This Galapagos Islands vacation is a perfect alternative to the award winning Galapagos Unbound tour. It offers travelers a shorter option for those looking for a land-based Galapagos Island vacation in 6 days with a 3 island itinerary. These vacations have frequent departures. Perfect for couples, families and groups!
Immerse yourself in the Galapagos Islands’ unique, inspiring world where the wildlife is as friendly as they are incredible. It’s a rare wilderness waiting to be explored, and we’ll show you all the best spots.
When you’re not soaking up the sun and swimming with the wildlife, enjoy exploring Puerto Ayora and Puerto Villamil, the archipelago’s most vibrant cities where history was made and preserved through intense conservation efforts. Additional highlights include trips to Charles Darwin Research Station, the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center and the Santa Cruz lava tunnels.
Explore all that Isabela, San Cristobal and Santa Cruz have to offer on our Galapagos Islands vacation where you don’t just survey, but submerge.
- Kayak along idyllic beaches with magnificent frigatebirds wheeling above you
- Snorkel & swim amongst friendly sea lions, sea turtles, and if you are really lucky, Galapagos penguins
- Amble alongside Galapagos giant tortoises at the Charles Darwin Research Center
- Hike along a caldera’s rim surrounded by aa and pehoehoe lava flows
Note: The lodges are locally owned as we are committed to supporting sustainable travel and tourism in the Galapagos. This tour is locally operated, products are purchased locally, and our guests receive unparalleled service and interpretation from educated local guides.
If you are looking for an even more flexible Galapagos Island Vacation we can still offer 2 Island tours that depart any day. These can be 4, 5, 6, 7 or 8 days long.
Note: Custom departures of 1 day or more available upon request.
Journey to the Islands, Santa Cruz Lava Tunnels and Puerto Ayora
Begin your Galápagos Islands vacation upon landing on Baltra Island. Meet with our waiting guides and start your adventure off with your first island hop to neighboring Santa Cruz.
Upon landing, we make our way to a private giant tortoise reserve so that you can witness the iconic creatures up-close and in their natural habitat. Wander alongside these massive, centenarian tortoises as they cool off in some mud or munch on some greens. After our time with the tortoises, we explore some of Santa Cruz’s lava tunnels and witness the powerful volcanic forces that created these islands.
We continue to Puerto Ayora, where we check into our lodgings before heading out to explore the Galápagos Islands’ busiest city. During the evening, walk the Calle de los Kioskos, a picturesque back street closed down every night as restaurants set up in the street for outdoor dining. Enjoy a delicious dinner in true local Galápagos style.
Tourtuga Bay and Charles Darwin Research Station
We begin our day adventuring toward Tortuga Bay’s white sand beaches. Look for blue-footed boobies, lava lizards, and marine iguanas as we stroll along a brick path to the isolated bay. Once there, explore the mangrove-lined beaches, cacti-dotted forest, and calm waves with your choice of activity. Take a walk, soak in the sun, or take a dip to look for friendly baby sharks that are sometimes spotted here.
We enjoy Tortuga Bay for as long as we wish before heading back into Puerto Ayora. Then, you have the option to further explore the city or visit the Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS). The CDRS offers a wealth of information regarding Galápagos conservation as well as an excellent opportunity to witness Galápagos Giant Tortoises at all stages of growth, from unhatched eggs and squirming babies to the lumbering adults.
Enjoy a fresh lunch before hopping onto a boat to Isabela Island. There’s plenty to see on the archipelago’s largest island, and we start out with a stroll through vibrant Puerto Villamil. At sunset, toast to the first full day of your Galápagos Islands vacation on a white sand beach.
Note: There’s the possibility to boogie board or surf at Tortuga Bay. Please speak to your guide in advance if you’re interested in these activities.
