One Week in the Galapagos Islands

7 Days from $945

START: Galapagos Islands

FINISH: Isla Santa Cruz

AGES: 18 - 29

THEME: 18 to 29s, Wildlife

Overviewicon readmoreicon minus

Description

The Galapagos Islands have a bit of a reputation – think the wildest wildlife, colourful underwater worlds and some of the most remote beaches and rock forms on earth. Spend nine days discovering this explorer’s dream, staying at the bustling centres of Isla San Cristobal, Isabela and Santa Cruz. Volcanoes, marine iguanas, playful sea lions and the giant tortoise all await on this animal-focused island getaway – what’s not to love about the Galapagos?

Start: Galapagos Islands

Finish: Isla Santa Cruz

Ages: 18 - 29

Theme: 18 to 29s, Wildlife

Accommodation: Hostel (2 nights), Hotel (4 nights)

Destination: Isla Santa Cruz

Highlights

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The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the most unique wildlife on earth – many you may not have heard of before! Spot blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, frigate birds and so much more on your island escape.
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Consider a range of optional activities to enhance your wicked wildlife stops with your small group. Snorkelling at Kicker Rock? Swimming alongside sea lions near Isla Lobos? It’s up to you!
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Take land-side visits to San Cristobal’s Interpretation Center and Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center to discover more about the islands’ history and conservation efforts to preserve this far-flung paradise.
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By staying on the islands, you’ll get the best of both worlds – discovering the forests, beaches and marine hotspots by day, and chilling out in town by night.
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Collect solid gold bragging rights after climbing Isla Isabela's volcano. The views up the top don't get much better than this!

Itineraryicon readmoreicon minus

icon check Day 1 : Isla San Cristobal

Welcome to San Cristobal! Today you'll be joining with other travellers arriving from Quito. Once arrived, take an included visit to the San Cristobal Interpretation Center and learn about the natural history of, and human impact on, the Galapagos. Afterwards, you’ll have time to explore on your own. Perhaps take a hike up to Frigatebird Hill or head to Mann Beach to spot some sea lions lazing on the shore. If you hit the water for a spot of snorkelling, be sure to keep an eye out for sea turtles, an array of colourful fish and even the odd sea lion coming up to swim with you!

icon check Day 2 : Isla San Cristobal

Today is free for you to continue to explore the wildlife-rich and naturally beautiful Isla San Cristobal. There are a range of optional activities that are available to you today – your group leader will be able to recommend some and help book them. You might like to take an optional boat ride to Kicker Rock – an incredible rock island that is home to some of the most interesting snorkelling in the islands. Otherwise, you could book a visit to Isla Lobos, which is known for its populations of blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and sea lions. Consider taking a walk down Ochoa Beach on Lobos and soaking up this wildlife paradise.

icon check Day 3 : Isla Santa Cruz

Early in the morning, take a 2.5-hour public speedboat ride to Isla Santa Cruz. Once in Santa Cruz, have some breakfast and settle into the hotel. In the midmorning, continue onwards to the Charles Darwin Research Station. The visitor centre and museum exhibits house a whole range of information about the islands and the conservation efforts being made to preserve the unique ecosystem here. This station is also an ideal place to meet the Galapagos tortoise. Later in the afternoon, continue your search for tortoises when you and your group head to the higher part of the island to observe these ancient giants roaming in their natural habitat.

icon check Day 4 : Isla Isabela

Rise and shine again early this morning to travel to Isla Isabela. Check-in to the hotel and enjoy breakfast with your group. Isabela is the largest island in the Galapagos and one of the most volcanically active places on earth. A worthwhile optional activity today is an excursion to Las Tintoreras – home to the rare Galapagos penguin as well as other unique Galapagos wildlife. The excursion will then take you to ‘shark alley’, where white-tipped sharks rest during the day. This is also a popular nesting site for the endemic marine iguanas.

icon check Day 5 : Isla Isabela

Start the day with a visit to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre for a close encounter with these placid giants. Here you can see tortoises in different stages of development as well as learn about the preservation program of this unique species. Afterwards, take a bus to the highest part of Isabela where Sierra Negra Volcano is located. Weather permitting, go for a hike up to the crater to enjoy spectacular views and the possibility of sighting the rare vermillion flycatcher. The challenging 17-kilometre hike takes between 5-6 hours, and at the top you'll be able to enjoy spectacular views. After the hike, make your way back to town in the late afternoon for some free time to relax up with a book or venture down to the water for a swim before dinner.

