Looking for more than a cruise to the islands? A week of touring the less-explored parts of the Galápagos Islands is the answer. We’ll start in Santa Cruz, then head to Floreana to stay on a part of the island that sees less visitors than the rest. From there it’s on to Isabela for a few days of hiking, snorkelling, and visiting the island’s main highlights. Top that off with a hike up Sierra Negra Volcano – the second-largest volcanic crater in the world – along with the Galápagos’ typical array of exotic wildlife and prepare to be amazed.
Your G for Good Moment: Floreana Community Restaurants, Floreana Island
Your G for Good Moment: Floreana Community Guesthouse, Floreana Island. Visit to Las Grietas (Santa Cruz Island). Snorkelling at Loberia (Floreana Island). Flamingo Lagoon visit (Isabela Island). Sierra Negra volcano hike with lava fields visit (Isabela Island). Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre visit (Isabela Island). Tortuga Bay hike (Santa Cruz Island). Isabela Municipal Tax. All transport between destinations and to/from included activities.
Hike up Sierra Negra Volcano – the second-largest volcanic crater in the world – and walk on the lava fields, observe flamingos at an isolated lagoon, be amazed at the unique wildlife of the Galápagos, enjoy a G Adventures-supported community guesthouse on Floreana.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
1) This trip can be booked on its own or as an add-on to many of our Galápagos Islands yacht based adventures. Please speak to your sales GCO about how you can mix and match with other programs.
The itinerary is subject to further changes dependent upon new regulations made by the Galápagos National Park or seasonal points of interest.
3) PERSONAL DETAILS
G Adventures requires your passport number, full name and date of birth at the time of booking. Please make sure you give this information to your travel agent.
4) CONFIRM DETAILS WITH US
Once you have confirmed your booking please give us your international flight details and advise us if you have any important issues such as allergies, special diets, etc.
5) GALÁPAGOS ISLAND PARK ENTRY FEE
The Ecuadorian government currently levies a Galápagos Islands Park entry fee of $100 USD per person. This is payable at the airport upon arrival in the park. It is not included in the cost of the tour, and must be paid in CASH. This fee funds Park maintenance and supervision in Galápagos, as well as ecological study, conservation and infrastructure development in Ecuador’s other National Parks. Entry fees and the funds they generate for the National Park System are among measures taken by the Ecuadorian government to protect its natural heritage.
6) TRANSIT CONTROL CARDS
The Consejo de Gobierno (local government council) have implemented a system of Transit Control Cards at a fee of $20 USD per person. This card is to be purchased in CASH at a counter in the Quito airport before boarding the flight to the Galapagos. Please retain this card along with your passport as you will be required to present this upon arrival to the Galapagos Islands. Please note that this applies to all tourists entering the Galapagos Islands and is a supplement to the existing entry fee to the National Park and is not controlled by tour operators or travel agencies. It is the first of a number of initiatives to track, control and maintain the sustainable tourism targets set out by the Galapagos National Park and the Ecuadorian government in an attempt to preserve the fragile environment of the archipelago.
Please note that this tour combines with other G Adventures tours. As such, the staff and some travel companions on your tour may have previously been traveling together with G Adventures, prior to Day 1 of your tour. Likewise, some staff and travel companions may be continuing together on another G Adventures tour, after your trip concludes.
Group Leader Description
All G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders, a G Adventures representative, or an expedition team. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are travelling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends. While not being guides in the traditional sense you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting- we think it’s the best of both worlds. For the Galápagos, our CEOs are naturalists certified by the Galapagos National Park.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 12
6 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Generally meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility, though generally food is cheap. Our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other’s company. There is no obligation to do this though. Your leader will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. For all trips please refer to the meals included and budget information for included meals and meal budgets.
Private van, speedboat, walking.
About our Transportation
Please note that speed boats are used to transfer between Islands. This is a fun way to travel but those who do experience motion sickness may want to ensure they bring any medications or use preventative measures against an upset stomach.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (4 nts), G Adventures-supported community guesthouse (2 nts).
Please note that hot water shortages and power outages can be fairly common in Galapagos. We appreciate your patience and understanding that these occurrences are outside of our control.
