Galapagos Islands Land-based Tour

Tour Details

Galapagos Land-based tour

Type: Co-ed Tours
Dates: October 24 - 31, 2018
Number of Days: 8
Cost: $3,650

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Tour Closed* We’re sorry you missed this tour. Please contact us if you’d like to be put on the wait list (if/when someone cancels) or would like to join us on a future Ireland tour.

 

WanderWorld Foundation – A portion of your tour cost will go toward supporting a program in the Galapagos that will help a local community. Details coming soon.

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HIGHLIGHTS of the Galapagos Tour

* Experience the magic of the Galapagos Islands on this land-based tour
* Unlike boat-based trips, this tour allows time for exploring the islands, hiking and being active in addition to viewing wildlife by kayak, snorkeling, SUPing as well as from the boat
* Learn about the islands from our English-speaking local naturalist guide
* See a wide range of fauna, including blue-footed boobies, sea lions, pelicans, giant tortoises, white tipped reef sharks and much more
* Overnight in wonderful and comfortable accommodations
* Meet locals whose descendants were among the first inhabitants of the islands
* Returning WanderTours participants receive a 5% discount on land cost

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Note:
Cancellation fees apply. Please read our Booking Terms and Conditions before registering.

** If you’re joining this tour directly from the Machu Picchu tour (which immediately precedes this), there is an additional cost for the nights of October 22 and 23 that will be between $500 – $750 (depending on number of people and cost of flights between countries) that covers airport transfer, flight from Lima to Quito, two nights accommodation and breakfast.

Galapagos Islands Itinerary

The adventure starts on October 24 upon arrival in Quito. Consider arriving a day or two early in case of flight delays, to explore Quito on your own and to shake off jet lag. We can book additional nights at the hotel for you.

Day 1
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 – Quito
Meals: n/a

Upon arrival in Quito, you’ll be met by our driver and taken to the hotel.

Overnight in Quito at Hotel Patio Andaluz or similar.

Day 2
Thursday, October 25, 2018 – Quito – Baltra Island – Santa Cruz Island
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, the group will transfer to the airport in Quito for our flight to Baltra Island, the gateway to the Galapagos Islands.

Before departing the airport, we’ll visit a private VIP lounge to change into swimwear and/or warm weather clothes, put on sunscreen and grab a cool drink before heading to the Itabaca Channel. Here, we’ll explore the turquoise waters that teem with wildlife.

There will be a number of options for you to enjoy the area—you may swim, kayaksnorkel or make use of the standup paddle boards (SUP). If you prefer, you can stay on board the boat and enjoy the wildlife from there. No matter your mode of viewing, we’ll see blue-footed boobies, sea lions, brown pelicans, herons and (non-aggressive) white tipped reef sharks.

The waters flow beside red mangrove forests along lava rock cliffs and are stunningly clear. We may spend 1.5 – 2 hours on the water depending on how much wildlife is out for viewing.

From the Itabaca Channel, we’ll head by boat to the island of Santa Cruz to a private reserve where the famous giant tortoises are found in the wild.

After lunch at the reserve, we’ll drive to our tented camp, perched high on a hillside overlooking the ocean and surrounded by forest and roaming giant tortoises. On a clear night, we’ll be able to see a star-filled sky.

After a delicious dinner together at the main lodge, we’ll have the opportunity to take a short walk to the lava tubes for a drink at the Lava Lounge!

Overnight on Santa Cruz Island at Galapagos Magic or similar.

Day 3
Friday, October 26, 2018 – Santa Cruz Island
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we’ll head off via speed boat from Santa Cruz to one of the nearby national parks—South Plaza (subject to change based on the boat’s schedule). In the morning, we’ll be able to snorkel in the calm waters of Punta Carrión where we’ll see a wide variety of tropical fish and possibly white tipped reef sharks that rest on the sandy bottom.

In the afternoon, we’ll land on South Plazas where we’ll be greeted by a colony of sea lions! After lunch, we’ll walk the trail that takes us gradually toward the southern cliff of the island. Here, we’ll see nesting swallow-tailed gulls and several types of tropical birds including Nazca and blue-footed boobies.

Dinner and overnight on Santa Cruz Island at Galapagos Magic or similar.

Day 4
Saturday, October 27, 2018 – Santa Cruz Island – Floreana Island
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, we’ll depart for Floreana Island on a two-hour speedboat trip. Floreana is home to the smallest population (just 150!) of the four inhabited islands. It is therefore the least developed and most natural of them all.

Upon arrival, we’ll take an open-air chiva bus to our lodge, which overlooks one of the most beautiful and secluded bays of the Galapagos. Here we’ll meet a descendant of the original residents of the island, Claudio Cruz. Claudio will have lots of stories to share about the island’s history!

Once settled in, we can walk, kayak or SUP to nearby Black Beach for exquisite snorkeling. We’ll then walk to a nearby restaurant that’s part of an initiative to help support the local community.

In the afternoon, we’ll set out again across the bay to explore La Loberia, a sea lion breeding ground. There we can snorkel and/or swim with sea turtles, sea lions, rays and many tropical fish. Alternately, you can walk on the beach to La Loberia.

We’ll return to the lodge in the afternoon to wash up and enjoy a spectacular sunset and then head to dinner in the small village.

Overnight on Floreana Island at the Lava Lodge or similar.

HIGHLIGHT! The original descendants of this, the first inhabited island, still live here! Once a pirate’s hideout, many legends and stories exist about the area’s first residents and we’ll get to hear about them firsthand.

Day 5
Sunday, October 28, 2018 – Floreana Island
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

After breakfast, we’ll leave the lodge in our chiva to explore the highlands. Once we reach Asilo de la Paz (Peace Haven), we’ll begin an easy half-day hike.

