- Hop from island-to-island by boat while staying ashore each night
- Snorkel in turquoise waters with sea lions, sea turtles and tropical fish
- Admire giant tortoises roaming the private reserve on Santa Cruz Island
- Hike to the crater of the Sierra Negra Volcano on Isla Isabela
- Kayak among mangroves to encounter blue-footed boobies, frigates and iguanas
Explore the western Galapagos Islands by boat, kayak, bike and on foot as you make your way from Santa Cruz to Isabela Island, staying in land-based accommodations each night.
Take a flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands to discover blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises, white-tipped reef sharks, tropical birds and aquatic wildlife found nowhere else in the world. Enjoy a kayak trip around red mangroves, a yacht excursion to South Plaza Island and snorkel within Santa Cruz’s turquoise waters. Bike around Isabela’s network of trails before a hike up to the crater of Sierra Negra for stunning panoramic views and to enjoy the lunar landscape, before your return flight back to Quito.
Each evening, relax within the natural surroundings of your private reserve and enjoy a drink upon the sundeck of your beachfront resort.
Day 1: Arrive Quito
Upon arrival to Quito International Airport, a private taxi will take
you to your colonial hotel located within the historic district of old
town Quito (approx. 1 hour).
Quito, Ecuador’s capital and a UNESCO World
Heritage Site, is the perfect introduction to Ecuador’s rich culture and
history. Sitting high in the Andean foothills at an altitude of 9,350
feet, this once-ancient Incan city is now the country’s bustling
epicenter, boasting 2.6 million people. With its well-preserved colonial
center, tourists and locals alike enjoy roaming this city’s narrow
streets for a mix of 16th century historic attractions, modern-day shops
and upscale restaurants.
Day 2: Quito to Santa Cruz Island
Welcome to the Galapagos! After a morning transfer and your flight
from Quito International Airport (flights to the Galapagos not included), you will arrive at
Seymour Airport on Baltra Island, the gateway to the Galapagos Islands
and start to your Galapagos adventure (approx. 2-3 hours). Head to the
Itabaca Channel to explore the turquoise waters by kayak or stand up
paddleboard (SUP) to view blue-footed boobies, sea lions, brown
pelicans, herons and white-tipped reef sharks. Paddle through the
beautiful red mangrove forests, along lava rocks cliffs, searching for
sea life in the shallows.
Transfer to the Santa Cruz Highlands where
famous giant tortoises inhabit the wild. After lunch, enter your
exclusive tortoise reserve and overnight location at the Magic Galapagos
Tented Camp. Enjoy a three-course dinner while surveying the mountains,
forest and starlit sky.
Overnight: Santa Cruz Island
Day 3: Explore Santa Cruz & South Plaza Islands
Board a yacht for a small group guided tour of the beautiful waters of Punta Carrion. Enjoy a full morning
of snorkeling with tropical fish, reef sharks and graceful rays gliding
along the ocean floor. Next, head to South Plazas Island, an uplifted
seabed, where a colony of sea lions stretch out to greet you while
yellow-gray land iguanas pose to sunbathe atop brilliant scarlet
succulents and prickly-pear cactus groves. Further down on the southern
cliff, observe nesting swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca sea birds and blue
footed boobies. Enjoy lunch on the yacht before returning back to Santa
Cruz Island and an evening spent sharing stories over the main lodge’s
Overnight: Santa Cruz Island
Day 4: Explore Isabela Island
Today, explore a small group of islands known as the Tintoreras on
Isabela Island. Named after the white-tipped ‘Tintoreras’ reef sharks
that swim these calm waters, discover sea lions, rays, turtles, penguins
and pelicans. Walk around the island to see almost all of the
Galapagos’ iconic wildlife before an afternoon snorkel in the bay.
few miles along a network of trails, beaches and historic sites, to the
“Wall of Tears.” Built in the 1940s by WWII prisoners held at the US
base on the island, learn about the importance of this wall and the
lives of the previous inhabitants. Head back to the hotel for dinner and
a peaceful slumber.
Overnight: Isabela Island
Day 5: Hike Sierra Negra Volcano
Discover Sierra Negra, the youngest and most volcanically active of
the archipelago. Hike up to the crater of Sierra Negra Volcano and the
rim of the Volcan Chico, experiencing an alien landscape similar to
walking on Mars. Soak in this extreme terrain and amazing views of lava
tubes from the summit. Finish the day with a relaxing afternoon spent on
the beaches of Puerto Villamil before heading back to the hotel for
dinner and sunset.