Please note that due to its remote location, we do stay at a simple guesthouse on Floreana Island and services and amenities may be a bit more simple than in other hotels on this trip. The experience of staying in a more remote and less-visited spot, more than makes up for a few less frills.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Upon arrival at the Baltra airport, you will disembark the plane, enter the airport where you must wait in line to pay your Galapagos Park Fee of $100 US dollars. This fee must be paid in cash. Once you pay for the park fee, you will retrieve your luggage and have one final baggage inspection by the Galapagos National Park authority before meeting your transfer representative and driver. You will notice that there are no cars or taxis outside the airport only buses. This is because Baltra is a small island with no inhabitants. All travellers going to Santa Cruz Island must board the public bus to the Itabaca Canal. If you are unsure of where to go, there are often Galapagos Naturalist guides in the airport who speak english, you can identify them by their khaki clothing, they can instruct you where to go. The ride to the Itabaca Canal is free and takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes at which time you will disembark the bus and take your luggage to a ferry. The cost of the ferry to cross the canal is 1 US dollar, please make sure you have small change. Heavier luggage will be put on the roof of the ferry while passengers will enter down below in the seating area. The ferry will cross the small canal taking another 5 to 10 minutes where you will finally arrive to Santa Cruz Island. Disembark the ferry, take your luggage and here you find various options to get to Puerto Ayora. You can arrange a taxi, look for a bus. A taxi normally costs $30-40 US dollars while sharing a bus can be much less. The ride takes approximately 45 minutes to get to Puerto Ayora.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Representative (if one is listed below) or our G Adventures Local Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
If you have purchased an arrival through G Adventures or if an arrival transfer is included in the cost of your tour, please note that:
Your arrival transfer has been arranged based on flight information provided to us. If you are advised of a flight schedule change within 48 hours of your scheduled arrival time, we will do our best to rearrange your arrival transfer however we cannot guarantee this. If your arrival transfer does not arrive within 30 minutes after you have exited the arrivals area please take a taxi to your start point hotel.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Office Quito, Ecuador
During office hours (Weekdays 9am-6pm Local Time)
From outside Ecuador: +593 2250 6610
From within Ecuador: 022 506 610
After hours Emergency number
From outside Ecuador: +593 999 506 000
From within Ecuador: 0999 506 000
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
We recommend the use of a duffel bag, soft bag on wheels or backpack (whichever you find easiest to carry). A good size daypack is also essential.
Please note that Galápagos is a protected national park so your luggage will be checked before arrival and departure to and from the islands. Don’t bring any food, seeds or other organic material that could affect the delicate ecosystem of the islands.
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Drybag (Will help keep cameras and essentials dry)
• External battery pack
• Motion sickness tablets
• Snorkel gear (optional) (Only if own equipment is preferred.)
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Laundry facilities are offered by some of our hotels for a charge. There will be times when you may want to or have to do your own laundry so we suggest you bring non-polluting/biodegradable soap.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent.
- Please note that by February 2nd 2018, it will be mandatory for every traveler to show proof of insurance (covering medical, accident, death) to the immigration authority at the airport or border crossing into Ecuador. This insurance must cover the traveler for their entire length of stay in the country.
If you do not carry proof of insurance and/or an insurance assistance card that satisfies this requirement, it is possible that your entrance into Ecuador could be denied.
Detailed Trip Notes
Located on the Equator, the Galapagos climate is tempered by the Humboldt Current, so you do not experience extreme heat found elsewhere at this latitude. The warmest weather is December to June, when temperatures range from 22-33°C (72-90 °F), and the water temperature is in the mid 20s (mid 70°F). From July to November, temperatures are cooler and range from 18-24°C (60s -75°F), when average water temperature rarely reach 21°C (70°F).
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances. Visa cards are the most widely accepted cards. While ATMs are widely available some may not accept all international credit or debit cards. You may need to try at more than one machine if the first does not accept your card. You should also check with your bank before leaving to ensure that your card works internationally. You should be aware that to purchase products or services on a credit card a fee of 5%-10% usually applies. Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US dollar cash and cards is best. Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds. Please bring USD banknotes in denominations smaller than 100, as they can be hard to exchange in Ecuador. 100 dollar bills of certain series (e.g. CB B2) can be especially hard to cash! CURRENCY EXCHANGE TIP: Please be advised that slightly torn notes, notes that have been heavily marked or are faded may be difficult to exchange. It is best to bring notes in fairly good condition, in denominations lower than 100USD (or equivalent). As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in Latin America to tip service providers such as waiters, at approximately 10%, depending on the service. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are several times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip the local guides or drivers we use. Recommendations for tipping drivers and local guides would range from $5-10 USD per day depending on the quality and length of the service.
