Galapagos Islands Tours | Galapagos Unbound

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Our Signature Tour of the Galapagos Islands is the ultimate adventure, and we’ve just made it better than ever.

Why This Tour:

  • With hundreds of 5-star reviews, Galapagos Unbound is the top choice for travelers seeking an unforgettable adventure.
  • We go above and beyond to accommodate the desires of all travelers to ensure they get the most out of their Galapagos Islands vacation. 
  • Our exclusive Galapagos camping experience is truly unique and offers intimate wildlife encounters making one of the best beachside eco-camp .
  • Explore secluded coves and coastlines while kayaking amongst a diverse array of marine life. 
  • Travel with one of the pioneers of Galapagos land-based travel, with Galapagos Unbound advocating for low-impact experiences in the archipelago.
  • Our guides are personally trained in the “Galapagos Unbound Difference", ensuring they deliver what will undoubtedly be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Check out our itinerary below and you can immediately see the Galapagos Unbound difference. We pioneered Galapagos land tours and have consistently advocated for environmentally low-impact travel through these utterly enchanting "enchanted isles."

Trip Overview

This Galapagos Unbound tour was featured in the New York Times travel section on January 8, 2006, in an article by Tim Neville. While some details of the original itinerary have been modified since then, the tour's essence as an unparalleled multisport adventure in the Galapagos remains unchanged. Our certified local guides continue to work closely with the Galapagos Park Service to deliver an exceptional experience.

Immerse yourself in the diverse wildlife and ecosystems of the Galapagos Islands with our Galapagos Unbound Signature Tour. This unique Galapagos small group tour takes you beyond the typical cruise to snorkel, hike, and kayak alongside iconic species while supporting the local community. Experience an intimate, eco-conscious journey through the archipelago's unique islands and habitats on an adventure you’ll never forget.

No words can fully convey the awe of getting up close with birds and animals that show little fear of humans. On a Galapagos Islands vacation, you can swim with playful sea lions, stand within feet of vibrant blue-footed boobies, and see marine iguanas and giant tortoises found only here. The wonders of the Galapagos are truly indescribable.

This Galapagos land tour combines gentle paddles to remote coves with nights spent camping on pristine beaches - an experience that is one-of-a-kind. You’ll hike to the rim of an active volcano, come face-to-face with marine life while snorkeling, and experience awe-inspiring sunsets over the Pacific Ocean.  We trek and kayak to secluded sites inaccessible to larger groups, encountering wildlife and embracing the journey itself. As the only Galapagos land-based travel experience that includes camping on deserted beaches, Galapagos Unbound provides a distinctive experience.

This Galapagos active trip is also one of the most sustainable eco-tours in the archipelago, offering a minimally impactful experience that supports both the islands' environment and local communities. Compared to a cruise, this trip has a smaller carbon footprint by using far less fuel per person. More of the fees from your Galapagos Islands holiday will go directly to islanders, bringing them greater economic benefits. Uniquely, the trip includes camping on an approved island beach using ultra-low-impact techniques that exceed "Leave No Trace" standards.