icon check Day 6 : Isla Santa Cruz

Travel back to Isla Santa Cruz in the morning, where you’ll enjoy breakfast on arrival. Consider taking part in some of the optional activities available, such as an excursion to Tortuga Bay – an immaculate natural paradise where you can go kayaking, observe marine iguanas and birds or swim with harmless sharks in a cove. You may also like to rent some snorkelling gear while you're here and discover a whole other world underwater. Today you can choose your own adventure, so be sure to ask your knowledgeable group leader for their recommendations.

icon check Day 7 : Isla Santa Cruz

This morning your Galapagos adventure comes to an end. Say goodbye to your fellow travellers who may be continuing on to Quito to finish their trip. If you would like to spend more time on Santa Cruz, and possibly undertake any of the Galapagos scuba diving options, we’ll be happy to organise additional accommodation (subject to availability).

What's Included?icon readmoreicon minus

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Meals

6 Breakfasts
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Transport

Plane, Speed boat, Private Vehicle, Public bus
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Accommodation

Hostel (2 nights), Hotel (4 nights)
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Included Activities

  • Isla Isabela - Giant Tortoise Breeding Centre (1 Hour)

Availabilityicon readmoreicon minus

Starts
Ends
Price
Availability
Dec 16, 2019
Dec 22, 2019
$976
Available
Dec 30, 2019
Jan 05, 2020
$908
Available
Feb 10, 2020
Feb 16, 2020
$1,215
Available
Feb 24, 2020
Mar 01, 2020
$1,132
Available
Mar 09, 2020
Mar 15, 2020
$1,255
Available
May 18, 2020
May 24, 2020
$1,305
Available
Jun 15, 2020
Jun 21, 2020
$1,305
Available
Jul 27, 2020
Aug 02, 2020
$1,305
Available
Aug 24, 2020
Aug 30, 2020
$1,188
Available
Oct 05, 2020
Oct 11, 2020
$1,143
Available
Oct 19, 2020
Oct 25, 2020
$1,143
Available
Nov 02, 2020
Nov 08, 2020
$1,080
Available
Nov 30, 2020
Dec 06, 2020
$1,107
Available
Dec 14, 2020
Dec 20, 2020
$1,107
Available
Dec 28, 2020
Jan 03, 2021
$1,166
Available
Jan 04, 2021
Jan 10, 2021
$945
Available
Jan 11, 2021
Jan 17, 2021
$945
Available
Jan 18, 2021
Jan 24, 2021
$945
Available
Jan 25, 2021
Jan 31, 2021
$945
Available
Feb 01, 2021
Feb 07, 2021
$945
Available
Feb 08, 2021
Feb 14, 2021
$945
Available
Feb 15, 2021
Feb 21, 2021
$945
Available
Feb 22, 2021
Feb 28, 2021
$945
Available
Mar 01, 2021
Mar 07, 2021
$945
Available
Mar 08, 2021
Mar 14, 2021
$945
Available
Mar 15, 2021
Mar 21, 2021
$945
Available
Mar 22, 2021
Mar 28, 2021
$945
Available
Mar 29, 2021
Apr 04, 2021
$945
Available
Apr 05, 2021
Apr 11, 2021
$945
Available
Apr 12, 2021
Apr 18, 2021
$945
Available
Apr 19, 2021
Apr 25, 2021
$945
Available
Apr 26, 2021
May 02, 2021
$945
Available
May 03, 2021
May 09, 2021
$945
Available
May 10, 2021
May 16, 2021
$945
Available
May 17, 2021
May 23, 2021
$945
Available
May 24, 2021
May 30, 2021
$945
Available
May 31, 2021
Jun 06, 2021
$945
Available
Jun 07, 2021
Jun 13, 2021
$945
Available
Jun 14, 2021
Jun 20, 2021
$945
Available
Jun 21, 2021
Jun 27, 2021
$945
Available
Jun 28, 2021
Jul 04, 2021
$945
Available
Jul 05, 2021
Jul 11, 2021
$945
Available
Jul 12, 2021
Jul 18, 2021
$945
Available
Jul 19, 2021
Jul 25, 2021
$945
Available
Jul 26, 2021
Aug 01, 2021
$945
Available
Aug 02, 2021
Aug 08, 2021
$945
Available
Aug 09, 2021
Aug 15, 2021
$945
Available
Aug 16, 2021
Aug 22, 2021
$945
Available
Aug 23, 2021
Aug 29, 2021
$945
Available
Aug 30, 2021
Sep 05, 2021
$945
Available
Sep 06, 2021
Sep 12, 2021
$945
Available
Sep 13, 2021
Sep 19, 2021
$945
Available
Sep 20, 2021
Sep 26, 2021
$945
Available
Sep 27, 2021
Oct 03, 2021
$945
Available
Oct 04, 2021
Oct 10, 2021
$945
Available
Oct 11, 2021
Oct 17, 2021
$945
Available
Oct 18, 2021
Oct 24, 2021
$945
Available
Oct 25, 2021
Oct 31, 2021
$945
Available
Nov 01, 2021
Nov 07, 2021
$945
Available
Nov 08, 2021
Nov 14, 2021
$945
Available
Nov 15, 2021
Nov 21, 2021
$945
Available
Nov 22, 2021
Nov 28, 2021
$945
Available
Nov 29, 2021
Dec 05, 2021
$945
Available
Dec 06, 2021
Dec 12, 2021
$945
Available
Dec 13, 2021
Dec 19, 2021
$945
Available
Dec 20, 2021
Dec 26, 2021
$945
Available
Dec 27, 2021
Jan 02, 2022
$945
Available

