Galapagos on the Cheap

Frigatebird spotting
UNESCO World Heritage-listed Colonial Quito
Meet Sally Lightfoot whilst crusing the Galapagos
The tortoises of Charles Darwin Research Station
  • As the basis of Darwin’s theory of evolution, the Galapagos has a bit of a reputation. And boy does it live up to it. Y’know, if you’re into massive tortoises, swimming lizards, more birds than you can shake your binoculars at, and volcanoes. Let’s be honest – who isn’t into all of that?


    Day 1 - Quito

    Explore Quito, the capital of Ecuador and the highest capital city in the world with a judicial building (bear with us). La Paz, in Bolivia, is the actual highest capital city in the world, but it doesn't have a judicial building. We think someone, somewhere was extremely bored when they gave Quito that title.

    • Take a walk down the famous Calle La Ronda, Quito's oldest street
    • Welcome meeting at 6pm.

    Day 2-4 - Isla Isabela

    Visit Las Bachas beach and see loads of eggs. The eggs belong to the sea turtles, so don't touch them. Sea turtles may be slow, but they're hard as nails. Literally.

    • Fly from Quito to the Galapagos Islands.
    • Once in Baltra we transfer to Puerto Ayora and board a speed boat ride to Isabela Island
    • Upon arrival to Isabela Island you are required to pay the Isabela Island port fee of USD20
    • Visit the Tortoise Breeding Center for a chance to get a close encounter with these placid giants
    • Those in a walking mood, you can opt to go hiking up to Sierra Negra Volcano, one of the largest active caldera in the world which enjoys views spanning to the equator and northern tip of Isabella

    Day 5 - Santa Cruz

    • Today is an early morning departure to Isla Santa Cruz. Later on we head to Tortuga Bay, a stunning beach with fine white sand to see marine iguanas.
    • If you are feeling energetic you can try your hand at body boarding or surfing.

    Day 6-7 - San Cristobal

    This place was home to Lonesome George, the Galapagos' most famous giant tortoise. He's dead now, but you'll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station anyway. You're probably sick of giant tortoise by this point, so hike up to Frigate Bird Hill and soak in the views of the Pacific, the islands, and the animals. 

    • Visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and observe many species of tortoises and land iguanas in captivity brought back form the brink of extinction
    • Travel to Isla San Cristobal to meet the local families that will host you here
    • Go on a walking tour of San Cristobal and a visit to the Interpretation Center
    • Enjoy free time, explore the island at your leisure
    • Opt to hike Mann Beach for a swim, where we can observe playful sea lions and frigates or tackle the hills and reach the top of Frigate Bird Hill
    • Stop at Isla de Lobos for a swim with playful sea lions before continuing onto Kicker Rock, the remains of an underwater volcano rising vertically 150m out of the sea - perhaps go diving or snorkelling and keep an eye out for sea turtles, eagle rays and maybe the odd harmless Galapagos shark

    Day 8-9 - Quito

    Bid farewell to the Galapagos and all of its inhabitants. Hit the tiles in Quito to talk about all those giant tortoise you saw whilst knocking back a couple of pisco sours. Heavenly.

    Day 8

    • Head to Quito for the final night of this trip
    • Enjoy the city’s nightlife and get a last taste of South American cuisine and culture

    Day 9

    • The trip ends after breakfast
  • Map Itinerary

  • Trip Dates and Prices

    Start Date – End Date Trip Status Price
    25 Sep 2014 - 03 Oct 2014 Fully Booked
    US $1,760 On Sale
    Sale: US $1,496
    30 Oct 2014 - 07 Nov 2014 1 place left US $1,780 Book Now
    27 Nov 2014 - 05 Dec 2014 Available US $1,710 Book Now
    11 Dec 2014 - 19 Dec 2014 Available US $1,375 Book Now
    08 Jan 2015 - 16 Jan 2015 Available US $1,665 Book Now
    05 Feb 2015 - 13 Feb 2015 Available US $1,665 Book Now
    05 Mar 2015 - 13 Mar 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
    02 Apr 2015 - 10 Apr 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
    30 Apr 2015 - 08 May 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
    28 May 2015 - 05 Jun 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
    25 Jun 2015 - 03 Jul 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
    23 Jul 2015 - 31 Jul 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
    06 Aug 2015 - 14 Aug 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
    20 Aug 2015 - 28 Aug 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
    03 Sep 2015 - 11 Sep 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
    17 Sep 2015 - 25 Sep 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
    15 Oct 2015 - 23 Oct 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
    12 Nov 2015 - 20 Nov 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
    10 Dec 2015 - 18 Dec 2015 Available US $1,615 Book Now
  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

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- 16
Boat, Bus, Plane
6 nights Hotel, 2 nights Homestay
Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador
Quito, Pichincha, Ecuador

What to know

On arrival in the islands you must pay the US$110 national park fee to enter Galapagos National Park (This includes the US$10 transit fee). Once you arrive at Isabela Island there is also a fee to be paid of US$20

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