Galapagos on your own
These are land trips where you stay in Hotels and travel from island to island by speed boats, includes the best guided Day Tours in the inhabited islands of the Archipelago and time to explore the islands on your own
This package does not have a guide all the time, that gives you more freedom to explore on your own where national Park aloud Tourist to visits by themselves, our package includes hotels with breakfast included in each island, as well as the speed boats between islands and terrestrial transports in the islands, includes also the best Day Tours in each island. The Day Tours in this package are shared and always include a Box Lunch or Lunch on the day of the activity, as well as your bilingual guide and transportation, and Snorkel Tours include the mask. This trip can be modified to fit your budget and time available.
DAY 1 / QUITO OR GUAYAQUIL – SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND/ Playa Mann
DAY 2 / SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND/Highland Tour
DAY 3 / SAN CRISTOBAL/ Kicker Rock
DAY 4 / SANTA CRUZ/ Tortuga Bay
DAY 5 / SANTA CRUZ – ISABELA/ Bay Tour
DAY 6 / ISABELA/ Sierra Negra Volcano
DAY 7 / ISABELA/ Tunnels
DAY 8 / BALTRA/ out
DEPARTURES FROM TWO PEOPLE EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR
Adult Tourist Class: $1480 USD per person + $270 Single Supplement
Island Hopping on a Budget (8 days)
- DAY 1 / SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND/ PLAYA MANN
- From Quito or Guayaquil departures your flight to San Cristóbal (Galápagos), reception and transfer to the hotel, the rest of day is free. Use the afternoon to walk to the interpretation center and hike to the viewpoint Tijeretas Hill, which is close to the village (in hotel can help you with the information). Then you will go back visiting the Charles Darwin monument and the Cabo de Horno beach. At the Punta Carola Bay you can swim and snorkel with the Sea Lions, and finally you can see the sunset in Playa Man beach. If you don´t bring your own Snorkel equipment, you can rent it in the village.
Meals included: -/-/-
- DAY 2 / SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND/HIGLAND TOUR
- Early in the morning your English speaking guide picks you up from the hotel to visit the highlands and the west of the island. In this shared tour you make a little walk to El Junco Lagoon, which is the biggest fresh water lake of the archipelago, and then you visit the Galapaguera, where your Guide will explain the differences between the different types of tortoises. Finally you will visit the beautiful beach of white sand Puerto Chino, where you can walk to a view point and swim with the Sea Lions. After a typical lunch on a little farm in the highlands you return to your hotel.. Meals included: B/L/- Difficulty: MEDIUM
- DAY 3 / SAN CRISTOBAL ISLAND/ KICKER ROCK
- After breakfast your English speaking guide will pick you up at the hotel. You participate in a shared boat tour to Kickers rock, a huge rock in the middle of the sea, which is located 7km from the port. Here you can see many kinds of birds, likes Pelicans, Boobies, Frigates, and Tropical Birds. Kickers Rock is one of the best places to do snorkel and diving, because you have good possibilities to see a lot of reef fishes, hammerhead shark, giant rays, and sea turtles. On the way back to the town you will make a stop on a lonesome beach where you can swim and relax. In the evening we recommend you a walk on the waterfront, where many Sea Lions walk through the town. Meals included: B/BL/ Difficulty: MEDIUM
- DAY 4 / SANTA CRUZ ISLAND/ FREE DAY TORTUGA BAY
- At 06:40 in the morning you must be in the port, from where your speedboat departures at 07:00 am to Santa Cruz island. Here you can go to the hotel on foot or take a taxi. (200 mts from the port). Use your free day to go to one of the most beautiful beaches in South America: Tortuga Bay. From entrance, where you must register and can buy some snaks or beverages, there is 2, 5 km long walking trail to the big beach, where you have to walk for 1 km to the right to reach the quiet beach, called Playa Mansa. In this little bay you can swim or rent a kayak. We also recommend you to visit the Charles Darwin Station in Puerto Ayora, where you will see different tortoise and the big yellow land iguanas. Close to the station there is a little beach, which is a popular place to observe the sunset. At the night we recommend you to take an open air dinner in the famous “meal’s street” (Calle de las comidas). Meals included: B/-/- Difficulty: EASY
- DAY 5 / SANTA CRUZ AND ISABELA ISLANDS/ BAY TOUR
- After breakfast you have the transfer to the Puerto Ayora port, to participate in a guided Bay Tour. This is a combination of a boat ride and a walking tour, in which you will know the Germans beach, the dog’s beach, a shark channel and Las Grietas (crevasse), where you can swim. In the Lobería you will have enough time to swim and snorkel with the playful sea lions. Your guide will give you plenty information about flora and fauna. At midday the tour finishes and you come back to town. At 14:00 pm your speed boat departures to Isabela Island so you must be 30 minutes before at the dock. The travel is during 2 hours approximately. In Isabela you have the transfer to your hotel. Meals included: B/-/- Difficulty: EASY
- DAY 6 / ISABELA ISLAND/ SIERRA NEGRA VOLCANO
- Early in the morning the guide picks you up to go to the highland of Isabela. In this tour you first go by bus to the highest point, where the street ends. Here you start walking always uphill for about 7 km to reach the crater of the Sierra Negra volcano. You then continue walking through fantastic volcanic landscape to the Chico Volcano, a smaller crater where you can sometimes observe fumaroles. The view from this magic place to the other volcanos of Isabela and to other islands is awesome. After a Box lunch you will walk back to the town. At sunset you can see pelicans and blue foot boobies playing with the sea in the quite Concha Perla Bay (close to the dock). We recommend you take the dinner in any restaurant in the main street. Meals included: B/L/- Difficulty: MEDIUM.
