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Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Hiking, Biking, and Kayaking

Trip Galapagos
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Take a leap and join us on this island-hopping adventure featuring the Galapagos’ best hotels.

Immerse yourself in nature in the enchanting, other-worldly landscapes of the Galapagos. Our local partners at ActivExpedition are ready to take you on an adventure you will never forget! Made famous by Charles Darwin, this volcanic paradise is home to some of the most spectacular species of flora and fauna found nowhere else on earth. Visit Nationals Parks and learn from the conservationists firsthand how their efforts play a pivotal role in preserving these beautiful islands and the plants and animals that inhabit them. Hike to see native birds, snorkel through lava-formed tunnels in search of turtles, rays and sharks, and bike through tropical bush trails to find the giant tortoises that call these islands home.

A particular favorite is the Charles Darwin Centre, a Tortoise Breeding Centre on the island of Santa Cruz, where we can see a variety of tortoise species thriving in their natural habitat. Bike and explore on foot through the bush forest paths on San Cristobal that lead to pockets of wildlife and open up to magnificent viewpoints of the surrounding jungle. Kayak around the reefs that encompass Isabela Island and dive into the marine utopia of Kicker Rock where you can swim with sea lions, sea turtles and tropical fish in the crystal blue waters.  Enjoy the island nightlife, and even salsa dancing, with the local people and take to heart that your travels are directly benefiting local families and sustainable tourism efforts. 

Select Your Trip

Note: Even though we have a detailed itinerary, changes can be made by your guides, due to weather or safety reasons.
  • 1
    Day number 1
    Day 1: Arrival

    Welcome to Ecuador! Spend your first day exploring the beautiful city of Quito at your own leisure. Being one of the most historically preserved areas within Latin America, Quito has plenty of cultural and architectural sights to keep you entertained. However, if you would like to have a guided day tour to learn about the city and the surrounding areas in more depth, please feel free to contact us ahead of time and we will be more than happy to arrange this (additional cost would apply). There will be a meeting at 6:00pm in the hotel lobby, for you to meet your guide and the other members of the group, and to discuss what adventures await you during your expedition.

    Overnight: Dann Carlton or similar
    Meals included: None
  • 2
    Day number 2
    Day 2: Hike Frigate Hill

    In the morning, we will be picked up and taken to the airport for the three-hour flight to San Cristobal Island, home to the oldest permanent settlements of the islands. Upon arrival, we will check in to the hotel and have some time for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the Welcome Centre of the National Park where we will meet a seasoned Naturalist guide to learn about the islands, their role in environmental research and preservation, as well as many of the animals that can be found residing there. We will then trek through the bush forest path that leads to Frigate Hill, home to frigate birds and where you will find a spectacular viewpoint of the surrounding islets. There will be an opportunity to go snorkelling in search of lazy sea lions, graceful sea turtles and tropical fish.

    Overnight: Golden Bay
    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 3
    Day number 3
    Day 3: Snorkel at Kicker Rock

    We begin our day by hopping on a fifty-minute boat ride that will take us across sapphire blue waters to one of the most jaw-dropping places in the Galapagos, Kicker Rock. Towering 500 feet over the surface of the water, this volcanic formation is the doorway to an underwater paradise. Here we will take a dip beneath the waves, through the channel that cuts through the middle of the formation, for the chance to encounter white tip reef sharks, rays, sea lions, turtles and an array of fish, and if we’re lucky, hammer-head sharks. We will have two opportunities to explore this underwater community of marine animals, followed by a visit to one of the nearby white sandy beaches. Lunch will be served on board. Our day ends with heading back to the town where you will be able to relax, dine and enjoy the nightlife that San Cristobal has to offer!

    Overnight: Golden Bay
    Meals included: Breakfast and lunch
  • 4
    Day number 4
    Day 4: Kayaking Wildlife Excursion

    After an early breakfast, we will take the island-hopper plane to Isabela Island, the largest island of the Galapagos Islands, and home to a variety of amazing wildlife. A sanctuary for wildlife, you will come across animals such as iguanas, flamingos, giant tortoises and even penguins. Once we arrive we have free time to explore and have lunch. In the afternoon we will go kayaking to Tinteroras, a small islet of jagged volcanic rock that formed small underwater canyons thriving with wildlife. Be on the lookout for feisty penguins and blue-footed boobies! Want to get the view from above and below? Get up close and personal by submerging in the serene crystal waters, and swim with a variety of fish, turtles and sea lions.

