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Galapagos Land and Sea Adventure

Tortuga

4.54 out of 5 (from 1296 reviews)

  • 10 Days - From US$4999

Trip Introduction

The 'Tortuga' is a fantastic way to discover several of the Galapagos Islands, especially for landlubbers. In a relaxed and active manner, you’ll snorkel, dive, hike and cycle, and cruise between the multitude of stunning islands in our comfortable dive boat, the ‘Pacific’ while staying on dry land each night. Starting with a short flight to San Cristobal Island, highlights of this incredible trip include snorkelling with turtles, rays and tame reef sharks, kayaking in a beautiful calm bay and hiking up an island volcano with 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 inquisitive sea lions. We explore amazing lava tunnels, cycle through local townships and learn the mysterious history of Floreana Island.

Highlights

  • Meet giant tortoises and iguanas
  • Swim with turtles and rays at Kicker Rock
  • Snorkel with reef sharks at Floreana Island
  • Optional Galapagos diving
  • Cycle on San Cristobal Island
  • Hike Sierra Negra volcano and Santa Cruz Island
  • Explore lava tunnels
  • Visit pirate caves on Floreana Island
  • Kayak Isabela Island

What's included on our Tortuga trip?

  • All guiding services
    - You’ll have an experienced trip leader with you for the entire duration.
  • All accommodations
    - This is a land-hopping tour so you'll stay in charming hotels on each island.
  • All meals
    - Breakfast, lunch and dinner, except days three and six where you'll be free to eat dinner where you choose.
  • All activities
    - Hiking, kayaking, biking and snorkelling (diving add $250).
    - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre.
    - Charles Darwin Research Station.
  • All domestic transport
    - Airport transfers.
    - Domestic flights to and from the Galapagos Islands.
    - All boat transport.
Check Availability

Interactive Trip Map

Daily itinerary

Day 1—Arrive 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 kilometres (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. You’re not likely to see this many sea lions in one place anywhere else in the world! This evening, we’ll dine on local produce and fresh fish.
Casa Blanca or Blue Marlin, San Cristobal (All meals)

Day 3—Snorkel with sea lions, turtles and sharks at Isla Lobos and Kicker Rock

Today we’ll cruise to Isla Lobos off the coast of San Cristobal, where we’ll don wet suits, snorkels and masks (and tanks for the divers – diving option add US$250) to explore the underwater world for a close up view of sea lions as they fish for their dinner! Isla Lobos is home to some of the main sea lion, frigate bird and blue-footed booby colonies in the area.

After a swim with the sea lions, we’ll get back on our boat and head for Kicker Rock, where we’ll either snorkel or take two dives around the remains of an underwater volcano with a rock face rising 150 metres (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 centre 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, San Cristobal (Breakfast, Lunch)

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, Floreana Island (All meals)

Day 5—Journey to Isabela, snorkel Tintoreras

This morning we’ll head to Isabela Island, the largest of all the islands in the Galapagos archipelago. After lunch, we’ll head out on small local boats to check out the crystal-clear waters of the Tintoreras rock outcrop. Keep an eye out for rays, marine iguanas, reef sharks, herons and the Galapagos penguin – the only penguins found close to the equator. Later, we’ll don our snorkels and masks again to explore the clear waters of this great snorkelling area. This calm and shallow body of water is home to sea turtles, and a multitude of colourful fish species.
Hotel Albemarle, Isabela Island (All meals)

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.

Optional: Snorkel "the tunnels" (add US$150)

An alternative option today is to get back in the water, to snorkel one of the gems of the Galapagos archipelago; Los Tuneles. 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 snorkelling to explore the water channels, where you’ll see sleeping reef sharks, hungry sea turtles, colourful starfish and tiny seahorses! In terms of biodiversity, this is one of the very best spots in the Galapagos Islands.

When we get back from our hike, we’ll head to Beto’s beachside bar to toast the setting sun over the Pacific.
Hotel Albemarle, Isabela Island (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7—Kayak Isabela Bay, visit giant tortoise breeding centre

This morning 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. Later, we’ll head to a Galapagos giant tortoise breeding centre where we can meet these majestic prehistoric creatures. You’ll have this afternoon to find a hammock on the beach and relax, or explore on your own.
Hotel Albemarle, Isabela Island (All meals)

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 hike to Tortuga Bay, one of the most stunning beaches in the Galapagos, where we’ll have the option of trying our hand at body-boarding or surfing, or just lounging around on the incredibly fine sand. Tortuga Bay is accessible only by foot and is home to hundreds of prehistoric-looking marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and pelicans.
Posada del Mar Hotel, Santa Cruz Island (All meals)

