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Ecuador Galapagos Islands Private Adventure

Lodge-Based Wildlife Experience on Santa Cruz & Isabela

 

See another side of the Galápagos on this lodge-based adventure that combines the enchanting islands of Santa Cruz and Isabela. Follow expert naturalist guides to explore hidden spots where tourist boats don't go, and experience the many landscapes of this nature-lover's paradise. Each day brings a new excursion, including the fumaroles and caldera of Sierra Negra Volcano, snorkeling with Galápagos penguins and marine iguanas, and, of course, spotting the native wildlife for which these islands are known. Your trip begins and ends in historic Quito, the capital of Ecuador and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Kayak and snorkel among sea lions, marine iguanas, and sea turtles in the world's top nature destination

  • Hike to the giant caldera of Sierra Negra, one of the world's largest active volcanoes

  • Encounter giant tortoises as you follow trails in the company of expert Galápagos naturalist guides

Arrive:

Quito, Ecuador

Depart:

Quito, Ecuador

Duration:

9 Days

Activity Level:

3

Departures:

See Dates

Price: from $4,995

  • Arrive in Quito

    Day 1

    Welcome to the historic city of Quito, the capital of Ecuador. An MT Sobek representative will meet you outside customs at the airport and escort you to your hotel. After settling in at the hotel, the rest of the day is free unwind, take advantage of the hotel's pool and spa services, or begin your exploration of this dynamic city. Dinner is on your own tonight.

    Accommodation: Swissotel-Quito, Ecuador

    The upscale Swissôtel offers five-star comfort in Quito's Floresta neighborhood, close to great shopping, interesting museums, and the city's architectural gems. Elegant and comfortable rooms feature city or mountain views, flat-screen TVs with premium channels, complimentary Wi-Fi, and more. There are four restaurants onsite offering a variety of international cuisine. Other perks include a fitness center and an indoor pool.

    Transportation: 45-minute private vehicle transfer

  • Explore Quito

    Day 2

    After breakfast, enjoy a half-day guided sightseeing tour of colonial Quito, the oldest part of the city. This colorful neighborhood, one of UNESCO's first declared World Heritage Sites, is rich with Spanish colonial architecture, gilded churches, lively restaurants, museums and small shops. Your guide will explain the history and traditions of Quito and offer special insight into everyday life. After lunch in an area restaurant, the rest of the day is free to relax, shop, or explore on your own.

    Accommodation: Swissotel-Quito, Ecuador

    The upscale Swissôtel offers five-star comfort in Quito's Floresta neighborhood, close to great shopping, interesting museums, and the city's architectural gems. Elegant and comfortable rooms feature city or mountain views, flat-screen TVs with premium channels, complimentary Wi-Fi, and more. There are four restaurants onsite offering a variety of international cuisine. Other perks include a fitness center and an indoor pool.

    Activity: 2.5-3 hour city walking tour

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Journey to the Galápagos Islands

    Day 3

    After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the Quito airport and fly to Baltra Island in the Galápagos. From here, connect with a local flight to Isabela Island, the largest of the islands, and transfer to your beachfront lodge in Puerto Villamil. Take the remainder of the day to swim and snorkel at the beach and explore the village with your guide. Be sure to keep an eye out overhead for blue-footed boobies and along the shoreline for Galápagos sea lions.

    Accommodation: Casa de Marita-Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island

    This comfortable beachfront inn on the island of Isabela offers incomparable views and access to one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the Galápagos Islands. Casa Marita sports the charm and atmosphere of a large country home, with 16 rooms that are individually decorated with fanciful flair. Guests are invited to share the comfortable lounge, library and bar areas.