Important Detailsicon readmoreicon minus

icon readmoreicon minusJoining Point

Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands

ECUADOR

icon readmoreicon minusFinishing Point

Lobo de Mar Hotel

12 de febrero y Avenida Charles Darwin

Isla Santa Cruz

ECUADOR

Phone: 593 526569

icon readmoreicon minusImportant information

GALAPAGOS PARK, TRANSIT CARD & ISABELA PORT FEES

Before you board your flight to the islands, at either Quito or Guayaquil Airports, you need to purchase your Galapagos Transit Control Card (US$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 (US$100) and Isabela Port fee (US$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.

JOINING POINT INSTRUCTIONS

As this trip starts in the Galapagos, there are two joining points available.

1. San Cristobal Airport - Please arrange a flight to arrive no later than 1pm on Day 1. The tour guide will meet you in the arrivals hall with an Intrepid sign.

2. Hotel Andry: Address - Av. 12 de Febrero and Ignacio Hernandez. Meeting time approximately 1:30pm.

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

TRIP FINISH POINT

This trip finishes at the Santa Cruz Hotel (for departure flights Baltra airport is the closest airport)

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT NOT AVAILABLE

Due to hotel availability a single supplement is not available on this trip.

SCUBA DIVING IN GALAPAGOS:

You also have the option today to go scuba diving. To do this activity you will need to already have a scuba diving certification. All dives finish by 12.30pm and, since you need to wait at least 18 hours between diving and boarding a flight, you will need to stay in Santa Cruz at least 1 additional day. Where you will dive depends on when your trip ends and how long you can stay in Santa Cruz. See below for diving locations and experience level required:

Mondays: Dive off Floreana. Basic/Intermediate level

Tuesdays: Dive off Santa Fe. Basic/Intermediate level

Wednesdays: Dive off Seymour Canal & Mosquera Sur. Basic/Intermediate level

Thursdays: Dive off Gordon Rocks. Advanced level

Fridays: Dive off Beagle & Daphne. Intermediate level

Saturdays: Dive off Seymour Punta & Mosquera North. Basic/Intermediate level

Sundays: Dive off Gordon Rocks. Advanced level

We can assist you to book extra accommodation and we can make a booking with the diving company for you.

