Galapagos: In Darwin's Footsteps

Galapagos: In Darwin's Footsteps

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14 Days



Galapagos: In Darwin's Footsteps

14 Days Starting in Quito and ending in Guayaquil Airport

Visiting: Quito, San Cristobal, Kicker Rock, San Cristobal - Provincia de Chimborazo, Puerto Chino, Floreana Island, Isabela Island, Sierra Negra, Cabo Rose, Las Tintoreras Islet, Santa Cruz Island, Bartolomé Island, Baltra Island, North Seymour Island, Guayaquil

Tour operator:


Tour code:


Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

6 - 16

Physical rating:

Leisurely / Moderate

Age range:

16 to 99

Special diets catered:

Please inform Exodus of specific dietary requirements

Tour operated in:
Trip Styles:

Active, Adventure Tours

$8461 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$239
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Tour Overview

Extended trekking on the island of Isabela in the remote Galapagos archipelago is a rare privilege and we are one of only a few operators allowed here. As part of this trip we enjoy two days trekking on the Sierra Negra Volcano, going to the 11km wide crater rim, a hike blessed with striking views of the lava-strewn landscape and its smouldering fumaroles. As well as five major volcanoes, Isabela is also one of the last remaining habitats of the Galapagos giant tortoise. Elsewhere in the Galapagos we undertake shorter walks to appreciate the geological features of these enchanting islands and discover their endemic wildlife.


  • Plenty of island walks to discover the Galapagos landscape

  • Incredible wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities with near-tame animals

  • Trek to the crater rim of the Sierra Negra Volcano

  • Island hopping by motorboat but sleep in hotels and lodges 

  • Plenty of snorkelling opportunities with iridescent fish, playful Sea lions and turtles


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Day 1 : Start Quito.
Location: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)
Meals Included: No Meals

The group flight usually arrives into Quito this evening. Land Only clients

should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. Free transfers are

available for all clients.

Day 2 : Quito City Tour.
Location: Quito
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning you'll have the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers as we

have a welcome briefing and take a guided tour of the main sights in Quito.

Quito is the second highest capital in the world, standing at 2850m on the

western cordillera of the Andes. It is one of the smaller and more attractive

of the colonial capitals of South America. Due to the altitude you are

advised to take it easy at first.

Day 3 : Fly To San Cristobal; Visit The Galapagos Interpretation Centre.
Location: San Cristobal
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel Paraiso Insular (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast

Transfer to Quito airport and fly to San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands.

On arrival we settle into our hotel and have the opportunity to get a light

lunch in the small town before spending some time at the Galapagos

Interpretation Centre. This afternoon we walk to the cliffs at Las Tijeteras

to see colonies of frigatebirds and there will be time for swimming and

snorkelling close to a Sea lion colony.

Today’s walking distance is approx. 5km

Day 4 : Snorkel Leon Dormido And Walk Along One Of Three White Sand Beaches.
Location: Kicker Rock
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel Paraiso Insular (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Travel by small motorboat to Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), an impressive lava

tuft formation and stunning views of the cliffs. Several species of nesting

sea birds can be found here, including Masked boobies. We will have the

opportunity to snorkel and with any luck we will spot Eagle rays, Galapagos

turtles, Hammerhead sharks as well as great variety of colourful fish. 

Continue by boat to one of three white sand beaches where we can walk: Playa

Ochoa Beach, Playa Manglecito Beach or Cerro Brujo.  Playa Ochoa is an

expanse of white sand dominated by a large Sea lion colony as well as being

home to many birds and Marine iguanas, while Playa Mangelecito offer both the

opportunity to visit a white sand beach and a mangrove area. Cerro Brujo is

located in a volcanic zone,and has abundant vegetation as well as being home

to Sea lions, Marine iguanas and many birds.

Today’s walking distance is approx. 5km 

Day 5 : San Cristobal Highlands Walk; Snorkelling At Puerto Chino.
Location: San Cristobal - Provincia de Chimborazo, Puerto Chino
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel Paraiso Insular (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

After breakfast we drive to the highlands of San Cristobal. A short one hour

walk brings us to the fringe of El Junco Lake, one of the few permanent

freshwater lakes in the Galapagos where frigatebirds can often be seen

bathing near the lake. The San Cristobal highlands offer panoramic views

across the smaller islands lapped by the Pacific. Afterwards we visit a

reserve where the famous Galapagos giant tortoises roam free before

snorkelling in a nearby bay. After lunch, we can visit La Loberia, a Sea lion

nursery, the perfect place to unwind surrounded by colonies of Sea lions and

Marine iguanas.