    Activity: Swimming and snorkeling

    Transportation: 2.5-hour flight transfers

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike the Sierra Negra Volcano

    Day 4

    Take an awe-inspiring hike up the Sierra Negra Volcano (4,890'), one of the most active volcanoes in the Galápagos. Hike two hours up a gradual incline to the massive crater's edge, walking among fumaroles and petrified lava formations. Along the way, enjoy spectacular views of the ocean and surrounding islands, and watch for endemic Galápagos hawks, martins, and vermilion flycatchers. From there, you can hike back down or extend your hike by continuing along the crater's rim.

    Accommodation: Casa de Marita-Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island

    This comfortable beachfront inn on the island of Isabela offers incomparable views and access to one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the Galápagos Islands. Casa Marita sports the charm and atmosphere of a large country home, with 16 rooms that are individually decorated with fanciful flair. Guests are invited to share the comfortable lounge, library and bar areas.

    Activity: 4-7 hours/10 miles hiking with 400' elevation gain and loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Explore Isabela Island

    Day 5

    Enjoy a full day exploring the sites of Isabela Island. After breakfast, head to Tintoreras islet, accessible only by small boats. The walk on Tintoreras is easy and a great opportunity to observe marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins, boobies, and herons. After the walk, snorkel among tropical fish, sea turtles, reef sharks, and, if you're lucky, even Galápagos penguins. After lunch, you can visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, or simply relax at the hotel and swim from the beach.

    Accommodation: Casa de Marita-Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island

    This comfortable beachfront inn on the island of Isabela offers incomparable views and access to one of the most beautiful white sand beaches in the Galápagos Islands. Casa Marita sports the charm and atmosphere of a large country home, with 16 rooms that are individually decorated with fanciful flair. Guests are invited to share the comfortable lounge, library and bar areas.

    Activity: 1.5 hours/0.7 miles walking plus snorkeling

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • See the Highlands of Santa Cruz

    Day 6

    Awake early to swim or take a nature walk before your transfer to Puerto Villamil airport for the short flight to Baltra. From Baltra, transfer to Santa Cruz Island, stopping to visit the lush forests to search for Darwin's giant tortoises in their natural environment. Explore a lava tunnel, and enjoy lunch at a restaurant in the highlands. Later, continue the drive to the town of Puerto Ayora, the largest settlement in Galápagos, then check in to your hotel with time to relax or explore town.

    Accommodation: Angermeyer Waterfront Inn-Puerto Ayora

    Located on the Punta Estrada waterfront, this quiet inn is built around Gus Angermeyer's legendary cave. Lava rocks and drift wood form some of the construction materials for this uncommon piece of Galápagos history. The inn features comfortable guest rooms with en suite bathrooms, a guest lounge with full bar service, and, of course, excellent views of the bay.

    Transportation: 20-minute flight transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Explore Santa Cruz Island

    Day 7

    Start your day with an easy, 30-minute walk through a dry forest dominated by giant prickly-pear cactus. Arrive at the beautiful, white-sand Tortuga Beach, where you can kayak or swim in the calm waters of the bay. In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Station or one of the nearby beaches. For an additional cost, you can ride horses on a private ranch in the highlands, take a dive trip to a nearby island, or take a boat trip to a nearby island to view wildlife.

    Accommodation: Angermeyer Waterfront Inn-Puerto Ayora

    Located on the Punta Estrada waterfront, this quiet inn is built around Gus Angermeyer's legendary cave. Lava rocks and drift wood form some of the construction materials for this uncommon piece of Galápagos history. The inn features comfortable guest rooms with en suite bathrooms, a guest lounge with full bar service, and, of course, excellent views of the bay.

    Activity: Forest walk & optional activities

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

  • Return to Quito

    Day 8

    Transfer to the Baltra airport for your return flight to Quito. An MT Sobek representative will greet you at Quito airport and provide assistance to your nearby hotel. Lunch and dinner are on your own today.

    Accommodation: Wyndham Quito Airport Hotel-Quito

    The Wyndham Quito Airport is a convenient and comfortable stopover after your journey back from the Galápagos. Excellent food options are available both at the onsite restaurant and for room service. Rooms have large TVs and complimentary WiFi. There is a 24-hour complimentary shuttle to and from airport.