STARTING IN QUITO:

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

INTERNET IN THE GALAPAGOS:

Some of the hotels in the Galapagos do have internet connections however it's often very slow and may not always be functional.

icon readmoreicon minusSafety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and updates on safety issues affecting our trips. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe-keeping of your passport, flight tickets, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewellery at home - you won't need it while travelling. Many of our hotels have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. Your leader will accompany you on all included activities, however during your trip you'll have some free time to pursue your own interests or relax and take it easy. While your leader will assist you with the available options in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your Intrepid itinerary, and Intrepid makes no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Please also note that your Leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it's deemed necessary due to safety concerns. For more details on the type of conditions and safety standards you can expect on your trip, please refer to Intrepid's operational safety policy on our website. We recommend that you take a moment to read through this information before travelling, and would appreciate any feedback on how well it's being implemented in the field:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/safety-field

PETTY THEFT AND PERSONAL SAFETY: While travelling there is always the risk of pick-pocketing and petty theft, particularly in the more touristy cities. We recommend that you exercise caution when walking alone at night and encourage you to walk together and only on main, well-lit thoroughfares. Be particularly vigilant on public transport. Simple measures like carrying your day pack on your front, not hanging your bag over the back of your chair or on the floor and wearing a money belt will reduce any chance that your valuables should go missing.

MONEY WITHDRAWAL: In order to avoid fraud and theft, it is advisable that you withdraw money from ATMs located inside banks or guarded shops during business hours only.

SEAT BELTS: Please be aware that local laws governing transportation safety may differ from those in your home country and not all the transport which we use is able to provide seat belts.

FIRE PRECAUTIONS: Please be aware that local laws governing tourism facilities in this region differ from those in your home country and not all the accommodation which we use has a fire exit, fire extinguishers or smoke alarms.

LIFE JACKETS: While life jackets are generally available on water craft, there may be occasions where they are not provided and child size life jackets are not always readily available. If travelling with children and this safety issue concerns you we will be able to advise alternative methods of transport (where available) for you to travel to the next destination. You can choose to travel independently for this leg of the journey. This would be at your own expense.

SWIMMING SKILLS This trip does include snorkeling on multiple days throughout the itinerary. Confident swimming skills are required to take part in this tour.

The sun in the Galapagos islands is incredibly strong due to its close proximity to the equator, ensure you are well prepared with suncreen, sun hat, sunglasses and a rash guard if desired.

SNORKELLING IN THE GALAPAGOS: Like any physical outdoor activity, snorkelling does have some safety risks. While we provide adequate training to our guides and suitable safety briefing information to our travellers, ultimately you must also be responsible for your own safety. There is no official snorkelling guide certification in Galapagos, so your activity leader will not be a professional snorkelling guide. If you have no or poor swimming ability you should not take part and can do alternative activities instead. Please discuss this directly with your guide and only take part in snorkelling if you feel confident that all safety information is clear and that you are competent to partake the activity.

icon readmoreicon minusCommunications

WhatsApp is a popular way to communicate in Latin America. We recommended downloading WhatsApp prior to departure to communicate with by text with your leader and group members during the tour. Once downloaded, please validate your phone number before leaving home as you will not be able to do this once you arrive, unless you have international roaming enabled. Connections for making phone calls through WhatsApp are not reliable, so please do not use this app to make calls to our emergency phone line.

icon readmoreicon minusVisas

If you receive an immigration card upon entry, please ensure you keep this safe as it may be requested at point of exit. For further information regarding country entry and exit fees, please refer to the 'Money Matters' section of this document. 

icon readmoreicon minusWhy we love it

The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the most unique wildlife on earth – many you may not have heard of before! Spot blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas, frigate birds and so much more on your island escape.

Consider a range of optional activities to enhance your wicked wildlife stops with your small group. Snorkelling at Kicker Rock? Swimming alongside sea lions near Isla Lobos? It’s up to you!

Take land-side visits to San Cristobal’s Interpretation Center and Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center to discover more about the islands’ history and conservation efforts to preserve this far-flung paradise.

By staying on the islands, you’ll get the best of both worlds – discovering the forests, beaches and marine hotspots by day, and chilling out in town by night.

Collect solid gold bragging rights after climbing Isla Isabela's volcano. The views up the top don't get much better than this!

icon readmoreicon minusIs this trip right for you

This trip travels from island to island on speedboats. If you have trouble with motion sickness, we recommend you visit your doctor before the trip to get some motion sickness medication.