    Overnight: Iguana Crossing
    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 5
    Day number 5
    Day 5: Biking Wildlife Excursion

    After breakfast, we will bike along the road that spans across the coast of the island. We will take stops along the way, walking along trails that will reward us with magnificent views of the surrounding jungle, and immerse us within the incredibly diverse ecosystems that coexist within the tropical landscape of the island. A notable highlight of our ride stops is Playa de Amor, also known as the Beach of Love, and is home to the largest population of iguanas on the island. Another highlight will be the Tortoise Breeding Centre, where we will learn about the preservation of the tortoise population from the workers at the National Park. We will also visit the Flamingo Lagoon, where we will find Galapagos flamingos, well known for being genetically unique and having even brighter pink feathers compared to most others of the species on the planet. We will conclude the day by enjoying the beautiful golden sunset amidst the gentle sounds of crashing waves.

    Overnight: Iguana Crossing
    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 6
    Day number 6
    Day 6: Lava Tunnels

    Enter the marine paradise of Los Tunneles! Formed millions of years ago, these arched volcanic formations have created a prime snorkeling location for you to explore the vast network of lava tunnels that are home to a variety of marine life animals. Possible sightings include white-tip reef sharks, penguins, golden and eagle rays, among many others. We will explore the area by boat, with plenty of chances to snorkel, as well as on foot. Once lunch has been served on board the boat, we will then return back to the town.

    Overnight: Iguana Crossing
    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 7
    Day number 7
    Day 7: Free Day

    Take a day to adventure around the island at your own leisure! Fancy taking a day tour to the Sierra Negra Volcano? Or have you always wanted to learn how to surf? No problem! Don’t hesitate to contact us ahead of time and we will be more than happy to arrange this for you!

    Overnight: Iguana Crossing
    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 8
    Day number 8
    Day 8: Charles Darwin Research Station

    Seize the day with an early rise and a two hour boat ride to the Island of Santa Cruz, home to the Charles Darwin Research Station. Here you will be able to see many different types of tortoise at the breeding centre, and witness the tireless efforts of conservationists and researchers in the mission to repopulate the island with different species of tortoise. We will then travel up to the highlands, to the ‘El Chato’ reserve, where we will get to experience these magnificent creatures in their natural habitat. This wildlife sanctuary is unique as it also features a network of lava tunnels that you can explore whilst watching the gentle giants lounge around in the mud. We will conclude the day with an evening stroll through Puerto Ayora, the beautiful town of Santa Cruz.

    Overnight: Angermeyer WaterFront
    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 9
    Day number 9
    Day 9: Return to Quito

    In the morning, we will be transferred back to Baltra for our return flight to Quito. Depending on whether your flight is direct or including a stop in Quayaquil, the average time back to the city is 2-3 hours.

    Overnight: Dann Carlton
    Meals included: Breakfast
  • 10
    Day number 10
    Day 10: Departure

    Say goodbye to new friends, pack up, and head out. As you depart we thank you and wish you safe travels! If you wish to continue exploring more of Ecuador, we can help you organize an extension trip to places you did not see during this trip. Hasta luego!

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Package Includes
  • Experienced, certified English-speaking guide
  • Private ground transportation
  • Flight from San Cristobal to Isabella
  • Accommodations for nine nights 
  • Meals included: 9 breakfasts, 1 lunch 
  • Water and snacks at all times
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Biking gear rental: hybrid bikes, certified helmets and gloves
  • Paddling gear rental: two-person sit-on-top kayaks and paddles, 8-10 person rafts
  • Snorkelling gear rental: masks and fins
Trip Package Does Not Include
  • Flights
  • Airport transfers (we will meet at the hotel lobby in Quito on Day 1)
  • Single supplement
  • Travel insurance (mandatory, we recommend World Nomads)
  • Extra fees .e.g. Galapagos Transit Control Card INGALA, Galapagos National Park fee and Isabela Island fee
  • Meals not included in the itinerary 
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional activities
  • Tips for guides and drivers