Hike Sierra Negra Volcano and Volcan Chico
Today you hike up two powerful volcanoes responsible for creating Isla Isabela: Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico. Begin your day hiking Sierra Negra, one of the Galápagos Island’s most active volcanoes. Take in the expansive volcanic terrain and keep an eye out for the vivid Vermillion flycatcher and the rare short-eared owl as we make our way to the caldera. Hike around the rim of the 9km-wide caldera as we continue onward to Volcan Chico. The lunar landscape is dotted with aa and pahoehoe lava flows, slithering tunnels and steaming vents. Stop at lookouts along the way until we reach Volcan Chico, whose lookout offers panoramic views stretching to Isabela’s northern shores.
Return to Puerto Villamil by early afternoon and partake in activities of your choice. If you wish, cool off with a relaxed kayak around Puerto Villamil with views of sea lions, rays and sea turtles swimming below or Galápagos penguins, blue-footed boobies, pelicans and frigate birds hopping along the rocky shores. If you wish to stay on land, you also have the option to rent a bike and pedal to the historic Wall of Tears, painstakingly built by the island’s former inmates. Later, you should have plenty of time to cool off from the day’s activities with a sunset swim. Enjoy a dinner of your choice out on the town, though our guide has plenty of recommendations of the best local spots.
Visit Isabela's Giant Tortoise Breeding Center and explore San Cristóbal
Begin your morning with a leisurely stroll along a mangrove-lined lagoon where flocks of pink flamingos may be seen sunning their feathers and marine iguanas cool off in the salt water. The path leads to Isabela’s Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, a center fundamental to bringing the archipelago’s tortoise population back from the edge of extinction. Watch a mass of tortoises at various stages of development grow in safety and seclusion before being let out into the wild.
After our morning spent ambling alongside these gentle giants, hop onto a short flight to San Cristóbal, the archipelago’s easternmost and oldest island. After landing, enjoy a refreshing lunch before setting out toward La Loberia. La Loberia was named after the sea lions who favor the area. Experience the sea lions’ frolicsome antics in and out of water; if you find yourself so inclined, hop on in yourself and swim with the sea lions. Return to town, enjoy one of San Cristóbal’s fine dining spots for an independent dinner and take in the sights at your own pace.
Snorkel Kicker Rock
Today we cruise to Kicker Rock for our first glimpse of the Galápagos Islands’ underwater world. Look for sea and shore birds as we sail to Kicker Rock, or León Dormido, which is said to resemble a sleeping lion. Snorkel and explore the rich marine life of the Galápagos Islands that congregate within the narrow channel formed by the two volcanic rocks. Spotted eagle rays, sea turtles, tropical fish, Galápagos and occasionally Hammerhead sharks enjoy Kicker Rock’s calm-water sanctuary. Meanwhile, the standing rocks also form a nesting sanctuary for many blue-footed boobies and frigate birds.
After our snorkel we head to a white sand beach accessible only by boat for lunch and further swimming opportunities. We’re back in town by late afternoon with the rest of the evening ahead of you. Relax with a sunset cocktail by the shore or hop on a bike to explore the town until dinner. Dine out in the fresh Galápagos air for dinner at one of our favorite spots this evening. It’s a delicious farewell dinner together for the final night of your Galápagos Islands vacation.
Return to Mainland Ecuador
Enjoy breakfast before spending your final morning in the Galápagos as you wish. Take a final swim with Galápagos marine life, stay in town for some shopping or visit the Interpretation Center to learn about the archipelago’s rich history. There’s also the option to take the short hike to Tijeretas, which offers incredible views of the town as well as Kicker Rock.
Choose to extend your stay in the Galápagos Islands with one of our day tours, or fly to mainland Ecuador this afternoon before starting your journey home!
Dates & Rates
|Dates||Adult (USD)||Child (USD)|
|Jan 01, 2018 to Dec 31, 2019 |
Daily Departures: If the Sunday departure dates do not work for you please contact us as we can offer daily departures too!
Dates: Every Sunday, Year-Round.
Price Per Person: $3204 (Internal flights not included - $795 per person)
Trips are guaranteed with 4 guests - Inquire about smaller groups or private departures.
