Something Different

Galapagos Island Hopping Tour

From €1,868pp tour-only
Depart From
Tour starts in Isla San Cristobal, Ecuador
Departure Date
Departures throughout the year
8 days
Galapagos Islands
From €1,868pp tour-only
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Discover the unique wildlife highlights of the Galapagos islands on this 8-day tour.

Amazing wildlife, both on land and underwater, is the drawcard of the remote Galapagos Islands. Tour this otherworldly archipelago by foot and boat with an expert naturalist guide to lead the way. Swim with sea turtles, see giant tortoises up close, watch sea lions lounge around town and discover volcanic environments. This trip has you cruising and exploring by day and relaxing on land by night, not at the mercy of the weather for a good night’s sleep.

Learn about the unique habits of the marine iguana with your expert naturalist guide. This dinosaur-like little creature has an iridescent sheen and is only found on the Galapagos Islands.

Snorkel the incredible waters of Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock), an eroded volcanic cone where sea turtles, rays and colourful fish make their home.

Many come to Isla Santa Cruz just for the giant tortoises. Get up close and personal with these enormous animals as they shuffle along.

Watch the aerobatic routines of blue-footed boobies and the death-defying stunts of the frigate birds as they whizz through the air.

As it begins and ends in the Galapagos (as opposed to mainland Ecuador) it’s easy to stay on if you fall in love with the archipelago.

By travelling on this trip, you’ll directly support our Intrepid Foundation partner, The Galapagos Conservancy. Donations support their Women in Sustainable Entrepreneurship (WISE) program, providing capital for sustainability initiatives and empowering female entrepreneurs in the Galápagos.

Day 1: Isla San Cristobal, Galapagos

Bienvenidos! Welcome to San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands. After joining up with your fellow travellers and your local naturalist guide, head to La Loberia where you'll put on snorkelling gear for the first time and go for a swim among sea lions, perhaps spotting sea turtles too. Return to town for a free evening. Maybe head out with the group and enjoy some of the fresh seafood available.

 Included activities

  • Isla San Cristobal- Snorkeling in La Loberia (1.5 Hours)

 Add on activities

  • Wetsuit (shortsleeve) hire for 5 days - USD60

Special information: As you start this trip on the Galapagos Islands you have two options for joining the group:

SUNDAY DEPARTURES: You can meet the others at San Cristobal Airport at 11.30 am. Your guide will be waiting in the arrival hall with an Intrepid sign for the passengers from Quito.

FRIDAY & WEDNESDAY DEPARTURES: You can meet the others at San Cristobal Airport at 12.30 pm: Your guide will be waiting in the arrival hall with an Intrepid sign for the passengers from Quito.

Alternatively, you can meet them at the hotel (Casa de Nelly) when they arrive approximately 1 hour after the airport meeting time. Check in time for the hotel is 12 pm. If you're making your own way to the hotel, we recommend taking a short cab ride which will cost approximately USD 2.

Please advise us where you plan to join this trip no later than 15 days prior to departure. If you are going to be late for either of these meeting times, please contact the local emergency number located in the Essential Trip Information supplied when booking.

Day 2: Isla San Cristobal

Take a 45-minute boat ride to Leon Dormido (Kicker Rock) today. On the way, you might be able to spot nesting frigates and blue-footed boobies. You might even get the chance to swim among the sea lions again. At Leon Dormido, you can snorkel and look for sea turtles, manta rays and maybe the harmless Galapagos shark. Eat lunch on the boat, then head to the Interpretation Center. Learn about the history of the 'Enchanted Islands' and the conservation projects that seek to preserve them. Continue to Frigatebird Hill (Cerro Tijeretas) – it's quite a climb to the top, but well worth the amazing views of the bay. Return to town in the late afternoon for a free evening.

 Included activities

  • San Cristobal - Excursion to Leon Dormido or Lobos Islands
  • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
  • Isla San Cristobal - Cerro Tijeretas View Point (1 Hour)

Special information: Currents can be quite strong, so to participate in snorkelling activities you should be a confident swimmer. If you have any concerns, please ensure you speak with your leader.

If you’re unable to visit Leon Dormido, alternative plans will be made to visit Isla Lobos, where sea lions, marine birds and marine iguanas are plentiful.