Day 9 —Charles Darwin Research Station, return to Quito

This morning, 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 carapace that help differentiate the tortoise species. Afterwards, 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 (All meals)

Day 10—Quito, depart for home

Today is the last day of your ‘Tortuga’ 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 travelling with us in the Galapagos Islands. See the itinerary for the ‘Tapir & Tortuga’ trip if you want to take a  few more days to see more of mainland Ecuador as well.
(Breakfast)


Activity Key - zoom in to see activity detail

Hiking Biking Kayaking Boating Flying

Itinerary

Day 1 — Arrive 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 kilometres (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. You’re not likely to see this many sea lions in one place anywhere else in the world! This evening, we’ll dine on local produce and fresh fish.
Casa Blanca or Blue Marlin, San Cristobal (All meals)

Day 3 — Snorkel with sea lions, turtles and sharks at Isla Lobos and Kicker Rock

Today we’ll cruise to Isla Lobos off the coast of San Cristobal, where we’ll don wet suits, snorkels and masks (and tanks for the divers – diving option add US$250) to explore the underwater world for a close up view of sea lions as they fish for their dinner! Isla Lobos is home to some of the main sea lion, frigate bird and blue-footed booby colonies in the area.

After a swim with the sea lions, we’ll get back on our boat and head for Kicker Rock, where we’ll either snorkel or take two dives around the remains of an underwater volcano with a rock face rising 150 metres (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 centre 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, San Cristobal (Breakfast, Lunch)

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, Floreana Island (All meals)

Day 5 — Journey to Isabela, snorkel Tintoreras

This morning we’ll head to Isabela Island, the largest of all the islands in the Galapagos archipelago. After lunch, we’ll head out on small local boats to check out the crystal-clear waters of the Tintoreras rock outcrop. Keep an eye out for rays, marine iguanas, reef sharks, herons and the Galapagos penguin – the only penguins found close to the equator. Later, we’ll don our snorkels and masks again to explore the clear waters of this great snorkelling area. This calm and shallow body of water is home to sea turtles, and a multitude of colourful fish species.
Hotel Albemarle, Isabela Island (All meals)

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.

Optional: Snorkel "the tunnels" (add US$150)

An alternative option today is to get back in the water, to snorkel one of the gems of the Galapagos archipelago; Los Tuneles. 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 snorkelling to explore the water channels, where you’ll see sleeping reef sharks, hungry sea turtles, colourful starfish and tiny seahorses! In terms of biodiversity, this is one of the very best spots in the Galapagos Islands.

When we get back from our hike, we’ll head to Beto’s beachside bar to toast the setting sun over the Pacific.
Hotel Albemarle, Isabela Island (Breakfast, Lunch)

Day 7 — Kayak Isabela Bay, visit giant tortoise breeding centre

This morning 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. Later, we’ll head to a Galapagos giant tortoise breeding centre where we can meet these majestic prehistoric creatures. You’ll have this afternoon to find a hammock on the beach and relax, or explore on your own.
Hotel Albemarle, Isabela Island (All meals)

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 hike to Tortuga Bay, one of the most stunning beaches in the Galapagos, where we’ll have the option of trying our hand at body-boarding or surfing, or just lounging around on the incredibly fine sand. Tortuga Bay is accessible only by foot and is home to hundreds of prehistoric-looking marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and pelicans.
Posada del Mar Hotel, Santa Cruz Island (All meals)

Day 9 — Charles Darwin Research Station, return to Quito

This morning, 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 carapace that help differentiate the tortoise species. Afterwards, 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 (All meals)

Day 10 — Quito, depart for home

Today is the last day of your ‘Tortuga’ 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 travelling with us in the Galapagos Islands. See the itinerary for the ‘Tapir & Tortuga’ trip if you want to take a  few more days to see more of mainland Ecuador as well.
(Breakfast)