Questions? Call or email us!
Area Information

The Galapagos Islands

Our expedition will involve exploring one of the most lively marine and land ecosystems in the world, the Galapagos Islands. Known as the ‘unique living museum and showcase of evolution’, the Galapagos Islands are made up of 19 islands situated amid the Pacific Ocean approximately 600 miles from the Ecuadorian Coast. The active volcanic processes that formed the islands and led to the evolution of genetically developed marine and land animals are still ongoing; it's no wonder they influenced Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution following his visit in 1835. These islands have become the platform for many research and conservation efforts, such as the Charles Darwin Research Center (don’t worry, this will be included in the trip!). Home to a variety of native species such as the land iguana, Galapagos penguins and flamingos, blue-footed boobies and the giant tortoise, these tropical islands also feature beautiful rainforests, white sandy beaches and lava-formed tunnels that will leave you in awe!

Trip Planning

Trip Planning

In Ecuador the weather can be extremely variable depending on which side of the Andes you are traveling to, so it is highly recommended to come ready for all kinds of weather. When they say “Ecuador, All in One Place” they mean it! It may feel like winter at 15,000 feet in the Andes while the coastal lowlands in the western part of Ecuador are typically warm with average temps of 77 °F. The weather in Quito is consistent with that of a subtropical highland climate (average daytime temp day of 70 °F and an average of 50 °F at night). The dry season runs from June to September and the wet season is from October to May.

In the Galapagos, during the season known as the garúa (June to November), the temperature by the sea is 22 °C (72 °F), a steady and cold wind blows from south and southeast, frequent drizzles (garúas) last most of the day, and dense fog conceals the islands. During the warm season (December to May), the average sea and air temperature rises to 25 °C (77 °F), there is no wind at all, there are sporadic, though strong, rains and the sun shines.

We recommend travelling light for this expedition. A duffel bag of 50 liters for your luggage and a backpack of 20 liters for daily activities should be sufficient. In Ecuador the weather can change drastically especially when you are moving from the Andes into the cloud forest, so make sure to pack layers for both warm and cold weather. 

