Day 1: Departure from Quito
Welcome to Quito! When we gather in the capital of Ecuador, the atmosphere will be very high. Built on ancient Incan ruins, this modern city (nicknamed "American Light") has one of the best-preserved historic centers in the United States. It was also the first city to be declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. We will go straight into the city group tour, traveling between the two hemispheres on the equator line. Squeezing in a visit to the IInti-Ñan museum should end day one nicely.
Day 2: Quito to Tena
It leaves the city and enters lush jungle with spectacular views along the way. A great way to spend the day. This stunning landscape is made up of vibrant hills and tumbling rivers, making it a white water rafting dream! If that's not your scene, we'll head to a hummingbird sanctuary to try and catch these beautiful birds as they buzz by. Then we'll settle down for the night and get ready for tomorrow's big adventure.
Day 3: Turner
Today is your day to roam the city and the jungle to your heart's content. Maybe relax with a few hot sugar cane and cinnamon drinks and traditional canelazo beer, or opt to visit a local Aboriginal community - a really cool way to really get involved and give back to your travels. You'll have the chance to meet shamans, play soccer with local children, and get a real taste of tribal life in the area. Do you like the sound of this? Perhaps consider packing some extra school supplies or a tasty snack in your luggage – definitely not a must, but definitely a hit with local kids. Tonight, we will enjoy delicious meats, sauces and salads, all traditional dishes sourced locally from the region. yum
Day 4: Turner to Baños
Good morning, Amazon Rover! Today we're headed to the adrenaline capital of Baños, so it's time to get out of the rainforest - our next adventure awaits... Sitting amidst tumbling valleys, waterfalls and the still active Tungurahua Volcano, Baños is an important place on the frontline of natural beauty. No matter how adventurous you're feeling, there's something for everyone over the next two days. If "Thrill Seeker" is your middle name, choose your Zip Line and Canyoneering experience today. If you want a more gentle experience, fear not, we have the perfect Zip Line (for beginners) for you tomorrow. Tonight is all about learning the art of sultry salsa dancing, including a class that makes our snake hips quiver. Our friendly local teacher, Edith, knows what's going on on the dance floor, and when we leave, those salsa pros won't know what hit them. After the dance floor goal is done, we'll hop around some watering holes and experience the local nightlife.
Day 5: Baños
Today's adventure opportunities are endless, with horseback riding, canyoning and zip lining all available. Trust us, this isn't just plain old zip lining - we're talking sky bridges, rock climbing and flying through the skies, Superman style - it's pretty much the ultimate aerial adventure. Don't have such a tall head? Horse fun and canyoning will keep you on your toes. Oh, what a tough day it's going to be at Banos - deciding how best to embrace your inner adventurer.
Day 6: Baños to Quito
Today we return to Quito for a short overnight stay. You'll still have the chance to explore this beautiful city - lucky!
Day 7: Quito to Isabela Island
Rise up and shine! This morning, we will fly to the magnificent Galapagos Islands. Are you excited? you should. Upon arrival, we will appease our growling stomachs with some local food. Giant tortoises roaming in their natural environment and incredible ancient lava tunnels will welcome us to Santa Cruz Island. After lunch we will sail back to our home for the night - the unbelievably majestic Isabela Island where we will fall asleep to the stunning beauty of the Galapagos National Park. The species that was the inspiration behind Charles Darwin's 'Origins', Isabella Island is home to a wildlife you won't find anywhere else in the world. Imagine the scene—sandy streets, palm trees, crystal clear water, and playful seal pups—could it really be any more perfect? Soak it all in, because it's home for the next little while.
Day 8: Isabela Island
Well good morning heaven. The sea is calling, what right do we have to resist her? On our wildlife kayaking adventure, we'll head out to sea with beady eyes in search of green sea turtles.