Images & Videos

A family on a guided Galapagos wildlife tour admiring a Giant Galapagos Land Tortoise
A man and woman wearing sunglasses smiling while kayaking in a tandem kayak in the Galapagos
Two kids swimming on a family vacation to the Galapagos Islands
A group of tents lit up at night underneath the milky wear and starry night sky on an exclusive beach in the Galápagos Islands
Iguanas perched on algae covered rocks on the coast of the Galapagos
A group of tourists surrounding a giant Galapagos land tortoise listening to their guide explain the animal
A group of tourists around a table while camping on an exclusive beach on the Galapagos Islands
Group of tourists all wearing hats hiking on Sierra Negra Volcano in Galapagos Islands
Mom and daughter in front of other tourists on a trail through lush green forests in one of the Galapagos National Parks
Two people overlooking Galapagos' turquoise archipelago waters
A group splunking tour in the Galapagos Islands
Two men on a guided volcano hiking tour in the Galapagos Islands
Close up of a woman smiling at a man with sunglasses and a hat while on a hike in the Galapagos
Close up of a small yellow bird perched on a small tree branch seen in the Galapagos
Three sea kayaks all looking at a rock formation to their right
Galapagos sea lions lounging on beach chairs
Blue-footed Boobies perched on a rock on a sunny day on the water in the Galapagos
A girl in a pink shirt and sunhat in the turquoise ocean next to a very friendly sea lion swimming up to her
Close up of a giant Galapagos Land Tortoise eating grass
Man and woman walking along the beach admiring a seal
Galapagos Islands oceanfront eco-camp at night under a starry sky
Sea lion and a snorkeler pass each other underwater
A family on a guided Galapagos wildlife tour admiring a Giant Galapagos Land Tortoise
A man and woman wearing sunglasses smiling while kayaking in a tandem kayak in the Galapagos
Two kids swimming on a family vacation to the Galapagos Islands
A group of tents lit up at night underneath the milky wear and starry night sky on an exclusive beach in the Galápagos Islands
Iguanas perched on algae covered rocks on the coast of the Galapagos
A group of tourists surrounding a giant Galapagos land tortoise listening to their guide explain the animal
A group of tourists around a table while camping on an exclusive beach on the Galapagos Islands
Group of tourists all wearing hats hiking on Sierra Negra Volcano in Galapagos Islands
Mom and daughter in front of other tourists on a trail through lush green forests in one of the Galapagos National Parks
Two people overlooking Galapagos' turquoise archipelago waters
A group splunking tour in the Galapagos Islands
Two men on a guided volcano hiking tour in the Galapagos Islands
Close up of a woman smiling at a man with sunglasses and a hat while on a hike in the Galapagos
Close up of a small yellow bird perched on a small tree branch seen in the Galapagos
Three sea kayaks all looking at a rock formation to their right
Galapagos sea lions lounging on beach chairs
Blue-footed Boobies perched on a rock on a sunny day on the water in the Galapagos
A girl in a pink shirt and sunhat in the turquoise ocean next to a very friendly sea lion swimming up to her
Close up of a giant Galapagos Land Tortoise eating grass
Man and woman walking along the beach admiring a seal
Galapagos Islands oceanfront eco-camp at night under a starry sky
Sea lion and a snorkeler pass each other underwater

Itinerary

Collapse all days

Day 1

Arrive in Guayaquil

After flying into Guayaquil, which is located on Ecuador's mainland and serves as the gateway to the Galapagos Islands, you will be greeted by a Galapagos Unbound representative and transferred to your hotel in the city center.

ACCOMMODATION : Wyndham Hotel Guayaquil

Day 2

Guayaquil to San Cristobal

After breakfast at the hotel, a Galapagos Unbound representative will take you back to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Once we land on San Cristobal, the easternmost island in the group, a naturalist guide from Galapagos National Park will meet us there, marking the start of our journey.

After lunch in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, we will try on our snorkeling gear and wetsuits before embarking on our first kayaking excursion. Our two- to three-hour paddle takes us beneath volcanic peaks and along Lobos Island's shores while offering sightings of blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas. This afternoon, we’ll arrive at our exclusive Galapagos oceanfront eco-camp destination at Manglecito beach.

ACCOMMODATION : Exclusive Beach Camping
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3

Explore Galapagos Beach Camp

After a relaxing morning spent exploring Manglecito Beach, we will embark on a three-hour kayaking trip to another picturesque beach. Should you become fatigued or require help, our support boat will be close by to assist. Lunch will be enjoyed at a secluded beach with the sounds of nature as our soundtrack. 

After lunch, we will go snorkeling at Kicker Rock, where you may spot Galapagos sharks and eagle rays if you're lucky. In the mid-afternoon, we'll return to our beach camp where you can spend the rest of the day relaxing while seabirds soar overhead. Fingers crossed, we will be treated to a spectacular sunset over the Pacific Ocean.

*Note: Boat ride to Kicker Rock on Shared Services in groups of 4 to 7 people.

ACCOMMODATION : Exclusive Beach Camp
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner

Day 4

Explore Isabela Island

Our day starts with a boat ride to the airport for our flight to Isabela Island. Once we check into our hotel, we'll visit the Tortoise Breeding Center, run by the Galapagos National Parks Service to protect the islands' iconic tortoises. During a walk through the marshlands, we can get up close with these gentle giants - an experience that is sure to be a highlight of your Galapagos Islands tour. 

The afternoon will be spent kayaking along Puerto Villamil's pristine white-sand beach where you should keep an eye out for Galapagos penguins nesting among the rocks. Have your snorkeling gear ready to observe the incredible marine life that inhabits the area.