Hike: Hike to Volcan Chico: 5 hours (8,000 meters/5 miles).
Overnight: Isabela Island
Day 6: Onward Travel
Depart the Galapagos Islands with an early morning boat ride back to
the airport on Baltra Island, and your flight back to Quito (approx. 2
Add on to your Galapagos adventure with a trip to the Amazon Rainforest
for the ultimate wildlife experience. To add on another tour, or for
more information, please contact us here at Macs Adventure and a
specialist will be happy to help assist you.
We specifically hand-select boutique hotels, so you can fully enjoy your stay within the historic downtown of Quito.
In the Galapagos Islands, you'll be staying in an oceanfront hotel located on Isabela Island and a safari style tented camp located on Santa Cruz.
We regularly use the following properties, but will accommodate lodging of equal standard should any of the following be unavailable. In both locations, we book standard rooms that provide comfort, modern amenities, multilingual staff, individual character and charm.
You can easily request to add extras nights during this itinerary. For further details, please ask us at the time of booking.
Solo Travelers & Single Rooms
This trip is based on two people sharing a room. If you’d like separate rooms, a single supplement is required.
If you would like to request a twin room (same room with two separate beds), please notify us during booking so we can request this option.
This trip is available for solo travelers (a solo supplement is required).
Breakfast is included each morning and ranges from buffet style to a set menu or a la carte. A typical breakfast includes juice, tea, coffee, yogurt, granola, fruit, breads, eggs or a selection of hot dishes. Please notify us of dietary restrictions at the time of booking.
Four lunches and dinners are included in this trip. All other meals are not included, so you can choose to dine at your hotel or from available nearby cafés or restaurants.
Hotel Patio Andaluz
Located in a colonial style house from the late 16th century, this elegant boutique hotel is just a five-minute walk from the renowned Plaza Grande or Plaza de la Independencia, and to many of the museums, churches and historical sites of Colonial Quito.
Magic Galapagos Tented Camp is a million miles from the world’s hustle and bustle. Set in the highlands of Santa Cruz, and away from the waterfront crowds, this totally unique property surprises and delights. All six safari tents have gorgeous views, and is the perfect setting to relax, walk the beautiful mountainside and to admire nature. Giant tortoises call Magic Galapagos their home much of the year, and guests might see a handful roaming the grounds of this private reserve.
While shower facilities are shared, each room has a private toilet and sink. Guest enjoy this exclusive stay in the comfort of private safari tents, hot water, wireless internet and three-course dinners within the open air restaurant.
Isamar Hotel is idyllically located on Isabela’s beautiful white sand beachfront. Its setting gives guests sweeping views of Pacific waves, swaying palm trees and boats bobbing on the water. This beautiful Galapagos retreat is walking distance to a flamingo lagoon, water activities and to the sandy streets of town where guests will find bakeries, restaurants and bars.
This trip is available year-round. Due to the
Galapagos Islands being a popular destination and having regulations
limiting the number of annual visits, we may at times have to
accommodate you with alternative itineraries or locations due to
We suggest you book as soon as your plans are finalized to ensure availability for specific dates.
When To Go?
between the months of December to May is often the most popular time to
go. This period is during the warm, rainy season, offering warmer temperatures and clearer seas, thus resulting in pleasant conditions to snorkel and swim. Rain typically drizzles daily, but for short periods of time.
June to November is the cooler, dry season, with often cooler temperatures, stronger winds and, at times, rougher seas. However,
the nutrient-rich waters attracts rare fish and underwater species, making this season a great time to go snorkeling and scuba diving.
No matter when you decide to go, the isolation from the mainland and equatorial location make the
Galapagos Islands beautiful, full of wildlife, and worth visiting
Experience, Fitness & Grade
This trip is
graded moderate and includes daily activities, guides and tours within
the Galapagos Islands. To get the most from your trip, you should be in
decent physical shape and able to swim, walk three to six hours every
day and enjoy boat based activities. The hiking and biking is mostly on
dirt trails or paths. The kayaking and paddle boarding (SUP) activities
will be on the waters of the Pacific Ocean and at times can be choppy.
