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Trip Extensions

Amazon Rainforest Lodge

Duration: 4 days

Explore the rainforest habitats accompanied by native guides while staying at a charming lodge, designed to offer comfort while preserving the environment and ambiance of the rainforest.

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.

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

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

Guayaquil City & Optional Tours

Duration: 1 days

Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city, and with its low elevation and coastal location, it is an ideal point to fly to and from Galapagos. Options include a tour of the city and the Botanical Gardens or the new Historical Park.

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

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.

Day 1: arrive quito

The Andean city of Quito, Ecuador (photo by Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA)The Andean city of Quito, Ecuador (photo by Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA)

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. I’s a great place to explore and learn about mainland Ecuador's culture. You may also choose to extend here to visit the surrounding volcanic mountain range. Alternatively, if you are concerned about altitude, you may arrive via Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, located at low elevation on the coast. 

Meals
None
Lodging
La Casona de la Ronda or similar

Day 2: quito

Inside La Compania CathedralInside La Compania Cathedral

Ecuador is full of history, fascinating indigenous cultures, slow winding rivers and lush tropical forests, spectacular snow-capped volcanoes and some of the most exciting wildlife on earth. The place to start exploring is Colonial Quito, a city of narrow cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed walls and, rising above, the steeples and cupolas of the city's many spectacularly decorated historic churches. The city has one of the best preserved colonial centers in all South America and its integrity was assured in 1978 when the United Nations declared Quito a World Cultural Heritage site. First on today's agenda is a walk through the Main Plaza, the Plaza de Independencia, where you will see the Government Palace, the Cathedral, and some of the most important churches built in the 16th and 17th centuries, including the monastery of San Francisco, a building begun only 5 days after the founding of the city. 

After lunch you will have the opportunity to taste the best chocolate of Ecuador on a visit to the Pacari Chocolate Center. Experience a guided journey by story and video through the history of Ecuadorian cacao and a tasting of the award-winning Pacari chocolate. Also learn about the agricultural side of chocolate cultivation and production and the communities that work with the Pacari company to bring the product to market. Participate in a live digital game experience from harvest through production. Later you will be able to produce truffles with real vegan organic ingredients, without sugar or milk.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch
Lodging
La Casona de la Ronda or similar

Day 3: baltra island / santa cruz

Kayak or SUP on Itabaca ChannelKayak or SUP on Itabaca Channel

The flight from Quito (via Guayaquil) to the Galapagos is approximately 2-1/2 hours long. Dive right into adventure upon arrival at Baltra airport. Enter the airport through a special VIP lounge where you will have a chance to change clothes, put on some sunscreen and get a cool drink before transfering to the Itabaca Channel to explore its turquoise waters. There’s no better introduction to the Galapagos than to get on the water upon arrival! Choose to kayak, snorkel, or even stand up paddleboard (SUP) and see some of the famous species of the Galapagos like blue-footed boobies, sea lions, brown pelicans, a variety of herons, and white-tipped reef sharks. Glide through beautiful red mangrove forests and along lava rock cliffs on water so clear you can see sea life in the shallows. 

From Itabaca Channel, head up to the Santa Cruz highlands to your tented camp is colocated with a private tortoise reserve. Perched high on a hillside overlooking the ocean, Magic Galapagos Tented Camp will be your home for two nights. Watching the colorful sunset from Magic’s western perch is the perfect segue into evening. Feast your eyes on the mountains and forest surrounding the lodge, and enjoy the peace of having the entire hillside to yourselves (with the exception of seasonal resident giant tortoises). Dinners are sumptuous three course affairs prepared by expert chefs in an open-air kitchen in the main lodge. A favorite post-dinner activity is a short walk to the natural lava tubes on the reserve for a night cap in a one-of-a-kind "lava lounge!" It’s the perfect spot to relax around the fire and share stories from the day’s adventures. As you head to bed, the sounds of nature will be your lullaby and the Milky Way will be your night light.