Dates

Trip Date Price Status  
Jul 20, 2018 – Jul 29, 2018 US$4999 Almost full Check Availability
Jul 27, 2018 – Aug 05, 2018 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
Aug 24, 2018 – Sep 02, 2018 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Sep 21, 2018 – Sep 30, 2018 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
Oct 05, 2018 – Oct 14, 2018 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
Oct 19, 2018 – Oct 28, 2018 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
Nov 02, 2018 – Nov 11, 2018 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
Nov 16, 2018 – Nov 25, 2018 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
Nov 30, 2018 – Dec 09, 2018 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
Dec 14, 2018 – Dec 23, 2018 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
Dec 21, 2018 – Dec 30, 2018 US$5299 Filling up Check Availability
Dec 24, 2018 – Jan 02, 2019 US$5299 Great Check Availability
Dec 28, 2018 – Jan 06, 2019 US$5299 Full Check Availability
2019
Jan 11, 2019 – Jan 20, 2019 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
Jan 25, 2019 – Feb 03, 2019 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
Feb 08, 2019 – Feb 17, 2019 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
Feb 22, 2019 – Mar 03, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Mar 08, 2019 – Mar 17, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Mar 22, 2019 – Mar 31, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Apr 05, 2019 – Apr 14, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Apr 19, 2019 – Apr 28, 2019 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
May 03, 2019 – May 12, 2019 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
May 17, 2019 – May 26, 2019 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
May 31, 2019 – Jun 09, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Jun 14, 2019 – Jun 23, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Jun 28, 2019 – Jul 07, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Jul 12, 2019 – Jul 21, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Jul 19, 2019 – Jul 28, 2019 US$4999 Filling up Check Availability
Jul 26, 2019 – Aug 04, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Aug 09, 2019 – Aug 18, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Aug 23, 2019 – Sep 01, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Sep 06, 2019 – Sep 15, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Sep 20, 2019 – Sep 29, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Oct 04, 2019 – Oct 13, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Oct 18, 2019 – Oct 27, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Nov 01, 2019 – Nov 10, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Nov 15, 2019 – Nov 24, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Nov 29, 2019 – Dec 08, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Dec 13, 2019 – Dec 22, 2019 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Dec 20, 2019 – Dec 29, 2019 US$5299 Great Check Availability
Dec 27, 2019 – Jan 05, 2020 US$5299 Filling up Check Availability
2020
Jan 10, 2020 – Jan 19, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Jan 24, 2020 – Feb 02, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Feb 07, 2020 – Feb 16, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Feb 21, 2020 – Mar 01, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Mar 06, 2020 – Mar 15, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Mar 20, 2020 – Mar 29, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Apr 03, 2020 – Apr 12, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Apr 17, 2020 – Apr 26, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability
May 01, 2020 – May 10, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability
May 15, 2020 – May 24, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability
May 29, 2020 – Jun 07, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Jun 12, 2020 – Jun 21, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability
Jun 26, 2020 – Jul 05, 2020 US$4999 Great Check Availability

Useful Info

No Forced Single Supplement:

Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement! Having said that, if you specifically request your own room, you can opt to pay the additional single supplement fee.

Recommended flights:

You can fly into Quito airport (UIO) any time on the first day of your trip, though we recommend you arrive before noon. On the last day of your trip you can fly out at any time. If you want to arrive earlier or leave later, we’re happy to help you out with extra hotel accommodation.

Trip start:

If you arrive on the first day of the trip, you’ll be free to check into your hotel near the airport and then explore Quito. You’ll meet your trip leader and the rest of your group in the lobby of the Hotel EB at 6.30pm.

Trip end:

You’ll wake up in Quito on the last day of your trip, so you can book a flight home departing any time that day – we’ll be happy to drop you off at the airport any time. If you need to book your departing flight for earlier you can fly out from Quito anytime after 7pm on Saturday evening. If you want to arrive prior to your trip starting, or leave later, we're happy to help out with extra hotel accommodation bookings too.

Accommodation:

The 'Tortuga' is an active adventure trip around the Galapagos Islands, not a tour of the fanciest hotels! 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.

Flexibility:

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.

Diving in the Galapagos:

Kicker Rock is one of the most interesting dive spots in the world. Our dive guides are all highly qualified with years of dive experience. If you’re a diver and would like to dive on the trip, there is an additional fee of US$250 for two dives plus a safety dive, including all the necessary gear. Please note: due to strong currents, the Galapagos is not a destination for novice divers. We recommend you have logged at least 10 dives before diving here and you must bring your PADI or SSI certification to dive.

Kayaking in the Galapagos:

The sea conditions in the Galapagos can be pretty varied, so we haven’t named a specific time for kayaking. If you’re keen to kayak, rest assured you will at some stage, when the conditions are right.

Fitness:

The ‘Tortuga’ is an active trip, and has options to suit a wide range of fitness levels and outdoor experience. If you keep reasonably active and like to give things a go, you’re likely to enjoy the trip much more.

