Quito, San Cristobal, Isabela, Floreana and Sta Cruz
From the heights of the second largest volcanic crater in the world, to the unexplored waters of Galapagos, this is a must for all lovers of outdoor adventure. Spend your days with playful sea lions, giant manta rays, and the Galapagos giant tortoise. This 10-day adventure will leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.
Downhill biking excursion on San Cristóbal Island, Day tour of Sierra Negra Volcano, Visit to 'Shark Alley'to view white tip reef sharks, Visit to Charles Darwin Research Station, Kayaking, Opportunities for snorkelling and swimming, Incredible wildlife encounters.
Classic: The one that started it all, our original Gap Adventures trip is also our most popular – and for good reason. Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in local culture, come face to face with exotic wildlife or truly experience the excitement of active exploration, our Classic trips are designed to ensure an authentic and unforgettable travel experience.
3: May include moderate hiking, biking, rafting, kayaking and other activities that require only an average/moderate level of fitness to enjoy. Back To Index
Day 1 San Cristóbal Island (L,D)
The trip begins with an early morning transfer to the airport and a flight to San Cristóbal Island, Galapagos. From here you will board the boat "Christine" where you will meet our friendly staff and check-in to the hotel. San Cristóbal is the easternmost island of Galapagos and one of the oldest. The principal town is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the capital of the Galapagos.
The Galapagos Islands are located about 1000 km (620 miles) off the Pacific coast of South America. The archipelago is comprised of 13 major islands and scores of islets that served as a living laboratory for Charles Darwin, the renowned evolution theorist.
Long before Darwin arrived in the Galapagos, seafarers knew these isolated islands as home to some of the strangest and most wonderful wildlife imaginable, including birds that could swim but no longer fly, aquatic iguanas, dragon-like lizards left over from prehistoric times, and the giant Galapagos tortoises for which the islands were named.
Covering nearly 5000 square km (3100 square miles), the Galapagos Islands are now a National Park. The Galapagos National Park is the institution that controls the preservation of this environment, assisted by the Charles Darwin Research Station. Inaugurated in 1964 and based in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, the Charles Darwin Research Station is the one place where visitors can easily see the famous Galapagos Tortoises, which may live up to two hundred years.
After lunch we make our way up the Island of San Cristóbal through the settlements of El Progresso and La Soledad. One we've arrived at the top, enjoy the stunning panoramic view looking out over the Pacific Ocean towards the islands of Santa Cruz, Floreana and Santa Fé. An exhilerating downhill bike ride takes us back down through the lush landscape of the San Cristóbal, passing through the village of El Progresso once again and arriving into the township of Puerto Barequizo Moreno. Visit the Interpretation Center and learn more about the history of Galapagos, sometimes referred to as “The Enchanted Islands”. Spend the rest of the afternoon relaxing on Mann Beach or swimming with playful sea lions as the Frigate birds glide on the thermals. In the evening we have a welcome dinner, sampling some of the island's fresh fish and produce.
Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours (By flight)
Day 2 San Cristóbal Island (B,L)
The day begins with a short boat ride in the Christine to Kicker Rock, an island also known as "Leon Dormido", which resembles a sleeping lion. It is formed from the remains of an underwater volcano rising 150 metres out of the sea, a truly impressive sight! Enjoy another opportunity to snorkel while you keep an eye out below for sea turtles, manta rays and maybe the odd harmless Galapagos shark, just to name a few.
It is quite striking and if conditions are right we may be able to sail through a narrow channel which splits Kicker Rock in half. This is a fantastic opportunity to observe the abundant marine life that Galapagos is renowned for. Back onboard the boat, we sail to the main town and visit interpretation center in the afternoon.
Day 3 Floreana (B,L,D)
This morning we depart San Cristóbal Island and make our way to Floreana Island. Keep an eye out for dolphins and the magnificent albatross along the way.
The history of Floreana Island (also called Charles) has gradually evolved to reach near mythic proportions. The story begins when a baroness and her two lovers, a German doctor and his mistress, and a German couple and their young son all came to settle on this land. Their dalliances and disasters, shrouded in mystery, were chronicled in John Treherne’s book The Galapagos Affair. Descendants of the German family, the Wittmers, still live on the island in the small community of Puerto Velasco Ibarra. Mrs. Margaret Wittmer has also written a booked entitled "Floreana" and this can be purchased at the airport in Baltra or at a local bookstore.
Experience some of the best snorkelling in the islands at Enderby Islet and Champions Bay. Please make sure you are a comfortable swimmer, the water here can be rough and the currents strong.
After some great snorkelling, we make our way to the isolated town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra to our hotel located right on the black sand beach. Take a walk around the musuem. We may also visit the highlands of the island. For dinner, enjoy the abundance of fresh seafood available!
