ECUADOR

Galapagos Multisport

Highlights

Amazing Wildlife & Birdlife

Land-based Hotels

Visit Multiple Islands

Hike, Snorkel, Kayak, Bike, Surf

Naturalist Guides

Summary

Experience the famed Galapagos Islands on this action-packed adventure! The Galapagos offer endless opportunities to intimately witness a unique abundance of wildlife in a setting unlike any other on the planet. Get your adventure on as you hike a volcano, bike through lava tunnels, kayak, snorkel and even surf while seeing see turtles, sea lions, iguanas, and an astounding array of birdlife. We cover three islands and have comfortable hotels nightly. Your trip also supports community projects. Be part of an inspirational journey of a lifetime in one of the most fiercely protected marine wilderness’ in the world!

Map of Galapagos

At-a-Glance

Days: 10

Guarenteed Departures Every Friday

Land Cost: $3,095 (airfare extra)
+ Galapagos Flight (~$525)
+ Park and port fees (~$115)
– Children age 10-12 save $200

Single Supplement: $800

Group Size: 2-10

Minimum Age: 10

Level: Moderate

Overview

Day 1: Arrive Quito Ecuador

Day 2: Fly to San Cristobal, Galapagos

Day 3: Kicker Rock, Snorkel, Beach

Day 4: Fly to Isabela Island, biking

Day 5: Explore lava tunnels

Day 6: Hike Sierra Negra Volcano

Day 7: Charles Darwin Station and El Chato Highlands

Day 8: Surf lesson and social project

Day 9: Fly to Quito

Day 10: Departure

Day 1 - Arrive Quito, Ecuador

Welcome to Quito, the ‘Cultural Capital of South America’! This well-preserved colonial city sits right on the Equator and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Depending on arrival time, you can spend your day exploring the old town of Quito and the surrounding area. Evening orientation with the guide at 6 pm.

Accommodation: Swissôtel Quito or similar.
Meals included: none.


Day 2 - Fly to the Galapagos (San Cristobal), Snorkel

Morning flight from Quito to the island of San Cristóbal.  Transfer to the hotel in the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. In the afternoon, head to "La Loberia" Beach, home to many Galapagos sea lions. What a thrill to be snorkeling as curious sea lions swim and play just underneath you.  Bird-life along the beach includes yellow warblers, frigate birds, and several species of Darwin's finches. And, on the rocks, your first looks at the famed marine iguanas – which are only seen in the Galapagos.

Accommodation:  Seaside Inn or similar
Meals included: Breakfast.


Day 3 - San Cristobal, Kicker Rock Snorkeling

In the morning, we will take a boat off the coast of San Cristobal to Kicker Rock, also known as the Sleeping Lion (Leon Dormido). Kicker Rock is the remains of a lava cone eroded by the sea. Two vertical rocks rising 500 ft above the ocean form a small channel that is navigable by small boats. Tropic birds, frigate birds and boobies fill the sky. Beneath the sea, the crystal waters offer snorkelers a brilliant show of colorful fish and marine life.  After lunch, chill with some beach time.

Accommodation:  Seaside Inn or similar
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.


Day 4 - Isabela Island Biking

Take a short hopper flight (included) to Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago and one of the most volcanically active places on earth. Explore the coastline on a bike-exclusive trail, through an incredible ecosystem with varied wildlife. Visit the Wall of Tears, a massive wall built with lava rocks by prisoners in the 1950s when Isabela was used as a penal colony.  Continuing, explore pristine, white sand beaches, mangrove forests and lagoons. We will see birds such as American oyster catchers, herons, flamingos, finches, and shore birds, as well as the ubiquitous sea lions and marine iguanas. Before dinner we can enjoy a breathtaking sunset on the beach of Puerto Villamil.

Accommodation: Cormorant Beach House or similar.
Meals included: Breakfast.


Day 5 - Isabela Island, Snorkel at Lava Tunnels

Ever snorkel in a lava tunnel? Explore these amazing seashore formations created during previous eruptions. This is a magical place, a labyrinth of lava arches and   crystal clear waters full of sea turtles, eagle rays, sea lions, sharks and more. No wonder BBC and National Geographic have filmed many documentaries here.  The turtles navigate their own ‘highway’ from the mangroves to the open sea through "Los Tuneles".  If we’re lucky, we’ll see curious Galapagos penguins playing on the rocks.  There is also free time today to enjoy optional activities such as snorkeling at "Concha de Perla", biking, visiting the turtle breeding center or just relax on the exotic white-sand beaches of Isabela Island.

Accommodation: Cormorant Beach House or similar.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.