Day 6 : Boat To Floreana; Visit Highlands Of Floreana.
Location: Floreana Island
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel Wittmer (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

A three-hour navigation by motorboat takes us to Isla Floreana, one of the

first islands to be inhabited in the Galapagos. En route we may see whales,

dolphins and sea birds. After lunch we visit the highlands of Floreana, where

one of the few sources of fresh water in the entire archipelago exists. Visit

lava caves once used by pirates who based themselves on the islands and see a

large enclosure of Galapagos giant tortoises.

Today’s walking distance is approx. 3km

Day 7 : Visit Sea Lion Colony On Floreana; Sail To Isabela And Visit The Historical 'Wall Of Tears'.
Location: Floreana Island, Isabela Island
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel Loja (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast

After an early breakfast we go on a walk to discover the black volcanic

beaches, which are home to Red iguanas and Sea lion colonies. There is also

time for snorkelling this morning (please note that on some departures the

visit to this beach might be done in the late afternoon on Day 6).  Just

before midday we navigate to Isabela and see Tortuga Island, a huge eroded

marine crater where thousands of sea birds such as Blue-footed and Nazca

boobies, pelicans and frigatebirds nest.

This afternoon we visit the Wall of Tears, a sad reminder of Isabela's very

different past when the island was used as a penal colony. Between 1946 and

1959 convicts were forced to build this wall from huge blocks of lava simply

as a form of punishment, which, combined with the harsh conditions, led to

many deaths. After this sobering visit we hike back to the town through the

mangroves, wetlands and along sandy beaches of the coast. This is one of the

best places on the islands to view migratory birds, including Wilson’s

phalarope, the Blue-winged teal and if we're very lucky, even osprey. This

region has also seen the reintroduction of Galapagos giant tortoises from the

breeding centre into the wild and we are likely to encounter several on our


Today’s walking distance is approx. 14km 

Day 8 : Sierra Negra Volcano Trek
Location: Sierra Negra
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Hotel Loja (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Our first day of trekking on the Sierra Negra Volcano. The walk today takes

us across stark lava-strewn highlands punctuated with miconia shrubs

and other vegetation. The otherworldly landscapes are incredible and we pass

many volcanic features along the way where we can observe steam fumaroles

and a variety of lava formations.

The total distance walked today will be approx. 16km.

Day 9 : Trek To The Sulphur Volcano
Location: Sierra Negra
Accommodation: The Wooden House (or similar)
Accommodation Name: Hotel Loja (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Today will be a long day as in order to reach the Sulphur Volcano we will

need to trek approx. 26km. If at a half-way point anybody wishes to turn

back, we will have 2 local guides, and we will be able to split the group

into two. Please note that we may not be able to descend into the crater to

visit the fumaroles, depending on the level of volcanic activity.

The total distance walked today will be approx. 26km.

Day 10 : Snorkelling Excursion In The Area Of Cabo Rosa
Location: Cabo Rose
Accommodation: The Wooden House (or similar)
Accommodation Name: San Vicente Hotel (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Snorkelling excursion in the area of Cabo Rosa. On this snorkelling trip you

will have the opportunity to swim with sea turtles, Manta rays, Marine

iguanas and many different species of fish.

Day 11 : Visit Las Tintoreras; Afternoon Free To Relax.
Location: Las Tintoreras Islet
Accommodation: The Wooden House (or similar)
Accommodation Name: San Vicente Hotel (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast

We spend the morning sailing to the islets and lava channels of Las

Tintoreras, one of the best places in the islands to see White-tipped reef

sharks, as well as penguins and Sea lions. There will be time for snorkelling

today. On this morning's excursion we may be lucky enough to spot the

endangered Chatham mockingbird.

The afternoon is free for swimming, snorkelling, walking or just relaxing on

one of the beaches around Puerto Villamil.