During the hike, we’ll visit pirate caves as well as freshwater springs. We’ll walk through land the locals cultivate to this day and see giant tortoises and frigate birds.

We’ll head back to the lodge for a barbecue lunch featuring traditional recipes (including vegetarian fare) from the Cruz family. The afternoon will be free for snorkeling, kayaking, SUPing or relaxing.

HIGHLIGHT! During today’s hike, we’ll make our way through rural areas where the locals farm the land. This is how they have survived over the years on this extremely remote place.

Dinner and overnight on Floreana Island at the Lava Lodge or similar.

Day 6
Monday, October 29, 2018 – Floreana Island – Isabela Island
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today we’ll take an early morning speedboat ride to Isabela Island.

Our adventure begins with a tour of the local giant tortoise breeding center. Along the way, we may see some pink flamingos! We continue touring after lunch and head to Tintoreras, a small group of islands near Puerto Villamil.

We’ll see nearly all the iconic wildlife the Galapagos are known for, including white tipped sharks, turtles, sea lions, penguins, rays, pelicans and blue-footed boobies. We’ll have time to snorkel in the bay where sea lions and penguins are known to play alongside snorkelers.

Dinner and overnight on Isabela Island at Isamar or similar.

Day 7
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 – Isabela Island
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

For those interested, today includes a full day of hiking on Isabela, one of the youngest and most volcanically active of the islands.

We’ll be in the highlands of the island, but we’ll start out by hiking up the crater of the Sierra Negra volcano and then on the rim of the Volcan Chico. We may have fog and light rain in the morning but we may still see a wide range of birds, including hawks, finches, flycatchers and short-eared owls.

The Sierra Negra crater is the second largest crater in the world after the Ngorongoro in Tanzania and is a feast for the eyes. The walk to Volcan Chico feels like you’re walking on the moon with its alien landscape, but will reward us with views as well as lava tubes and fumaroles.

We’ll have lunch on the rim before heading back down to relax on the beach after approximately 10 miles of hiking today.

* For those not interested in hiking for the day, you’ll visit the Wall of Tears in the morning and in the afternoon have a swim at Concha y Perla.

Dinner and overnight on Isabela Island at Isamar or similar.

Day 8
Wednesday, October 31, 2018 – Isabela – Baltra Island
Meals: Breakfast

This morning after breakfast, we’ll take the speed boat back to Santa Cruz and then transfer to Baltra for our flights home or to your next destination.

** Itinerary subject to change without notice.

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Tour Closed

* We’re sorry you missed this tour. Please contact us if you’d like to be put on the wait list (if/when someone cancels) or would like to join us on a future Ireland tour.

 

 

Costs

Tour: $3,650
Single supplement: $425**
In-country flights: Approximately $350 – $500 (we book)

** A limited number of single rooms are available and will be assigned on a first come, first served basis. All others will be placed with roommates. If your preference is a single room, please register as early as possible to secure your spot.

Interested in sharing the cost with another fabulous traveler? We do our best to pair up our tour participants so you can avoid the single supplement. However, priority is given to the first deposits received. If you’re interested in sharing, please send in your deposit as soon as possible in order to take advantage of this benefit. (Why a single supplement? See this FAQ page for an explanation.)

Booking and Payment Details

Price includes: Accommodation, 19 meals, land and boat transportation, local English-speaking naturalist guide, tips, bottled water during activities, national park entrance fee and tourist transit card fee.

Price does not include: Flights to and from Quito, Ecuador*, in-country flights (charged separately), visa fee, evacuation insurance (highly recommended), beverages other than water during activities and purchases of a personal nature such as souvenirs, laundry service, etc.

** If you’re joining this tour directly from the Machu Picchu tour (which immediately precedes this), there is an additional cost for the nights of October 22 and 23 that will be between $345 – $500 (depending on number of people) that covers airport transfer, flight from Lima to Quito, two nights accommodation and breakfast.

This trip is limited by the number of rooms we’re able to procure (10) and depending on the number of singles, the group number may change. This requires an $800 deposit to secure your spot.

Minimum bookings required: 8 people (minimum reached!)

Final payment is due no later than August 24, 2018.

We love checks as it helps keep our costs down by avoiding credit card fees. If you’re able to pay the deposit or full amount by check or wire transfer, we’ll not only love you more but we’ll send you a free copy of one of Beth’s books (your choice which one). ** U.S. residents receive a print copy, international residents receive a PDF.

Here’s our mailing address:

WanderTours
PO Box 16102
Seattle, WA 98116

Of course, you can pay by credit card as well. Simply click on the Register Now button below and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you add your debit or credit card information for the $800 deposit. Though this goes through PayPal, you do not need a PayPal account. Subsequent payments may be made through PayPal or by check (see above for our wonderful offer!). 🙂.

Note: Cancellation fees apply. Please read our Booking Terms and Conditions before registering.

The fine print


Galapagos Registration Form 2018  (online form)

Galapagos Islands Itinerary 2018 (PDF)

We recommend Insure My Trip for travel and/or evacuation insurance.

For questions, contact Beth at:
beth (at) wandertours (dot) com
206-317-1860

beth Whitman baliTrip Escort: Beth Whitman
Beth is always ready for a new adventure and destination to explore. After traveling on safari in Tanzania, she became hooked on travel where wildlife is the focus.

Join Beth on this inaugural tour to Ecuador and the Galapagos and consider adding on a tour to Machu Picchu prior to this journey!

Beth is the author of the Wanderlust and Lipstick guides including The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo and For Women Traveling to India. She is also the publisher and founder of Wanderlust and Lipstick and WanderTours and hosts the Be Bold podcast which can be found through your favorite podcast provider.

She is also the founder of the WanderWorld Foundation.