Accommodations are in individual tree houses or semi-permanent, raised walk-in tents reminiscent of an African safari camp – but with very different wildlife! Guests share two bathhouses that have flush toilets and hot showers.
 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Magic Galapagos Tented Camp

Day 4: bartolome / santa cruz

Galapagos penguins nest among old lava flowsGalapagos penguins nest among old lava flows

Today after breakfast head back to Itabaca Channel to continue your National Park and Marine Reserve exploration aboard the Sea Finch yacht, with lovely air-conditioned lounge and outdoor seating areas. The Sea Finch will deliver you to Bartolome Island, which offers one of the most dramatic views in the Galapagos Islands. A 600-meter pathway takes you to the highest point of the island, where you will learn from your expert naturalist guide about the volcanic origins of the Galapagos. After the walk, a dingy ride along the coastline will give you the opportunity to see the Galapagos penguin. This curious bird nests amongst fissured lava flows and ventures into the crystal-clear waters of Bartolome to fish. Then a wet landing on the island's main beach will give you the opportunity to enjoy the sandy coast where sea lions rest and a variety of wading birds feed. The area has tranquil waters, offering a great snorkeling experience where you can observe tropical fish, sea stars, and perhaps even see penguins underwater.

Then spend the rest of the afternoon back on Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos and something of a hub for the archipelago. Spend some time in town, relaxing with a drink in a local café and walking along Puerto Ayora's main road perusing its shops. The local color of this port makes for an attractive stop-off, with restaurants, souvenir outlets, and internet cafes. Located in the southeast of this large, round volcanic island, the town is the economic center of the Galapagos. Santa Cruz has the largest population among the four inhabited islands (approx. 18,000), which economically relies mostly on tourism—including refurbishing and resupplying yachts—along with fishing and boat-building. If you choose, you can also visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, the center of many of the great restorative efforts taking place in the park and home of the Giant Tortoise Breeding and Rearing Program. 

Return to your camp for dinner.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Magic Galapagos Tented Camp

Day 5: floreana

Settle into Floreana Lava Lodge right on the waterSettle into Floreana Lava Lodge right on the water

After a final breakfast at Magic Galapagos, depart for Floreana Island via two-hour speedboat crossing. Of the four inhabited islands in the archipelago, this peaceful island is home to the Galapagos’ smallest human population. Because only 150 people call Floreana home, it is the least developed and most natural. It was the first inhabited island in the Galapagos, and descendants of the original population still live here. Once a pirates’ lair, the island’s history is full of mystery and legends about its first inhabitants. During your stay you will hike, learn about the fascinating local history, and also see some of the Galapagos’ special wildlife. Look for giant tortoises, frigate birds, sea lions, Darwin’s finches, petrels, and marine iguanas, among other species.

Upon arrival on Floreana, take an open-air "chiva bus" to Floreana Lava Lodge, which overlooks one of the Galapagos’ most beautiful and secluded bays. The lodge is operated by Claudio Cruz, a descendant of one of the Island’s original inhabitants. Claudio will share his deep knowledge of the Island and its history, and also introduce you to several of his family members, giving you special insight into life on Floreana. Once you are settled in, walk or paddle (kayak or stand up paddleboard) to nearby Black Beach for some snorkeling. Then walk to a restaurant in the nearby village for lunch. The restaurant is part of a community tourism initiative that Journeys' partner helped to develop and has been working with since 2012.

In the afternoon, set out once again to paddle the pristine waters (kayak or SUP) across the bay to explore La Loberia, a sea lion breeding ground. Once there, enjoy more snorkeling and swimming in the calm, bright water with sea turtles, sea lions, stunning rays and an abundance of tropical fish. Later, return to the lodge (30 minute walk or kayak/SUP) for a warm shower. Watch the spectacular sunset and then head back to the village for dinner where you will celebrate another incredible day in the Galapagos.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Floreana Lava Lodge

Day 6: floreana highlands

Encounter giant tortoises along your path (photo by Benjamin Sadd)Encounter giant tortoises along your path (photo by Benjamin Sadd)

After breakfast, set out for a day exploring the Floreana highlands by open-air bus (chiva), an unbeatable, historic, and comfortable way to see the island. Along the way, your naturalist guide will share the colorful history of some of Floreana's first inhabitants, such as the Wittmers (whose descendants still live on the Island), the "Baroness," and the pirates that once visited here. Also hear about the "Enigma of Floreana," involving the mysterious deaths of several of the Island's inhabitants. On reaching Asilo de la Paz (Peace Haven), your hike begins. Explore the pirate caves and visit the freshwater spring that provides water for the entire Island, with your guide sharing stories and history along the way. As you traverse the hillside you can expect to see giant tortoises lumbering through the vegetation or even on the trail. 

