- | HOME
- | Our Trips
- | About Us
- | Resources
- | Gallery
- | Contact |
You will literally feel like you are starring in a nature documentary during this incredible land-based exploration of the enchanted islands! The beautiful, wild and wacky animals are plentiful and literally have no fear of people. Be sure to pack a good camera with lots of memory.
After spending a full day in Ecuador’s gorgeous capital city, Quito, with endless historical sites & attractions within walking distance of the hotel, you are off to the islands to hang out with marine iguanas, giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, Darwin’s finches, Galápagos penguins, sea lions and so much more. By staying on the islands (the three main inhabited ones, in addition to day trips to other islands and islets), you will also have the unique opportunity to get to know the Galápagos culture and spend more time with the extraordinary wildlife. It will also allow for more time strolling down white sand beaches. All while enjoying the company of other wonderful adventurers just like you!
We would love to talk about any part of this trip with you, and encourage you to please CONTACT US directly, so that we can answer your specific questions.
*$700 CAD single supplement (or we can try to match you up with someone)
*A non-refundable deposit of $1,000 CAD is required to secure your international return flight at time of booking
*Please advise us if you would like a quote if departing from a different location than Toronto or if you would prefer to book your own flights using points, noting that different dates may result in a fluctuation of price, based on flight availability.
*If arriving earlier or departing later than the trip dates, please add on $50 CAD per airport transfer, which we are happy to arrange on both ends for you. Otherwise, they are included.
*Extra nights in Quito may also be booked on your behalf at a rate of $70 CAD per person.
Price does not include: alcoholic beverages, optional tips for guide, Galápagos National Park entrance fee of $100 USD.
These dates have been selected to put you at the right place at the right time, and run back-to-back with our 12-DAY HIGHLIGHTS OF ECUADOR TRIP departures. We have taken care to plan around Canadian holidays, as possible.
More dates in 2018 will be coming soon. If you would rather not wait, please GET IN TOUCH any time. We would love to hear from you!
B = Breakfast; L = Lunch; D = Dinner
A friendly face from EarthTreks will be at the new Canadian-designed airport awaiting your arrival. Depending on what time you check into the hotel, Casa Montero, located in the heart of the historical centre, you may have the opportunity to catch your first glimpses of the capital city. Quito is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the western hemisphere, separated into the old colonial centre, where your hotel is located, and the newer more commercial centre. The long, skinny city sits almost directly on the equatorial line, nestled among volcanoes, at over 2,800 meters (almost 10,000 feet) above sea level. You may feel the altitude a little right away, so take the opportunity to acclimatize. The old city is full of beautiful historical buildings, squares, and churches, many of which are a short walk from the hotel. Accommodations: Casa Montero (Quito).
After breakfast with a view from the hotel’s restaurant toward the city’s iconic statue, the Panecillo, venture out on your own through the streets of the beautiful capital city. Many of the best parts are within walking distance of your hotel in the historic centre of Old Quito. Stroll through Plaza Grande (main square) and by the Archbishop’s Palace. From there, walk up the steep street to reach the Basilica del Voto Nacional – you may even choose to explore this church and its views from the top towers. Check out the extremely ornate gold-leaf baroque church called la Compaňia de Jesus and visit the Monastery of San Francisco. Meet back at the hotel at 4:30 for a detailed orientation on all of the wonderful sites and activities the next ten days hold in store on the Galápagos Islands. Your guide will also cover some more boring items, such as health and safety tips and other trip logistics. Head out for dinner and to catch some live music just around the corner from the hotel on the beautiful Morales Street, referred to as La Ronda. Accommodations: Casa Montero (Quito).
You will be transferred to Quito’s Mariscal International Airport early this morning, which takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour. The flight to San Cristóbal Island, the first island you will be visiting in the Galápagos, takes approximately 3.5 hrs including a stop in Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, to pick up additional passengers (you will not need to disembark the plane). Departure time will be between 8:20am and 10:30am depending on the flight schedule.
Welcome to San Cristóbal, Galápagos Islands! Upon arrival you will need to go through immigration and pay the Galápagos National Park entrance fee of US$100 in cash (small bills please). Then you will transfer from the airport to the hotel (approximately 15 minutes) to check in.
Then you will take off on your first adventure to see the amazing animals found on the islands. Travel to La Loberia where you’ll put on snorkelling gear for the first time and go for a swim with sea lions, and maybe even some green sea turtles. Continue back to town for a scrumptious dinner. There will be daily meal options, but while on the islands, we highly recommend trying the seafood dishes as often as possible. Accommodations at Hotel Casa de Nelly (San Cristóbal Island).
Today begins with a boat ride to Isla Lobos, observing along the way the abundant marine life that Galápagos is renowned for. On the way you might be able to spot nesting frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies. You will also have the opportunity to swim and snorkel with playful young sea lions. Keep your eye out for Galápagos green sea turtles,
Manta Rays and maybe the odd harmless Galápagos shark. This snorkeling is in open sea, and on occasion the currents can be quite strong, so it’s important that you are a confident swimmer for this activity. If you have any concerns, feel free to observe the wildlife from the comfort of the boat. There may alternatively be an opportunity to visit Leon Dormido today, with its vertical tuff cone, rising almost 148 m straight up out of the ocean. Tuff cones are created when boiling lava encounters a very cold ocean, resulting in an explosion. Erosion has split the rock into two parts, forming a narrow channel that small vessels can pass through. Circumnavigation provides the visitor with the best views of the rock. Blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, Frigatebirds, and Galápagos sea lions line the shore there. Accommodations at Hotel Casa de Nelly (San Cristóbal Island).