- DAY 7 / ISABELA ISLAND/ TUNELES
- After breakfast you will be picked up at your hotel. (The time of the pickup may vary, because the tour depends on the tide). From here you go by boat for about 1 hour along the coast to a spectacular place, where once the hot lava of a volcanic eruption met the sea and has formed strange formations of black lava, that looks like arches and tunnels. That’s why this place is known as The Tunnels. After a short walk with your guide where you can observe some boobies and penguins, you jump into the water and snorkel in a huge natural aquarium. You may see turtles, sharks, and a lot of colorful fishes, lobsters, and even sea horses. After about 6 hours you are back in town. Meals included: B/BL/- Difficulty: MEDIUM.
- DAY 8 / BALTRA/ OUT
- At 05:30 am is the transfer out to dock, because your speedboat departures at 06:00 am back to Puerto Ayora. At the dock your driver is already waiting for you to bring you to the north side of the island to the Itabaca Channel. Here you cross by ferry to the Baltra Island, where you take the bus of the airline, which brings you to the airport. The total time from Puerto Ayora to the airport will be about 90 minutes, so make shore that your flight leaves past midday. You fly back to Quito or Guayaquil where you arrive in the afternoon. Meals included: BB/-/ Difficulty: EASY
B= Breakfast, BL= Box Lunch, L= Lunch, BB= Box Breakfast
- All accommodations in double rooms in tourist class hotels.
- Meals mentioned in the itinerary
- All transport between islands (tickets for the speedboats).
- Transfers: Airport – hotel day 1, port – hotel – port in Isabela, port – Itabaca’s Channel, day 8.)
- Share Highland tour with: English speaking guide, box lunch, transport, day 2.
- Snorkel tour to Kickers Rock with: English speaking guide, box lunch, transport, snorkel equipment, day 3.
- Bay Tour with: English speaking guide, snorkel equipment, and transport, day 5.
- Tour Sierra Negra with: English speaking guide, box lunch and transport, day 6.
- Tunnels Tour with: English speaking guide, box lunch, transport and snorkel equipment day 7.
- Airflight rate to Galápagos (we can book the flights for you)
- Galapagos National Park entrance fee (100 USD for adults / 50 USD for children aged less than 12 years)
- Galapagos transit control card (20 USD per person)
- Extra drinks
- Personal Expenses
- Travel Insurance
- Port tax in Isabela $5 usd.
- Canal Itabaca boat $1 usd.
- Water taxis $ 4 x 1 = 4, - usd.
- Other meals not specified (lunch and dinner).
Transportation: is made on board of small speedboats between islands. Navigation times can be long (max 2h30) depending on the distance between the islands. We cannot control the ocean. If a swell comes in the ride can be bumpy, especially during the Garua season (see below). If you are usually subject to motion sickness, please bring patches or pills (you can also buy pills on the islands). The patches are really effective!
This is a pretty active and group tour: you have to be fit (be used to hiking and swimming). Please take into consideration that this is not a relaxed tour. Early wake ups are usual here on the Galapagos, to make the most of the day, as days are quite short (sunset is at 6 PM).
Meals during the tour are not “a la carte”, but menus. We do our best to vary meals but remember we are on the islands and lots of products are imported or not available. Rice is a common plate here in Ecuador, chicken and (extremely fresh!) fish as well. Your meal is always accompanied by a fresh fruit juice.
Species you CAN see on this tour:
sea lions, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, tropicbirds, marine iguanas, sharks, rays, penguins, giant tortoises, turtles, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, lava lizards.
Species you CANNOT see on this tour:
albatrosses, red-footed boobies, flightless cormorants, pink iguanas (nobody can see this one as it is ultra-protected and living in a part of the islands totally closed to tourism): if you are interested in spotting one of those, let us know, so we can complete the tour with a cruise.