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Galapagos: Island-Based Wildlife Adventure

7 DaysStarting at $6,595

Overview

Blue-footed boobies do their slap-happy dance for you. Galápagos penguins dart under your sea kayak. A pod of sea turtles performs their graceful ballet around you. Baby sea lions paddle up for a better look. The giant land tortoises? They’re close enough to touch. If you go wild for wildlife, you’ve found it. AFAR magazine named our Galápagos trips “Best Wildlife Encounter”… in the world. Join our island-based adventure to skip the cramped confines (and back and forth zodiac rides several times a day) of a cruise ship to get up close and personal with the creatures you came to see. Naturalist guides lead you to extraordinary wildlife experiences, minus the flocks of tourists. You have abundant chances to walk, kayak, snorkel – and sip the occasional poolside cocktail. Then we take you a few steps farther – to the rim of the world’s second largest volcanic caldera, and much more. Throughout, you stay in luxury waterfront boutique hotels. And you can feel great knowing that we follow ‘Leave No Trace’ environmental standards and our close ties to the islands means this Classic Journey supports more than 50 local residents and their families.

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Classic Journeys' Galapagos trips are the best wildlife experience in the world.”
AFAR Magazine

Highlights

DAYS 1-3 - ISABELA

On Isabela Island (3 nights), a scenically varied path includes lagoons, mangroves and the historic lava-stone Wall of Tears. Take to the water to kayak with sea lions, green sea turtles and marine iguanas while keeping your eyes sharp for blue-footed boobies in the trees along the shores as well as watching how they hover over the sea and dive for fish. Next day, a walk through otherworldly volcanic terrain takes us to the awesome caldera of Volcán Chico and a very civilized picnic. On Day 3, we’ll take a small fishing boat to explore Tintoreras, where we come face-to-face with fearless Galápagos penguins. After a gourmet dinner at our inn, stroll the sand streets with the locals.


DAYS 4-7 - SANTA CRUZ

Giant, 500-pound tortoises are the stars of Santa Cruz Island (3 nights), and we’ll walk among them in their natural habitat in the highlands at El Chato Reserve. In sea kayaks, we paddle over turquoise waters where manta rays and reef sharks glide below. And we’ll take the trail to the fine sands of Tortuga Bay for a swim or maybe even some surfing if you'd like. On the final day of our Galápagos island tour, we visit the acclaimed Charles Darwin Research Station before returning to the mainland.

 

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Map

  • Starting Point:

    Baltra Island – – Baltra Airport
  • Ending Point:

    Baltra Island – – Baltra Airport

Why Choose Classic Journeys

We believe in creating authentic connections by immersing you into the history and culture of a people and place. So we find the most well-connected local guides who share their relationships and knowledge with us. And with them, we handcraft walking tours in cinematic settings that allow you to see the world on foot and at eye level.

It's why Travel + Leisure magazine has named Classic Journeys as the #1 World's Best Tour Operator multiple times, and the editors of T+L say, "Classic Journeys provides unbeatable access to experiences around the globe." Here's what that access means for you every time you travel with us.

  • Experience the world on foot and at eye level. Each day, join your guide on the most cinematic footpaths in the region.
  • Exceptional full-time local guides who become your well-connected friend. Our amazing guides are with you throughout each day of the tour, share their lifelong connections as well as engaging anecdotes about the history and culture of the region.
  • Small groups that provide you unrivaled access. An average of fewer than 10 guests per departure means we can offer you special access to sites like Stonehenge so you experience the stone circle when it's closed to the general public, a guided visit to Zion Narrows that other companies cannot arrange because of larger group sizes, and vineyard walks with a count and countess in Tuscany.
  • Award-winning hotels are waiting for you at the end of every day. Luxuriate in the finest and most distinctive accommodations in the region you're exploring, including rainforest lodges, 16th century villas, and award-winning properties that show up on World's Best and Gold lists.
  • Eat like (and with) the locals. Food is a foolproof way into the hearts, homes and history of the places you visit with us. From gourmet picnics to coveted local restaurants, our meals offer you opportunities to explore native food traditions and fine dining.
  • Handcrafted itineraries with all activities included. With our long-term friendships, we know our walking tour regions more personally than anyone else. So you get thoughtfully curated itineraries that combine explorations of the villages, organic farms, archeological sites and the people who know them best.
  • Sustainable travel that supports the places you're visiting. We put our local currency into the pockets of the people who live where we travel. It's your guarantee that you'll have authentic, up-close experiences on your trip. Best of all, our person-to-person approach helps sustain their ways of life.
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Dates & Prices

Not ready to book just yet? Talk with one of our travel experts at 800-200-3887.

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Family Departure

Select our “Family Departure” to travel with other families.

Internal Airfare

This trip includes flights between Quito and the Galápagos for a supplemental cost of approximately $870 per person, including Galápagos entrance fee & Ingala card. If you prefer to fly through Guayaquil, just let us know at least 45 days prior to trip departure.

Accommodations

Galápagos Habitat

This iconic Galápagos hotel is situated on the waterfront surrounded by wildlife and mangroves, giving off the sensation of exclusion from the rest of the island. Originally constructed in 1995, it still boasts a unique architectural design.

Iguana Crossing

The ocean laps at the front door. There’s nothing but National Park (with a live volcano) out the back. This hotel is cool, very close to nature and eco-minded. Amenities include a swimming pool, a roof-deck Jacuzzi and its own excellent restaurant.

What’s Included

  • Award-winning ocean-front boutique hotels that provide you unlimited access to the wildlife you came to experience
  • All breakfasts, 3 lunches and 3 dinners
  • All activities in the itinerary, including gear for snorkeling and kayaking
  •  Full-time experienced guide(s) who are with you throughout the trip and handle behind-the-scenes logistics
  •  Gratuities for hotels, meals, and baggage
  • All land transportation during the trip

Above & Beyond Benefits

Invisible Check-In

  • When your group arrives, we whisk you and your bags to your room immediately. No waiting – no tipping.

Privileged Access Events

  • One-of-a-kind access to remarkable people, places and activities arranged just for you.

Extend Your Trip

Trip extension

Ecuador: Quito

Extend your time in Ecuador with time in the vibrant capital. On this fascinating guided visit, you discover the beating heart of a city that carpets the Andean foothills in light and life. The city sits squarely on the equator, but the divide isn’t just hemispheric. Quito offers dramatic contrasts...

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Trip extension

Ecuador: Amazon

Extend your time in Ecuador with a stay at Napo Wildlife Center.  This four day extension in the Ecuadorian Amazon includes canoe trips along lakes and rivers, forest excursions and fantastic birding opportunities. Paddle a canoe and walk through rainforests teeming with life. Get a close up view of...

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