Today’s walking distance is approx. 3km

Day 12 : Sail To Santa Cruz; Optional Visit To Charles Darwin Research Centre; Visit Tortuga Bay.
Location: Santa Cruz Island, Bartolomé Island
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Mainao Hotel (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast

Navigate by motorboat to Santa Cruz very early this morning and have

breakfast at our hotel. After breakfast we have the option of visiting the

Charles Darwin Reseach Centre, which is home to the headquarters of the

Charles Darwin Foundation. This is the main research centre on the islands

and many visiting scientists come from all over the world to study the flora

and fauna.  After our visit we'll have lunch at one of the local


Our destination this afternoon is Tortuga Bay, a 1km stretch of white sand

regarded as one of the best beaches in the Galapagos. The trail leading to

the beach is paved and takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour, with possibilities

to observe Galapagos finches and lizards along the way. The beach is

scattered with Marine iguana's, who lay amongst the clusters of black rocks

or stroll along the sand. In the water turtles can sometimes be seen.

Swimming is not recommended here due to strong currents. After a relaxing

afternoon, we'll hike the same route back towards the main town of Puerto

Ayora where our hotel is located.

Today’s walking distance is approx. 7km

Day 13 : Explore Bartolome, North Seymour Or Plazas Island.
Location: Baltra Island, North Seymour Island
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Mainao Hotel (or similar)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Visit either Bartolome Island, South Plaza Island or North Seymour (depending

on the National Park restrictions). South Plaza Island has a remarkable

vegetation of succulents and cacti that provide a unique habitat for land

iguanas. The iguanas form small colonies at the base of the tall opuntia

cacti, waiting for their flowers and dead pads to fall to the ground so they

can feed on them. The island's rocks are home to swallowtail gulls,

shearwaters and Sea lions.

North Seymour is a flat, boulder-strewn island and is a major nesting site

for frigatebirds. It's also a good place to see Blue-footed boobies

performing their courtship rituals, as well as Sea lions playing in the

powerful surf. Bartolome is a spectacular scene of dramatic lava cones,

perfect clear turqouise sea and affords perhaps the most famous view of the

Galapagos Islands, looking across the red cinder cones to the recent black

lava fields on James Island. If possible we will snorkel today (usually

around Bartolome) where the water is calm.

Day 14 : Fly To Guayaquil; End Guayaquil.
Location: Guayaquil
Meals Included: Breakfast

After breakfast this morning we drive to the airport at Baltra and fly to

Guayaquil where it's possible to connect with international flights this

evening from 6pm onwards. Alternatively, you can extend your stay for a few

extra nights or join the Napo Wildlife Centre Extension (which starts in

Quito). Land only clients may prefer to organise post-tour accommodation for

the night in Guayaquil and organise their international flights for the

following day, in case of delays returning from the Galapagos to mainland


What's Included

  • Meals
    13 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 4 dinners.

* All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 4 dinners included
* All accommodation
* All transport and listed activities
* Tour leader throughout
* Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
* Arrival and departure transfers

What's Not Included

  • Compulsory Galapagos taxes USD120 (approx. GBP95) paid locally.

  • Single accommodation (available on request)

  • Visas or vaccinations

  • Travel insurance


We spend 13 nights in hotels and guesthouses.

The hotels and guesthouses on the Galapagos Islands are generally small, family-run establishments with limited facilities, yet all have rooms have private bathrooms and hot water.


All breakfasts, 7 lunches and 4 dinners are included whilst on this trip.

Some days packed lunches of sandwiches, fruits and juice will be provided
whilst at other times, meals will be taken at restaurants. For the included
meals at restaurants, they will usually be a set menu with a choice of two or
three different options. The choice of meals in some areas of the Galapagos
can be limited but special dietary requirements can usually be catered for if
we are advised at the time of booking. When flying to and from the Galapagos,
snacks are usually included on the flights.

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the standard of the hotels on this tour?

    The hotels and guesthouses on the Galapagos Islands are generally small, family-run establishments with limited facilities, yet all have rooms with en suite bathrooms and hot water.

  • Are children permitted to take part in the tour?

    16+ people can go on this tour.

  • Are airport transfers included in this tour?