Wildlife is a big focus on this trip. You'll be taking part in activities such as bird watching, swimming and making visits to museums. It's a great trip for those who love nature and animals.

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

icon readmoreicon minusHealth

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, Intrepid Travel reserves the right to exclude them from all or part of a trip without refund.

You should consult your doctor for up-to-date medical travel information or for any necessary vaccinations before departure. We recommend that you carry a first aid kit as well as any personal medical requirements as they may not easily be obtained at the locations on this trip. Please ensure that you are adequately prepared.

MOSQUITO-BORNE ILLNESSES:

Some regions of Central & South America can experience outbreaks of dengue fever.There is no vaccination against it, but there are preventative measures that you can take such as wearing long clothing, using repellent and being indoors particularly around dusk and dawn. If you have a fever or feel unwell, please let your leader know right away. Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses such as malaria by taking measures to avoid insect bites.

ZIKA VIRUS:

There have been reports of transmission of the mosquito-borne Zika virus in this region and we advise all travellers to protect themselves from mosquito bites. Given possible transmission of the disease to unborn babies, and taking a very cautious approach, we recommend all women who are pregnant or trying to get pregnant to consult with their doctors before booking their trip.

YELLOW FEVER

A valid international certificate of vaccination against Yellow Fever is required in many countries. You may need to present this on arrival at the airport or border crossing. Some countries will refuse entry if you are unable to present your certificate. It's also quite common for your home country to request a Yellow Fever certificate on your arrival back home. It is your responsibility to check with your doctor well in advance of leaving home about the Yellow Fever requirements for the countries you'll be visiting.

ALTITUDE SICKNESS:

Parts of your trip go above 2800 metres / 9200 feet where it is common for travellers to experience some adverse health effects due to the altitude - regardless of your age, gender and fitness. It even happened to Sir Edmund Hillary!

Before your trip:

Some pre-existing medical conditions are known to severely worsen at high altitude and be difficult to adequately treat on the ground, leading to more serious consequences. It is imperative that you discuss your pre-existing medical condition/s with your doctor. We understand certain medications are reported to aid acclimatizing to high altitude. Please discuss these options with your doctor.

During your trip.

While our leaders have basic first aid training and are aware of the closest medical facilities, it is very important that you are aware of the cause and effects of travelling at altitude, monitor your health and seek assistance accordingly.

Please read the following document carefully and, during your trip, utilise the table on the back daily to record your own perspective of your general health and any symptoms you may experience:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/altitude-sickness

icon readmoreicon minusFood and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in this region. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat dinner together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though.

DIETARY REQUIREMENTS

Please let us know your diet requirements before your trip starts.

Generally speaking, in bigger cities/towns vegetarians can expect a reasonable range of vegetarian venues and/or vegetarian options within tourist restaurant menus. However, vegetarianism is not the norm in this part of the world so options can be limited when eating at homestays, small local restaurants, street stalls, markets, etc.

More restrictive diet requirements (vegans, coeliac, gluten intolerance, fructose intolerance, lactose intolerance etc.) can also be accommodated along this trip but you should expect a lesser variety than what you can expect at home. We recommend that, if possible, to bring your own supply of snacks with you.

For those on strict Kosher or Halal diets we understand your dietary requirements are important, however,  sometimes due to cultural and language differences these are not always easy to convey when you are travelling. Your guide will do their best to assist you in translating your needs when eating out, but please be aware that these diets are almost unheard of in much of the continent and the best they may be able to accommodate is no pork and shellfish. If this will be a concern for you you may need to consider opting for vegetarian or vegan meals for the included meals in your itinerary. We recommend researching kosher or halal options in your destination country prior to travel to see if you are able to buy snacks once there, otherwise consider bringing some from home. 

icon readmoreicon minusMoney matters

When it comes to money matters on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like drinks, shopping, optional activities, tipping and laundry. It’s always better to bring a little more than you think you’ll need. Also make sure you’ve read your trip details thoroughly so you know what’s included in the trip price and what isn’t. This should make budgeting a little easier. You’ll find this info in the Inclusions section of your Essential Trip Information (that’s this document). 

