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Ecuador
  • 8 days/7 nights
  • Next Departure: Call (800) 575-1540
  • From $3,141 / person
  • (Varying single supplement)

Galapagos Family Vacations

Visit four different Galapagos Islands, where you will spend time with the unique wildlife the islands are rightly famous for: the sea lions, the world renowned giant tortoises, the marine iguanas, the blue footed boobies, and much, much more. Galapagos is also one of the planet´s few World Heritage Marine Reserves. This is truly a matchless environment.

  • Family Vacations
  • Hiking
  • Paddling
  • Safari / Wildlife
  • Small Ship
  • Snorkeling / Swimming

Activity Level: Easy

About
This Tour

With sea-swept volcanic terrain and an abundance of exotic creatures as curious about you as you are about them, the Galápagos offers a family-friendly wilderness and wildlife experience like no other.

•    Leap over lava bombs, spatter cones and lava tubes on a hike to the top of an inactive volcano
•    Earn your bragging rights on a snorkel excursion with white-tipped sharks and manta rays
•    Swim with a family of penguins as they fish for their lunch off a rocky shore
•    Play hide and seek with a sea lion pup off the nose of your kayak
•    Hike to a natural spring, once the stomping ground for visiting pirates
•    Watch as a blue-footed booby dances in courtship
•    Come nose to nose with a 600-pound, 150-year-old tortoise
•    Polish off the day with a plate of BBQ and warm Galapaguena hospitality before calling it a night in your carefully selected island lodge

Snorkel excursion
Photo: Snorkel excursion

The animals, the ocean, the weather, the people, the culture, the food – what’s not to love about the Galápagos!?

Tricia Jansen Guide

Itinerary
& Map

Tour Itinerary

8 days/7 nights

Quito, Ecuador

Day 1: Quito or Guayaquil / Santa Cruz
Quito or Guayaquil / Santa Cruz
Meals Included:  L, D
Overnight: Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge

Upon arrival at Baltra Airport from Quito or Guayaquil, you will have a brief meet and greet before you transfer by bus to Itabaca Chanel, for a 5 minute ferry ride crossing to Santa Cruz Island.

Once you have reached the island, you will take another bus to Puerto Ayora where you will check in for the evening. After check in you will have lunch at Aventura Lodge.

Following lunch, start your adventure to "Los Gemelos" (The Twins), 2 enormous collapsed lava chambers which serve as a wonderful introduction to the majestic power of nature and the great biodiversity of the Santa Cruz Highlands.

After this short, easy hike, a quick bus ride will take us to a 600-acre private reserve where the giant Galapagos tortoises freely roam, graze, and sleep.

This evening you will enjoy dinner overlooking the sea at the Aventura Lodge.

About the Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge
Built in 1995, this lodge located on Santa Cruz Island has a unique architecture designed to blend in with the surroundings and seafront. With stunning views from your room of Puerto Ayora's bay or the mangrove forest, you’ll be sure to love your stay at this one-of-a-kind lodge.

The lodge owners are committed to developing an eco-friendly operation and are undergoing a process of certification for sustainable management. Fourteen guest rooms with either mangrove or sea views are all equipped with air conditioning, cable television, private bathroom and hot water. A sea side restaurant with choices of Japanese or Galapagos fusion cuisine offers you the best choice in town.

Day 2: Santa Cruz / Floreana
Santa Cruz / Floreana
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: Red Mangrove Floreana Lodge

After breakfast, depart for the “Itabaca Channel” in your private transportation (45 minute transfer).

Upon arrival to the channel’s crystal clear turquoise waters you will be instructed about basic techniques on sea kayaking. Start your journey along the shore of this paradisiacal northern part of Santa Cruz Island, exploring the amazing channel that separates Santa Cruz from Baltra Island.

You will be able to enjoy beautiful scenery full of contrasts and the stunning shore cliffs that are home to many sea birds such as blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, and brown pelicans.

Snorkeling opportunities from the kayak abound with high chances of seeing:

  • Sea lions
  • Green sea turtles
  • Countless schools of tropical fish

Before lunch at Aventura Lodge, you will visit an illuminated lava tunnel where you have the incredible opportunity to see lava stalagmites, stalactites, mineral-colored walls, and a rippled floor.

This afternoon, a 2 hour boat transfer brings us to Floreana Island where Black Beach awaits – a wonderful place for swimming, snorkeling, or simply relaxing. This evening you will dine at a local family’s home, owned by some of the first Ecuadorian’s.

About Floreana Lodge
Located on a black lava surface in Puerto Velasco Ibarra, this lodge is built entirely of pine wood, displayed right on the oceanfront. Each cabin has its own bathroom, front porch, and reading/shade area to allow you privacy and enjoyment of the outdoors as you observe the sea.