Reviews

  • True Vacation

    “This was the best trip I have ever been on! I am a school teacher and have the luxury of summers off. Last summer I was sitting around without plans and thought, “I need to go on a trip!” I have not been on a big trip before because I was skeptical of traveling alone. I have few friends who share my passion for international travel and have the finances and circumstances to justify a vacation like this. The first decision I had to make was to decide where I wanted to go. Choosing the Galápagos was easy because my favorite animal is a tortoise! After going on the vacation, I have no complaints other than I wish I could have stayed there longer. Our local Galakiwi guide, Pepo, was so knowledgeable about the islands and I learned so much about the history, animals, plants, and culture of the Galapagos. I built incredible relationships with everyone on my trip that made me realize that as humans, we are never alone. There is always going to be someone just as adventurous, just as silly, just as goofy, just as nervous, just as shy, and just as crazy as you! I will definitely be going on another Active Adventures trip in the future. I felt very well taken care of and never had to worry or think about what I would eat or what activities were planned for the day. I have already recommended this company to all my friends and family. BEST VACATION EVER!”
    Julianna Strickland – Texas, United StatesJuly 2018
  • Amazing Trip

    “Amazing trip. Pepo was a fantastic guide with knowledge about history, geography etc of the islands. He could answer just about every question.”
    Sarah Brickles – California, United StatesJuly 2018
  • Tortoises, Turtles, Iguanas...What a Trip!

    “This is our 3rd trip with Active - previously we have travelled to Peru and New Zealand - and again LOVED it. From the moment we arrived in Quito to our last day there, we were treated as honorable guests participating in an amazing adventure in South America. Well done Active. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED to anyone who wants to hike, swim, kayak and most importantly see the beautiful fauna and flora in this relatively remote space of our planet - the Galapagos.”
    Roys Ellinas – Wisconsin, United StatesJune 2018
  • Amazing Galapagos!

    “This was our third trip with Active Adventures (we have also completed Active Trips in Peru and New Zealand), and like the others, this one was completely amazing!
    As usual, everything in the trip was well planned and executed.
    Our guide, Zambo, was knowledgeable, organized, and unfailingly optimistic, taking any bumps (rainy weather, our lack of snorkeling experience) absolutely in stride.
    The Galapagos Tortuga trip has a very nice variety of activities, including kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, biking, and visits to conservation areas, so you are never bored. Since this was a concern for me, I will add that I am 53 years old, exercise 30-60 min per day at home, and I made the trip without a problem – although if you want even more exercise, the opportunity is certainly there.
    This trip is particularly amazing because it stays on the islands and not on boats. This both supports the local people and helps you get to know the culture. No other way to do it, in my opinion!
    Another amazing active adventure!
    Libby Ellinas – Wisconsin, United StatesJune 2018
  • Wow!

    “We got to see everything you've always heard of in the Galapagos.”
    Ken Zeman – Washington, United StatesJune 2018
  • Interesting and unusual

    “I’ve been interested the Galápagos Islands since learning about them in school, so it was wonderful to finally see them and their fascinating creatures in real life. The first surprise was how many humans actually live full time there - 30,000 on the four inhabited islands. I had always envisioned the islands as having no human habitation, except maybe scientists! We were able to see many of the well-known animal inhabitants, both on land and underwater, including blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, sea iguanas, green sea turtles, rays, lots of fish, and, of course, the giant tortoises. Visiting the giant tortoise breeding centers was really interesting. The snorkeling was fun, albeit a little chilly out in the open water. Where we snorkeled in more protected water, it was warmer. The hotels we stayed in were wonderful - nearly all facing the water, with clean and comfortable rooms. The meals were excellent, and our only complaint was there being too much food at times! Because this is a land-based trip, we traveled by speed boat between destinations. We were lucky that the seas were fairly calm, because we heard it can get rough sometimes. Our guide, who went by the nickname Zambo, grew up in the islands and was excellent - attentive, helpful, and organized. This was our third Active Adventures trip, and as far as this one being “active”, it was less so than the others, which makes it suitable for a wider range of travelers.”
    Ann Zeman – Washington, United StatesJune 2018
  • Great Tortuga Trip

    “This trip operated like a well oiled machine. Very organized and well run. The highlight for me was the flora and fauna and the protections in place to make sure the environment thrives.”
    Astrid Green – Oregon, United StatesJune 2018
  • Great Place to visit

    “Each island brought a new day of discovery...they were all beautiful and each had its own highlights...Highly recommend.”
    Cindy Fowser – New Jersey, United StatesMay 2018
  • An Amazing Adventure

