: Kicker Rock: 1 or 2 snorkels, 1.5 hours total
    Diving/Snorkeling: Kicker Rock: 2 dives, 30 - 45 minutes each
    Notes: Optional Kicker Rock diving experience (additional cost applies): You can opt to swap the snorkel for a dive if you wish. This option must be selected at the time of booking.

  • Day 4

    Snorkel and hike Floreana Island

    After an early breakfast, our boat will take us away from San Cristobal Island towards the magnificent Floreana Island. Floreana is the sixth largest island in the Galapagos chain and one of the least inhabited (by humans at least!). With a population of around 120, this place has a pretty relaxed atmosphere. On the way, we’re often visited by friendly dolphins, so keep an eye out! And later, we’ll hike into the highlands of Floreana, where we’ll learn about the mysterious history of the islands as we visit the pirate caves and the area where the first inhabitants once lived. Then it’s back down to our accommodation in the tiny port of Puerto Velasco Ibarra – a fantastic hideaway lodge with incredible sea views and a great sunset!

    Hotel Wittmer or similar, Floreana Island (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 1.8 kilometers (1.1 miles), 1 - 2 hours, elevation +/- 100 meters (328 feet)
    Cruise: Boat to Floeana Island: 2 - 3 hours
    Diving/Snorkeling: Snorkel Floreana Island: 30 mins

  • Day 5

    Journey to Isabela, Kayak Isabela Bay, Walk and Snorkel Tintoreras

    This morning we’ll head to Isabela Island, the largest of all the islands in the Galapagos archipelago. we’ll start with an early morning kayak in the calm waters of Isabela Bay. Here we’ll have the chance to see some of the Island’s most amazing wildlife up close. Marine iguanas bask in the sun, blue-footed boobies sit in pairs on the rock tops, and Sally Lightfoot crabs scurry out of our way along the water’s edge. In the clear waters below us, rays gracefully swim by and turtles pop up for a breath of air. After lunch, we’ll hop out for a short walk at Tintoreras or Shark Alley, an isolated islet and popular iguana-nesting site that’s home to hundreds of marine iguanas. Afterward, you can test the waters for a snorkel in a calm inlet that’s home to a variety of colorful fish and green sea turtles who like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom.

    Hotel Albemarle or similar, Isabela Island (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Kayaking: 1 hour
    Cruise: Boat to Isabela Island: 2-3 hours

  • Day 6

    Hike Sierra Negra Volcano, Volcan Chico lava fields

    Our hike today will take us to the summit of Sierra Negra volcano. See the lowland vegetation change before your eyes as we ascend through a lunar-like landscape on our way to the top. It’s a challenging hike to the top of the volcano, and the views across the seven-mile wide crater and surrounding coastline are well worth the climb! This is one of the largest volcanic calderas in the world, and one of the most active. As we hike, we might be lucky enough to see Galapagos hawks, short-eared owls, finches and fly-catchers that inhabit this region. We’ll continue to traverse the vast lava fields of Volcan Chico en route for a lookout that boasts breathtaking views reaching to the north of Isabela. After enjoying a hearty sense of accomplishment, we’ll make our way back to town late afternoon for some free time to curl up with a book or venture down to the water for a relaxing swim before dinner.

    Hotel Albemarle or similar, Isabela Island (Breakfast, Lunch)

    Hiking: 16 kilometers (10 miles), 4 - 6 hours, elevation +/- 130 meters (426 feet)

  • Day 7

    Free morning or snorkel Los Teneles, Wetlands Walk to Breeding Center

    This is our last day on Isabela Island, and we get to choose how to spend our morning; relax and explore the beach or take the optional snorkel tour to Los Tuneles. After lunch, we’ll take a short walk to a nearby wetland home to pink flamingos and pintail ducks. This mangrove-lined path will lead us to Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center where we’ll meet these majestic prehistoric creatures in all stages of development. The center has almost a thousand giant tortoises training for life on their own!