Approximate Distance: 74km
Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours (By boat)
Day 4 Floreana/Isabela Island (B,L)
After a tranquil night, we make our way up to the seldom-visited highlands of Floreana. Hear the tales about the pirates, whalers, seal hunters and bucaneers who once lived in this isolated and unique landscape. After lunch we bid farewell to the mysterious Floreana and set sail to Isabela Island where we check-in to our hotel.
Shaped like a seahorse, Isabela is the largest island in the Galápagos archipelago, stretching over 100 kms long and extremely narrow. It is also a very active island, with six volcanoes found on Isabella - Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf. All of these volcanoes except Ecuador are still active, and two of them are over 1,700 metres high - Wolf and Cerro Azul.
Explore your new surroundings with a short walk nearby to observe pink flamingos in the wetlands, and catch a stunning Isabela sunset on the beach. Afterwards we make our way to the Wall of Tears built by convicts many years ago. Along the way we stop at a lookout point, visit natural pools, walking trails, beaches and mangrove swamps.
Approximate Distance: 37km
Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours
Day 5 Isabela Island (B,L,D)
A full day tour on Isabela Island takes us up the Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the most active volcanoes in Galapagos boasting the second largest crater in the world. Either hiking or on horseback (optional), you can experience a birds-eye view of this magical landscape. This evening we can relax at the bar or on the beach and enjoy a nice cold beer or cocktail.
Approximate Distance: 55km
Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours 30 minutes (Hike and Bus)
Day 6 Santa Cruz (B,L)
Today we visit “Tintoreras“ Shark Alley to observe the white tip reef sharks found swimming in the channels between the rocks. Get a close-up view of pelicans, frigate birds and diving blue footed boobies. Watch for manta rays and rare Galapagos penguins, of which only 800 pairs exist. Set sail for Santa Cruz Island and dock at the town of Puerto Ayora. After a late hotel check-in, you are free to explore this bustling little town and sample some of the local restaurants and bars, or maybe do some souvenir shopping in one of the many shops.
Approximate Distance: 46km
Estimated Travel Time: 2 hours (By boat)
Day 7 Santa Cruz (B,L,D)
Today we visit the highlands of Santa Cruz to observe the Galapagos Giant Tortoise in its natural surroundings. This area is also famous for amazing lava tunnels, some which are over 1km long! From this elevation the panoramic views of other islands is stunning. Later in the day we head to Tortuga Bay, a beautiful beach with fine white sand, to visit marine iguanas do some kayaking, or to soak up some sun.
Day 8 Santa Cruz / Quito (B,L)
Before bidding farewell to the Enchanted Islands, we pay a visit to Lonesome George at the Charles Darwin Research Station. Inaugurated in 1964 and based in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island, the Charles Darwin Research Station is the one place where visitors can easily see the famous Galapagos Tortoises, which may live up to two hundred years. This is also the training centre for naturalist guides who accompany all visitors landing at more than 40 approved sites on the islands, and members of the international scientific community often come to study at the station. This is a great opportunity to observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity, brought back form the brink of extinction.
After a transfer over the island of Santa Cruz, we arrive at Baltra Island for our return flight to Quito or Guayaquil
Approximate Distance: 970km
Estimated Travel Time: 3 hours (By flight)
Group Size Notes
Max 15, Avg 10
8 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 4 Dinners.
Eating is a big part of traveling. Travelling with us 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.
Fligts(ask your agent )Speed boat, Van, Pick-up truck, Local buses, Zodiacs, Public bus.
Flights are not included in the cost of your tour unless otherwise noted. It is important that we have your passport information at the time of booking in order to process the tickets. Internal flight tickets are issued locally and will be given to you prior to the flight departure.
We believe single 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 single travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
My Own Room – Single supplement
Please note that if you have booked the "My Own Room" option for this tour, you will receive your own single room for all night stops on tour.
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Passport (with photocopies)
- Travel insurance (with photocopies)
- Airline tickets (with photocopies)
- Credit or debit cards (see personal spending money)
- Gap Adventures vouchers and trip details
- Any entry visas or vaccination certificates required
- Camera and film
- Reading/writing material
- Cover for backpacks
- Fleece top
- Windproof/waterproof jacket
- Small towel and swim wear
- 4 shirts/t-shirts
- Sun hat
- 1 pair of shorts
- 2 pairs of long trousers
- 1 pair hiking pants/track pants
- Hiking boots/ sturdy walking shoes
- Sport sandals
- Toiletries (biodegradable)
- Watch or alarm clock
- Water bottle
- Purification tablets or filter
- 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). Back To Index
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.
| per person: USD .- 2,100 (INCLUDING THE FLIGHT TICKET)