Single Supplement - $599
December Trip Supplement - $300
- 5 nights standard accommodations
- All land and sea transportation in the Galapagos
- Naturalist English speaking guide
- All activities as stated on the itinerary
- All equipment required for activities
- Drinking water
- $100 park entry fee (cash only)
- $20 immigration fee (cash only)
- 3 evening meals (allow around $15 per person)
- Isabela arrival tax $10 (cash only)
- Drinks other than water
- Gratuities for guides and support crew
- Flights between Quito and the Galapagos
- Flight between islands
- International flights
Images & Videos
FAQ & More
The Galapagos Islands (or Archipelago de Colon) are a Province of Ecuador located about 500 miles (800 kilometers) west of the Ecuadorian coast and are located directly on the equator.
Because the Galapagos Islands are on the equator, it’s warm most of the year. The warmest season is usually January to April and average temperatures range from a low of 70F/22C to around of 84F/31C. This is also the “wet season” and there may be afternoon thundershowers. During a severe El Nino year, it’s more likely to rain at any time of day. April to December is considered the “dry season” and is cooler, with average temperatures ranging from around 68F/19C to 82F/27C. At this time of year it is not uncommon to have the "garua" (misty rain) early in the morning and in the highlands of Santa Cruz. Our experience is that the time of year doesn’t make a lot of difference in terms of the amount of rain as there isn’t enough to impact your trip too much.
Whenever your schedule allows! Because it’s on the equator, air temperatures don’t change a lot. However water temperature does fluctuate as much as ten degrees during the year. The cooler Humboldt Current comes up from Antarctica from May to September/October and the sea is cooler and tends to be rougher at this time of year. Cooler water temperatures mean you generally see more sea life because there is more food for the animals that depend on the planktons and other sea nourishment. From November to April, the cooler Panama Current flows from the north and brings warmer water. The sea tends to be calmer at this time of year. If you’re going on our land-based tour then rough water is less of a concern. If you’re doing a cruise, and you are prone to seasickness, you might want to consider coming in the November to April time frame.
For a month to month comparison of weather and wildlife check out our Galapagos Calendar.
From the U.S. and Canada there are daily flights via Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York and Miami, to both Quito and Guayaquil, Ecuador. If you are travelling only to the Galapagos on this trip, we recommend transiting through Guayaquil.
You will need to arrive at least the night before the first day of this tour. We can assist in airport transfers and extra hotel nights if you would like.
We do not arrange international air travel but we do have a great air travel specialist we refer you to if you’d like.
Round-trip airfare from Quito is not included in the price. However, at your request we can book on your behalf for a flat fee.
Ecuador uses the US dollar which was adopted as the official currency in 2000. Be sure to bring cash bills in good condition because bills with markings or tears won’t be accepted. There are also ATM machines in the larger towns. It’s a good idea to alert your bank that you’ll be traveling to Ecuador so they don’t stop the transactions.
We would love to! We have plenty of ideas for extending your trip whether it be to the Amazon, the Cloud Forest, the highlands in the north or south, or whatever might be your special interest. We can also arrange extensions to Peru and Machu Picchu.
To confirm your desired start date, it is recommended that you book as far in advance as possible. For popular travel times such as the Christmas season, departures typically reach capacity a year-and-a-half to two years in advance. The Lodge Adventure does offer flexible start dates, so contact us for more information.
The Galapagos is surely one of the best places in the world to snorkel. The flourishing ocean life is an ecological treasure, and one of the main draws to the archipelago. You will have multiple chances to snorkel, sometimes at multiple locations in a day. We do recommend you try snorkeling ahead of time for your trip to get the most out of your experience, if you have never done so. Wetsuits aren’t strictly necessary, but “shorty” wetsuits (knees to elbows) of about 2mm are recommended to keep out any chill. We have full snorkel gear available to use including wetsuits.
We provide all of the equipment, while you need to simply bring your clothing and personal gear. We also provide wetsuits and snorkeling gear for your convenience, or your may bring your own. We send a complete list with items to bring such as paddling gloves, a water bottle, flash light, etc. We suggest traveling “light” for this adventure.
We would be happy to arrange a day of diving for you. Diving in the Galapagos is best suited to those with lots of experience as you will be diving in cooler water and there are many currents to navigate. That said, we can arrange begginner dives for those who are not experts.