Then walk down from the hills through a rural area where local people grow produce for their own consumption. See how the islanders have survived in this remote place and have come to understand the local environment to develop unique agricultural knowledge. On your way back to the coast, stop at Claudio’s farm, La Primavera, where you can see the extraordinary behavior of the frigate birds who "dance" as they wash their salty wings in the fresh water lake on the property. With a little bit of luck, you may be able to see males puffing up the red pouches on their chests in an attempt to attract females. Also see where some of the delicious fruit and vegetables that you’ve been eating at the lodge come from. Continue by chiva down to Las Palmas, where the Island’s first permanent inhabitant, the eccentric Dr. Ritter, lived and is buried. Arriving in 1926, the German physician believed that with a combination of exercise and the right vegetarian diet he would live to be 150 years old. He didn't, but his story is one of the many strange episodes that make up the intriguing history of the island. 

Back at Lava Lodge we will prepare a very special barbecue lunch, featuring delicious Cruz family recipes! Afterwards, enjoy a free afternoon. Practice your kayak or SUP skills, go snorkeling in La Loberia, or simply relax and take in the beautiful Galapagos views from the Lava Lodge.

 

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Floreana Lava Lodge

Day 7: isabela / tintoreras

See the blue-footed booby's comical mating ritualsSee the blue-footed booby's comical mating rituals

Today take an early morning speed boat transfer to Isabela Island. After checking into your hotel, visit the breeding center where the Islands’ giant tortoise population is presently recovering. Expert guides will explain the process of breeding and then releasing into the wild these giant, slow moving creatures whose Spanish name (meaning saddle) gave the Islands their present title. In the afternoon explore the Tintoreras, a group of small islands off the coast of Isabela's village of Puerto Villamil. The islands are named after the white tipped Tintoreras reef sharks that swim in these calm waters. Like a Galapagos in miniature, on the Tintoreras you will see almost all of the archipelago’s iconic wildlife: white tipped sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, pelicans, and blue-footed boobies. Snorkel in the bay – and don’t be surprised if some of the penguins or sea lions jump in to play alongside you in the water.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Isabela Lodge or similar

Day 8: isabela highlands

Hike the surreal lava hills of IsabelaHike the surreal lava hills of Isabela

Volcanic eruptions created all of the islands in the Galapagos, and you will get to see this geologic process first-hand as we explore Isabela, one of the youngest and most volcanically active islands of the archipelago. Spend the whole day in the Isabela highlands, beginning with a hike up to the crater of the massive Sierra Negra volcano, and then onward to the rim of the Volcan Chico. This fascinating walk usually begins with some morning fog and drizzle which sometimes persists in the shadow of the volcano, adding to its mysterious character. Despite the drizzle, you might see Galapagos hawks, finches, flycatchers, and short-eared owls en route. On reaching the rim of the Sierra Negra crater, the second largest in the world after the Ngorongoro in Tanzania, you will see the real reward for your effort. The crater is so large, and the views so expansive, photos can’t do it justice, but bring your camera anyway! Later, as you head towards Volcan Chico, you may get the feeling you are walking on Mars due to the alien landscape. While it appears to be utterly desolate, a closer look reveals small lizards scurrying among the rocks. From its rim, enjoy more amazing views along with lava tubes and fumaroles. After Volcan Chico and its extreme landscape, relax under the shade of a lovely jaboncillo tree to enjoy your box lunch while taking in the spectacular and expansive views over the central and northern parts of Isabela Island. In the distance, we will be able to see Fernandina, Pinzon and Santa Cruz Islands. We then head back down to complete our day of hiking (16 km in total) and relax on the beaches of Puerto Villamil.

Meals
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Lodging
Isabela Lodge

Day 9: baltra / onward

Say goodbye to your new Galapagueno friendsSay goodbye to your new Galapagueno friends

Take an early morning speed boat back to Santa Cruz and then transfer by land to Baltra for your onward journey or flight back home. 

Or, customize your trip to add two days for a visit to San Cristobal, where you can plan a fishing excursion with locals, snorkel the unique ecosystem at Kicker Rock, and spend the evening with a artist-entrepreneur. Ask us about it!