Take an early morning boat ride today towards Española Island, which should take about 1.5 hours. Along the way keep your eyes peeled for wildlife such as dolphins and whales. One whale in particular to keep a look out for is called the Bryde’s whale (pronounced ‘broo-dess’). Española, the southernmost of the Galápagos Islands as well as one of the oldest, is home to a large number of endemic species — the Española mockingbird, the Española lava lizard, and the Waved Albatross, to name a few. You will get to see nesting colonies of blue-footed and Nazca boobies, who make their nests right along the visitor trail near the western cliffs of the island. Swallow-tailed gulls and red-billed tropicbirds dash in and out of the cracks in the cliffs. The highlight of visiting Española Island is strolling along the edge of the waved albatross breeding colony. With a population of 25,000 to 30,000, nearly the entire world population of the adult birds can be found on Españolabetween April and December. The white sand beach at Gardner Bay will offer you a great opportunity to just relax among the sea lions there. Keep your sights high though, as you may also see three different species of Darwin’s finches and Española mockingbirds. Accommodations at Hotel Casa de Nelly (San Cristóbal Island).
Today you will visit the Junco Lagoon, a freshwater lake that sits in a caldera (collapsed cone) of an extinct volcano and is about 300m wide and 700m above sea level – one of the few permanent freshwater bodies in the Galápagos. It is an ideal spot for bird watching as well as enjoying the landscape. Here you can see frigatebirds shower in the freshwater to remove salt from their feathers. You may also see White-cheeked pintail ducks and common gallinules. From the crater there is a view over most of the island, including the 900 m peak of Cerro San Joaquin. Punta Pitt, the most spectacular site on San Cristóbal, which is visible to the northeast. You will also be able to see endemic tree ferns. After lunch you will take a boat to Santa Cruz, departing around 2:00 in the afternoon. Accommodations at Hotel Lobo de Mar (Santa Cruz Island).
Today you will travel to the highlands of Santa Cruz to observe the giant tortoise roaming in its natural habitat. Afterwards you will visit a locally owned sugar cane farm, where the farmers will explain the process of how to process sugar cane into alcohol. After a traditional Ecuadorian lunch, you will put on some comfortable hiking shoes, lots of sun protection, and head out on foot to visit Tortuga Bay, a beautiful long white sand beach that is covered with marine iguanas, Galápagos crabs and a variety of different birds. There is a hidden cove where you can swim, and may be lucky to see white tip reef sharks swimming in groups (but there should be no reason for concern). Bring a little money in case you want to rent a kayak on the beach or purchase some ice cream on the way back to the hotel. Accommodations at Hotel Lobo de Mar (Santa Cruz Island).
After breakfast, you will head out on foot to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station – a must for any visitor to the islands. This is a great opportunity to learn more about conservation efforts to preserve the unique ecosystems of the Galápagos. You can even get close to different species of giant tortoises, and learn about their breeding, conservation and the history of why such efforts are needed. Be sure to keep an eye out for the tame finches, observing the varations of beaks that led Charles Darwin to his theory of survival of natural selection. Then after lunch, take a boat transfer to Isabela Island, departing at approximately 2pm. Accommodations at Hotel San Vicente (Isabela Island).
This morning you will take a short bus ride to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre where you will be able to see giant tortoises in all stages of development, from eggs to babies to giant adults. The centre is home to nearly a thousand giant tortoises – an intensive effort to repopulate the islands with these majestic creatures. Then head over to a lagoon where you will be able to observe the small colony of pink flamingos that make their home there. In the afternoon, you will head out on a small boat for Tintoreras or Shark Alley. You will be amazed as you move along the coast line, with the opportunity to see the famous Galápagos Penguin, an endemic species here, and the only species of penguin that inhabits the Equator and parts of northern hemisphere. You will also have the opportunity to observe so much other wildlife on this boat trip, such as blue-footed boobies. You will get out to visit a small isolated islet which is a popular iguana nesting site and home to hundreds of marine iguanas. Next up, travel by boat to enjoy what may be the most memorable part of the whole trip – snorkeling in a calm inlet with colourful fish, starfish, and winding underground lava tubes. This area is frequented by Galápagos Green Sea Turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom. Swimming with them is pure magic. Accommodations at Hotel San Vicente (Isabela Island).
This morning you will take a 45-minute bus ride to embark on a long hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in the Galápagos and the second largest volcanic crater in the world (with dimensions of 7.2 km x 9.3 km). Weather permitting, take a challenging hike of around 17 kilometres up the rocky mountain, which takes between five and six hours. Traverse the rim of the caldera and then head down into the fresh lava fields to see fumaroles and thermal vents. The views are breathtaking. After the hike, make your way back to town for some free time to curl up with a book or venture down to the water for a relaxing swim before dinner. Accommodations at Hotel San Vicente (Isabela Island).
After breakfast, take a private boat transfer to Baltra Island, departing at approximately 6am. Your journey through the Galapagos has come to an end, and it’s time to catch your flight back to the mainland. You will arrive in Quito later in the afternoon and be transferred back to the hotel in the heart of the city. Accommodations: Casa Montero (Quito).
There are no activities planned today. You will be transferred to Quito’s Mariscal International Airport in time to catch your flight home.