Day 6 - Isabela, Hike Sierra Negra Volcano. Kayak/Snorkel Tintoreras

Dramatic geological events that have formed the Galapagos Islands over millennia Strap your daypack on for a hike through a young forest ecosystem to the rim of Sierra Negra Volcano, an active volcano which last erupted in June 2018. Take in the breathtaking views and explore the circumference of the massive, lava-filled crater, a caldera that is over six miles across at its widest point.  If we feel energetic enough, we can continue our hike to Volcan Chico, a secondary crater that has a wild landscape of puffing fumaroles and colorful lava formations.  In the afternoon we will visit Tintoreras Islet by kayak, located at a short distance from Puerto Villamil and home to a great variety of wildlife. Its turquoise, crystalline waters are inhabited by white-tipped reef sharks, Galapagos Penguins, marine turtles, marine iguana, and sea lions.

Accommodation: Cormorant Beach House or similar.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch.


Day 7 - Santa Cruz, Charles Darwin Research. Giant Tortoises in the Highlands

Motor to Santa Cruz Island, check into our hotel and then visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about the ongoing conservation and management efforts on the Galapagos Islands. In the afternoon, head to the 'El Chato' reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, home to the famous Galapagos Tortoises. Hiking near to these lumbering giants is an unforgettable experience! We will also see varied bird-life such as: pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, finches and frigatebirds.  In the evening, enjoy Puerto Ayora - the Galapagos' most populous town.

Accommodation: Hotel Silberstein or similar.
Meals included: Breakfast.


Day 8 - Santa Cruz: Surfing Lesson and Social Project

Enjoy a fun morning surfing lesson in the crystalline waters of stunning Tortuga Bay Beach. In the afternoon, we will visit a community project in Puerto Ayora, “Pan Animalia Ecuador’, a shelter that offers veterinarian and spay/neutering services to give a better future to the homeless dogs on the island.  Accommodation: Hotel Silberstein or similar.  Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 9 - Return to Quito

After our final breakfast on the Galapagos Island and the last photos taken of sea lions, we have a transfer to Baltra's airport to catch the flight back to Quito on the mainland.  Accommodation: Swissôtel or similar. Meals included: Breakfast.


Day 10 - Departure Day

Pack your memories and head to the airport as you plan your future return visit to this enchanted land.  Meals included: Breakfast

Note on Itinerary:

Although we do our best to adhere to the schedule listed above, this itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control.

Additional Information: 

Please be sure to scroll through website tabs for information on:

  • Pricing,
  • What’s Included,
  • General Information,
  • FAQ’s
  • How to Reserve.

Your Meaningful Trip awaits. Space is limited. Click to reserve today.

$3,095 land price.

International airfare is NOT included. (Rates quoted are per person, based on sharing double hotel).

 

Child Discount:

Children between 10 and 12 years old, sharing rooms with parents, SAVE $200 each.

Additional Costs:

– Galapagos Flights, approximately $500
(Flights will be arranged by us and paid in advance)

– Galapagos National Park Fee, $100
– INGALA Transit Card, $20
– Pier use fee at Puerto Villamil, $10
(payable by cash in the Galapagos)

Single Supplement: $800

If a guest specifically requests their own room, a $800 Single Supplement is charged.  Meaningful Trips pairs same gender guests as roommates. If there is an odd number of persons, which necessitates one person having their own room throughout, then they are required to pay a reduced Single Supplement of $500.

SAVE Big!

– Children between 10 – 12 SAVE $200 each.

– Groups of 4 or more traveling together will save $100 per person.  (you will be joining other persons on this group tour)

 

 

Payment Schedule and Cancellation Policy:

Payment

Deposit of $500 due at time of reservation. Final balance due 90 days prior to trip departure.

Cancellation
Any deposits made in 2020 for tours in 2021 can be cancelled for any reason and receive a full refund. As of Jan 01, 2021, if you cancel prior to departure (we need written notice), cancellation fees are:

91 or more days… $0
61 to 90 days… $500
31 to 60 days… 50% of Trip Cost
0 to 30 days… 100% of Trip Cost

INCLUDED

  • Transportation: Airport transfers (domestic flights), Intra-flight from San Cristobal to Isabela included (personnel baggage allowance of 25 lbs.) (20 lbs. for check in baggage and 5 pounds for carry-on) (Extra baggage USD $2 per extra pound); speed boat from Isabela to Santa Cruz Island; comfortable land transportation.
  • Accommodation based in double occupancy:  5* hotel in Quito, 3+ star hotels in Galapagos.
  • Meals: 9 breakfasts and 3 lunches.
  • Activities: Snorkeling in Kicker rock, La Loberia and the Lava Tunnels, Biking to the Wall of Tears, trekking to the top of Sierra Negra active volcano, snorkeling and kayaking in Tintoreras, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, hiking in Santa Cruz highlands, surf lesson in Santa Cruz.
  • Outdoor gear: Snorkeling mask and fins, life vest.
  • Trip Leader: Certified English-speaking adventure Trip Leader and naturalist local guides in Galapagos National Park.