Gear and Clothing
  • Are departures guaranteed?
    There is a minimum of 2 people required per departure date. Please wait to make travel arrangements until you have received confirmation.
  • Can you accommodate other date requests beyond those that are listed?
    Yes, with a minimum of 2 people this trip can be offered every week, all year-round (with Day 1 always starting on Fridays). If you have other dates you’d like to request, please let us know.
  • What are the accommodations like?
    We have selected charming, high-quality accommodations throughout this adventure. In the Galapagos we stay at beachfront properties with well-appointed rooms, excellent food, panoramic views, and - apart from our final night’s hotel - swimming pools. Our stays include 2 nights at Golden Bay (4-star), 4 nights at Iguana Crossing (4-star), and 1 night at Angermeyer Waterfront Inn (5-star). In Quito, we typically stay at the Dann Carlton, an ideally located, boutique 3-star property.
  • Is there a single supplement if I am a solo traveler? Can I book my own room?
    There is a minimum of 2 people required per departure date. Generally a single supplement fee is not incurred, as we match you with another person of the same gender in a twin room. If you prefer not to share and have your own room, no problem. In this case a single room supplement will be needed to cover the extra costs associated with not sharing a room. Please inquire if interested.
  • What skill/experience level is required for this trip?
    This trip is rated as 2 out of 5 difficult. No prior experience is required and your guides will always brief you about safety and proper use of gear on every leg of the trip. The hiking is quite easy on mostly flat terrain along the coastline and the biking is also easy on sand and some gravel. The kayaking is on calm water. There will be transport support for the majority of the activities in case someone wants to take a break or just wants to relax.
  • What are the guides like?
    All guides have a professional background from Ecuador’s University of Tourism; meaning they have a degree in guiding, with top-notch skills and knowledge. Each guide has many years of leading experience, including additional courses taken for other outdoor activities and International First-Aid certifications. On top of all of this, all guides are extremely personable and strive to deliver exceptional travel experiences for each guest.
  • How do you address sustainability on your trips?
    We do our best to not produce any trash; we believe that recycling is not enough so we try to avoid using any plastic or materials that pollute our environment. Every day we work towards being a zero waste tour operator and our staff is well trained to leave the least impact possible in our service areas. We also work with local indigenous communities in the different regions. By doing so we are able to teach our guests about the rich culture of Ecuador, all the while helping the people preserve their traditions and lands. By working directly with local peoples we are able to create a sustainable touristic income for the community.
  • What if I need to cancel?
    evoTrip upholds Activexpedition’s policies regarding cancellation, which have been made more flexible given the challenges we know are presented by Covid-19. Guests may postpone their existing trip to a future trip, at no extra cost, up until 30 days prior to departure. For cancellations, guests have: 72 hours to cancel with no fee unless the date of start of services falls within said 72 hour period, 3 days after the booking until 90 days before the trip; $100 USD cancellation fee would be charged, 89 days until 60 days before the trip; 50% of the trip cost would be charged, 59 days or less before the trip; 100% of the trip cost would be charged
  • When and how do I meet up with the group?
    Please be ready to meet the group on Day 1 at 6 PM in the hotel lobby in Quito.
  • What will the food be like?
    In the Galapagos, our hotels are renowned for their cuisine which emphasizes locally grown, organic produce and sustainably sourced fish and shellfish. Options such as shrimp and fish ceviche, traditional sancocho (an authentic Ecuadorian soup which is made with fish and yucca) as well as more fusion style offerings. In Quito and mainland Ecuador, you’ll find a wide variety of offerings including excellent street food. Chicken, pork, beef, and cuy (guinea pig - though this is more common in the Andes) as well as an array of carbohydrates, including corn and potatoes. A popular street food is hornado (roasted pig), which is often served with llapingacho (a pan seared potato ball). Some other examples of traditional Ecuadorian cuisine generally include hearty quinoa soups, patacones (unripe plantains fried in oil), llapingachos (fried potato pancakes), and seco de chivo (a type of stew made from goat). A wide variety of fresh fruits are available, particularly at lower altitudes, including granadilla, passionfruit, naranjilla and several types of bananas. Another local favorite are fresh juices, including the tree tomato or a colada morada (a traditional Ecuadorian drink made with fruits, spices, and purple corn flour).
  • Can you accommodate dietary restrictions?
    As Ecuador has a great variety of cuisine and gastronomy, vegetarians, vegans and gluten free options are widely available and welcome. If you have any allergies or food restrictions, please inform Activexpedition prior to your departure. Our guides are always ready to coordinate with chefs and restaurants for substitute meals and allergy needs.
  • What is the minimum and maximum number of guests per trip?
    Minimum of 2 people and a maximum of 10.
  • Is there a minimum age required for this trip?
    Yes, 8 years old.
  • What is transportation like?
    Driving time can take more than expected in Ecuador, as it is a small country with many people and consists of both dirt and paved roads. We assure your comfort during transit no matter the size of the group. While in the Galapagos, the speedboat from Santa Cruz to Isabela can be a bit challenging for those prone to sea sickness. We recommend carrying some Dramamine or similar anti-nausea medication with you.
  • Do I need a visa, passport and vaccinations?
    A valid passport for at least six months past the planned date of departure is required. Make sure you check your passport validity and expiration date prior to travel. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter Ecuador and travelers can stay in Ecuador for up to 90 days without a visa. However, sanctions including fines and deportation can occur if you stay past this time period. No vaccinations are required for this trip, however we recommend checking with your doctor prior to travel.
This was the trip of a lifetime. It was full of adventure, excitement, and great friendship. Rolando and Christian were not just guides they became friends that I hope to visit again.
Kyle H
evoTrip guest
We simply can't say enough about our visit to Ecuador. It was an active family vacation for 2 adults and 2 teens, just perfect! Christian is an absolutely wonderful guide and the trip provided the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.. with a very personal touch. We look forward to our next adventure with ActivExpedition.
Doug W.
evoTrip guest

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