Day 9: Isabela Island to Santa Cruz Island
We'll wake up hungry this morning (that's what island life does to you), and with good reason - Santa Cruz is just over the horizon. After acclimatizing to the Santa Cruz lifestyle, we'll stroll down to the beach and cozy Tortuga Bay. Wildlife fanatics will be in for a treat - the island is known for sharks, rays, turtles, great blue herons and even blue-footed boobies. Spend time sunbathing next to the marine iguanas, or wander the streets, stopping for fresh juices at cute cafes.
Day 10: Santa Cruz Island to San Cristobal Island
Back on our boat, we'll set off to San Cristobal to keep an eye out for the adorable bathing sea lions (we don't have to look very closely - they're pretty much everywhere). Four extinct volcanoes span the entire island, forming a scenic highland experience best experienced by bike - mostly downhill cruising, you'll be happy to know. The small town of El Progreso will add a touch of color to our journey as we traverse five different vegetation zones before arriving at our seaside destination, La Loberia Beach.
Day 11: San Cristobal Island
This was our last day of immersion in the natural beauty of the Galapagos Islands, and it was what we had planned. We'll kick off with a bird watching tour, followed by a boat ride to the 143-meter Kicker Rock, a natural phenomenon jutting out of the ocean and one of the region's greatest icons. Our local guides will detail the above and underwater wildlife around the rocks before we'll jump in and explore for ourselves. Keep an eye out for chocolate starfish and a Galapagos shark or two, but remember the golden rule - keep those toes away from the coral as this can wreak havoc on a fragile ecosystem. Back on board we will track down Puerto Grande Beach. Here we will have lunch on board and enjoy our last afternoon of fun in the Galapagos Islands, before wrapping up the day with a feat of all feasting. what a wonderful day.
Day 12: San Cristobal Island to Quito
Time to relax and enjoy the beauty of the island this morning before heading back to the mainland where your tour will end on arrival. Not finished? Why not fly to Peru and join us on our Peru Discovery Tour?
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The Galapagos Islands are in the Pacific Ocean, off the Western coast of South America. They are a rocky lonely spot, but they are also one of the most unusual places in the world. One reason is that they are the home of some of the last giant tortoises left on Earth.Where are the Galapagos islands located _____ degrees _____ and _____ degrees _____? ›
The Galapagos Islands, officially known as the Archipielago de Colon, are located 600 miles west of the nation of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. They are on the equator at 1 degree south latitude, 91 degrees west longitude.How many days is enough for Galapagos Islands? ›
How many days should I spend in the Galapagos if I want to see every island? Laughter tells that travelers need 14-15 days to see every single island in the archipelago. However, we recommend adding in some free time between snorkeling, hiking, and exploring lava tunnels for two weeks.What is the best explanation for the very few species of mammals on the Galapagos islands? ›
Because of its isolation, there are very few native mammals that reside in the Galapagos Islands. Mammals are not able to survive long periods without water and thus were unequipped to make the epic 620 mile-long journey to the volcanic islands from mainland South and Central America.How rough are the seas around Galapagos Islands? ›
There are months when the sea is calmer and these will be the best for avoiding seasickness on a Galapagos cruise. The calmer months are between January and June. Meanwhile the seas can sometimes be rougher between the months of July and December. The roughest months are generally September and October.How rough are the waters around the Galapagos Islands? ›
The water is rougher but a bit cooler in temperature, and therefore you need to make sure that you take your wetsuit with you on this trip. The harshest the seas get is during the latter months such as September. The islands are still a sight to behold with green highlands and clean lowlands.Where are the Galapagos Islands located 5 points? ›
The Galápagos Islands are a chain of islands, or archipelago, in the eastern Pacific Ocean. They are part of the country of Ecuador, in South America. The Galápagos lie about 966 kilometers (600 miles) off of the Ecuadorian coast.What zone is the Galapagos Islands in? ›
Mainland Ecuador's time zone is GMT -5. It does not observe Daylight Saving Time (DST). However, the Galapagos Islands have a different time zone which is GMT -6.Are the Galapagos Islands above or below the equator? ›
The Galapagos Archipelago is a cluster of some 13 volcanic islands and associated islets and rocks located just under the equator, about 600 miles (1000km) west of Ecuador in South America.What month is best for Galapagos? ›
The best time to visit Galapagos Islands is between December to February, although different times of year are preferred depending on the desired activities. These months are considered the warm, rainy season or garúa season.
