Classic Tour

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13 days $2,250* pp visiting Galápagos and Ecuador (not Isabela Island)
* prices can vary depending on the time of year and availability of the various services involved


Day 1 - Arrival in Quito

Arrival in Quito

Upon arrival at Quito Airport, our base city, we’ll be met and taken to our nearby hotel.

Day 2 - Old Quito and Equatorial line and monument

Old Quito and Equatorial line and monument

This is a good rest day with not too much driving but still good things to see including the monument and museum on the equatorial line and the colonial town of Quito with its magnificent churches!


Day 3 - Flight to San Cristobal, Galápagos

Flight to San Cristobal, Galápagos

After breakfast, we’ll transfer to the airport for an early morning flight to San Cristobal, Galápagos. We’ll be met by our top naturalist guide for our Galápagos period, taken to our hotel where we’ll have lunch.
The afternoon will involve a trip to the Interpretation centre, then to Cerro Tijeretas, Darwin’s first port of call in Galápagos for our first snorkeling followed by some leisure time before dinner. Afterwards, we retire for a good night’s sleep.


Day 4 - San Cristobal Highlands

San Cristobal Highlands

After breakfast, we’ll take a bus to the highlands of San Cristobal. We’ll visit El Junco and the Galapaguera, a “semi-natural” habitat with giant tortoises. Lunch will be in the farm “Voluntad de Dios”.
Upon reaching port, we will engage in a snorkel at La Loberia, a popular site for sealions and marine iguanas.


Day 5 - San Cristobal Northern Coast

San Cristobal Northern Coast

In the vicinity of SW San Critobal, this tour will be conducted on a launch. Within an hour of port, we’ll first reach Isla Lobos, a great place to spot frigates and blue footed boobies from the launch.  After another short navigation, we’ll reach Playa Puerto Grande, where we’ll engage in another exploration of the environment. A great snorkel site after this takes us to the majestic Kicker Rock. Part of an eroded tuff cone, it stands on its own a few miles off the coast of San Cristobal. Its towering cliffs now protrude from the water to a height of 80m. Circumnavigating the rock, we’ll be able to admire Nazca boobies and magnificent frigates nesting on the rock, as well as the fabulous geology of the rock itself.


Day 6 - Floreana – Santa Cruz

Floreana – Santa Cruz

An early start this morning after which we’ll take a launch to Floreana, about three hours navigation to the west. After a snorkel along the rich coastline, we’ll view the great northern part of Floreana before landing at Puerto Velasco Ibarra, the 100-person strong village of Floreana.
This is a great opportunity to find out about what the other populated areas
of Galápagos used to be like only a generation or so ago. Venturing into the highlands on one of the islands few vehicles, we’ll be able to compare the old volcanic rim here with that of San Cristobal. We’ll drop into the remnants of the eroded caldera and visit an area known as the caves or Asilo de la Paz. It is where pirates and then later pioneers settled in the last couple of centuries. It is also one of the scenes of an exciting true crime story involving German pioneers and mysterious deaths, disappearances and mystery.

After this, the navigation will take 2-3 hours to finally reach Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. We’ll be taken to the Hotel Gardner, our base for the next six nights.


Day 7 - North Seymour & Bachas

North Seymour & Bachas

After breakfast we’ll take an overland transfer to northern Santa Cruz by bus, where we’ll embark on a launch for a day tour to North Seymour and Bachas Beach. North Seymour is home to blue-footed boobies, great and magnificent frigates, land iguanas and myriad sealions. After a walk on the island to appreciate the nature there, we’ll navigate the short distance to Las Bachas, a pure white sandy beach, isolated from the rest of the island by a lava desert. Here we often find tidal lagoon birds including greater flamingo and black-necked stilts. There will also be a snorkeling opportunity from the beach!


Day 8 - Bartolome Island

Bartolome Island

Bartolome, the jewel in the crown of Galápagos, is today’s destination. An early pick-up and overland transfer by bus to northern Santa Cruz, to board the launch for today’s tour. Its majestic volcanic scenery is unrivaled and is the image of Galápagos. Galápagos penguins can be observed on the coastline and are often seen during the snorkel too.


Day 9 - Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) & Highlands

Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) & Highlands

Our guide will explain the conservation problems and solutions in a visit to the CDRS where we’ll learn about the factors that have been aggravating the natural habitat and how the institution is dealing with it. Top of the agenda are the giant tortoise restoration projects that are underway. This is the home of Lonesome George, the epitome of endangered species.
Several things to visit in the highlands include the largest sub-species of giant tortoise in Galápagos. We’ll be going to the border of the rural zone and the national park in order to witness these gentle giants as they wonder around grazing on the lush highland vegetation.
In a location close by, we’ll subsequently visit the pit craters or Los Gemelos.
Here we’ll come in contact with some of the fascinating remnants of the volcanism of Santa Cruz in the form of two very large craters. Among the rare endemic Scalesia forest abundant here, we find some of the small endemic land birds including several species of Darwin Finch!
At some point and continuing with the volcanic theme, we’ll enter a lava tube, reminder of a time when the islands were covered with flowing rivers of lava.


Day 10 - Volunteer Day

Volunteer Day

In return for our wonderful Galápagos experience and a great way to give back to the Islands a hands-on volunteer day is organized. It is to be carried out with one of the local conservation institutions. The areas of work and education will be in the highlands of Santa Cruz, concentrating on reducing the introduced plants and assisting the endangered native plants.


Day 11 - Flight to Quito

Flight to Quito

Crossing north over Santa Cruz will take us to a narrow canal across which is the island of Baltra. Bus, ferry then bus will get us to the airport of Baltra, where we’ll take our direct Quito bound flight. We’ll be met us off the flight in the late afternoon and transported to our hostel.


Day 12 - Otavalo Day Tour

Otavalo Day Tour

Our guide will pick us up and take us two hours North along the Pan-American highway to the market town of Otavalo. Long before the Spanish Conquest, town squares like the one here, were used by the indigenous people to sell their products. This tradition has remained unchanged and in these colorful and noisy “mercados” the natives offer all of their wares in the largest market of its kind in South America, displaying a wide variety of goods, folklore, arts, crafts, ceramics and regional garments. Saturday is the occasion for the fruit and animal market.
This day tour takes us to various surrounding villages and takes in some breathtaking Andean views.
Lunch will be in a quaint colonial house near Otavalo!


Day 13 - Depart Ecuador

Depart Ecuador

An early morning transfer to the airport to catch flight our early morning flight. Here we’ll bid farewell to a memorable experience in Ecuador!



  • 8-nights in the Galápagos Islands
  • Accompanied by a top naturalist
  • All Ecuador logistics taken care of!
  • Visiting 5 different islands and 21 different visitor sites in Galapagos!