    Hotel Albemarle or similar, Isabela Island (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Notes: Optional: Snorkel "the tunnels" (extra fees apply): If you think sleeping sharks, seahorses, sea turtles, and strange lava tunnel formations sound intriguing then you’re going to need your mask, snorkel, and flippers, because you get all that and more at Los Tuneles. Also called Cabo Rosa, this area is about one hour from town was created when lava flows reached the ocean, forming tunnels, arches, and sheltered bays perfect for snorkeling. We’ll take a boat ride to the tunnels, where you’ll see an intricate network of arches and islets all formed from past lava eruptions. There are a few spots to walk on the rocks, though the main activity is snorkeling to explore the water channels, where you’ll see sleeping reef sharks, hungry sea turtles, colorful starfish, and tiny seahorses! In terms of biodiversity, this is one of the very best spots in the Galapagos Islands. This option must be selected at the time of booking only.

  • Day 8

    Hike Santa Cruz highlands and Tortuga Bay, visit giant tortoises

    We’ll depart Isabela Island early this morning bound for Santa Cruz Island, where we’ll hike into the amazing cloud forest highlands. Once there, we’ll have our only chance to see giant tortoises in their natural environment, along with intriguing birdlife like the vermillion flycatcher, and we’ll take a look inside the lava tunnels scattered throughout the highlands. These tunnels were formed by molten lava flowing beneath the surface, which left behind large tube-like caves, some almost a mile long! This afternoon we’ll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the breeding programs that are saving vulnerable species of tortoises and land iguanas. Also, there will be a chance to see different types of carapaces that help differentiate the tortoise species.

    Hotel Solymar or similar, Santa Cruz Island (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

    Hiking: 2 kilometers (1.2 miles), 1 - 2 hours, flat
    Cruise: Boat to Santa Cruz Island: 2 hours

  • Day 9

    Visit Los Gemelos, return to Quito

    This morning we’ll visit Los Gemelos on the Island; twin craters that are sinkholes created when the volcanic roof of empty magma chambers collapsed from tectonic shifts and erosion over time. This area has a very different climate from other parts of the island and is surrounded by scalesia (scalesia pedunculata) forests, or “broccoli trees”. It is also the habitat for bromeliads, orchids, mosses, lichens and many birds such as the 8 species of Charles Darwin finches. Afterward, we’ll take a short flight back to Quito on the mainland. This evening, we’ll share our final celebratory dinner together in Ecuador.

    Hotel EB, Quito (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

  • Day 10

    Quito, depart to home

    Today is the last day of your Galapagos trip. We’ll make sure you return home relaxed and refreshed from all the great activities, fine food and friendly people you will have met while traveling with us in the Galapagos Islands.

    No Accommodation (Breakfast)

Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure Departure Dates

  • Upcoming
  • 3 months
  • 6 months
  • 1 year
USD $5999/per adult
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Interactive Trip Map: Click on the map icons to read details for each day

What Our Guests Say About the Ultimate Galapagos Islands Adventure

view all

- 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

Ultimate Patagonia & Chile Adventure - April 2022

Wonderful Patagonia

"Although initially disappointed that the border with Argentina remained closed, the Torres del Paine hiking… read more

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

4 Stars (1175 reviews)

Nick, United Kingdom

Ultimate Patagonia & Chile Adventure - April 2022

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

5 Stars (1175 reviews)

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

"Well organised trip read less

5 Stars (863 reviews)

Adrian, New Zealand

Ultimate Patagonia & Chile Adventure - April 2022

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

Ecuador Volcano and Jungle Adventure - April 2022

Tapir with Alberto

"This was an excellent way to see more of mainland Ecuador. The scenery was… read more

"This was an excellent way to see more of mainland Ecuador. The scenery was breathtaking with waterfalls, rushing river and majestic mountains. Got to sample local cuisine with I enjoyed very much. read less

5 Stars (294 reviews)

Sandy, United States

- April 2022

Takahe trip 27 Mar-31 Mar 22

"This was a trip down memory lane for me revisiting old haunts & visiting new… read more

"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

- April 2022

Amazing trip

"We loved our Active Adventures trip. The guides were amazing, super organised and great company. read more

"We loved our Active Adventures trip. The guides were amazing, super organised and great company. read less

5 Stars (64 reviews)

Kate, New Zealand

Active Adventure Assurance

Secure Your Spot Now, Pay Later

We offer booking assurance which allows you to secure your spot with a deposit now and pay the rest later. Plus, if your plans change or you can’t travel, you can transfer your booking or request a refund on any additional funds paid (less deposit) up to 90 days from your original trip start date.  