- Islote Tintoreras Snorkelling (45-50USD per person)
- Los Tuneles Snorkelling (140-150USD per person)
- Surfing Lesson (45-55USD per person)
Santa Cruz Island
- Tortuga Bay Kayaking (15USD per person)
Please note inoculations may be required for the country visited. It is your responsibility to consult with your travel doctor for up to date medical travel information well before departure.
You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information well before departure. We recommend that you carry a First Aid kit and hand sanitizers / antibacterial wipes as well as any personal medical requirements. Please be aware that quite often we are in remote areas and away from medical facilities, and for legal reasons our leaders are prohibited from administering any type of drug including headache tablets, antibiotics, etc. When selecting your trip please carefully read the brochure and itinerary and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please refer to the Physical and Culture Shock ratings for trip specific information. G Adventures reserves the right to exclude any traveller from all or part of a trip without refund if in the reasonable opinion of our CEO they are unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group.
Please note your adventure travels to high altitude, in Quito. This is medically defined as anything over 8,000 feet (2,440 meters). Most people can travel to 8,000 feet with minimal effects. However, everyone reacts to altitude differently and altitude sickness can on set with some people irrespective of fitness and age. For details on how to best prepare and what to do in the unlikely event you are effected on your adventure, please consult your physician.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of people in the sex trade is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our CEOs have the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they engage in any form of paid sex work.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at [email protected] and we will send it on to you.
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Local naturalist guide while in the Galápagos Islands (certified by the Galápagos National Park Authority).
PRODUCT_LINE: SEIG, ID: 24341
Day 1: Puerto Ayora
As reaching the hotel in Santa Cruz (Puerto Ayora) from the Baltra airport can be tricky, exit the airport and head for the public bus to Itabaca Canal. From there, take a ferry across the canal to Santa Cruz Island. From the ferry terminal, opt to take a taxi or bus to Puerto Ayora, typically a 45-min ride.
There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2: Puerto Ayora/Floreana Island (1B, 1D)
In the morning, walk to “Las Grietas” located across Academy Bay, walk through a rugged cactus forest on the way to this stunning lagoon. In the afternoon, hop on a speedboat to nearby Floreana Island. Stay in the G Adventures-supported community guesthouses and eat meals in the community restaurants and help to support community tourism on the island.
Please note that travel between islands is done by speedboat. The ride can be quite rough, especially from July to December. Make sure to bring sea sickness medication if you are prone to sea sickness.
Swimming at Las Grietas
Floreana Community Restaurants
Floreana Community Guesthouse
Keep an eye out for dolphins and birds along the way.
Speedboat (2.00 hour(s))
Day 3: Floreana Island (1B, 1L, 1D)
Walk along the black-sand beach until Loberia, and enjoy beach snorkelling or swimming. Head up to the seldom-visited highlands of Floreana. Enjoy guided walks to observe birds and other wildlife and learn about the area’s natural history.
Loberia Snorkelling Excursion
Floreana Highlands Excursion
Floreana Community Restaurants
Floreana Community Guesthouse
Day 4: Floreana Island/Isabela Island (1B)
Hike to the summit to experience a bird’s-eye view of this magical landscape. Continue to the lava fields of Volcano Chico admiring views of the surrounding volcanoes and islands.
Sierra Negra Volcano Excursion
Speedboat (2.00-2.50 hours)
Day 5: Isabela Island (1B)
Explore the surroundings with a short walk to observe pink flamingos in the wetlands and catch a stunning Isabela sunset on the beach. Along the way, stop at a lookout point, and visit natural pools, beaches, and mangrove swamps. In the evening, relax at the bar or on the beach and opt to enjoy a drink at sunset.
Please note that space may be limited for optional activities during high season, these activities are operated by third-party operators and will be subject to availability.
Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre Visit
Day 6: Isabela Island/Puerto Ayora (1B)
In the evening, enjoy free time to explore this bustling little town and sample some of the local restaurants and bars, or do a little last minute shopping.
Tortuga Bay Hike
Speedboat (2.00-3.00 hours)
Day 7: Puerto Ayora (1B)
Depart at any time.