    “What a fabulous trip! Everything was so well-organized and all of the people involved were fabulous. We got the guide of the century having Pablo as our naturalist. Pablo managed to have a surprise for us each and every day. It was like he special-ordered all the best from weather to food to unusual plants and animals each day. We saw so many plants and animals that I'd never seen before. It was incredible to come across tortoises in the wild and this was the first time I'd seen flamingos in the wild and got to see them fly. That was spectacular. It was great to get to snorkel nearly every day. Swimming with the sea lions, tortoises, hammerheads, reef sharks was memorable. I loved seeing a bryde whale and the manta rays on one of our travel days on the boat as well as a bird feeding frenzy after our snorkel at Kicker Rock. All of the boat captains did a fabulous job maneuvering the boats for the best views and photos of the wildlife and scenery. The kayaking day at Isabela was one of our favorite days. What a gorgeous bay! I would have loved to have stayed on Isabela for one more day so that we could have gone on the Sierra Negra hike AND go snorkeling at Los Tuneles. We had to choose one or the other, but it would be great to do both (based on the pictures I saw). This is a terrific company and I will definitely recommend you to others. Thanks for a great experience.”
    Georganne Nuger – California, United StatesMay 2018
  • 10 Days in Paradise

    “The trip was wonderful and the group was very compatible. Zambo and Paulo did a great job showing us their beautiful part of the world. The wildlife and the food were outstanding and exceeded my very lofty expectations.”
    Anne Weitz – Idaho, United StatesMay 2018
  • What a Wonderful Experience!

    “Overall, the Tortuga trip exceeded our expectations. Our guides Zambo and Paulo were great, travel was easy, the hotels and food were excellent, and the wildlife viewing was better than I had hoped. I really like the "active" part of the Active Adventures tours.”
    Tom Weitz – Idaho, United StatesMay 2018
  • Delightful Galapagos

    “Fantastic trip...a sensory feast for the soul. Many unique experiences including snorkeling with iguanas and one afternoon we watched and giggled with amazement as a young seal and a young black tip reef shark played in this small pool in the lava rocks. WOW!”
    Steve Leslie – Colorado, United StatesMay 2018
  • A wonderful World! Galapagos is a Divine Treasure

    “I had a fabulous trip! Zambo and Paulo were great! You can't even describe it but suffice to say photos can't do this justice and there's magic in the wildlife. A treasure not to be missed!”
    Priscilla Merrill – New Hampshire, United StatesMay 2018
  • Annie's Tortuga Trip

    “Everyone at AA was genuinely keen on making our trip the best possible. The trip was well planned, yet flexible to meet the preferences of our small group (6 people). Our guide, ZAMBO, was ever cheery and a font of interesting information on everything from the animals to the geological formations, to the best dishes at local restaurants. It was a great bonding experience for my daughter and myself.”
    Annie Lannigan – Rhode Island, United StatesMarch 2018
  • Amazing Galapagos Islands

    “A great time, made especially so by the company of our truly excellent guide Pepo. Really enjoyed the variety and pace of each day. One place I am really glad to have had the privilege to have visited.”
    Tony Rowe – Nelson, New ZealandFebruary 2018
  • “Awesome trip. Zambo is one of the best guides we've ever had on a trip like this. Super knowledgeable, very patient, great with logistics, etc. And Sina was a wonderful addition. They make a perfect team & couple! ”
    Frank Genna – New Jersey, United StatesJanuary 2018
  • Everything We'd Hoped For!

    “The trip was everything we had hoped for! Pablo was awesome. Very knowledgeable. We wish the trip had been longer!”
    Leslie Choe – New Jersey, United StatesAugust 2017
  • Galapagos 2017

    “If the idea of snorkeling with sea lions, turtles, and penguins all on the same day, is your cup of tea, (and it is mine!) then this trip is for you. And that's only the tip of the iceberg! Sorry, no icebergs in Ecuador, but the water can be surprisingly cool because of ocean currents.
    The naturalists who accompany you throughout the trip are extremely good, and are passionate about conveying to you their love and knowledge of Galapagos. You experience 4 islands on this tour and if you do excursions on your own you can have even more. Each island offers a unique experience. While there are many ways to see Galapagos, liveaboard vs land based, the extra time afforded you by being land based will give you more memories to cherish. Doug Middlefield CT.”
    Doug Dischino – Connecticut, United StatesJune 2017
  • “Having never been to this part of the world this was a great way to travel, learn a great deal in a very short time, have a lot of fun, and not have to worry about any of the details.”
    Brenda Buchanan – Ontario, CanadaMay 2017
  • Incredible experience