Meals
Breakfast

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$5,390
Cost includes flights to the Galapagos from mainland Ecuador. Small group supplement of $1,000 for parties of 2 or $4,200 for parties of 1.
Single Supplement:
$450
Custom & private on your dates

Need to Know

Not included: $120 National Park entry fee & tourist card

Duration:
9 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. For the Galapagos, the land cost is actually the per person cabin cost. The cost of the additional nights in Quito or Guayaquil are not included.
Comfort Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling daily
Group Size:
Most custom trips can accommodate groups of any size, from one person to as large of a group as you'd like. Some exceptions apply; ask your Adventure Specialist for details.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

From the Bird's Word Blog

Top Travel Destinations for 2017

Where will your adventures take you in 2017? For curious explorers eager to see the world, it can be hard to narrow down travel options. So, the team at Journeys International has …

Snorkel with sea turtles
Snorkel with sea turtles
Bartolome Island
Bartolome Island
See abundant Sally lightfoot crabs
See abundant Sally lightfoot crabs
Watch (closely!) as pelicans fish
Watch (closely!) as pelicans fish
Sea lions are everywhere (photo by Benjamin Sadd)
Sea lions are everywhere (photo by Benjamin Sadd)
Spot flamingos preening in lagoons (photo by Benjamin Sadd)
Spot flamingos preening in lagoons (photo by Benjamin Sadd)
The tents at Magic Galapagos have a spectacular view over the Santa Cruz coast
The tents at Magic Galapagos have a spectacular view over the Santa Cruz coast
Simple cabins at Floreana Lava Lodge
Simple cabins at Floreana Lava Lodge
The spectacular starscape viewed from Floreana Lava Lodge
The spectacular starscape viewed from Floreana Lava Lodge
Participate in tradition at Post Office Bay
Participate in tradition at Post Office Bay

Lodge-Based Galapagos

Flora, fauna, and local people of the Galapagos

overview

Immerse yourself in this spectacularly abundant archipelago! On this lodge-based trip you will stay at three unique properties run by three different families on three different islands: Santa Cruz, Floreana, and Isabela. Also venture to Bartolomé, and consider extending to San Cristóbal for a day of traditional fishing, snorkeling at Kicker Rock, and a workshop with a local artist.

A lodge-based trip lets you see all the wildlife and varied terrain you would see on a ship-based trip. Yet forgoing a cruise in favor of lodges on land offers more opportunities for interaction with a variety of Galapaguenos, the locals who have made these islands their home. Meet farmers, conservation workers, and entrepreneurs and learn their perspectives on tourism, environmental preservation, development, and maintaining the traditions of the islands. Understand the differences between various islands' relationships to their human populations. Also take advantage of the greater flexibility a lodge-based trip offers for active exploration, whether wandering, hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, or even stand-up paddleboarding. 

Ask us about customizing this Lodge-Based Galapagos itinerary for your dates, special needs, and particular interests.

itinerary

See Trip Extensions
View Map

overview

Immerse yourself in this spectacularly abundant archipelago! On this lodge-based trip you will stay at three unique properties run by three different families on three different islands: Santa Cruz, Floreana, and Isabela. Also venture to Bartolomé, and consider extending to San Cristóbal for a day of traditional fishing, snorkeling at Kicker Rock, and a workshop with a local artist.

A lodge-based trip lets you see all the wildlife and varied terrain you would see on a ship-based trip. Yet forgoing a cruise in favor of lodges on land offers more opportunities for interaction with a variety of Galapaguenos, the locals who have made these islands their home. Meet farmers, conservation workers, and entrepreneurs and learn their perspectives on tourism, environmental preservation, development, and maintaining the traditions of the islands. Understand the differences between various islands' relationships to their human populations. Also take advantage of the greater flexibility a lodge-based trip offers for active exploration, whether wandering, hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, or even stand-up paddleboarding. 

Ask us about customizing this Lodge-Based Galapagos itinerary for your dates, special needs, and particular interests.

Continue to detailed itinerary...

itinerary

Anticipated itinerary; actual route may vary.
  • Day 1: arrive quito
    The Andean city of Quito, Ecuador (photo by Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA)The Andean city of Quito, Ecuador (photo by Diego Delso, delso.photo, License CC-BY-SA)

    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. I’s a great place to explore and learn about mainland Ecuador's culture. You may also choose to extend here to visit the surrounding volcanic mountain range. Alternatively, if you are concerned about altitude, you may arrive via Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, located at low elevation on the coast. 

