Galapagos Family Experience Nature & Wildlife 8 Days
Experience in company of your family the enchanted Galapagos Islands from the comfort of a land based expedition! The islands offer endless opportunities to explore a unique abundance of life in a setting unlike any other on earth. The Galapagos form a natural sanctuary that preserves species, allowing them to evolve since countless millennia. This is one of the few places on earth that allows such intimate contact with so much wildlife. This holyday also provides flexible time to spend on your own and discover the withe sand beaches, well signed trails in the Galapagos forest, and the lots of wildlife.
This trip also benefits to local communities and is socially and environmentally responsible. Be part of an educational and inspirational journey of a lifetime in one of the most fiercely protected marine wilderness areas in the world!
- Enjoy real time encounter with the most amazing wildlife up your finger tips and discover the power nature with the evolutionary changes of such a unique animals
- Snorkel through lava formations with sea turtles, penguins, sea horses, sea lions and sharks at Lava Tunnels
EXPLORE THE WILDLIFE
SNORKELING WITH SEA TURTLES, RAYS, PENGUINS AND SEA LIONS
KAYAK AND SNORKEL IN TINTORERAS ISLET
HIKE TO SIERRA NEGRA ACTIVE VOLCANO IN ISABELA
BIKE ALONG THE SEASHORE TO THE WALL OF TEARS
VISIT CHARLES DARWIN RESEARCH STATION IN SANTA CRUZ ISLAND
ENCOUNTER WITH WILD GIANT TORTOISES
LEARN ABOUT TORTOISES AT BREEDING CENTER AND DISCOVER FLAMINGOS LAGOON
RELAX ON THE WHITE SAND BEACHES
Day 1: Quito
Welcome to Quito! The biggest, best-preserved colonial city of America was declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. The city is considered the Cultural Capital of South America and the second most important city of the old Inca Empire. Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. Adventure Journeys can help you to organize a day trip.
In the evening, one of our trip leaders will meet you at the hotel for a welcome briefing and there will be plenty of time to discuss details and answer any questions you may have regarding the adventure. Our first day is an informational and acclimation day.
Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito.
Day 2: Galapagos - Isabela
Today we get ready to explore the most amazing archipelago in the Pacific coast and the place where Charles Darwin based its theory of the evolution of species. We will board a morning flight from Quito to the island of Baltra.Once arrived, we head to the town of Puerto Ayora, the biggest town in Galapagos. From here we will take a fast boat to Isabela, the largest island in the archipelago and the place where the most volcanic activity in the Galapagos is reported. The island is formed by six shield volcanoes, Alcedo, Cerra Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf, five of them still active, and therefore the island is one of the most volcanically active places on earth. During our island crossing, we will be on the lookout for dolphins and whales (July to October).
Accommodation: Isabela Beach house or similar
Day 3: Isabela Island
After driving up from Puerto Villamil to the trailhead, we will prepare our backpacks and hike into a young forest ecosystem, a world of recent geological history. Our destination is the rim of Sierra Negra Crater, an active volcano which last erupted in October 2005.
Upon arrival, we take in breathtaking views and explore the circumference of the massive, lava-filled crater, over six miles across at its widest point.
Enjoy the Afternoon a bit more relax by the beach or take your first snorkeling exploration at concha Perla bay looking for sea lions, turtles and more sea wildlife. You can also sing in for an optional surfing lesson in your free time
Accommodation: Isabela Beach House or similar
Day 4: Breeding Center, Flamingo laggon & tintoreras - Isabela
Today, we will head out on our mountain bikes to explore the beautiful coastline on an exclusive trail, taking us through an incredible ecosystem with a wide variety of wildlife. We start with a visit to the Wall of Tears, a massive wall built with lava rocks. This site dates back to the '50s, when Isabela was used as a penal colony and prisoners were forced to build the wall to keep them from going mad, because of the isolation they experienced.
As we continue our ride along the coast, we will explore pristine, white sand beaches, mangrove forests and lagoons. This area is filled with birdlife, including American oyster catchers, herons, flamingos, finches and many shore birds, as well as the ubiquitous sea lions and marine iguanas
In the afternoon is time to get refresh in the water going on board of our kayaks and visit Tintoreras Islet, located at a short distance from Puerto Villamil and home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos Penguins, marine turtles and sea lions. One of its beaches surrounded by mangroves is one of the few sites where marine iguanas can reproduce successfully.
Accommodation: Isabela Beach House or similar
Day 5: Santa Cruz Island
In the morning we will embark on a fast boat from Isabela to Santa Cruz Island. During our island crossing, we will be on the lookout for dolphins and whales (July to October). Once we arrive, we will check in at the hotel.
We will have time to visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about many of the endemic species we met during our adventure, as well as the ongoing conservation and management efforts on the Galapagos Islands. In the afternoon, we will head to the 'El Chato' Reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to the famous Galapagos tortoise. Hiking through El Chato's beautiful scenery with those lumbering giants is an unforgettable experience! We also see other highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers and finches on our hike. We can also observe frigatebirds which gather to wash the salt off their feathers at a fresh water lake. We will return to Puerto Ayora to spend the evening in Galapagos' most populous town.