NOT INCLUDED

  • International Airfare
  • My Own Room Single Suplement USD $850.
  • Airfare Quito – Galapagos – Quito round trip. (~$500)
  • Airport transfer (international flights).
  • Travel insurance (required).
  • Meals not described in the itinerary (estimated budget USD $180)
  • INGALA transit card: USD $20 per person, cash only
  • Galapagos National Park fee: USD $100 per person, cash only (subject to change).
  • USD $10 pier-use fee at Puerto Villamil.
  • Wetsuit rental: USD $10.
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Guide gratuity

In Quito and Galapagos, we use modern, comfortable hotels with wifi, full breakfast, all amenities, and friendly staff.   Here are several of the hotels we use:

Quito – Swissotel (or similar)

Swissotel Quito exterior  Swissotel Quito bedroom  Swissotel Quito dining

Swissotel is a luxury hotel in Quito’s Floresta district. It has all modern amenities as well as a spa, full gym, and several different restaurants.

 

Santa Cruz – Hotel Silberstein (or similar)

hotel pool with bridge  outdoor dining area of hotel

This relaxed hotel has AC, WiFi and outdoor pool. It is a 10-minute walk to the Charles Darwin Research Station.

San Cristobal – Seaside Inn,  Hotel Miconia (or similar)

Hotel with turtle pool  2 beds in Miconia hotel

Laid-back hotel offering an open-air restaurant with a terrace & bay views, plus an outdoor pool.

Isabela – Cormorant Beach House

hotel exterior  bed in hotel

Standard rooms with AC & Wi-Fi.  Ice breakfast served. Hotel is located right on Puerto Villamil Beach.

 

Visa and passport

Must have a US Passport valid for 6 months from the tour end date. Visa is not required for USA citizens.

 

Safety

Ecuador is a safe South American country.  As with all trips, do not leave cameras or valuables lying around, be mindful at ATM’s, and don’t travel alone at night.

 

Trip Insurance

Travel Insurance is REQUIRED for the Galapagos Islands and should cover: trip cancellation, delays, medical matters, and emergency evacuation. See our Link for Travel Insurance

 

Flights to Ecuador

Our starting and ending airport is Quito Mariscal Sucre Airport  (UIO), (20 miles, 40 minutes, $25 by taxi).

 

Weather

The Galapagos is beautiful year-round, and as it’s near the Equator, the temperatures remain between low 70’s to mid-80’s. The best time to visit the Galápagos Islands is from November to June months offer bright, sunny days, with an occasional brief rain shower. Between July and October, the Humboldt Current ushers in cooler temperatures and nutrient-rich water that attracts rare fish and birds. Albatrosses and penguins are just some of the species you’ll spot this time of year. Longer rain showers, however, occur during these months, and winds tend to be stronger, resulting in rougher seas.

 

Lodging

This trip includes 9 nights in comfortable hotels with all amenities.  See ‘Hotels’ tab.

 

Activity Level:  Moderate

This is an active trip offering a mix of activities including hiking, easy sit-on-top kayaking, snorkeling and bicycling. The duration of most activities ranges from 2 – 4 hours. The hike on Sierra Negra Volcano is 6 miles roundtrip, starting from 950′ elevation and going to a max of 3,687′. It will take 6 hours and on uneven terrain. All activities are suitable for active novices. For snorkeling, participants should be able to swim and be comfortable in the water. Minimum age is 10.

 

Food in Ecuador

The food on this trip is fresh and amazing!  Hotels offer bountiful buffet breakfasts.  A typical lunch (almuerza) and dinner consists of Locro (potato soup with corn, cheese and avocado) and then a rice plate with beans or lentils topped with preferred protein and accompanied by fried plantain.  Island cuisine is dominated by seafood. Other ubiquitous dishes are: Empanadas, Llapingachos (cheesy potato cakes), Ceviche, Aji (hot pepper sauce), Encocados (seafood in coconut sauce) and tons of fresh fruit. Vegetarians will enjoy all of Ecuador’s variety. 

 

Additional Trip Information

Prior to reserving your tour, please carefully review our ‘Pricing’, ‘How to Reserve’ and ‘FAQ’ sections for helpful information on topics such as cancellation penalties, inclusions, food, water, and more.

 

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the Meaningful Trips Terms and Conditions. Please read this information carefully. Additional pre-departure information including a Packing List, Medical Form, and Liability Release Form is emailed upon sign-up.

 

Your Meaningful Trip awaits. Space is limited. Click to reserve today.