The recommended amounts are listed in USD for the relatability of universal travellers, however the local currency is needed in the countries you are visiting.

CONTINGENCY FUNDS:

We try to plan for every eventuality, but there are still some things beyond our control. Please make sure you have access to the equivalent of an extra US$500 for emergencies (e.g. severe weather, natural disasters, civil unrest) or other events that result in unavoidable changes to the itinerary (e.g. transport strikes or cancellations, airport closures). Sometimes these things necessitate last minute changes to enable our trips to continue to run, and as a result there may be some extra costs involved.

MEALS NOT INCLUDED:

For this trip we recommend between USD 25 to 50 per day. How do we work this out?

Breakfast - If breakfast is not included, you can expect to pay between USD5 to USD10 at a local café.

Lunch - If you are happy with a quick snack on the go, you may get away with as little as USD5 to USD10 for a set menu at a local eatery or a sandwich and a drink at a café. On the other hand, a lunch meal at a more tourist restaurant can cost between USD10 to USD15.

Dinner - At dinner time, your leader will normally recommend restaurants where you can safely try the local specialties of the region. Expect meals to cost between USD12 to USD25 for a main.

These are indicative prices only. If you are in a tight budget, are happy to eat just local food and are not afraid of an upset tummy every now and then, you can eat cheaper than this. If you want to try just the finest food at the finest restaurants, then you can expect meals to cost as much as in western countries.

CREDIT CARDS & ATMs:

ATMs are widely available in major towns and cities across Latin America. Credit cards are generally available in tourist shops and restaurants. Visa and Mastercard are generally preferred over American Express, Diners, etc. Smaller venues take cash only.

Check with your bank before departure that your card is accepted in the countries you are travelling to and what their fees and charges are. Also ensure your bank is aware of your travel plans as - suspecting fraud - they may cancel your cards after the first few international transactions. Be aware that your withdrawing limit may vary from country to country (regardless of your withdrawing limit in your home country) and it can be as low as the equivalent to USD100 per day. If bringing over cash, please note USD100 bills with serial number CB or BE and any other USD bills that are old, torn, written or stamped on will not be accepted by local banks.

DEPARTURE TAX:

In most countries you must pay an airport departure tax. Nowadays, these departure taxes are added into the cost of your airline tickets and paid for at the time of purchase.

Unless mentioned below, no airport departure tax has to be paid during this trip.

Ecuador & Hotel based Galapagos Tipping:

Gratuities aren’t compulsory on your trip, but they can make a big difference to locals employed in the tourism industry. We suggest carrying small notes of local currency around as you go. It’ll make tipping easier.

Usually around USD5 – USD10 a day to cover tips is fine.

On our Ecuador mainland trips your leader might raise the idea of a group tip kitty. Each traveller contributes an equal amount to the pool, and your leader can pay the tips as you go.

TIPPING GUIDE

To give you a bit of guidance, we’ve put together the following tipping notes. These are just suggestions, based on feedback from past travellers and our staff on the ground.

Restaurants: Local markets and basic restaurants - round your bill up. More up-market restaurants we suggest 10% to 15% of your bill.

Local guides: Throughout your trip you may at times have a local guide in addition to your tour leader. We suggest USD4-5 per passenger per day for Ecuador Land and USD8-USD10 per passenger per day for Galapagos.

Your Tour Leader: You may also consider tipping your tour leader for outstanding service throughout your trip. The amount is entirely a personal preference, however as a guideline USD4-5 per passenger per day for Ecuador Land and USD8-USD10 per passenger per day for Galapagos.Of course you are free to tip more or less as you see fit, depending on your perception of service quality and the length of your trip. Remember, a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

In total, we recommend you budget approx USD5-USD10 per day of your trip to cover tipping.