Ideal Number of Days in the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands is truly an extraordinary experience, but some find that a four or five-day cruise is plenty for them, while others prefer to see absolutely everything and take an eight-day cruise, or even a cruise that lasts 14 or 15 days.
Each month has its own rewards (learn more below). But that said, our experts generally agree that the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands is from December to May. Why? These months coincide with the warm season and ocean conditions are clear, warm excellent for snorkeling and diving.What is one unique or unusual animal found only on the Galapagos Islands? ›
The giant Galapagos land iguana (Conolophus subcristatus) is completely unique to the islands. They can grow to almost six feet long and can move remarkably fast. The iguanas are threatened and have been hunted to extinction on several islands, with only 5,000-10,000 of the animals left on the islands.What is one animal only found in the Galapagos Islands? ›
The Galapagos penguin is the only penguin found north of the equator. These tiny penguins are endangered and you can find them on the islands of Fernandina and Isabela.
This incredibly unusual species of iguana found on all Galapagos islands is the only extant (or still existing) marine lizard on Earth. The coloration, shape, and size of marine iguanas vary significantly between islands.
Overfishing and illegal industrial fishing are serious threats to the islands' delicate marine ecosystem. They deplete commercial fish, destroy marine environments, and harm local communities whose livelihoods and health depend on fish.Can you walk on the Galapagos Islands? ›
Despite being famed for its magnificent natural beauty and remarkable wildlife species, many travellers wonder if you can hike in the Galapagos Islands. We're here to set the matter straight: you absolutely can. The untamed landscapes of the archipelago make wonderful places to explore on two feet.Do you get seasick on a Galapagos cruise? ›
Yes, you will experience some seasickness while sailing in the Galapagos Islands. Nevertheless, we've worked on our boats and itineraries to mitigate it so that you'll experience the best of the islands without discomfort. Seasickness is the bane of many travelers' dreams.Is it OK to go to the Galapagos Islands? ›
The Galapagos Islands' wildlife is generally not dangerous. The local animals and birds are unafraid of people since they have lived in this area for ages without encountering humans. However, even if they are occasionally close enough to touch, you should remember not to touch them.Where is the poor man's Galapagos? ›
The Islas Ballestas of Peru are commonly referred to as the “poor man's Galapagos”, and for good reason. The islands rank as one of Peru's best wildlife-watching destinations, serving as an important sanctuary for a variety of mammals, marine species and birdlife, some of them unique to the country.
Safety in the Galapagos towns
If you are on a Galapagos land-based trip you may even be staying in one or more of these towns. In general, levels of crime are thought to be lower here than on mainland Ecuador. Visitors to the Galapagos Islands are generally told to not be concerned with crime here.