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Useful Info

Where does the trip start?

If you arrive on the first day of the trip, you’ll be free to check into Hotel EB near the airport and explore Quito. You’ll meet your trip leader and the rest of your group in the lobby of the Hotel EB at 6.30pm. You are welcome to stay at any hotel in Quito if you arrive before the first day, though you must make your own way to Hotel EB at the pre-designated time.

Where does the trip end?

Your trip ends after breakfast and we can drop you off at the Quito Airport (UIO) in time for flights departing any time. If you need to book your departing flight for earlier you can fly out from Quito anytime after 8pm the night prior.

What flights would you recommend?

Arrival: We recommend arriving in Quito (UIO) by 12pm.  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, you can depart any time.

Tell me about the group leaders?

We work in partnership with a local operator in the Galapagos Islands - Galakiwi. Depending on the size of your Active Adventures South America group, the local operator may have other clients joining the group for the island section of your ‘Tortuga’ trip.
While in the Galapagos you’ll be accompanied by your experienced Trip leader, who’s there to keep you informed about the Galapagos and make sure that everything runs smoothly; a qualified naturalist guide, who will provide additional local knowledge of the flora and fauna; and your local boat Captain and his crew!

How do rooming arrangements work?

Trip prices are based on shared arrangements (typically two guests per room), unless otherwise stated. For solo travellers, we’ll pair you with another person of the same gender to share rooms and if there’s no one suitable to share with, there’s no forced single supplement. However, if you specifically request your own rooms, you can opt to pay the single supplement. Solo travellers who book within 90 days of departure, where there are no other solo travellers willing to share, will be required to pay the single supplement. 

For Family Vacation bookings, families consisting of four guests traveling with children aged 17 and under will be automatically assigned one shared room. However, the following alternative rooming allocations are available:

  • Families consisting of four guests with all children aged 13 and above are welcome to opt for additional rooms as per advertised double occupancy adult rates.
  • Families consisting of four guests with at least one child aged 12 and under are automatically assigned a shared room. However, families can opt to pay the adult rates for all guests in their family to have an additional room.
  • The same principles apply for families consisting of more than four guests.

Rooming preferences are subject to availability and must be communicated in writing at time of booking. Automatic assignments as per this policy will be applied in the absence of any specification provided by guests. Any request for additional rooms during trips will be at guests’ own expense and subject to rates made available by the accommodation provider at the time. All minors (guests aged 17 and under) must be accompanied by at least one adult.

How fit do I need to be for this trip?

As an Activity Level 1-2 trip you’ll need a reasonable level of fitness. While you don’t have to be extremely fit, you should be in the habit of doing regular aerobic exercise. With a little preparation before your trip begins, you’ll enjoy the active and outdoor nature of your trip all the more.

Please head to our Fitness Guide for great tips on how to prepare along with a workout plan!

What accommodations do we stay at on this trip?

We stay in clean, comfortable and interesting accommodation and, unlike many other operators, we prefer to stay on the mainland rather than on live-aboard boats. This means you can interact more with the local communities and have better opportunities to hike and cycle as well as snorkel and dive. Many of the places we stay are off-the-beaten-track and truly spectacular.
For instance, Isabela Island isn’t known for its glamorous lodgings, but has stunning beaches, an abundance of wildlife, off-the-beaten-track flavour and rustic charm. While we do our best to stay at the hotels we’ve mentioned in the itinerary, some of the locations we stay in have limited accommodation options, so we may need use other equivalent hotels from time to time.

How much luggage can I bring on this trip?

You’ll need one piece of luggage plus a sturdy daypack (25-30 litres/2000 cubic inches) for your days out hiking. Your main piece of luggage can be anything from a backpack, to a sports bag with wheels or a suitcase.

You’ll be given a 70 litres (4,000 cubic inches) duffle bag with sizing’s of around 80 x 30 x 30 centimetres (31 x 12 x 12 inches) on the first night of the trip. This is if you want to pack light for your time on the Galapagos Islands to make the transfers via boat easier. Any excess luggage and gear will then be stored securely for you at your Quito hotel until you return there on the last night of the trip.