Day 3: Isla Floreana/ Isla Isabela

Take an early morning boat ride towards Isla Floreana this morning. Along the way, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife, including dolphins and whales. Snorkel in the clear blue waters and then break for lunch. After, venture to a black-sand beach that belongs to the Witmers – decedents of some of the first settlers on the Galapagos. The town here, Puerto Velasco Ibarra, has about 150 residents and an intriguing history involving deaths, disappearances and murders. Later in the afternoon, wave goodbye to Floreana and continue to Isla Isabela, where you’ll spend the night.

 Included activities

  • Floreana - Snorkeling

Special information: Your travel time today will be approximately 4.5 hours.

When you arrive at Isla Isabela, you'll need to pay a port fee of USD 10.

Day 4: Isla Isabela

Start your second day on Isla Isabela with a short bus ride to the Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center, where you'll observe giant tortoises in all stages of development. The centre has almost a thousand giant tortoises preparing for life on their own. After, head to a brackish lagoon to observe flamingos. In the afternoon, you’ll board a small Zodiac boat and cruise to Las Tintoreras (Shark Alley), looking out for blue-footed boobies and the famous Galapagos penguin. Take a short walk on this isolated islet and popular iguana nesting site and then snorkel in a calm inlet with colourful fish and winding underground lava tubes. This area is frequented by green sea turtles that like to rest on the calm, sandy bottom. In the late afternoon, return to town in search of your own sandy resting spot and enjoy your first Isabela sunset – arguably the most beautiful of all the islands.

 Included activities

  • Isla Isabela -Tintoreras or Shark Alley (2.5 Hours)
  • Isla Isabela - Flamingo lagoon visit (30 Minutes)
  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)

Day 5: Isla Isabela

Start your last day on Isla Isabela by heading towards the Sierra Negra Volcano – one of the Galapagos’ most active volcanoes and the world's second-largest crater! Weather permitting, you’ll take a challenging hike of around 17 km up the rocky mountain, which takes 5 to 6 hours. After the hike, make your way back to town for some free time to curl up with a book or venture down to the water for a relaxing swim before dinner.

 Included activities

  • Isla Isabela - Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)

Special information: Your travel time today will be about 1.5 hours.

Please ensure you wear comfortable walking shoes that offer good support for the hike today. During the rainy season, it can get quite muddy. There's an option to hire gumboots locally, should you wish to do so. During the hike, it can get quite hot and there isn't much shade along the way so be sure to come prepared with your hat, sunscreen and plenty of water (2 litres per person).

Day 6: Isla Isabela / Isla Santa Cruz

Start the day with a kayak around Isabela before transferring to Isla Santa Cruz by private speedboat. When you arrive in Santa Cruz, head to a restaurant that offers a typical Eduadorian lunch package, simply referred to as ‘Menu’. This usually this consists of fresh juice, a basic entree (usually a soup) and a main meal. These lunch deals are very popular throughout Ecuador, so it’s a great way to eat like a local. In the afternoon you’ll enjoy free time to further explore the town at your own pace or go on an optional excursion to the Charles Darwin Research Centre.

Isla Isabela - Kayaking

  • Santa Cruz Highlands Visit (3 Hours)

Day 7: Isla Santa Cruz

This morning after breakfast is free to laze, sightsee or wander. In the afternoon you’ll visit the highland of Isla Santa Cruz to observe the giant tortoise roaming the wild. After, visit a locally owned sugar cane farm. Here, the farmers will show you the way sugar cane is processed and turned into alcohol. Along the way, keep an eye out for eagle rays, sea turtles and blue-footed boobies. Later, head back to Puerto Ayora for a free evening.

 Included activities

  • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay walk

 Add on activities

  • Isla Santa Cruz - Charles Darwin Research Centre (45 Minutes) - Free

Day 8: Isla Santa Cruz, Galapagos

Your trip comes to an end this morning after breakfast. If you need to book a connecting flight out of the Galapagos, or if you'd like to extend your stay, just speak to your booking agent.

Special information: This trip finishes in Santa Cruz, departure flights should be booked from Baltra airport. To get to Baltra airport you will need to take a taxi to the port and from there it is a USD 1 ferry across the channel and then USD 5 for the bus to the airport.

If you plan on departing from an alternative airport in the Galapagos you will need to make your own way there also, this will involve ferries which your tour leader can advise you on and assist you with. Please ensure you allow enough time for this by speaking with your travel agent. If you wish to take advantage of the included transfer to Baltra airport it will be early this morning as you will be joining the travellers that have booked the longer version of this trip ending in Quito. Their flight usually departs Baltra airport at approximately 10.15 am and you will still need to cover the costs of the ferry and bus.   