    “We had an amazing time in the Galapagos!
    Everything was perfectly organized for us. All we had to do was show up - just as it said in the description of the tour.
    Our tour guide Zambo would always tell us well in advance what we would be doing on the next day, what we had to bring, what we should wear.
    The food was always organized for us; they would always ask us beforehand what we wanted to eat.
    Everywhere we went they were expecting us and everything went smoothly.
    Zambo was an amazing guide! He was extremely knowledgeable. He had an answer for everything and he was very patient with our kids. One could see that he enjoyed showing his home to us.
    The encounters with the animals were truly amazing. We saw blue footed boobies, frigate birds, hammerhead sharks, eagle rays, sting rays, penguins, hundreds of sea lions, sea iguanas, etc.
    The animals seemed at ease with the humans around them in some cases almost curious.”
    Pirko Hamer – Sai Kung, Hong KongApril 2017
  • Simply said: Excellent

    “We’ve booked our trip with Active Adventures from NZ but ended up with Galakiwi Adventures as the implementing party. A bit confusing at the beginning but it turned out quite well.
    Our trip through the Galapagos Islands started in San Cristobal, followed by Floreana, Isabela and ended in Santa Cruz.
    We booked an all-inclusive trip and it turned out to be a very good decision. In fact we realized only after a few days how convenient is was to have everything organized for you and how much time you can actually safe. Starting with swimming gear that is provided as part of the package. Transportation to the ferry, getting on & off, having the transportation ready when you arrive, all those organizational aspects are taken care off which makes travelling from island to island very easy and smooth. Then hotels are ready, check in & out done super fast, luggage’s pick up etc. all organized. Lunch and/or dinners arranged in advance to maximize the vacation time and reduce wasted time to a bare minimum. What else to say besides that the organization was simply said excellent!!!
    Then we had Zambo our tour guide, a fantastic & very knowledgeable person.
    Not only questions from adults were not a problem for him, our kids and the other families kids who were also part of the group constantly came up with all sorts of questions and somehow, Zambo always had an answer.
    All of this made it a great vacation; we enjoyed it a lot”
    Thomas Mueller – Sai Kung, Hong KongApril 2017
  • Great guiding

    “We had a great experience. Patricio made us feel like we were able to do all of the activities.”
    Wayne Phillips – British Columbia, CanadaApril 2017
  • “Everything ran absolutely as seamlessly as possible, Congrats to the Active Adventures team. The weather was perfect. Our guide, Pepo was terrific. He was attentive to all of our needs and safety, and fielded every question with depth of knowledge and intelligence. As a native of the Island he is sensitive and cares deeply about their well being and continuance. This showed through in all his words and actions. He displayed kindness and humor and was generally just a great traveling companion.

    I had read much before my trip and was not let down by what the Islands had to offer. The trip as a whole offered a quite perfect blend of activities, relaxation and unique new experiences. All the accommodations were at least just fine, a couple quite splendid. The food was delicious (fishatarian) and most bountiful.

    My only wish is that the airline scheduling involving arrival and then transfers from Quito to the Island worked out a little more smoothly. This is not a criticism of Active Adventures, but more of the airlines. So the bookend of the trip were not nearly the fun of the trip itself.”
    David Stromeyer – Texas, United StatesApril 2017
  • Galápagos December 2016

    “Overall this was a great vacation for our family. We loved the Galápagos. Edwardo, our guide for the week, was fantastic. He took care of everything and always made sure that we had what we needed. For me the highlight was snorkeling with a school of large hammerhead sharks just bellow.

    We loved all of the hotels we stayed in on the islands. They all had comfortable beds, electricity, hot showers and even air conditioning. The food was fresh and hot. We loved the homemade soups at every lunch and dinner and the fresh fish served in all of the local restaurants. ”
    Brian Blum – North Carolina, United StatesJanuary 2017
  • Great family time in Gallapagos

    “All went really well with the trip. Loved the Guide (Pepo). Completed nearly all of the itinerary, but not quite all. Good group of fellow travelers, though not all of them were expecting (or tolerant of) kids in the trip (8 and 14 yr old). Would definitely recommend the trip and the guide to anyone who was interested in a Gallapagos adventure.”
    Greg Lowry – Pennsylvania, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Great Trip, Very Informative, Always Moving