Kayaks consist of one to two persons per boat, while paddle boards are
limited to only one per person. Minimal to no prior experience is
necessary, although your ability to swim is a must.
information pack has a detailed equipment list which includes standard
gear for exploring the islands such as swimsuits, sunscreen, hats, water
shoes, durable hiking boots, cameras, binoculars, rain gear and a day
pack. If you have any questions about what to take, we'd be happy to
share our own top tips and advice.
All equipment and safety gear for activities within the Galapagos Islands is provided each day and included in this trip.
insurance helps protect your travel investment, your belongings and
most importantly you, from unforeseen circumstances that may arise
before or during your trip. For more information, please visit our
travel insurance page by clicking this link.
check your visa requirements with the foreign office or the embassy in
your country of residence before traveling to Ecuador.
For US and
UK residents, proof of travel or health insurance and a valid passport
for at least six months past the planned date of departure from Ecuador
is required. Visas are not required unless you are planning to visit
longer than 90 days. You may be asked about your reason for travel and
provide evidence of a return or onward flight upon arrival.
Getting to/from Quito
Quito International Airport, based about an hour from Ecuador’s capital, has flights from international and national destinations and is a hub for exploring this beautiful country.
Travel to the Galapagos
Transfers to and from Quito International Airport are included. A domestic flight to Seymour Airport, located on Baltra Island in the Galapagos Islands, is not an included part of this itinerary as costs may vary depending on season. To ensure the most economical price and to ensure you get the best deal, domestic flights will be purchased during booking and we will advise you of the cost. We typically choose an early flight, so you can meet your guides and maximize your time within the Galapagos. Should you have any specific requirements for flights, please inform our team here at Macs Adventure.
All boat transfers and transportation services related to the itinerary are included in this trip.
For additional transportation services outside the provided itinerary, such as a taxi to a specific restaurant or location, the host at your evening’s accommodation can help assist you in making the necessary arrangements.
- 1 Night at a boutique hotel in Quito
- 4 Nights in land-based lodges and hotels in the Galapagos Islands
- 5 Breakfasts
- 4 Lunches and dinners
- Private transfers to/from Quito International Airport to downtown Quito
- All activities, boat and vehicle transfers per the itinerary in the Galapagos
- Galapagos National Park entrance fees ($120)
- English-speaking tours and guides (daily private guides and one small group guide)
- Detailed pre-departure information pack
- 24/7 telephone support from our office
- Telephone support from our local, English-speaking representative
- International flights
- Flights to/from Galapagos Islands
- All other meals, drinks and snacks
- Additional nights before, during or after the trip
- Personal equipment
- Travel Insurance
- Gratuities and tips
- Extra Nights in Quito
- Single Room Supplement
- Solo Supplement
- Room Upgrades (only where applicable)
Each accommodation will supply you with bottled water or filtered water stations for drinking. While water from the faucets are often labeled safe for brushing your teeth, we recommend using only bottled or filtered water at all times to avoid any chance of contamination. Please plan on bringing bottled water (or re-filling with filtered water) with you during activities throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water can help prevent dehydration and the negative effects of sea sickness.
How does the luggage transfers work?
We have arranged for your luggage to be transferred from your accommodation (as per your itinerary) and moved with you to your next overnight accommodation. Please note that we have a luggage limit of 50 lbs. per person.
What happens if I can’t do an activity?
This itinerary includes daily private guides, allowing for a lot flexibility to adhere to individual needs as they arise. If you are unable to hike, bike, kayak or need to skip the day’s activity entirely, inform your guide and hotel immediately to have them assist you with a transfer to the next location or to schedule an alternative plan.
What do I do if I become ill during my trip?
If you need medical services, you'll find information in your pre-departure information packet or you can ask for assistance at the front desk. As always, 24/7 support from Macs Adventure is only a phone call away.
Is this trip good for kids?
This Active Galapagos land program doesn't have any age restrictions and is perfect for kids of all ages. Due to daily private guides, itineraries are flexible and can be altered to fit in with the kids abilities and stamina. If parents would like families to stay together while staying ashore each night, please contact us during booking to learn about family cabins, adjoining rooms or other options.
Free WiFi will be available for use at overnight accommodations and at specific locations with service along the itinerary. Even with WiFi available, we suggest playing it safe by keeping your phone in flight mode while surfing the internet to avoid costly data or roaming fees.