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Active Galapagos

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Adventure level: 
3. Moderate
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Americas, Ecuador, The Galapagos Islands | 11 days
Trip code: 
What's included: 

Transport - Plane, Bicycle, Boat

Accommodation - Hotels (9 nts)

Meals - 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches and 4 dinners

Trip Highlights: 
Colonial Quito
Climb Isabela's Volcano
Explore by mountain bike
Snorkel with sea lions
see full itinerary >>

Holidays in Ecuador

Please note that the itinerary follows two routes. This is due to restrictions put in place by the Galapagos National Park to help protect the islands. The route taken depends on the date and each is marked with an (A) or a (B).

Itinerary options
Itinery Map

Itinerary for Active Galapagos

(Departures in 2013-14)
  • Day 1 - Quito
  • Day 2-3 - Isla San Cristobal
  • Day 4-6 - Isla Floreana/Isla Isabela
  • Day 7-8 - Isla Santa Cruz
  • Day 9-10 - Quito
Extensions and Extras: Extend your holiday and see more of the world. View additional tours for this trip »


Bienvenidos! Welcome to Ecuador.

Sitting at an altitude of 2,850 m under the gaze of Volcan Pichincha, Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America. Long and incredibly thin, the city stretches along a central valley formed by the east and west ranges of the Andes. Although compact, Quito's Old Town is full of historic buildings - there are more than 30 churches to explore, not to mention the fascinating museums.

Join your tour leader us on a walking tour of the historic centre of Quito. You catch a local bus to Parque de la Alamada and (amongst others) visit sites such as La Compania de Jesus, considered by many the most beautiful in the Americas. It's claimed that seven tonnes of gold leaf cover the interior whilst the exterior is decorated with statues, busts, sculpted heads and a jungle of carved leaves. During this tour we also visit the famous Calle La Ronda, Quito's oldest street. La Ronda is a peek into the colonial past of the city. This quaint street offers the city's best in one place.

Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip: Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. You understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatising to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip: While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly. 

Optional Activities

  • La Ronda - Free
  • Compania de Jesus - USD4
  • Cotopaxi National Park - hiking - USD80
  • Equator Monument Entrance fee - USD80
  • City Tour, Quito (Optional) - USD30
  • Antisana Trek Full day from Quito (Optional) - USD70
  • Otavalo - market visit - USD60
  • Quito By Night (Optional) - USD30
  • The Equator line tour (Optional) - USD40


Hotel (1 nt)


Isla San Cristobal

Transfer to the airport for your flight to San Cristobal Island, Galapagos (approx 3.5 hrs). Departure time will be between 8.20am and 10.30am depending on flight schedule time.

The Galapagos National Institute has introduced a Transit Control Card. This card has a cost of US$10 and it must be purchased by every person travelling to the Galapagos Islands. You will need to purchase this card upon arrival to the domestic airport on day 2, prior to checking in to your Galapagos flight.

Your flight will stop once in Guayaquil to pick up more passengers (approx 3.5 hours total). Upon arrival you will need to go through immigration and pay the Galapagos National Park entrance fee of US$100 in cash (small bills please).

You land at about midday, then meet your tour leader and transfer to your hotel.

In the afternoon you make our way to the top of San Cristobal Island from where you jump on our mountain bikes for a scenic ride through El Progresso to a beach known as La Loberia - here you are able to watch sea lions sunbathe and play. You also have the opportunity to go for a swim yourself!. You continue on bike back to town for a 'welcome to Galapagos' dinner, which will includes some of the island's fresh fish and produce.

Our second day in Isla San Cristobal begins with a short boat ride to Leon Dormido (approx 45 mins), observing along the way the abundant marine life that Galapagos is renowned for. On the way you stop off at Isla de Lobos and Cerro Brujo beach to observe nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies and swim/snorkel with playful young sea lions. Here you can norkel keeping an eye out below for sea turtles, manta rays and maybe the odd harmless Galapagos shark, to name a few.