    “It was a great trip. Guide was fantastic, the wildlife and locations we saw would have never been the case without the guided trip. The transportation and logistics were so smooth, we never waited once.”
    Casey Clark – Illinois, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Tortuga

    “Pepo - best guide ever!”
    Thomas Vujovich – Minnesota, United StatesDecember 2016
  • Amazing galapagos

    “Thanks to Active Adventures and especially Jessica and her team for an amazing time in the Galapagos. Really enjoyed the diving, snorkeling and other activities on or near the sea, even during the travel between islands there was plenty to see and learn about; the diversity, adaption to the environment, and specialisation of the wildlife, including the people!, that live(d) on Galapagos (and mainland Ecuador) was so interesting.
    Fresh and largely locally sourced food was great! Liked the simplicity with less gizmos that often end up thrown away. Thought the people, especially Galapagos, were aware of the environment, recycling and less rubbish and wastage.
    Fascinating place! ”
    Vicki Farr – Bay of Plenty, New ZealandOctober 2016
  • “Great experience, a huge opportunity for nature lovers to familiarize themselves and get very close to Galapagos life. Tour leader Pablo Valladares makes the trip a lifetime experience. ”
    Marios Papandrikopoulos – , United Arab EmiratesJune 2016
  • Animal Kingdom

    “This really was a most enjoyable trip. Everybody who goes to the Galapagos expects to see lots of animals, and we were certainly not disappointed!
    We liked the range of activity and especially we liked the guide, Pepo. He is absolutely brilliant, so caring, kind and friendly, and his knowledge in encyclopaedic! If you get him as a guide, you will be very pleased!”
    Mike Hutt – Surrey, United KingdomApril 2016
  • Super Trip!

    “Our guide had a "super plan" and it made for a super trip! Great weather, good mix of people, small group size and good activity level each day made for an enjoyable way to see the Galápagos Islands.”
    Carol Murphy – Colorado, United StatesApril 2016
  • “Great trip, good group of people and a terrific guide.”
    Mike Welter – Washington, United StatesMarch 2016
  • Galapagos by land and sea

    “With Pablo as our guide, and a great group for conversation and fun, the Galapagos Islands were unique and beautiful. It would be nice to have a few more days in which there was more than one option for adventure. And our hotel on Santa Cruz was a poor substitute for the one listed for the tour. But staying on land gives you a chance to connect with the locals, and wander a little on your own in ways that would not be likely on a cruising tour. ”
    Bob Sornson – Michigan, United StatesMarch 2016
  • A Great Trip

    “Active Adventures tries to get it all in for you. Biking, hiking, snorkeling and kayaking. Really liked that it was a land trip. Our guide Jessica, could not have been better! She was so knowledgeable, patient and overall organized. Glad we went with A.A. for a second trip... first one was in New Zealand.”
    Maddy Entel – Massachusetts, United StatesMarch 2016
  • Awesome adventure!

    “Enjoyable trip with good mix of activities on a realistic time schedule. Our guide (Jessica) was excellent. She was friendly, very knowledgeable, and offered a good variety of options many days. We saw all that was advertised and more. Jessica was excellent at making sure all 11 of us were having a great time while being able to coordinate and accommodate for ages 25-80. I highly recommend this trip.”
    Barbara Loeb – Illinois, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Super Plan

    “I truly believe that staying on the four islands (instead of a ship) and being able to eat at local restaurants, mingle with the Educadorians as well as partaking in other special land based activities made the trip even more memorable then I had imagined. Our Naturalist guide, Pepo who was born and raised on San Cristabol and has achieved level Three of his profession and was the very essence and spirit of a wonderful trip both from an educational aspect as well as a true adventure!!”
    Gregg Kravitz – Hawaii, United StatesFebruary 2016
  • Finding The Real Galapagos

    “This Galapagos trip was labelled an active adventure which quite frightened me since at 71 years old I am no longer as active as I once was. My fears were increased when I met my trip mates who all looked very fit. However the guide Pablo made it possible for me to do every event by making small and large accommodations. I had a wonderful time and I felt this trip revealed a lot more about the Galapagos than just Darwin and the animals. We met the people and experienced island areas that no one else I know has ever visited. This was a trip to remember forever.”
    Anne Menzies – Ontario, CanadaDecember 2015
  • Aug 14 2015 Tortuga with Pepo

    “Wonderful experience and thoroughly enjoyed it.”
    Alex Lerner – Florida, United StatesSeptember 2015
  • A great way to see the Galapagos!