Please note: due to the remote nature of the Galapagos Islands, many products are either unavailable or considerably more expensive than home. If there are some things you simply can’t do without you might like to bring some from home (e.g. high-grade blister products and contact lens solution won’t be available).

How flexible can this trip be?

Galapagos National Park is a fragile wildlife refuge and as such is sometimes subject to sudden rule changes that minimise potential damage through tourism. We may occasionally need to make itinerary changes in response to this. The Galapagos Islands are in a developing part of the world and we can’t tell you that everything runs like clockwork there. What we can tell you is that we are experienced adventure travel leaders, and our Galapagos operator is a local specialist who knows how to keep things operating as smoothly as possible, even when conditions are challenging! Often, because of changing sea conditions, we may need to make small changes to our itinerary for your safety and comfort. If you bring flexibility, an open mind and a sense of humour, you’ll find your trip is everything that adventure should be.

How do we travel between the Galapagos Islands?

You’ll spend time journeying from island to island on board our boat, a 30 foot twin-decked launch with indoor and outdoor seating. We spend up to a few hours at a time on the boat, broken up by visits to smaller islands on a route chosen to make the most of each day’s ocean and weather conditions.

You’ll be able to enjoy the views and make unscheduled snorkelling stops to make the most of what’s out and about that day.

Tell me about the Optional activities on this trip?

While we do lots of snorkelling during the ‘Iguana’ trip, during our day at Kicker Rock you have the choice of the following two options:

Snorkelling the Galapagos
As much snorkelling as you like! You’ll be provided with 3mm short arm and leg wetsuits, mask, snorkel and fins.

Scuba Diving the Galapagos (extra fee applies)
Two dives including full dive briefings, a diver safety boat, 5mm full-length wetsuit, tank, BCD, regs, mask, snorkel and fins. Bring your diver certification card with you in order to dive! Regardless of whether you snorkel or scuba dive, if you have your own mask, snorkel and fins we recommend bringing them with you - we do lots of snorkelling during this trip and it’s always nicer to use your own! We provide 3mm wetsuits with short arms and legs for snorkellers and 5mm wetsuits with long arms and legs for scuba divers. Our wetsuit sizes are small to extra large – you’re welcome to bring your own if you would prefer. 

The surface temperature of the sea ranges from 18- 30ºC (65-85ºF) with February to April being the warmest months, and September to November being the coolest. The average is usually around 20ºC and you’ll be diving to a depth of 20 metres (65 feet) You’ll be provided with a wetsuit appropriate for your chosen activity and the conditions.

How experienced do I need to be to dive?

We only recommend the diving if you’ve done at least 10-15 dives and are a mid-level to advanced scuba diver. The diving in the Galapagos can be quite challenging, depending on the currents, so it’s only recommended if you’re a confident diver – if in doubt, please chat to us before making your selection.

If you’ve not previously experienced diving in open water, or it’s been two years or more since your last dive, then we highly recommend taking a refresher course prior to arriving too, to be better prepared.

Underwater visibility in the Galapagos is usually very good. You can often see from 15-25 metres (50-80 feet) ahead of you, sometimes up to 30 metres (100 feet) in most of the places. In some areas and in some seasons green waters are present, due to the richness of phytoplankton – this is normal.

You’ll probably dive in the Galápagos in medium to strong currents of between 1-4 knots/1-4 miles/2-6 kilometres per hour. In the Garúa season (from July to December) the Humboldt current coming from the southeast is present. In the warm season (from January to June) the Panamá current from the northeast arrives in the Galápagos.

The wildlife here is in such abundance and variety! Things that you might see where we go are: Tropical fish, Galapagos Shark, Batfish, Hammerhead Shark, Tagle and Goleen Rays, Moray Eels, Green Sea Turtles, Stingrays, Barracuda, Triggerfish, Boxfish, Frogfish and plenty more!

Is tipping expected in the Galapagos & Ecuador?

Most people do choose to tip their Active Adventures trip leaders/guides and we recommend USD$20 per day, per guest, per trip leader/guide, however less, more or not at all is also fine too. During your Active Adventures trip, your trip leader/guide will take care of all included restaurants and service tips for you. For other restaurants or services during your time in the Galapagos, 5-10% is a typical gratuity amount.

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