Galapagos by Land and Sea

A land-based exploration of the Galapagos and Ecuadorian Amazon
Overview

overview

Explore the islands from your safari base camp, which consists of nine luxury tents and a beautiful central lodge overlooking the Galapagos National Park in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island. The 135-acre old farm property is on a ridge with magnificent views over the Pacific Ocean and the famous western and northern islands of Isabela, Santiago, Pinzón, Baltra, Rabida, Guy Fawkes, and Daphne.  There is an abundance of birdlife with finches, warblers, mockingbirds, Galapagos doves, egrets, and owls. Tortoises also frequently amble between the tents. Thanks to local conservation efforts, many native species of trees, such as scalesia, guayabillo, and palo santo are rapidly regaining a foothold after years of damaging cattle farming in the area.  The result is a beautiful camp setting from which you may explore several Galapagos Islands, returning each evening to your cozy tent, where you may fall asleep to the soothing night noises of Galapagos wildlife.

Continue your immersion in nature back on mainland Ecuador. After you fly back to Quito, drive into the rainforest and spend a few days in an exotic jungle lodge on the Napo River, where you may enjoy day hikes to discover magnificent waterfalls and rich lagoons and visit the Jatun Sacha Chichicorumi Reserve. Meet an indigenous community in Santa Barbara, and explore the rainforest and river, on foot, by kayak, and by raft.

itinerary

itinerary

  • Day 1: Arrive Quito
    Your Galapagos adventure begins on Baltra

    Arrive in Quito, Ecuador, where you will be met and transferred to your local hotel.

    Quito is located in a huge valley of the Andes mountains at an altitude of 9,455 feet; it’s a great place to extend your stay to explore the city, the surrounding volcanic mountain range, or possibly an extension to the colorful indigenous Otavalo market or the Cloud Forest.

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    Quito hotel
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  • Day 2: Quito / Galapagos
    You'll love the stunning views from the veranda of the Galapagos Safari Lodge

    This morning you will be transferred to the airport in time for your morning flight to the Galapagos. You will land on Baltra Island and cross the narrow Itabaca
    Channel to Santa Cruz accompanied by a bilingual naturalist guide who will take you to your safari camp  in the highlands for a tasty lunch. You will then take a guided tour of the area, exploring various vegetation zones and microclimates, walking around pit craters, through lava tunnels, and getting acquainted with endemic Scalesia and Guayabillo forests. At the Tortoise Reserve, you will observe the islands' emblematic giant tortoises in their natural habitat and also the abundant bird life of the highlands. Your tour will end at Galapagos Safari Camp, where you can enjoy a sunset cocktail followed by dinner before retiring to your comfortable tent for the night.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Safari Camp
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  • Days 3-4: Cruise to Neighboring Islands
    Get close-up views of Galapagos sea lions frolicking in the surf

    Each day, after an early breakfast, you will take a boat trip to explore one of the neighbouring islands (North Seymour, Bartolome, Plazas, Santa Fe, Floreana, or Isabela). Each island has its unique natural habitat, and you will be guided through the evolutionary marvels of each destination. Also, the Galapagos Marine Reserve is the second largest reserve in the world. You will be able to snorkel off the boat and experience the richness of the area's aquatic species. Alternatively, if you are SCUBA-certified, you may replace one or both day trips with diving.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Safari Camp
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  • Day 5: Exploring Santa Cruz
    Observe huge groups of Blue-footed boobies

    In the morning, you will be driven to the eastern part of the island. At 490 meters above sea level, Cerro Mesa offers dramatic views, has the largest crater on Santa Cruz, and is home to numerous endemic plants as well as seven subspecies of finches and the Vermillion Flycatcher. After lunch, you will visit Garrapatero, a pristine beach where the contrast of mangroves, black lava, white sand, and turquoise water, in addition to the buzzing coastal bird life and the small lagoon habituated by pink flamingos, is sensational. Kayaking and mountain biking are possible activities.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Safari Camp
  • Day 6: Galapagos to the Amazon
    Head east to a warm welcome at your Amazon Lodge

    Enjoy the sunrise and an early breakfast before you are transferred to the airport for your flight back to the mainland.

    In Quito, you will be met and driven approximately three hours to the small jungle town of Misahualli. Your accommodations are in a tasteful, contemporary lodge, in an oasis of lush vegetation overlooking the Napo River in the Amazon rainforest, your base for the next three nights.

    Take a short walk to one of the largest butterfly gardens in Ecuador, or enjoy a dip in the ozone-treated, rainwater swimming pool.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Dinner
    Lodging
    Exotic Amazon Lodge
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  • Day 7: Jatun Sacha Reserve
    Remember to look up for creatures in the canopy!