    Meals
    None
    Lodging
    La Casona de la Ronda or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 2: quito
    Inside La Compania CathedralInside La Compania Cathedral

    Ecuador is full of history, fascinating indigenous cultures, slow winding rivers and lush tropical forests, spectacular snow-capped volcanoes and some of the most exciting wildlife on earth. The place to start exploring is Colonial Quito, a city of narrow cobblestone streets lined with whitewashed walls and, rising above, the steeples and cupolas of the city's many spectacularly decorated historic churches. The city has one of the best preserved colonial centers in all South America and its integrity was assured in 1978 when the United Nations declared Quito a World Cultural Heritage site. First on today's agenda is a walk through the Main Plaza, the Plaza de Independencia, where you will see the Government Palace, the Cathedral, and some of the most important churches built in the 16th and 17th centuries, including the monastery of San Francisco, a building begun only 5 days after the founding of the city. 

    After lunch you will have the opportunity to taste the best chocolate of Ecuador on a visit to the Pacari Chocolate Center. Experience a guided journey by story and video through the history of Ecuadorian cacao and a tasting of the award-winning Pacari chocolate. Also learn about the agricultural side of chocolate cultivation and production and the communities that work with the Pacari company to bring the product to market. Participate in a live digital game experience from harvest through production. Later you will be able to produce truffles with real vegan organic ingredients, without sugar or milk.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch
    Lodging
    La Casona de la Ronda or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 3: baltra island / santa cruz
    Kayak or SUP on Itabaca ChannelKayak or SUP on Itabaca Channel (Photo: Monica Paez E.)

    The flight from Quito (via Guayaquil) to the Galapagos is approximately 2-1/2 hours long. Dive right into adventure upon arrival at Baltra airport. Enter the airport through a special VIP lounge where you will have a chance to change clothes, put on some sunscreen and get a cool drink before transfering to the Itabaca Channel to explore its turquoise waters. There’s no better introduction to the Galapagos than to get on the water upon arrival! Choose to kayak, snorkel, or even stand up paddleboard (SUP) and see some of the famous species of the Galapagos like blue-footed boobies, sea lions, brown pelicans, a variety of herons, and white-tipped reef sharks. Glide through beautiful red mangrove forests and along lava rock cliffs on water so clear you can see sea life in the shallows. 

    From Itabaca Channel, head up to the Santa Cruz highlands to your tented camp is colocated with a private tortoise reserve. Perched high on a hillside overlooking the ocean, Magic Galapagos Tented Camp will be your home for two nights. Watching the colorful sunset from Magic’s western perch is the perfect segue into evening. Feast your eyes on the mountains and forest surrounding the lodge, and enjoy the peace of having the entire hillside to yourselves (with the exception of seasonal resident giant tortoises). Dinners are sumptuous three course affairs prepared by expert chefs in an open-air kitchen in the main lodge. A favorite post-dinner activity is a short walk to the natural lava tubes on the reserve for a night cap in a one-of-a-kind "lava lounge!" It’s the perfect spot to relax around the fire and share stories from the day’s adventures. As you head to bed, the sounds of nature will be your lullaby and the Milky Way will be your night light.

    Accommodations are in individual tree houses or semi-permanent, raised walk-in tents reminiscent of an African safari camp – but with very different wildlife! Guests share two bathhouses that have flush toilets and hot showers.
     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Magic Galapagos Tented Camp
    Show on a map
  • Day 4: bartolome / santa cruz
    Galapagos penguins nest among old lava flowsGalapagos penguins nest among old lava flows

    Today after breakfast head back to Itabaca Channel to continue your National Park and Marine Reserve exploration aboard the Sea Finch yacht, with lovely air-conditioned lounge and outdoor seating areas. The Sea Finch will deliver you to Bartolome Island, which offers one of the most dramatic views in the Galapagos Islands. A 600-meter pathway takes you to the highest point of the island, where you will learn from your expert naturalist guide about the volcanic origins of the Galapagos. After the walk, a dingy ride along the coastline will give you the opportunity to see the Galapagos penguin. This curious bird nests amongst fissured lava flows and ventures into the crystal-clear waters of Bartolome to fish. Then a wet landing on the island's main beach will give you the opportunity to enjoy the sandy coast where sea lions rest and a variety of wading birds feed. The area has tranquil waters, offering a great snorkeling experience where you can observe tropical fish, sea stars, and perhaps even see penguins underwater.