The only way to access many islands is by boat. The good news is that seasickness can often be managed with medication and by consulting a health professional before your trip.

This trip includes a 17 km hike (approximately 6 to 7 hours) on rocky terrain. We recommend bringing comfortable walking shoes that offer good support.

The sun in the Galapagos Islands is incredibly strong due to its proximity to the equator, so it is hot an easy to burn. Make sure you bring sun protection and wear layers to combat the heat.

Snorkelling excursions are included throughout the itinerary. Confident swimming skills are required to take part in these activities.

The Galapagos is a great place to switch off and take a break from your phone, as internet access can be patchy can Wi-Fi is not always be available or reliable.

Hot water can be sporadic in some parts of the Galapagos so there may be a few cold showers on the trip.

There is an opportunity on the final day to forgo your flight back to Quito to stay on and go scuba diving. We can assist with booking this activity on the final day of the tour, but it will require an extra night on the islands, and you must have a scuba certification. Ask for more information.

1. This trip starts in the Galapagos, there are two joining points available:
San Cristobal Airport- 10:45am on Day 1
Casa de Nelly (start hotel)- Address: Manuel Agama S/N y Alsacio Northia. San Cristobal Galapagos-Check-in time is usually 12pm (Passengers from Quito and Leader will usually arrive at approximately 12:30)

Please advise no later than 15 days prior to departure, where you plan to join this trip.

2. This trip finishes in Santa Cruz, departure flights should be booked from Baltra airport.

3. Before you board your flight to the islands, at either Quito or Guayaquil Airports, you need to purchase your Galapagos Transit Control Card (USD 20) at the Consejo de Gobierno counter in the entrance hall; if you haven’t purchased this card you might be denied boarding. You will need to be at the airport at least 2 hours prior to the departure time as this can be a lengthy process. You will also need to have cash on hand as credit cards are not accepted.
After you have purchased Transit Control Card you will have to check your luggage at SICGAL counter where they seal your check in bags; then proceed to the check in counter of your respective airline.
The Galapagos park fee (USD 100) and Isabela Port fee (USD 10) are payable upon arrival to the islands (cash only). These amounts are in addition to your trip payment.
When booking, please ensure that your details are correct and they match your passport. Your passport must match the booking details provided to us; otherwise it could cause issues with your transit card and internal flights resulting in purchasing a new card and flights at your own expense.

4. Strict rules apply in the Galapagos Islands aimed at protecting and preserving its unique biodiversity. Intrepid strongly agrees and supports these rules which range from times of the day that a destination can be visited to the distance kept between people and wildlife and especially not removing anything from the environment ( shells and corals for example) – all these rules will be explained in more detail by your Leader on the ground. Not adhering to these rules can lead to hefty fines for travellers and can result in Intrepid losing the license to operate in the Galapagos Islands – these rules must be adhered to by all, without exception. Failure to adhere to the rules can result in being removed from the trip without refund. For more information, please follow this link.

5. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. Please speak to your booking agent for further information.

6. This trip has a longer version which includes return flights from Quito.

Price is per adult sharing and includes:

  • 8-day Galapagos Island Hopping tour
  • Meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches
  • Transport: Boat, Public bus, Speed Boat, Private Vehicle
  • Accommodation: Hotel (7 nights)
  • Activities
    • Isla San Cristobal- Snorkeling in La Loberia (1.5 Hours)
    • San Cristobal - Excursion to Leon Dormido or Lobos Islands
    • Isla San Cristobal - Interpretation Center (45 minutes)
    • Isla San Cristobal - Cerro Tijeretas View Point (1 Hour)
    • Floreana - Snorkeling
    • Isla Isabela -Tintoreras or Shark Alley (2.5 Hours)
    • Isla Isabela - Flamingo lagoon visit (30 Minutes)
    • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)
    • Isla Isabela - Sierra Negra Volcano Hike (5-6 Hours)
    • Isla Isabela - Kayaking
    • Santa Cruz Highlands Visit (3 Hours)
    • Isla Santa Cruz - Tortuga Bay walk

Please ask us about adding great value:

  • Flights to Ecuador - we'll book the best available faresfor your desired departure airport and travel dates
  • Travel Insurance
  • Want your own room? A single supplement is available for all nights of your trip, subject to availability
Subject to availability. Terms & conditions apply. 

For more information please call us on 021 427 7094 or 01 696 5135, email, request a call back using the red butto,n or submit an enquiry through the form below.

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