    “Active Adventures (and their local representatives at Galakiwi) were terrific. They go over and above to ensure that everyone really enjoys their vacation. Jessica is an awesome guide, very knowledgeable about not only the wildlife and plants you will see, but also about the local culture and history of the islands.

    This is definitely the best way to see the islands. Although you're busy during the days, we often got the opportunity to explore a little in the evenings, getting a taste of the local culture that wouldn't be possible from a cruise ship.

    Richard Bates – Pennsylvania, United StatesJuly 2015
  • Best run yet easy-going tour.

    “This was a 5 star trip from the guide, food, accomodations and how easily everything ran.”
    Birgitte Rasmussen – New Hampshire, United StatesJune 2015
  • It was an Active Adventure

    “We got to see and experience all Galapagos had to offer. Never a dull moment with 2 activities each day that let you interact with wildlife in their natural environment and experience various climate conditions all in the same place .
    JoAnn Schweiger – Florida, United StatesMay 2015
  • Galapagos

    “My husband and I had a great trip to the Galapagos. Loved the small group and our local guide, Pablo, was great; very knowledgeable and excited about all the islands have to offer. Snorkling at Kicker Rock was wonderful beyond words.”
    Patty Frese – North Carolina, United StatesMay 2015
  • Tortuga

    “Once you got to the the Galapagos, the trip was wonderful. Pepo was well informed, funny and a great guide. It was well worth the trip.”
    Sharon Kehoe – Virginia, United StatesMarch 2015
  • An excellent opportunity to see the Galapagos up close

    “The two highlights of the trip; Our guide Jessica along with the other seven members of our group. Jessica is superb. We enjoyed the opportunity to stay on four of the islands and travel by boat in the morning hours. It gave us the chance to meet the locals, stay in local lodges and eat at local restaurants while still traveling to four islands. Enjoyed the diversity including kayaking, biking, snorkeling, hiking and boating. It was a bit challenging for a 72 year old but well worth the effort. The biggest challenge was adjusting to the heat. We enjoyed seeing the wildlife and vegetation in all its forms but you never know in advance how the group's dynamics and the guide will work out. They couldn't have been better. ”
    Mark Hoffman – California, United StatesMarch 2015
  • tortuga, galapagos

    “Our guide Jessica was knowledgeable, organized, an excellent leader who helped me to have a deeper knowledge of the Galapagos than just the animals and the terrain.”
    Roberta Hoffman – California, United StatesMarch 2015
  • All this and swimming with dolphins!

    “So thrilled I made this trip; and Jessica as our guide couldn't have done more to explain the flora and fauna and make sure everything ran smoothly. Getting to jump off the boat and swim with dolphins in the middle of a transfer between islands was a top highlight. ”
    Barbara Woodward – , United KingdomJanuary 2015
  • Endemic Galapagos

    “A unique trip for a unique destination. Every one knows the islands are home to some very special endemic species. By using land-based accommodations this trip also lets you appreciate the Galapagoean community.”
    Geoffrey Love – California, United StatesMay 2014
  • “Tortuga with Pablo was a fun trip full of great activities & information. Our 2 entertaining guides were knowledgable & very expressive. The accommodation & food was terrific. I especially appreciated the attention paid to keeping us safe. I enjoyed staying on 4 islands & the variety of activities. ”
    Linda Tiley – , May 2014
  • Tortuga

    “The Galapagos exceeded my expectations! The tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, sea lions were everywhere and so accessible. Our accommodations were good and frequently located right on the beach. Wonderful seafood meals and entertaining companions. I highly recommend this trip. ”
    Vicki Cefola – Pennsylvania, United StatesJanuary 2014
  • Tortuga Trip Review

    “I was so very happy to have chosen Active Adventures land-based Galapagos trip. Not only did we experience all the incredible wildlife and fantastic natural history, but we also got a close-up sense of island living by staying each night in small towns. The wide variety of activities kept us going all day long. I am not sure how the trip could have been any better.”
    Doug Johnston – Colorado, United StatesDecember 2013
  • Don't see the islands from a boat...

    “I didn't want to see Galapagos islands from a cruise boat. I wanted to stay on the islands and mingle with the locals...both human and otherwise. This trip did just that.”
    Jason Waitkins – New York, United StatesMarch 2014

Why travel with Active Adventures?

Legendary Kiwi Hospitality

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

Expert LOCAL Guides & Trip Leaders

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

Everything is Included

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

A Sense of Achievement

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

Small Groups

With our small groups (no more than 14), 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.

Diverse Experiences

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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