    Then spend the rest of the afternoon back on Santa Cruz, the second largest island in the Galapagos and something of a hub for the archipelago. Spend some time in town, relaxing with a drink in a local café and walking along Puerto Ayora's main road perusing its shops. The local color of this port makes for an attractive stop-off, with restaurants, souvenir outlets, and internet cafes. Located in the southeast of this large, round volcanic island, the town is the economic center of the Galapagos. Santa Cruz has the largest population among the four inhabited islands (approx. 18,000), which economically relies mostly on tourism—including refurbishing and resupplying yachts—along with fishing and boat-building. If you choose, you can also visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, the center of many of the great restorative efforts taking place in the park and home of the Giant Tortoise Breeding and Rearing Program. 

    Return to your camp for dinner.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Magic Galapagos Tented Camp
    Show on a map
  • Day 5: floreana
    Settle into Floreana Lava Lodge right on the waterSettle into Floreana Lava Lodge right on the water

    After a final breakfast at Magic Galapagos, depart for Floreana Island via two-hour speedboat crossing. Of the four inhabited islands in the archipelago, this peaceful island is home to the Galapagos’ smallest human population. Because only 150 people call Floreana home, it is the least developed and most natural. It was the first inhabited island in the Galapagos, and descendants of the original population still live here. Once a pirates’ lair, the island’s history is full of mystery and legends about its first inhabitants. During your stay you will hike, learn about the fascinating local history, and also see some of the Galapagos’ special wildlife. Look for giant tortoises, frigate birds, sea lions, Darwin’s finches, petrels, and marine iguanas, among other species.

    Upon arrival on Floreana, take an open-air "chiva bus" to Floreana Lava Lodge, which overlooks one of the Galapagos’ most beautiful and secluded bays. The lodge is operated by Claudio Cruz, a descendant of one of the Island’s original inhabitants. Claudio will share his deep knowledge of the Island and its history, and also introduce you to several of his family members, giving you special insight into life on Floreana. Once you are settled in, walk or paddle (kayak or stand up paddleboard) to nearby Black Beach for some snorkeling. Then walk to a restaurant in the nearby village for lunch. The restaurant is part of a community tourism initiative that Journeys' partner helped to develop and has been working with since 2012.

    In the afternoon, set out once again to paddle the pristine waters (kayak or SUP) across the bay to explore La Loberia, a sea lion breeding ground. Once there, enjoy more snorkeling and swimming in the calm, bright water with sea turtles, sea lions, stunning rays and an abundance of tropical fish. Later, return to the lodge (30 minute walk or kayak/SUP) for a warm shower. Watch the spectacular sunset and then head back to the village for dinner where you will celebrate another incredible day in the Galapagos.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Floreana Lava Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 6: floreana highlands
    Encounter giant tortoises along your path (photo by Benjamin Sadd)Encounter giant tortoises along your path (photo by Benjamin Sadd)

    After breakfast, set out for a day exploring the Floreana highlands by open-air bus (chiva), an unbeatable, historic, and comfortable way to see the island. Along the way, your naturalist guide will share the colorful history of some of Floreana's first inhabitants, such as the Wittmers (whose descendants still live on the Island), the "Baroness," and the pirates that once visited here. Also hear about the "Enigma of Floreana," involving the mysterious deaths of several of the Island's inhabitants. On reaching Asilo de la Paz (Peace Haven), your hike begins. Explore the pirate caves and visit the freshwater spring that provides water for the entire Island, with your guide sharing stories and history along the way. As you traverse the hillside you can expect to see giant tortoises lumbering through the vegetation or even on the trail. 

    Then walk down from the hills through a rural area where local people grow produce for their own consumption. See how the islanders have survived in this remote place and have come to understand the local environment to develop unique agricultural knowledge. On your way back to the coast, stop at Claudio’s farm, La Primavera, where you can see the extraordinary behavior of the frigate birds who "dance" as they wash their salty wings in the fresh water lake on the property. With a little bit of luck, you may be able to see males puffing up the red pouches on their chests in an attempt to attract females. Also see where some of the delicious fruit and vegetables that you’ve been eating at the lodge come from. Continue by chiva down to Las Palmas, where the Island’s first permanent inhabitant, the eccentric Dr. Ritter, lived and is buried. Arriving in 1926, the German physician believed that with a combination of exercise and the right vegetarian diet he would live to be 150 years old. He didn't, but his story is one of the many strange episodes that make up the intriguing history of the island. 