*Note: The order of the activities may vary, depending on National Park schedules.

ACCOMMODATION : Isabela Hotel
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5

Sierra Negra Volcano

Awake early to witness the sunrise before we journey into Isabela Island's highlands, where we will hike to the Sierra Negra Volcano. This massive caldera, measuring over six miles across, is one of the world's largest volcanos and last erupted in 2005. Along the hike, you'll see striking lava formations and enjoy panoramic vistas of the caldera. 

Once back at the hotel, you’ll have the rest of the afternoon at your leisure to relax at the beach or explore the town.

ACCOMMODATION : Isabela Hotel
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6

Los Tuneles + El Finado 

On Day 6 of your Galapagos Islands holiday we’ll embark on a boat ride to Los Tuneles, an extraordinary lava formation formed when volcanic lava met and hardened upon contact with seawater. This area offers magnificent snorkeling, with the crystal clear waters unveiling a stunning underwater landscape.

After lunch on board the boat, we'll sail on to El Finado, a peaceful inlet where you can snorkel with white-tip reef sharks and colorful tropical fish. If weather allows, we'll cap off the day with a beachfront barbecue in the evening.

ACCOMMODATION : Isabela Hotel
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Box Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Santa Cruz Island + Giant Tortoises + Lava Tunnels

After an early departure by speedboat, we will visit Santa Cruz's Darwin Research Station and take a scenic drive through the lush highlands. During a leisurely walk, you can observe giant Galapagos tortoises in their natural habitat as they feast on vegetation. Next, we will explore ancient lava tunnels that reveal the geological history of the island. 

For dinner, you can select a restaurant of your choice in town. 

ACCOMMODATION : Santa Cruz Hotel
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

Tortuga Bay + Santa Cruz Island

This morning we'll embark on a scenic two-mile hike from Puerto Ayora to Tortuga Bay, passing prickly pear cacti and palo santo trees along the trail. At Tortuga Bay, we'll have time to unwind on the beach before paddling to a calm cove perfect for snorkeling. 

In the afternoon, we'll kayak through a series of peaceful lagoons, home to rays and sharks. To conclude our Galapagos Islands tour, this evening we'll gather for a farewell dinner together.

ACCOMMODATION : Santa Cruz Hotel
MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9

Return to Guayaquil

This morning, you’ll be transferred to the airport on Santa Cruz Island to catch your return flight to Guayaquil. From Guayaquil airport, you can transfer to the international terminal for your flight home, marking the end of an incredible trip to the Galapagos Islands. 

MEALS INCLUDED : Breakfast

Dates & Rates

DatesAdult (USD)Child (USD)
Jul 06, 2024 to Jul 14, 2024
Lowest Tier Price
$5,850£0€0$0$0$5,850£0€0$0$0
Sep 14, 2024 to Sep 22, 2024
Lowest Tier Price
$5,850£0€0$0$0$5,850£0€0$0$0
Nov 09, 2024 to Nov 17, 2024
Lowest Tier Price - Limited Space Remaining
$5,850£0€0$0$0$5,850£0€0$0$0
Nov 30, 2024 to Dec 08, 2024
Lowest Tier Price
$5,850£0€0$0$0$5,850£0€0$0$0
Dec 07, 2024 to Dec 15, 2024
Lowest Tier Price - *Free Galapagos Flights Special
$5,850£0€0$0$0$5,850£0€0$0$0
Dec 16, 2024 to Dec 24, 2024
Lowest Tier Price - Starts on Santa Cruz
$5,850£0€0$0$0$5,850£0€0$0$0
Dec 18, 2024 to Dec 26, 2024
Lowest Tier Price - *Free Galapagos Flights Special
SOLD OUT
$5,850£0€0$0$0$5,850£0€0$0$0
Jan 11, 2025 to Jan 19, 2025
Lowest Tier Price
$6,200£0€0$0$0$6,200£0€0$0$0
Feb 15, 2025 to Feb 23, 2025
Lowest Tier Price - *Free Galapagos Flights Special
$6,200£0€0$0$0$6,200£0€0$0$0
Mar 01, 2025 to Mar 09, 2025
Lowest Tier Price
$6,200£0€0$0$0$6,200£0€0$0$0
Apr 12, 2025 to Apr 20, 2025
Lowest Tier Price
$6,200£0€0$0$0$6,200£0€0$0$0
May 10, 2025 to May 18, 2025
Lowest Tier Price - Limited Space Remaining
$6,200£0€0$0$0$6,200£0€0$0$0
Jun 14, 2025 to Jun 22, 2025
Lowest Tier Price - *Free Galapagos Flights Special
$6,200£0€0$0$0$6,200£0€0$0$0
Jul 05, 2025 to Jul 13, 2025
Lowest Tier Price - *Free Galapagos Flights Special
$6,200£0€0$0$0$6,200£0€0$0$0
Nov 08, 2025 to Nov 16, 2025
Lowest Tier Price
$6,200£0€0$0$0$6,200£0€0$0$0
Dec 13, 2025 to Dec 21, 2025
Lowest Tier Price
$6,200£0€0$0$0$6,200£0€0$0$0