In the afternoon, you pay a visit to the Interpretation Centre and learn the mysterious history of Galapagos, The Enchanted Islands. Later you head to Mann Beach for a swim where you can observe playful sea lions, and frigates gliding on the thermals.

Included Activities

  • Isla San Cristobal - Bike riding
  • Isla San Cristobal - Leon Dormido visit
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center

Optional Activities

  • Boogie Board Hire (Half Day) - USD8
  • Surf Board Hire (Half Day) - USD10
  • Wetsuit Hire - USD35


Hotel (2 nts)

Isla Floreana/Isla Isabela

Isla Floreana/Isla Isabela

Early in the morning you take off to Floreana Island by boat (approx 2.5 hrs), You have a pre-lunch snorkel before going ashore to a black sand beach at the home of the Witmer’s, one of the islands first settlers. With a population of less than 150 people, Puerto Velasco Ibarra is a sleepy little town but not without its secrecies. You can read up on how life came to be on Floreana and how some lives mysteriously ended. You wave goodbye to Floreana as you continue on to Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago.

Upon arrival to Isabela Island you are required to pay the Isabela Island port fee of USD5.

The second day at Isla Isabel you start with a leisurely walk through a coastal lagoon. This mangrove-lined path leads us to Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center where you’ll see giant tortoises in all stages of development. The center has almost a thousand giant tortoises training for life on their own! After an informative visit, you’ll board small pangas for Tintoreras or Shark Alley. You’ll hop off for a short walk on this isolated islet and popular iguana nesting site that’s home to hundreds of marine iguanas. Next you’ll test the waters for a snorkel in a calm inlet that’s home to a variety of colorful fish and winding underground lava tubes. This area is often frequented by green sea turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom. You’ll return to town late afternoon in search of our own sandy resting spot to toast in our first Isabela sunset, arguably the most beautiful of all the islands

The last day in Isla Isabella you head up to the Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the Galapagos and the second largest crater in the world. Here you can experience a birds eye view of this magical landscape. You 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.

Unfortunately, recycling isn't available on Isabela so please take your plastic rubbish with you.

Included Activities

  • Sierra Negra Volcano
  • Isla Isabela - Flamingo lagoon visit
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre

Optional Activities

  • Boogie Board Hire (Half Day) - USD8
  • Surf Board Hire (Half Day) - USD10
  • Wetsuit Hire - USD35


Hotel (3 nts)

Isla Santa Cruz

Isla Santa Cruz

Start the day with a kayak in a protected bay in search of the Galapagos penguin – the only penguin found close the equator. Along the way, keep an eye out for Eagle Rays, Sea Turtles and Blue Footed Boobies.

Enjoy a couple of hours at the beach before lunch. Afterwards, you are on the move again. This time to Santa Cruz Island, the tourist capital of Galapagos.

Our last day in Isla Santa Cruz you visit the Charles Darwin Research Foundation. You learn about the foundations successes in repopulating the islands with the once endangered land iguana and several species of giant tortoise.

In the afternoon you take a short walk to Tortuga Bay, a gorgeous beach accessible only by foot and laden with choices: swimming, sunbathing, bodysurfing or all of them! Finally make our way back to town for our farewell dinner to the Enchanted Islands.

Included Activities

  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay visit

Optional Activities

  • Boogie Board Hire (Half Day) - USD8
  • Surf Board Hire (Half Day) - USD10
  • Wetsuit Hire - USD35
  • Isla San Cristobal - kayak rental - Free


Hotel (2 nts)



Bid farewell to the Enchanted Islands. A midday flight takes us back to Quito (approx 3.5 hrs). An Intrepid representative will take you from the airport to your hotel, a quick change and it's out to enjoy the night-life of Quito.

There are no activities planned for the final day and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time. Please check for checkout times and luggage storage possibilities.


Hotel (1 nt)