Days
9
Price from
$1,779USD
Map of Galapagos on the cheap including Ecuador

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
Destination
Ecuador
Code
GSVE
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
21 reviews
Ages
Min 18 , Max 29
Group size
Min 1, Max 15

Why you'll 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

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Ecuador. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 5 or 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. 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.
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
  • Quito - Otavalo Indian Market (Full day) - USD70
  • Quito - Papallacta Hot Springs (Full day) - 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
  • Quito - Bellavista Cloud forest (Full day) - USD110
  • Quito Market Discovery - USD99
  • Quito - Sweet & Culinary Experience - Urban Adventures - USD103
  • Condors and Culture in Otavalo - USD156
  • Quito - Old Town & Gastronomic- Urban Adventures - USD99
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Transfer to Quito airport early this morning for your flight to San Cristobal. Take an afternoon 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)
Included Activities
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal -Snorkelling in Tijeretas hill
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, 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)
Optional Activities
  • Isla Lobos. - USD80
  • Snorkelling gear rental - USD5
  • Kicker Rock excursion - USD120
  • Frigate Bird Hill - Free
  • Mann Beach - Free
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a two-and-a-half-hour public speed boat ride to Isla Santa Cruz where you'll have breakfast and settle into the hotel. Mid-morning, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station where the 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
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes)
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)
Optional Activities
  • Isla Tintoreras - USD47
  • Kayak rental - USD30
  • Wet Suit rental - USD10
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 the 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. It can get quite muddy during the rainy season and there is the option to hire gumboots locally should you wish to do so. It can get quite hot during the hike and there isn't much shade so be sure to come prepared with your hat and sunscreen. 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)
Included Activities
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Travel back to Santa Cruz in the morning where we'll enjoy breakfast. 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
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay visit (45 Minute walk, one way) - Free
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 (5 nights)

Included Activities

  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal -Snorkelling in Tijeretas hill
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Highlands Visit (3 hours) - Dry Landing
  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes)
  • Isla Isabela- Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)

Reviews

Our Galapagos on the cheap trips score an average of 4.76 out of 5 based on 21 reviews in the last year.

Galapagos on the cheap, July 2018

William Waddington

Galapagos on the cheap, May 2018

Megan Bowden

Dates & availability

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There are currently no scheduled departures before October 1st on our Galapagos on the cheap trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

From October 1st, we'll be joining forces with our sister company, Intrepid Travel. Intrepid 18 to 29s will be your go-to spot for small group adventures with people your own age. See this trip on Intrepid Travel
Prices may change, so secure your trip today!
Jump to a departure month

Travelling after October 1st?

Our sister company Intrepid Travel has just launched a new range of adventures for 18 to 29-year-olds. Same small group size, same awesome local leaders, different logos on the t-shirts.
From October 1st, Intrepid 18 to 29s will be your go-to spot for small group adventures with people your own age.

See this trip on Intrepid
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. 

PASSPORT DETAILS REQUIRED
Full passport details are required at the time of booking in order to purchase Entrance fees to certain sites. Additionally on certain trips it's needed to book bus, train or flight tickets. Delays to provide this information may result in booking fees or changes to your itinerary.

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.