What are the Galapagos Islands famous for? Giant tortoises on Isabela, marine iguanas on Fernandina, blue-footed boobies nesting on North Seymour, and 17 other land, marine, and avian species not found anywhere else in the world are the major reasons for the Galapagos Islands' fame.Why is Galapagos so special? ›
The remoteness and geographic isolation allowed the flora and fauna of the Galapagos to develop in a unique way, enabling the existence of giant tortoises, marine iguanas, flightless cormorants and a wide array of other unique and endemic species of plants and animals.What country is closest to the Galapagos Islands? ›
Located off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos are a true paradise on Earth. With their unique landscapes, abundant wildlife, and crystal-clear waters, these islands are unlike any other destination.Can you live on the Galapagos Islands? ›
The Galapagos Population Today – Do people live on the Galapagos Islands. Currently, four islands are inhabited, with a total of around 30,000 inhabitants. The largest ethnic group is Ecuadorian Mestizos. In 1959, only 1,000 to 2,000 people lived on the islands, growing to 15,000 by the 1980s.What is the temperature in Galapagos Islands? ›
Partly cloudy skies. High 72F. Winds SSE at 10 to 20 mph.Which are the 4 inhabited islands on Galapagos? ›
Only four of the archipelago's thirteen major islands have human populations: Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana. In total, only three percent (or 300km2) of the Islands have human settlements, (the remaining 97% of the Galapagos Islands is maintained as national park).What part of the Galapagos Islands is missing? ›
"The world-famous Darwin's Arch collapsed in front of their eyes. There are now only two pillars remaining. Some in the dive & travel industry are already referring to this now as 'The Pillars of Evolution'. We will miss this iconic site," the group shared on Facebook.What airport do you fly into for Galapagos Islands? ›
Flights to Galapagos Islands land at one of two airports. Seymour Airport is on Baltra Island, adjacent to Santa Cruz Island. San Cristobal Airport is in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island. All travelers flying to the Galapagos Islands will arrive at these airports.
Visiting Ecuador requires a higher risk tolerance than visiting some other destinations, thanks to its very high crime rate. However, the crime primarily affects locals, not tourists. What is this? If you avoid dangerous regions and take basic precautions, you can have a great time in Ecuador.
Travel requirements for U.S. citizens planning a trip to the Galápagos are: Valid passport—legitimate for at least 6 months after your expected return to U.S. Return ticket. Proof of economic means of support (may be questioned by Immigration authorities)Does it get cold in Galapagos? ›
Good Weather for visiting all year round. Galapagos is on the Equator but the weather is not tropical. Temperatures range from 69°-84°F / 21°-30°C.Do you need a wetsuit to snorkel in the Galapagos? ›
The very short answer: It is not ultimately necessary to wear a wetsuit when swimming or snorkeling in Galapagos, but for the most enjoyable experience we stongly recommend you use one. The longer answer: Snorkeling is one of the top activities that passengers look for during a Galapagos Cruise, and rightfully so!Do I need a PCR for Galapagos? ›
International travelers are no longer required to present COVID-19 vaccination cards or proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to entering the Galapagos Islands.Which island is the best to stay in Galapagos? ›
Santa Cruz is the best island to stay in the Galapagos Islands, it's the most popular when it comes to tourism, it has great hotels such as Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, and you can take a boat trip to other islands from here.How far in advance do you need to book Galapagos? ›
Generally you should think about booking your trip between 3 to 9 months in advance. Also see: When is the best time to go to the Galapagos? How flexible are your travel dates? If you only have a week long window in which to visit the Galapagos, you will have really limited options.How long do you need for Ecuador and Galapagos? ›
5 to 6 days is perfect if you have limited time but still want a memorable experience. 7 – 8 days is very comprehensive and will allow you to experience the diversity of the different islands and landscapes. 9 – 15 days if you really want to see all that the Galapagos has to offer. To learn more . . .What is the hottest months in Ecuador? ›
|Quick Climate Info|
|Hottest Month||January (59 °F avg)|
|Coldest Month||June (58 °F avg)|
|Wettest Month||April (7.33" avg)|
|Windiest Month||September (7 mph avg)|
Galapagos cell phone coverage can be spotty. Generally, the populated areas have decent coverage, but the uninhabited islands and open ocean are typically out of range.Are there Komodo dragons on Galapagos Islands? ›
No, Komodo dragons do not live on the Galapagos Islands; they are found on islands in Indonesia.
This particular species of snake is part of the family of snakes known as Pseudalsophis which are native to the Galápagos islands. All snakes in Galápagos are racers and they are mildly venomous constrictors. They are shy, and unless approached carefully they will quickly flee from humans.What is the most common animal in the Galapagos Islands? ›
- Land Iguanas. A visitor to the Galapagos Islands is also bound to come across one of the three species of land iguana that inhabit the archipelago. ...
- Sea Lions. ...
- Galapagos Finches.
