Days
9
Price from
£1,295GBP

Say hello to Quito and Baltra and Isla Isabela and a bunch of other crazy beautiful islands

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?


Start
Quito, Ecuador
Finish
Quito, Ecuador
Country
Ecuador
Code
GSVE
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
16 reviews
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 15

Why we love this trip

  • Say hello to Quito, its prettyful churches and beautilicious boulevards

  • Collect your solid gold bragging rights after climbing Isla Isabela's volcano. The views don't get much better than this

  • Get up close and personal with the stars of the show: the Galapagos giant tortoises

  • Go snorkelling through underwater realms of freaky fish and sharks that don't actually bite

Is this trip right for you?

  • This trip visits places that are at high altitude, and as a result some people can suffer from altitude sickness, regardless of age or physical health. Please see the ‘Health’ section of the trip notes for more important information on this.

  • This trip travels from island to island on speed boats. If you have trouble with motion sickness (even if you don’t really!) we recommend you visit your doctor before the trip to get some motion sickness medication.

  • Wildlife is a big focus on this trip. You'll be taking part in activities such as bird watching, swimming and making visits to museums. It's a great trip for those who love nature and animals.

  • This trip includes a 17km hike (approximately 6-7 hours) on rocky terrain. We recommending bring comfortable walking shoes that offer good support.

  • While you're free to go diving if you so choose, our leaders are specifically prohibited from recommending or assisting with booking this activity. This is part of Geckos internal safety policy.

Itinerary

This itinerary is valid for departures from 01 January 2018 to 31 December 2018. View the itinerary for departures between 01 January 2017 - 31 December 2017

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Ecuador.
Your adventure begins with a Welcome Meeting at 6pm on Day 1.
Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you can't arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early so you're able to attend. We'll be happy to book additional accommodation for you (subject to availability). If you're going to be late, please inform the hotel reception. We'll be collecting your insurance details and next of kin information at this meeting, so please ensure you have all these details to provide to your leader.
Sitting at an altitude of 2,850 m under the gaze of Volcan Pichincha, Quito is one of the most attractive cities in South America. Long and incredibly thin, the city stretches along a central valley formed by the east and west ranges of the Andes. Although compact, Quito's Old Town is full of historic buildings - there are more than 30 churches to explore, not to mention the fascinating museums.
La Compania de Jesus is considered by many the most beautiful in the Americas; it's certainly one of the most ornate. It's claimed that seven tonnes of gold leaf cover the interior whilst the exterior is decorated with statues, busts, sculpted heads and a jungle of carved leaves.
Take a walk down the famous Calle La Ronda, Quito's oldest street. La Ronda is a peek into the colonial past of the city. This quaint street offers the city's best in one place.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS:
Quito is located above 2800 metres/9200 feet, where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary! Please see the health section of this document for more information.

Optional Activities in Quito:
Quito is an incredible city with loads to see and do. This trip doesn’t include much time in Quito, so a few extra days to explore it is recommended. Great activities are available through our local office – just email quitodaytours@peakdmc.com before departing or, once you’re in Quito, give our office a call +593 9 94014877 and they will happily assist you.
Urban Adventures: If you are interested in any of the Urban Adventures listed you will need to contact Urban Adventures directly. Contact information for Quito can be found here: http://www.urbanadventures.com/contact-us

City Tour & The Equator Line, an in-depth half-day city tour, including a trip to the equator line to see how it feels to be in the middle of the world, literally. If you’re short on time You can choose to do just the city tour or Equator line (we’ve listed separate prices below)

Otavalo Market, a full day tour of the biggest Indian market in South America in the northern town of Otavalo, full of local handicrafts to take home for your friends, and the Cotacachi leather market.

Cotopaxi Volcano, for something more active, head out to the 5,897 metre high Cotopaxi Volcano – drop by the National Park museum, then hike for around 2 hours and visit the picturesque Limpiopungo Lagoon.

Quilotoa Lagoon, if you’re into lagoons, maybe take a full day trip to the stunning Quilotoa Lagoon. Early in the morning, drive 3 hours south through the local communities and Andes views of the Avenue of Volcanoes. Then hike (2 hours return) to the beautiful Quilotoa volcano crater lagoon, before returning to Quito. Something more chill is a full day at the Papallacta Hot Springs – take a scenic drive, reaching heights of 4,150 metres, and then relax in springs with views to the towering Antisana Volcano.

Cloud Forest, maybe get in touch with the region’s incredible nature with a shared services trip to the Cloud Forest – take a guided hike through a reserve on the edge of the Choco Bio-region, one of the most bio-diverse places in the world, and get acquainted with the exuberant vegetation, bird life, and the fascinating adaptations to life in this special environment.

Papallacta-Something more chill is a full day at the Papallacta Hot Springs – take a scenic drive, reaching heights of 4,150 metres, and then relax in springs with views to the towering Antisana Volcano.

Please note, the prices listed below include entrance fees, however these are paid separately by you during the tour. Some tours require a minimum of 2 passengers to operate.
(Please note prices listed are subject to change)
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Cotopaxi National Park - Hiking Tour - USD95
  • La Ronda - Free
  • Antisana Trek Full day from Quito - USD120
  • Quito City Tour - USD42
  • Otavalo Indian Market Full Day from Quito - USD70
  • Quito - Papallacta Hot Springs day tour - USD70
  • Quito City Tour by Night (Optional) - USD35
  • Quito city tour + the Equator line Full day - USD75
  • Saquisili Indian Market & Cotopaxi National Park Full Day from Quito - USD95
  • Bellavista Cloud forest – Day trip from Quito - USD110
  • Quito Market Discovery - USD99
  • Quito Sweet & Culinary Experience - Urban Adventures - USD103
  • Condors and Culture in Otavalo - USD156
  • Old Town & Gastronomic Urban Adventure - USD99
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Early this morning transfer to Quito airport for your flight to San Cristobal. This afternoon take an included visit to the Interpretation Centre and learn about the human and natural history of the Galapagos islands.
Afterwards perhaps hike up to Frigatebird Hill or head to Mann beach and chill.

Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy a free day on Isla San Cristobal. You may also like to take an optional boat ride to Kicker Rock or Isla Lobos. This is one of your leader's favourite optional activities. You'll be able to observe the famous Galapagos marine life along the way, and have the opportunity to go snorkelling with sea turtles, eagle rays and the harmless Galapagos shark, just to name a few.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
Optional Activities
  • Kayak rental - USD30
  • Wet Suit rental - USD10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Early in the morning, take a two-and-a-half hour public speed boat ride to Isla Santa Cruz.
Once in Santa Cruz have breakfast and Settle into the hotel.
Mid-morning visit the Charles Darwin Research Station. The station's visitor centre and museums contain information about the islands and the conservation efforts being made to preserve the unique ecosystem here. It's also a great place to have close encounters with giant tortoises. In the afternoon, head to the higher part of the islands to observe these giants roaming in their natural habitat.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
Optional Activities
  • Isla Tintoreras - USD47
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel to Isabela Island. Check-in to the hotel and enjoy breakfast.
The island is the largest in the Galapagos and one of the most volcanically active places on earth. A worthwhile optional activity today is an excursion to Tintoreras Island, home to the rare Galapagos penguin. The excursion will then take you to "shark alley", where white-tipped sharks rest during the day. This is also a popular nesting site for the endemic marine iguanas.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes)
Optional Activities
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay visit (45 Minute walk, one way) - Free
  • Snorkelling gear rental - USD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Start the day with a visit to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre for a close encounter with these placid giants. Here you can see tortoises in different stages of development as well learn about the preservation program of this unique species.
Take a bus to the highest part of Isabela Island where Sierra Negra Volcano is located. Weather permitting, go for a hike up to the crater to enjoy spectacular views and the possibility of sighting the rare vermillion flycatcher. The challenging 17-kilometre hike takes between five and six hours both ways, but at the top you'll be able to enjoy spectacular views. Please ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes that offer good support for the rocky climb.
During the rainy season it can get quite muddy. There is an option to hire gumboots locally, should you wish to do so. During the hike it can get quite hot, there isn't much shade along the way so be sure to come prepared with your hat and sunscreen etc.
After the hike, make your way back to town in the late afternoon for some free time to curl up with a book or venture down to the water for a relaxing swim before dinner. Unfortunately, recycling isn't available on Isabela, so please take your plastic rubbish with you.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Isla Lobos. - USD80
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel back to Santa Cruz in the morning. We'll enjoy breakfast back in Santa Cruz. Consider taking part in some of the optional activities available, such as an excursion to Tortuga Bay, an immaculate natural paradise where you can go kayaking, observe marine iguanas and birds or swim with harmless sharks in an alcove. You may also like to rent some snorkelling gear while you're here.
Accommodation
  • Hostel (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Kicker Rock excursion - USD120
  • Frigate Bird Hill - Free
  • Mann Beach - Free
  • Snorkelling gear rental - USD5
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
We bid farewell to the Galapagos Islands and all its inhabitants and head to the airport for our flight back to Quito for the last night of our tour. Upon arrival in Quito Airport we are transferred back to our hotel for an overnight stay. Hit the tiles in Quito to talk about all those giant tortoise you saw whilst knocking back a couple of Canelazos. Heavenly.
Accommodation
  • Hotel (1 night)
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Our tour ends today after breakfast.There are no activities planned for the final day so we are able to depart our accommodation at any time. If you have not spent time here before, we recommend you stay on a few days as there are many fascinating things to do in and around Quito. Please speak to our customer service representative about any optional activities that might be of interest. They can also assist you in booking a departure transfer to the airport.
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

7 breakfasts

Transport

Boat, Bus, Plane

Accommodation

Hostel (2 nights), Hotel (6 nights)

Included Activities

  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes)

Reviews

Our Galapagos on the cheap trips score an average of 4.75 out of 5 based on 16 reviews in the last year.

Galapagos on the cheap, August 2017

Andy Joannou

Galapagos on the cheap, July 2017

Lisa Ku

Dates & availability

Trips were unable to load at this time.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Galapagos on the cheap trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

Jump to a departure month
Book this trip and make a difference to local communities. Along with carbon offsetting your trip, we’ll also contribute funds to our new social enterprise partner, Friends-International, on your behalf. Find out more

Important notes

GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD $ ISABELA PORT FEES:
A Galapagos Transit Card fee of US$20 is payable on departure from Quito Airport (or whichever airport in Ecuador you are flying to the Galapagos from). The Galapagos park fee (US$100) and Isabela Port fee (US$10) are payable upon arrival to the islands (cash only). These amounts are in addition to your trip payment.
When booking, please ensure that your details are correct and they match your passport.
Your passport must match the booking details provided to us; otherwise it could cause issues with your transit card and internal flights resulting in purchasing a new card and flights at your own expense.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENTS:
Single supplements are not available on this trip due to hotel capacity restrictions.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.