    Back at Lava Lodge we will prepare a very special barbecue lunch, featuring delicious Cruz family recipes! Afterwards, enjoy a free afternoon. Practice your kayak or SUP skills, go snorkeling in La Loberia, or simply relax and take in the beautiful Galapagos views from the Lava Lodge.

     

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Floreana Lava Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 7: isabela / tintoreras
    See the blue-footed booby's comical mating ritualsSee the blue-footed booby's comical mating rituals

    Today take an early morning speed boat transfer to Isabela Island. After checking into your hotel, visit the breeding center where the Islands’ giant tortoise population is presently recovering. Expert guides will explain the process of breeding and then releasing into the wild these giant, slow moving creatures whose Spanish name (meaning saddle) gave the Islands their present title. In the afternoon explore the Tintoreras, a group of small islands off the coast of Isabela's village of Puerto Villamil. The islands are named after the white tipped Tintoreras reef sharks that swim in these calm waters. Like a Galapagos in miniature, on the Tintoreras you will see almost all of the archipelago’s iconic wildlife: white tipped sharks, sea lions, turtles, rays, penguins, pelicans, and blue-footed boobies. Snorkel in the bay – and don’t be surprised if some of the penguins or sea lions jump in to play alongside you in the water.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Isabela Lodge or similar
    Show on a map
  • Day 8: isabela highlands
    Hike the surreal lava hills of IsabelaHike the surreal lava hills of Isabela

    Volcanic eruptions created all of the islands in the Galapagos, and you will get to see this geologic process first-hand as we explore Isabela, one of the youngest and most volcanically active islands of the archipelago. Spend the whole day in the Isabela highlands, beginning with a hike up to the crater of the massive Sierra Negra volcano, and then onward to the rim of the Volcan Chico. This fascinating walk usually begins with some morning fog and drizzle which sometimes persists in the shadow of the volcano, adding to its mysterious character. Despite the drizzle, you might see Galapagos hawks, finches, flycatchers, and short-eared owls en route. On reaching the rim of the Sierra Negra crater, the second largest in the world after the Ngorongoro in Tanzania, you will see the real reward for your effort. The crater is so large, and the views so expansive, photos can’t do it justice, but bring your camera anyway! Later, as you head towards Volcan Chico, you may get the feeling you are walking on Mars due to the alien landscape. While it appears to be utterly desolate, a closer look reveals small lizards scurrying among the rocks. From its rim, enjoy more amazing views along with lava tubes and fumaroles. After Volcan Chico and its extreme landscape, relax under the shade of a lovely jaboncillo tree to enjoy your box lunch while taking in the spectacular and expansive views over the central and northern parts of Isabela Island. In the distance, we will be able to see Fernandina, Pinzon and Santa Cruz Islands. We then head back down to complete our day of hiking (16 km in total) and relax on the beaches of Puerto Villamil.

    Meals
    Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging
    Isabela Lodge
    Show on a map
  • Day 9: baltra / onward
    Say goodbye to your new Galapagueno friendsSay goodbye to your new Galapagueno friends

    Take an early morning speed boat back to Santa Cruz and then transfer by land to Baltra for your onward journey or flight back home. 

    Or, customize your trip to add two days for a visit to San Cristobal, where you can plan a fishing excursion with locals, snorkel the unique ecosystem at Kicker Rock, and spend the evening with a artist-entrepreneur. Ask us about it!

    Meals
    Breakfast
    Show on a map

Price and Date Details

Land Cost:
From
$5,390
Cost includes flights to the Galapagos from mainland Ecuador. Small group supplement of $1,000 for parties of 2 or $4,200 for parties of 1.
Single Supplement:
$450
Custom & private on your dates

Need to Know

Not included: $120 National Park entry fee & tourist card

Duration:
9 days
The number of days, or duration, in a destination corresponds with the itinerary as published. For the Galapagos, the land cost is actually the per person cabin cost. The cost of the additional nights in Quito or Guayaquil are not included.
Comfort Level:
●●○○○
(see full descriptions)
Activity Level:
●●●○○
(see full descriptions)
Hiking, kayaking, and snorkeling daily
Group Size:
Most custom trips can accommodate groups of any size, from one person to as large of a group as you'd like. Some exceptions apply; ask your Adventure Specialist for details.
Terms & Conditions: 

Standard

Below is a summary of our complete Trip Terms & Conditions, which explains each of the items below in more detail. 