Please keep in mind that prices in the Galapagos Islands are more expensive than other areas in South America. We have adjusted the budget for non-included meals accordingly.

icon readmoreicon minusWhat to take

Most travellers prefer to take a small to medium wheeled suitcase, which is a great size for the packing capacity in our private vehicles. Whatever you take, be mindful that you will need to be able to carry your own luggage, handle it at airports, take in/out of accommodation and perhaps even walk short distances. Generally speaking, we recommend you pack as lightly as possible. You'll also need a day pack/bag for activities and day trips. In terms of weight, airlines generally allow a maximum of 20kg for check in luggage. Other than the items and clothing you always need on a trip, below we have listed packing suggestions specific for this trip:

ESSENTIAL: - Closed-in shoes will help to protect your feet from cuts and scratches when walking through cities as well as bush/grass-lands, and will also act as a barrier protection in rare cases against bites or stings - Sun protection - hat, sunscreen, sunglasses

RECOMMENDED: - Soft and/or hard copies of all important documents e.g. air tickets, passport, vaccination certificate, etc. and keep the hard copies separate from the originals. While not valid, a copy makes it very much easier to obtain replacements if necessary - Water bottle. We recommend at least a 1.5 litre capacity. The sale of bottled water contributes to an enormous environmental problem around the world. In addition to the water in bottles, the production of a 1 litre plastic bottle takes 2 litres of water and 200ml of oil. A large proportion end up in limited landfill or discarded in waterways and natural environments - Electrical adapter plug (view the following sites for details: https://www.iec.ch/worldplugs/list_bylocation.htm or https://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/) - Personal medical kit. Your guide will carry a large kit but we recommend you carry items such as mild pain killers, electrolytes and bandaids. - Insect repellent - Watch/Alarm clock or phone that can be used for both - Swimwear OPTIONAL: - Ear plugs to guard against a potential snoring room-mate - Phrase book VALUABLES: Please try to avoid bringing unnecessary valuables, and use your hotel safe. It’s also a good idea to purchase a money belt or pouch that is easily hidden. LAUNDRY Laundry is available at many hotels and towns during this trip, although you might need to wait for a two-night stop in order to make sure you get it back in time. While laundry at hotels is usually charged by the item, laundromats usually charge by the kilo, which is generally inexpensive (about USD 2 per kilo)

INTREPID GALAPAGOS DUFFLE BAG In order to make luggage handling easier when embarking and disembarking speed boats on this trip, on day 1 of your trip you will be offered a duffle bag for you to consider using instead of your main luggage. The rest of your gear can be stored at your starting point hotel. The duffle bags have a capacity of 50 litres (measure 73x30.26 cm) and can carry between 12 and 15 kilos.

icon readmoreicon minusClimate and seasonal

SEA SICKNESS- GALAPAGOS

Please note that on occasions the water can be rougher than usual. Consequently travel times will be longer than usual. If you suffer from seasickness you may want to reconsider travelling during this period.

Being located on the equator, Ecuador is a year round destination. In Quito temperatures do not fluctuate that much throughout the year with average temperatures around 19°C to 24°C during the day with lows of 9-10°C in the evening. There are two 'seasons', the wet and dry. The dry season runs from June to September and the wet season is from October through to May. The surprisingly thing with Quito is its altitude and proximity to the equator means that the sun has a little more kick to it so it can feel like it's warmer than it actually is. Even on cooler days, if the sun comes out make sure you use sunscreen.

The Galapagos weather is pretty reasonable all year round, so it is never freezing cold but it can get very hot [February-May being the hottest months]. The seasons are not exactly fixed and weather conditions are changeable around the ends of the seasons. Note that the "wet" season is still drier than many places in the world.

Daily temperatures range from 22°C to 25°C with overnight temperatures dropping to around 10°C. Up in the highlands [which you will cross on your way from Baltra to Puerto Ayora] it is cooler and the garúa mist hangs about as a kind of permanent dampness, and sometimes descends to the coast as well.

The waters surrounding the Galapagos are influenced by the Humboldt Current. Water temperatures sit around 20°C to 24°C from January through to May and drop to 18°C to 20°C from June through to October. Although you may be required to wear a wetsuit at this time of year the same currents that bring the cooler water temperatures also bring nutrients which means wildlife are very active at this time of year.

icon readmoreicon minusA couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden.

Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol while travelling, we encourage responsible drinking, and expect that you’ll abide by the local laws regarding alcohol consumption.

The sex tourism industry is known to exploit vulnerable people and have negative consequences on communities, including undermining the development of sustainable tourism. For this reason, patronising sex workers will not be tolerated on our trips.