    Transportation: 45-minute private vehicle transfer & 2-hour flight transfer

    Meals: Breakfast

  • Depart Quito

    Day 9

    Use the complimentary airport shuttle to transfer to the airport in time for your outbound flight, or opt to stay on in Quito to join us for one of our extensions in Ecuador or Peru!

    Accommodation:

    Meals: Breakfast

Ecuador Galapagos Islands Private Adventure

Detailed Itinerary

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What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

MT Sobek was one of the first North American companies to bring visitors to the Galápagos Islands, with an inaugural charter for the Sierra Club in 1970.

Reason #02

Guests love our Galápagos adventures because we work with our own team of expert naturalist guides - all certified to the highest level.

Reason #03

This trip is the perfect alternative to our yacht-based adventures with eight nights at comfortable hotels and inns, hand-picked by our Galápagos specialists.

Meet your guides

Daniel Fitter

Daniel Fitter

Daniel Fitter is a third generation native of the Galapagos Islands and has worked as a naturalist in the Galapagos for more than 30 years. In the off-season Daniel and his wife reside on the mainland of Ecuador where they run a photography library/gallery dedicated to Ecuadorian Fauna and Flora, in addition to managing a small photographic Gallery in Puerto Ayora Galapagos. He is the co-author of the Field Guide to Wildlife of the Galapagos (Princeton University Press) and a photography book Creative Force. Daniel exudes a deep understanding of the Galapagos and enjoys sharing it with MT Sobek travelers.

Activities

Easy walks, snorkeling, kayaking, and enjoying the endemic wildlife that made these islands famous.

Lodging

Island inns with fabulous beach & waterfront views. Enjoy your first nights at the luxurious Swissôtel in Quito and the last night at the convenient Wyndham.

Climate

Mild climate year-round. December - May has daytime temperatures of 76-86°F and water temperatures of 70-75°F. June - November has daytime temperatures 67-77°F and water temperatures of 65-72°F

FAQ

When and where should I arrive?

Arrive in Quito any time on Day 1. An MT Sobek representative will meet you and transfer you to the hotel. Most flights from the US arrive late at night.

When and where should I depart?

You could depart Quito on a late evening flight on Day 8, or any time on Day 9.

Can we book this trip with less than four guests?

Yes! This trip can be booked for a group of one, two or three guests with a small group surcharge. Please give us a call for more details.

When is the best time to go to the Galapagos?

The Galapagos Islands are a year-round destination with amazing wildlife to see every month! The warm/wet season is December-May, and the cool/dry season is June-November. To read more about the weather and seasons in Galapagos, click here: When Is the Best Time to Visit the Galapagos?

What if I get seasick?

This is a land-based Galapagos adventure, with no boats required.

  • Go Private
  • Go Custom

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Private Trip Pricing:

4 to 10 guests from $4,995 per person double occupancy

	

Make Your Own Dates In These Months

  • January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, October, November, December

Additional costs

  • $985 Internal Airfare
  • $1,350 Single Supplement
  • $20 Transit Control Card

Price Includes

  • Expert leadership from experienced adventure guides
  • Accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • Meals as noted in the daily itinerary
  • Potable water and snacks throughout
  • 1 glass of wine or beer at welcome dinner
  • All tips and gratuities for support staff with the exception of your lead adventure guide
  • All group activities and ground transportation
  • Arrival and departure day group airport transfers
  • Optional travel protection

Price does not include

  • International airfare, any airport taxes, or excess baggage charges
  • Galápagos National Park fee, collected upon arrival (Age 12 and older: $100 / Age 11 and younger: $50)
  • Lunch on Day 8 and dinners on Days 1, 2, 4, 7 and 8
  • Optional tips to your lead adventure guide
  • Personal expenses such as medical immunizations, phone calls, laundry, or souvenirs
  • Wetsuit rentals

Contact An Expert

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Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.