Supplementary Information

*2024 Free Galapagos Flights

Free mainland Ecuador to Galapagos Islands and inter-island airfare on select departures. Please inquire for additional details. 

  • *December 7 - 15, 2024 - *Free Ecuador to Galapagos Islands and inter-island airfare

 2024 Pricing:

  • 4 - 7 Guests - $6820 per person

  • 8 - 12 Guests - $5850 per person

*2025 Free Galapagos Flights

Free mainland Ecuador to Galapagos Islands airfare on select departures! 

  • February 15 - 23, 2025 - *Free Ecuador to Galapagos Islands airfare
  • June 14 - 22, 2025 - *Free Ecuador to Galapagos Islands airfare
  • July 5 - 13, 2025 - *Free Ecuador to Galapagos Islands airfare

2025 Pricing:

  • 4 - 7 Guests - $6900 per person

  • 8 - 12 Guests - $6200 per person

Please note that an additional amount of $1120 should be allowed for internal flights and park tariffs. 

This is broken down into:

  • $615pp Galapagos Round Trip
  • $300pp Internal Galapagos Flight and Boat Transfer
  • $220pp Galapagos Park Fee and Immigration Tax

Single Supplement for Solo Travelers 

  • Single Supplement - $800
  • December Supplement - $375

Tiered Pricing Explained

Our trips are budgeted for full or near full sign-ups which enables us to offer trips at the lowest possible price. Because of numerous fixed costs, it is more expensive to operate a trip for a small group. Therefore, on some of our trips, in order to avoid having to cancel a trip, we have a “tier-pricing” system to avoid canceling a trip with a low number of sign ups. We have found that most people also prefer this alternative to having a trip cancelled. Thus, you will note on our trip prices there may be different price for 6-8 people versus 9-10, versus 11-12. We may initially invoice you at the higher tier price, and refund the difference depending on the final group size. Trip costs quoted are based on foreign exchange rates current at the time of this printing. We reserve the right to raise the trip fee if there are exceptional cost increases beyond our control.  Prices are based on double occupancy.  If desired, we will strive to pair you up with another single guest to elimate the single supplement fee however, please note that this is not always possible.

 

Included: 

  • Full service of our Adventure Consultants

  • Hand-crafted itineraries

  • Professional Galapagos Naturalist Guide

  • Experienced English-speaking guide(s)

  • Double accommodation in hotels and for camping

  • Specialized activity guides based on activity of trip (kayaking, biking, hiking, etc.)

  • All necessary kayaking, camping and snorkeling equipment

  • All transportation as noted on the itinerary

  • All meals and drinks as noted on the itinerary

  • Private pre-tour orientation meeting

Not Included

  • International flights to Ecuador 

  • Ecuador to Galapagos round trip flights (*Free Ecuador to Galapagos flights may be offered on select dates)

  • Internal island transfers

  • $220 National Park fee and Immigration Tax

  • Gratuities

  • Items of a personal nature

  • Alcoholic beverages

  • Travel insurance of any type

  • Additional hotel nights pre or post tour

  • Cost of hospitalization or evacuation if necessary

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FAQ & More

Where are the Galapagos Islands located?

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.

What is the weather like?

Visit this page for a month-to-month detail on weather. 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 and San Cristobal. 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.

When is the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands?

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. Check out further recommendations on when to go here. 

For a month to month comparison of temperatures and wildlife activity check out the Galapagos Calendar.