Expenses covered

Normally, our stated land costs include the cost of all guides, leaders, permits obtained after arrival, lodging accommodations, food and entry fees as specified, and all surface transportation associated with the planned itinerary. We do our best to avoid increasing prices after receipt of your deposit, but, rarely, factors beyond our control might require us to change our prices without prior notice, even after you have signed up. 

Expenses not covered

Costs not included in the price may include: meals not indicated as included in itineraries; meals prior to arrival in starting cities; transfers, if not arriving or departing on the scheduled group flights; soft drinks, bottled water, and alcoholic beverages; medical expenses, costs of hospitalization, or evacuation from remote areas; laundry; airport departure taxes not included on your airline ticket; accommodations en route to starting cities; visas; airfares; gratuities; and insurance. 

Pricing and Payment

For most group departures, the booking deposit is $500 per person per trip, though for some trips it may be more, as noted in the trip description. The minimum booking deposit requirement for custom trips is $800 per person, and this deposit is non-refundable. A trip-planning fee of $250 per itinerary is also charged to cover costs of preparing itinerary proposals for custom trips. This fee is credited to the cost of the trip, but is nonrefundable if you do not take the trip. Custom travel during holiday seasons may require a deposit prior to trip confirmation.

For both group departures and custom trips, a second deposit of $1,000 per person is due 120 days prior to departure or at the time of booking for reservations made fewer than 120 days before departure. The balance as shown on your invoice is due 60 days prior to departure regardless of whether extensions or other arrangements are pending. Late payments may jeopardize confirmation of your itinerary and in some cases may result in additional fees. If we have not received final payment 30 days prior to departure your reservation may be canceled and subject to our Cancellation & Refund Policy stated in the complete Terms & Conditions.

We accept payments by Visa, MasterCard, American Express, or check drawn on a U.S. bank account. Payment for airfare is required at the time of ticketing. Discounts that may be available for some trips are not available toward bookings made through travel agencies.​

Airfare

We can help you secure air travel arrangements to correspond with land travel booked through Journeys International. We work with an airfare consolidator to assist in booking the flights that suit your needs. If you decide to make your own flight arrangements, you must provide Journeys International with a complete copy of your itinerary showing departure and arrival flights and times. You should plan to arrange your own air travel if you are using mileage credit or originating outside North America, but please be in touch with our office before you finalize ticketing so that we can help you to coordinate the correct arrival and departure dates and times.

Insurance

When you make your application, we strongly recommend the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance in case of emergency situations. Please contact us for a recommended policy.

Itinerary Change Fee

There will be a $40 fee for changes once an itinerary has been confirmed and approved. Additional cancellation penalties or change fees may apply as per our terms and conditions. The passenger is responsible for such fees.

Trip Extensions

Amazon Rainforest Lodge

Duration: 4 days

Explore the rainforest habitats accompanied by native guides while staying at a charming lodge, designed to offer comfort while preserving the environment and ambiance of the rainforest.

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.

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

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

Guayaquil City & Optional Tours

Duration: 1 days

Guayaquil is Ecuador’s largest city, and with its low elevation and coastal location, it is an ideal point to fly to and from Galapagos. Options include a tour of the city and the Botanical Gardens or the new Historical Park.

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

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× comfort level
Choose accommodations and amenities that fit your personal style
●○○○○ Simple
Our most natural accommodations. Bath facilities often shared, sometimes rustic.
●●○○○ Delightful
Comfortable and especially personal. Small to mid-sized lodges, typically with private bath.
●●●○○ Superior
Lodges and hotels with additional amenities, refined artistry, or extra-special settings.
●●●●○ Deluxe
Exclusive or luxury lodges, hotels, or safari camps with fine dining options.
●●●●● Uncommon
The most indulgent accommodations arranged specially for private trips.
× activity level
Match the trip’s intensity to your ability and motivation.
●○○○○ Gentle
Easy walking, with opportunities for low-key physical activity.
●●○○○ Active
Energetic exploration with optional day hikes, leisurely cycling, or light canoeing.
●●●○○ Vigorous
Day-long active excursions and options for demanding activity in varied environments.
●●●●○ Challenging
Strenuous hiking or other intense activity that may be at high altitude or over rough terrain.
●●●●● Demanding
Multi-day trekking and other activities requiring endurance or strength. Steep trails. No technical expertise necessary.
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