Some answers to common questions. Upon Sign-up, travelers receive a Packing List, Pre-Departure Info and Important Forms

Do I Need a Passport for Ecuador?

Yes, a passport is needed and must be valid for 6 months after your trip date.

Do I Need a Visa for Ecuador?

No. As a tourist with a US Passport. No visa required.

Are any vaccinations required for Ecuador?

No.

We highly recommend that all persons who travel internationally should be current on these three routine immunizations: Annual Influenza (flu) shot; Tetanus Booster (Tdap) (good for 10 years); and Measles, Mumps, Rubella (MMR). Additionally, Hepatitis A is highly recommended for all international travelers. Meaningful Trips are not medical experts. Always consult your own doctor and always refer to the CDC website for updated vaccination and country-specific information.

Is Ecuador Safe?

Ecuador is a safe South American country.  As with all trips, it is always prudent to check with US Dept of State for country-specific safety information. And, follow these basic safety precautions: make copies of important documents, be wary of public Wi-Fi, use caution when using ATM, use hotel safes when available, do not walk alone at night, and be aware of your surroundings.

Do I need Travel Insurance?

Yes, Galapagos trips do REQUIRE Travel Insurance. Meaningful Trips always highly recommends the purchase of comprehensive travel insurance that covers trip cancellation, delays, medical matters, and emergency evacuation.

When is the best time to go to the Galapagos?

The Galapagos is beautiful year-round, and as it’s near the Equator, the temperatures remain between low 70’s to mid-80’s.  Quito, at 9,350′ elevation, is 10 degrees cooler. The best time to visit the Galápagos Islands is from November to June months offer bright, sunny days, with an occasional brief rain shower. Between July and October, the Humboldt Current ushers in cooler temperatures and nutrient-rich water that attracts rare fish and birds. Albatrosses and penguins are just some of the species that may be seen this time of year. Longer rain showers, however, occur during these months, and winds tend to be stronger, resulting in rougher seas.

How active is this Galapagos Adventure?

The focus of this trip is nature and wildlife. This trip offers a mix of activities including hiking, easy sit-on-top kayaking, snorkeling, and bicycling. The duration of most activities ranges from 3 – 4 hours.  The hike on Sierra Negra Volcano is 6 miles roundtrip, starting from 950′ elevation and going to a max of 3,687′. It will take 6 hours and on uneven terrain. All activities are suitable for active novices. For snorkeling, participants should be able to swim and be comfortable in the water. For families, the minimum age for children is 10 years old.

What are hotels like in Ecuador?

In Quito and on the different Galapagos Islands, we use modern, comfortable hotels with wifi, buffet breakfast, all amenities, and friendly staff.

What is the food like in Ecuador?

The food on this trip is fresh and amazing!  Hotels offer bountiful buffet breakfasts.  A typical lunch (almuerza) and dinner consists of Locro (potato soup with corn, cheese and avocado) and then a rice plate with beans or lentils topped with preferred protein and accompanied by fried plantain.  Island cuisine is dominated by seafood. Other ubiquitous dishes are: Empanadas, Llapingachos (cheesy potato cakes), Ceviche, Aji (hot pepper sauce), Encocados (seafood in coconut sauce) and tons of fresh fruit. Vegetarians will enjoy all of Ecuador’s variety. 

 

Is the water safe to drink in Ecuador?

Hotel water and juices are safe for drinking. It is fine to brush your teeth with tap water.

How high is Quito?

Quito sits at 9,350′ elevation. Some guests arriving from sea level may feel the effects of altitude… rest, stay well-hydrated, and refrain from alcohol.

STEP 1 – Click ‘Book Now’ and Complete Reservation Form to Hold Your Space(s)

STEP 2 – Mail $500 Deposit via Check.

Reservation is guaranteed upon receipt of a $500 deposit per person. Deposits are held in Trust Account. Deposits are fully refundable for any reason if you cancel before Dec 31, 2020.  After Jan 01, 2021, regular cancellation policy applies.  Final Payment is due 90-days prior to departure and payable by Check, Zelle, Stripe, ApplePay, Visa, Mastercard.

Mail Check Deposit to:

Meaningful Trips
1416 NW 46th St
Suite 105-343
Seattle, WA 98107

 

Upon reserving a trip and submitting a deposit, each traveler will receive:

  • A Confirmation email
  • Invoice
  • Pre-departure Information
  • Trip Application with Liability Release and Assumption of Risk
  • Travel Insurance Information
  • Packing List
  • Medical Form

Terms & Conditions and Liability Release
At the time of Deposit, participants must read and agree to Meaningful Trips Terms and Conditions and Liability Release Form. Please read this information carefully.

Your Meaningful Trip awaits. Space is limited. Click to reserve today.