    After a hearty breakfast, head out to visit the Jatun Sacha Chichicorumi Reserve, where you will enjoy a six-hour walk with an exceptional native guide through both primary and secondary rainforest. You will discover the mysteries of the forest, including medicinal plants, birds, amazing animals and insects, and colorful frogs and reptiles.  Continue on to Santa Barbara, where you will meet an indigenous community set deep in the jungle. The trek includes a picnic lunch and a canoe trip back to your lodge. 
    Please note that there are alternative activites to adapt to the needs of different interests and age groups.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Exotic Amazon Lodge
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  • Day 8: Rafting the Napo or Arajuno Rivers
    A calm spot in the river where you are likely to spot birds and other wildlife

    Today is an exciting day of rafting through amazing canyons and rapids, and for swimming in calm waters or the Napo or Arajuno rivers. Enjoy a picnic lunch on the riverbank before continuing on your voyage. You may choose among class II, III, or IV rafting, depending on your inclination and abilities. Alternative activities may be arranged upon request.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinnner
    Lodging
    Exotic Amazon Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: Quito/Onward

    Enjoy a relaxing breakfast, have a last dip in the rainwater pool, or have a soothing massage before you are transferred to Quito to continue your journey.

    Meals
    Breakfast
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Price and Date Details

Price and Date Details

Privately on Request
Land Cost:
$5,280
The cost quoted is the Land Cost and is subject to change. This covers accommodations, transfers, activities, touring, guide services and meals as described in JOURNEYS' Trip Notes. The quoted Land Cost will apply when group size falls in the specified range and when travel is on the indicated dates.
Single Supplement:
$1650
No single supplement if willing to share
Need to Know

Need to Know

 

Additional costs: 

$110 National Park entry fee and tourist card

$540 Quito/Galapagos/Quito airfare - fuel surcharge may apply

International airfare estimate: $800-$1200

The Galapagos Safari Camp borders the National Park in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island’s “transition zone” and is close to the tortoise reserve. The 55-hectare farm is on a ridge with magnificent views over the Pacific Ocean & the famous western & northern islands of Isabela, Santiago, Pinzón, Baltra, Rabida, Guy Fawkes & Daphne.

The stylish central lodge is perched on a hill with panoramic views from its spacious veranda. The open-plan interior draws the eye to the islands scattered on the horizon below. Relax in the lounge and bar, with their cosy fireplace. Savor the local and international dishes created by the camp's creative chef with home-grown produce in the dining room.

Nine luxury tents are located closely below the central lodge. They are erected above the ground on wooden platforms and are sheltered by three protective layers, one specifically for the sun, another one for the rain and an inner sealed canvas shell forms the bedrooms. Their interiors are comfortable and spacious (27m2). The custom-made furniture was designed with comfort, practicality and elegance in mind. Twin beds join to become one comfortable queen, there are cupboards, a writing desk and a fan/heater for temperature control. We can also add a sofa bed for children under 12. The en-suite bathrooms are tastefully designed with hot power showers and flush toilets. All tents have a large balcony with a hammock and chairs from which to take in the enchanting view.  Click for a map of our camp. 

The infinity pool is an ideal place for guests to enjoy the nature and tranquility while cooling down on hot days.

The farm has an abundance of birdlife with finches, warblers, mockingbirds, Galapagos doves, egrets and owls—tortoises also frequently potter between the tents. As a result of our conservation work, many local species of trees, such as scalesia, guayabillo, and palo santo, are rapidly regaining a foothold after years of cattle farming.

 

Duration:
9 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. This is the time period covered by the land cost. The total number of days includes the time required to travel between the USA and the destination country.
Comfort Level:
1
Comfortable tent and lodge
Group Size:
8-10
The stated range indicates minimum required for guaranteed departure and maximum accepted on the scheduled dates. Exceptions can often be made for private departures.
Activity Level:
2
Comfortable tent and lodge

Resources

Trip Extensions

Trip Extensions

Otavalo Off the Beaten Path

Duration: 3 days

This in-depth exploration of the scenic area north of Quito, including a trip to the famous Otavalo market, as well as visits to some of the smaller towns known for a variety of crafts.

Machu Picchu

Duration: 6 days

This short trip to Machu Picchu can be easily combined with your trip to the Amazon, Ecuador, or the Galapagos. Many major South American cities have daily flights to and from Lima.

Avenue of the Volcanoes

Duration: 3 days

In three days, you can visit some of the most important sites in Ecuador. Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in the world, and Tungurahua has been erupting since 2001. The route is full of cultural, ethnic, and architectural attractions, along wi... read more

Cloud Forest

Duration: 1 days

Escape to a cloud forest paradise. Bellavista is a perfect day trip to see the subtropical rainforest during your stay in Quito. Why spend a spare day in the city when you could be hiking in a forest reserve, or relaxing in a hammock admiring the hum... read more

Otavalo Market

Duration: 1 days

Otavalo market is the oldest, best-known, and most important Indian market in South America, and it takes place every Saturday.  This extension allows you to visit the market, traveling from Quito via Calderón and Cayambe, and passing by some of th... read more

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