When should I arrive to Ecuador? When should I depart?

On this tour, you should arrive on day one of the itinerary. This is included as a travel day to ensure all guests in the group are checked in and ready for the tour of Quito on day two. On the final day, you should expect to arrive back to Quito around 4 p.m. Taking into account the minimum-three-hours check-in required for international flights, you shouldn't plan to depart anytime before 7 p.m. Many guests opt to stay over and fly out the next morning. 

What is the altitude in Quito?

The capital city of Quito sits at about 2,850 meters, or 9,350 feet. When spending time exploring the city, some guests do experience mild sensitivity. Arriving a day or two early for acclimation is a great idea if you are afraid you might have issues. Some ways to avoid becoming ill are to drink plenty of water (more than you would normally think to), taking frequent breaks when walking and keeping a slower pace. 

What is the best way to get to the Galapagos Islands?

From the U.S. and Canada there are daily flights via Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York and Miami, to Quito, Ecuador.

Do you arrange international air to Ecuador?

We do not arrange international air travel but we do have a great air travel specialist we refer you to if you’d like.

Do you take care of our ticketing for air travel within Ecuador?

Yes, all Domestic flights between mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands will be included on your invoice. We will make the arrangements in conjunction with our partners in Ecuador.  Flights to the Galapagos Islands depart several times daily from both Quito and Guayaquil aboard Boeing 737’s or Airbus 320’s or similar.

Will we have to exchange any money before we travel to Ecuador or once in the country?

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 also a good idea to alert your bank that you’ll be traveling to Ecuador so they don’t stop the transactions.

Are you able to arrange extensions to our Galapagos tour?

We have been running trips in Ecuador since 1992 and know the country well. 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.

How far in advance should I book?

There are a lot of arrangements to be made for a custom trip like our Unbound Signature active adventure. It’s very helpful with our planning if you book four to 12 months in advance. However, if you can’t plan that far ahead, then it’s usually not a problem to book up to about two months in advance. If you find yourself looking for last-minute space just call us and check!

What do I need to bring to snorkel and what is the experience like?

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.

What equipment or gear do I need to bring?

We provide all of the kayaking and camping 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. 

Is it possible to go scuba diving in the Galapagos?

We recommend if you'd like to enjoy some scuba diving, that you stay on the islands for an extra day or two. This can easily be arranged at an additional cost. Please note that most diving locations in the Galapagos are very technical and often require certification in addition to significant experience. 

How does this trip compare to the Galapagos Island Explorer tour?

Both trips are ten days in length. This itinerary offers time spent on three islands, rather than the four seen on the Galapagos Island Explorer tour. This tour offers camping on the beach, while the other does not. The Galapagos Island Explorer does offer more frequent departures than the Signature tour. Both tours offer plenty of time spent snorkeling, kayaking and wildlife-viewing. 

How does this trip compare to the Galapagos by Kayak tour?

These are the only two tours to offer beach camping, however there are only two nights camping on the Unbound Signature tour. The Galapagos by Kayak tour is shorter at nine days in length, and visits two islands rather than three. It does include the most amount of paddling and camping, and is geared more toward kayak enthusiasts in particular. The Unbound Signature tour is a broader multi-sport tour, perfect for families with children. 

Will the tour guide speak English?

Yes. Spanish is the official language of Ecuador and the Galapagos but all tour guides are bilingual and speak english.

Will my credit card work in Ecuador?

Yes, most major credit and debit cards are accepted in Ecuador. There are plenty of ATM’s to use if you prefer to purchase things with cash as well.

What is the camping like on this tour?

We provide all necessary camping equiptment to ensure quality and comfort. At our exclusive oceanfront camp, we have roomy tents that accommodate standing up. The tents are equipped with cots, sleeping pags, sheets, pillows, and a small lantern. There is plenty of space for your luggage to accomodate you in your tent as well. While you are out enjoying the Galapagos Islands during the day, your tents will be cleaned so you return to a comfortable and inviting space at the end of the day.

If you are looking to rinse off after a long day in the water, there will be a desginated shower tent set up by your guides.

Custom or Private

You love this itinerary but want to change it a bit to make it perfect for you?  Or, are you wanting to simply make it private?  Either way, we can do it!

Fill out this quick form to begin a custom or private adventure of a lifetime:

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