    Arrival and departure transfers

  • What is the maximum group size?


  • Are the local guides on the tour English speaking?


  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Spectacular Galápagos

From snorkelling with sharks, sea turtles and sea horses to watching giant tortoises, swimming iguanas, dancing blue-footed boobies, leaping manta rays, penguins and mating eagle rays, to trekking around a huge caldera and steaming volcanic vents… this island-hopping adventure to explore the Galápagos by land and by sea was a spectacular and unforgettable experience. The range of activities and places visited in this trip allowed us to fully experience and be captivated by the unique biodiversity and landscapes of the region. The wildlife of land, sea and sky is so abundant and diverse and allows for many magical interactions. It is fascinating to learn about the culture and history of the islands to more modern conservation efforts, such as the numerous breeding programmes of the different giant tortoise species. We got the chance to meet local people, taste local food and get off-the-beaten-track to be further immersed in the traditions of the different islands. It was truly an experience of a lifetime.


An enjoyable trip

Galapagos In Darwin' Steps

Simply the best trip I have ever been on. I did not want to come home! The leader made everything happen with no hitches - and encouragement for a slightly trepidatious snorkeller! As for the Galapagos - Wow! I think that that the trip, being landbased, allowed us to experience so much more, meet more locals and eat local food and just soak up the atmosphere - on the beaches or in the bar!!

Galapagos, in Darwin's Footsteps - Amazing!

This was to be our "holiday of a lifetime" - I was slightly concerned it might not live up to my expectations as I had wanted to visit Galapagos for many years. However I was not disappointed! Every day I thought it couldn't get any better, but it did. The wildlife was all fantastic. I didn't expect to do so much snorkelling, but it meant we were swimming with turtles, sealions, sharks and many colourful fishes :)


The most fabulous trip, worth every penny, saw so much , great accommodation, well organised trips ! Two weeks spent with a lovely bunch of people seeing

Galapagos Wonderland

When this trip was advertised on the site at the end of last summer I booked straight away,something about this magical place appealed to me. Everything you see on the TV is there, it is all around you, from the first steps on the Islands you see Iguanas, Finches, Fly catchers with their brilliant yellows and oranges. Our first introduction to the Galapagos is a boat trip out to the locally known Kicker rock and our first snorkelling, our first Turtles, rays and for the lucky few even Shark.Blue footed boobies on the rocks, with Frigate birds filing the skies and Sea lions filling the seas. It was like everywhere you looked there was more to see and marvel at,birds so close Iguanas round almost every corner. Then came what we all wanted to see the Galapagos giant tortoises, the breeding programme is well established and it is great to see the work they are doing. After a few days and a change of Islands we began our trek up the Sierra Negra volcano. The feeling you get from the rim of this enormous crater is one of awe and power. the next thing was to see the steam coming from live vents on the mountain side, imagining what life was like thousands of years ago.We then walked up to the vents and the smell of sulphur was really strong but again the feeling of power was still there. Onto the rest of the trek with camping on the rim,well looked after by our helpers who with the horses got everything we needed to the rim and cooked us all very good meals, thanks. This trip is very full on and every day so far we have an early start and either walked or took boats to visit many islands and wildlife areas. This trip exceeded all of my expectations and with a great leader in Pablo who`s knowledge of the Islands was fantastic, we the group who all got on so well together, cared for each other, they helped make this whole trip the best ever. Although it did seem a awfully long way back home!!

Turtles, sea lions, iguanas, sharks and more!

Overall a fantastic trip incorporating great wildlife and scenery. A trip packed with wonderful experiences and a great variety of wildlife and scenery. If you have been thinking about doing this trip it won’t disappoint

Galapagos in Darwins footsteps

A few days spent on each of four slightly different islands allowing you to see lots of wildlife and some interesting geological features.

Really amazing

Great trip, well worth the money. A good mix of walking, snorkeling and animal watching.

An amazing adventure with awesome wildlife

This was a full-on trip, early morning starts with full days of activity - but SO worth it! Each of the 4 islands visited were very different in both their landscape and wildlife. Tourism in all but the last island (Santa Cruz) was very low key and I felt privileged to be there and see all that I did.

Read all 14 reviews

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  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

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