7 days from £4070pp plus international flights.
If you want to see the Galapagos Islands but don't fancy staying on a yacht, this could be just the thing for you! Island hopping whilst staying in small properties on three different islands.
This is a very different way to see the Galapagos islands. Inside of choosing to base yourself on a yacht which sails from island to island (often overnight), you could choose to be land-based and take day trips out to see the islands.
This Galapagos Island hopping trip has three bases within the week: Floreana, Isabela and Santa Cruz.
Obviously the range of islands you can see is more limited on such a trip, but the experience is still very rich and rewarding, and some people (especially those with bad sea legs!) will much prefer it. Of course you still have to get from island to island, and there are day boat trips too, so there is still quite a lot of time on the water, but then the sea is half the joy of a Galapagos Islands trip. You will also spend time exploring on foot, by bike and kayak, all led by an experienced naturalist guide.
We have based this price on using comfortable tourist class properties, but as it's a tailor made holiday we can chop and change the accommodation to suit you. It is also possible to extend this trip with a stay in San Cristobal, a great place to see sea lions and frigate birds.
You will be met on arrival at the airport in Baltra and accompanied on the journey to Santa Cruz. You will visit the Los Gemelos craters and visit the highland Galapagos tortoises. You will have a picnic lunch then continue to the town of Puerto Ayora. Board a private speedboat for the two hour ride to the island of Floreana. Check in to Lava Lodge, on one of the most beautiful beaches in the islands. Later you take a short walk to La Loberia and opportunities for swimming and snorkelling. Return to the lodge for a shower and change of clothes, then head into the village for dinner. Lunch, dinner
This morning you board the open air bus to begin a tour of the highlands. You will be accompanied by a naturalist guide who will provide information about the wildlife and history of the island. You will follow a walking trail that passes pirate caves and a freshwater spring. Keep your eyes open for giant tortoises in the vegetation as you head back down to the coast. You'll enjoy fabulous views of the coastline and will find a BBQ lunch waiting for you. Back at the lodge this afternoon there are chances to swim, kayak and try some stand up paddling (SUP), the newest activity. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Catch the early morning speedboat to Isabela and check into your hotel. You'll head out to the Tintoreras islands, almost a Galapagos in miniature with almost all of the Galapagos' wildlife found here. You can expect to see sea lions, white tipped sharks, penguins, pelicans, turtles and blue-footed boobies. You'll have time for snorkelling. In the afternoon you'll walk to the tortoise breeding centre near your hotel, which plays an important part in the conservation of these wonderful creatures. Breakfast, lunch, dinner
You have the whole day to explore the Isabela highlands, beginning with a hike up to the crater of Sierra Negra volcano, the second largest in the world after the Ngorongoro Crater. You'll have a tasty picnic lunch while admiring views over the island and towards Fernandina, Pinzon and Santa Cruz islands. In the late afternoon, head back down to your hotel and relax on the beach. The total distance hiked today is about 16kms. Breakfast, lunch
You will be allocated a kayak for the trip to Island Bay, watching out for turtles, rays and sea lions as you paddle. Spend time watching the wildlife before travelling back to Villamil dock. This afternoon you'll saddle up for a bike ride along the Wetlands Trail, which takes in wildlife, beaches and historic sites. Finally you'll arrive at the Wall of Tears, built by WW2 prisoners of war being held at the US base on the island. There will be a stop at a swimming hole and further time to relax when you arrive back at the hotel. Breakfast, lunch
Board the speedboat to Santa Cruz this morning, arriving to a delicious breakfast by the harbour. From here you are driven to a hilltop where you swap 4 wheels for 2 as you glide back down to the Garrapatero Beach on a mountain bike, passing farms and stopping to take in the views on the way. At the beach you can go kayaking in the bay perhaps spotting sharks, rays and sea birds, before enjoying lunch (at own expense) and going back to Puerto Ayora. Here you can shop for souvenirs or, time permitting, walk along the 3km boardwalk to Tortuga Bay, where you can swim and snorkel. Tonight you'll stay in a tented camp in the highlands, a restful setting after an actiona-packed day. Breakfast, dinner
This morning you'll visit the twin craters of Los Gemelos, which were once subterranean magma chambers and now offer the chance for some hiking. The craters have been enveloped by the jungle and are an impressive sight to behold. After the visit you travel back to Baltra where you catch a flight back to the mainland. However, if you want to treat yourself to a longer stay in the Galapagos, there's plenty to see and do and we can book you as many extra nights as you'd like. Breakfast.
Guide price from (pp sharing): £4070 (ex. international flights)
Accommodation on twin share basis; meals as specified; shared speedboat transfers between islands; private local naturalist guide
International flights; Quito-Galapagos return flights; departure taxes; transfers in Quito; visas; travel insurance; Galapagos National Park Fee, currently US$100 but subject to change and payable locally in US$; meals not specified; items of a personal nature; tips.
Getting there: This tour starts and ends in Baltra in the Galapagos Islands. Return flights from the UK to Quito cost from about £900, depending on season and availability and return flights from Quito to Galapagos cost from £460.
Departure dates: This is a private tailor made trip, too, with daily departures, subject to availability.
Facing a sandy beach, this small hotel provides simple and homely accommodation on the island of Isabela.
This pinewood lodge is on a black lava beach on the island of Floreana and has just 10 en-suite cabins.
Stay in a tent or treehouse in the Santa Cruz highlands where your nearest neighbours are giant tortoises.
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Find the best time to visit Galapagos Islands
Time: GMT - 6 hours
Flight time: Flights to the Galapagos Islands leave from Quito and touch down in Guayaquil en route, taking about 3 hours from Quito or 2 hours from Guayaquil. The flights land either at Baltra or San Cristobal.
Language: Spanish is the official language in the Galapagos Islands.
Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.
Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.