By travelling with us you are agreeing to adhere to these rules. Your group leader has the right to remove any member of the group for breaking any of these rules, with no right of refund.

If you feel that someone is behaving inappropriately while travelling with us, please inform your tour leader or local guide immediately. Alternatively, contact us on the emergency contact number detailed in the Problems and Emergency Contact section of this Essential Trip Information.

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 – all these rules will be explained in more detailed by your crew on the ground. Not adhering to these rules can lead to hefty fines for travellers and can result on Intrepid losing the license to operate in the Galapagos Islands – these rules must be adhered to by all, without exception.

For more information, please follow this link: http://www.galapagos.org/travel/travel/park-rules/

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After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

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GENERAL ISSUES ON YOUR TRIP

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential negative impact on the rest of your trip.

We recognise that there may be times when your group leader/local partner may not be able to resolve a situation to your satisfaction - if this is the case, please ask the leader to speak to their direct manager.

You may also choose to provide details in your online feedback, which we ask you to complete within 30 days of the end of your trip. But we do ask you to be aware that it is very difficult for us to provide any practical help after the trip is complete.

In case of a genuine crisis or emergency, you can reach our local operator on the number below:

PEAK Ecuador: +593 9 94014877

icon readmoreicon minusResponsible travel

Our Responsible Travel Policy outlines our commitment to preserving the environment, supporting local communities, protecting the vulnerable and giving back to the places we travel. All our trip leaders, suppliers and staff are trained on these principles, and are core to us delivering sustainable, experience-rich travel.

Explore the different parts of our Responsible Travel Policy by visiting:

https://www.intrepidtravel.com/responsible-travel

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsibletraveller

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation notes

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT NOT AVAILABLE

Due to hotel availability a single supplement is not available on this trip.

icon readmoreicon minusTravel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects.

When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and the insurance company's 24 hour emergency contact number has been seen by your leader.

If you have credit card insurance your group leader will require details of the participating insurer/underwriter, the level of coverage, policy number and emergency contact number rather than the bank's name and credit card details. Please contact your bank for these details prior to arriving in-country.

http://www.intrepidtravel.com/insurance.php

The Ecuadorian government has declared that travel insurance is compulsory for all travellers entering Ecuador. Proof of insurance may be requested at upon entering the country by immigration officials.

icon readmoreicon minusYour fellow travellers

SINGLE TRAVELLERS:

Our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and don't involve a compulsory single supplement. Single travellers share with people of the same gender in accommodation ranging from twin to multishare. Some of our itineraries have accommodation booked on a mixed gender share basis and where applicable this will be specified in our Essential Trip Information. On a selection of our trips, you have the option to pay a single supplement to ensure that you have your own accommodation (where available). Please note that this only applies to accommodation during the tour - pre-trip and post-trip accommodation will be booked on a single room basis.

icon readmoreicon minusItinerary disclaimer

OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:

A selection of optional activities that have been popular with past travellers are listed in the day-to-day itinerary. This isn't an exhaustive list and should be used as a guide only for some of what might be available. Prices are approximate, are for entrance only, and don’t include transport to and from the sites or local guides unless indicated. All activities are subject to availability, and may be on a join-in basis. It may not be possible to do all the activities listed in the time available at each destination, so some pre-planning for what you are most interested in is advised. When it's recommended that travellers pre-book these activities, look for a note in the Special Information section of the day-to-day itinerary. For most, they can either be organised independently on the day, or let your leader know you are interested and they can assist.

Where activities are considered medium or high risk, we work with operators whose safety and credentials we have sighted and assessed. Although it is possible that you may find the same activity cheaper with another operator on the ground, we cannot vouch for the safety or quality of that operator. Medium and high risk activities not listed above have not been assessed by us and as such our staff and leaders are unable to assist you with organising these activities. Activities that contravene our Responsible Travel policies are also not listed. Please remember that the decision to partake in any activity not listed is at your own discretion and risk.

icon readmoreicon minusAccommodation

Hostel (2 nts),Hotel (4 nts)

Kenya Safari!

Win a Classic African Adventure Tour to Kenya Overland Safari. Every NOVICA product purchased through the end of the year qualifies as an entry. Let the journey begin!
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