Accommodation: Silberstein Hotel or similar visite website
Day 6: Free Day in Santa Cruz
Today, you can experience the Galapagos at your pace! As an option, you can go on a self-guided exploration walk through a dry forest to Tortuga Bay (about 3 ½ miles long), a beautiful white sand beach and nesting side to thousands of marine turtles. This beautiful place invites for swimming or snorkeling. Alternatively, you can join any of the optional activities (at an extra cost), such as a trip to Floreana Island, Bartolome Island or a scuba-diving day trip, just to mention a few.
Accommodation: Silberstein or similar.
Day 7: Quito
After our final breakfast on the Galapagos Island and the last photos taken of sea lions, we will have a transfer to Baltra's airport in time to catch the flight back to the mainland.
Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito.
Day 8: Quito - Departure
Today our trip will end and you will have your International departures. Take with you your memories and photos and leave a piece of your heart, as you will want to return to Ecuador soon to experience more of this enchanted land. We wish you a "buen viaje"!
- Transportation: Airport transfers (national flights), sea transportation Santa Cruz - Isabela islands round trip, comfortable land transportation
- Accommodations based in double occupancy: First Class hotel in Quito, 4-star hotels in Galapagos
- Activities: Biking to Breading centtre and flamingos lagoon, kayak & snorkel in Tintoreras islet, Hike to sierra negra Active volcano, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, hiking in Santa Cruz highlands.
- Meals Included: 7 breakfasts and 2 box lunches
- Gear: Snorkeling mask and fins, life vest
- Trip Leader: Certified AJ expert English-speaking adventure Trip Leader (minimum 4 people for this service) and naturalist local guides in Galapagos National Park
- My Own Room supplement: USD $850
- International flights
- Airfare Quito - Galapagos - Quito round trip
- Airport transfer (international flights)
- Travel insurance (mandatory)
- Meals not described in the itinerary - estimated budget USD $180 USD
- INGALA transit card: USD $20 per person, cash only (subject to change)
- Galapagos National Park fee: USD $100 per person, cash only (subject to change)
- USD $10 pier-use fee at Puerto Villamil
- Snorkeling gear (mask and fins) for optional activities: USD $8 per day per person
- Wetsuit for rent: USD $10
- Travel insurance,
- Airline tickets,
- Credit or debit card (see personal spending money),
- Fleece top,
- 4 shirts/t-shirts,
- 1 pair of short,
- 2 pairs of long trousers,
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants,
- Sport sandals,
- Watch or alarm clock,
- Quick dry clothing,
- Rain coat,
- Waterproof binoculars,
- Bug spray,
- Sun cream,
- Sun Hat,
- Waterproof camera if possible,
- Swimming suit,
- Waterproof back pack,
- Water bottle,
- Tennis shoes,
- Hiking shoes,
- Money belt,
- First-aid kit (should contain lip salve, Aspirin, Band Aids, anti-histamine, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, re-hydration powder, extra prescription drugs you may be taking.
- Dry bag for all your belongings
It is our intention to adhere to the itinerary described; however, due to our travel style, on occasions it may be necessary or desirable to make small changes. Weather conditions and unpredictable local circumstances may lead us to make alterations to the route and/or travel times. Hotels and flight schedules might change according to availability. Any mention to specific wildlife in the itinerary or trip details is not a guarantee that it will be seen during the trip.
2h 45 min each way from Quito to Galapagos. Regular size aircraft. About 140 passengers
BOAT TRAVEL TIME
2 hours each way from Isabela to Santa Cruz
45 minutes each way - Lava Tunnels
15 minutes each way - Tintoreras
45 minutes Airport transfers in Quito
45 minutes Airport trasnfers in Galapagos
45 minutes each way in Sierra Negra
Tintoreras: 1 hour.
Lava Tunnels: 2 times of 1 hour each.
Short hikes 1 hour average
December to May: 80ºF to 90ºF / 25ºC to 30ºC. June to September: 60ºF to 70ºF / 15ºC to 20ºC. October to December: 70ºF to 80ºF/ 15ºC to 25ºC
The waters of the Galapagos Islands are a unique mixture
of warm and cold water, ranging between 65ºF and 85ºF
From sea level to 600m (1900ft)
Day 15-34ºC / 59-93ºF - Night 12-17ºC / 53-62ºF
Moderate to easy there are short hikes in El Chato, North Seymor, breeding center, Charles Darwin station, snorkeling is easy.
Traveling with Adventure Journeys you will have the possibility to experience and taste local food and snacks. Your guide will help you identify typical food and suggest the best places to enjoy it. Some meals are not included in order to give you some flexibility about where what and with whom to eat. You have the option to share these meals with the group, however, there is no obligation to do this. If you have any allergies or food restrictions, please inform AJ prior to your departure.
All prices are based on double occupancy. If you are traveling solo, you will be matched with another participant of your same sex. If you prefer to have a single room, please contact AJ prior to your departure to arrange your accommodation at an extra cost.
YOUR TRIP LEADERS AND GUIDES
All AJ guides and trip leaders are highly experienced, licensed to operate in Ecuador and certified as Wilderness Adventure First Aid responders. We always carry a complete first aid kit in our trips. In some location and for some activities, local guides join the trip leaders to provide an added service. In the Galapagos Islands, minimum 4 participants for the AJ trip leader service are required.
SUSTAINABLE ECO AND CULTURAL TOURISM
Clients receive a conservationist interpretation of the ecology of the Andes, Amazon Rainforest and Galapagos Islands with the factors that threaten it. We aim to promote long-term conservation of both Local People cultural identity and their environment. Your visit will encourage them to support responsible ecotourism. We transport out and recycle all non-organic garbage.