The iconic tortoises are probably the most important species on the Galapagos Islands and the most famous. Not only because the islands themselves were actually named after these creatures, Galapagos means tortoise in Spanish!
Amphibians are absent in Galapagos islands as they could not leave the mainland and travel to the island by crossing saline water.What are 3 invasive species to the Galapagos Islands? ›
Introduced rats, mice, pigs, goats, donkeys, cats, and dogs either attack and feed on native birds, tortoises, iguanas, or lizards, or the herbivores kill plants by grazing and destroy the soil by walking on it with their hooves.What species was found alive in Galápagos? ›
A tortoise from a Galápagos species long believed extinct has been found alive and now confirmed to be a living member of the species. The tortoise, named Fernanda after her Fernandina Island home, is the first of her species identified in more than a century.Are the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean paragraph? ›
They are located in the Pacific Ocean on each side of the equator, around the centre of the Western Hemisphere, and are part of the Republic of Ecuador. The Galápagos Islands and surrounding waters comprise Ecuador's Galápagos Province, the Galápagos National Park, and the Galápagos Marine Reserve.Are the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean of the western coast? ›
The Galapagos Islands area situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the Ecuadorian coast. This archipelago and its immense marine reserve is known as the unique 'living museum and showcase of evolution'.Are the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific Ocean off the western coast? ›
The islands are located in the eastern Pacific Ocean, 973 km (605 mi) off the west coast of South America. The majority of islands are also more broadly part of the South Pacific.Is Galapagos a Pacific island? ›
mi), Ecuador is approximately the same size as the UK and just a little smaller than the state of Arizona in the USA. It is bordered to the north by Colombia and Peru to the south and east, and the Pacific Ocean on the west.What ocean current is Galapagos Island? ›
The Humboldt Current is a cold water ocean current that flows north from Antarctica along the west coast of South America, bringing nutrient rich water to the Galapagos Islands and helping to sustain the islands rich biodiversity.Which south American country do the Galapagos island in the Pacific ocean belong to? ›
They are part of the country of Ecuador, in South America. The Galápagos lie about 966 kilometers (600 miles) off of the Ecuadorian coast.What is Galapagos famous for? ›
The islands are known for their famously fearless wildlife and as a source of inspiration for Darwin's theory of evolution. And that's just part of the story. Born of fire: The Galápagos Archipelago is one the most volcanically active areas in the world.What islands are located in the Pacific Ocean and are also one of the 50 states of the United States of America? ›
The U.S. Pacific Islands region includes our 50th state, Hawai'i, as well as the Territories of Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI), the Republic of Palau (RP), the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), and the Republic of the Marshall Islands (RMI).What country owns the Galapagos Islands? ›
2. Who Owns the Galapagos Islands? The Galapagos Islands are a part of the neighboring country of Ecuador, located in South America. Peeking out of the Pacific Ocean, about 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos were first discovered by a Spaniard by the name of Fray Tomas de Berlanga in 1535.What islands off the west coast of South America did Darwin visit on his voyage on the Beagle and studied the finches that live there? ›
He collected many specimens of the finches on the Galapagos Islands. These specimens and his notebooks provided Darwin with a record of his observations as he developed the theory of evolution through natural selection.What language is spoken in the Galapagos Islands? ›
The official language in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is Spanish. Most locals especially those living in the highlands and Sierra are bilingual. Kichwa, also known as Quichua or Quechua, is the second most widely used language there. Other commonly used languages are Chibcha and various indigenous languages.Why is Galapagos unique? ›
The Galapagos Islands are uniquely located on both sides of the equator in both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres. The islands are situated at a point in the Pacific Ocean where three ocean currents collide, creating a unique area in the sea where warm and varying degrees of cold water meet.Does the US own the Galapagos Islands? ›
For those thinking of heading to the Galapagos on vacation, given they are a part of Ecuador, the islands can only be accessed via the Ecuadorian cities of Guayaquil or the capital Quito.