A common area allows you to enjoy a drink, watch a beautiful sunset, and relax in the company of other guests. This lodge is only five minutes away from the main part of town and three minutes walking to the "loberia" to observe sea lions in their natural environment.

Day 3: Floreana
Floreana
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: Red Mangrove Floreana Lodge

This morning you will have breakfast at a local family’s home to share insight on Galápagos with others.

After breakfast, take a short bus ride to Cerro Alierri, one of the highest points in Floreana, where you will stumble on at least a few of the 48 species of identified plants during your hike.

After lunch with a local family, walk to La Loberia, one of the most beautiful spots in Floreana, where you can swim and snorkel or explore the town of Puerto Velasco Ibarra.

To finish the day, you will have dinner with a local family and briefing at the Lodge.

Day 4: Floreana / Isabela
Floreana / Isabela
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge

After breakfast, you will transfer by bus to go on a morning hike into the highlands of Floreana.

At Asilo de la Paz (the Peace Asylum) and learn about the island’s first settlers, and before them the pirates and whalers who frequented Floreana’s natural spring; one of the very few year-round sources of fresh water in the Galápagos.

Visit Cueva de los Piratas (Pirate's Cave) where pirates carved temporary shelter out of soft stone. Check out the Floreana finches on Cerro Pajas (Bird Hill) and get up-close with giant tortoises at a reserve.

You will then head back to town for lunch at the Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge on Isabela Island and check in for the evening.

This afternoon, you will depart across the port to hike a lava field, stepping carefully around sunbathing marine iguanas, and marvel at a small canal full of snoozing white-tipped reef sharks.

Snorkel with curious sea lions and darting penguins in a cove whose emerald waters stand in stark contrast to the surrounding black lava, green mangroves and cloud-capped volcanoes.

This evening you will have dinner and briefing at the Isabela Lodge.

About Isabela Lodge
Located on the largest of the Galapagos Islands formed by six large volcanic domes fused together, Isabela Lodge is separated from the ocean only by a broad, white sand, palm-lined beach.

This oceanfront Lodge has a beautiful wooden deck by the sea for all to enjoy as well as a roof top terrace with ocean vistas for miles. Isabela Lodge features eight guest rooms, each with two queen beds and private bath.

Day 5: Isabela
Isabela
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge

After breakfast at the Lodge, we depart to Sierra Negra Volcano.

You will transfer in 4×4 vehicles up through the highlands to the slopes of the volcano and follow with a hike to the caldera, which at four miles across is the second largest in the world.

Soak up the views from the edge of the caldera, and – if you’re feeling energetic – opt for a challenging hike to the fumarole-laden Volcan Chico. Lunch will be served at a local farm, with time to partake in a "tortoise patronage" program, which involves choosing, naming and submitting a story about one of the tortoises on the reserve.

This evening you will have time to explore Isabela or relax before dinner and briefing at the Lodge.

Day 6: Isabela
Isabela
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge

On Day 6, you will enjoy breakfast at the Lodge before departing for Los Tuneles (1 hour) by boat.

Keep your eye on the water’s surface for giant mantas, sea turtles and sharks as we sail from the majestic Sierra Negra Volcano! Come nose to nose with penguins, tropical fish and sea lions on an afternoon snorkeling excursion.

After lunch at the Lodge, the late afternoon is yours to explore Puerto Villamil or to simply relax and soak up some rays.

Day 7: Isabela / Santa Cruz
Isabela / Santa Cruz
Meals Included:  B, L, D
Overnight: Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge

After breakfast, ride through town enjoying the simplicity of this traditional island and it’s Flamingo spots.

  • A visit to the Galapagos National Park Isabela Breeding Station will give you a chance to view newborn to century-old Galapagos tortoises up close
  • Next, hike a short ways along a beautiful boardwalk to take in Isabela’s wetlands, scanning the area for Flamingos and stunning seabirds
  • Before returning to the lodge, visit the well-known Playa del Amor (Love Beach), surrounded by mangroves.

After lunch at the Lodge, this afternoon tour the Charles Darwin Research Station with time to shop for souvenirs or browse the shops along Charles Darwin Avenue.

This evening you will have dinner at the Lodge.

Day 8: Santa Cruz / Guayaquil or Quito
Santa Cruz / Guayaquil or Quito
Meals Included:  B

On the final day, enjoy breakfast at the Lodge before departing for the Baltra Airport.

* This trip is operated in partnership with Red Mangrove.

** Trip itineraries are subject to change without notice due to road, weather and other factors outside of our control, for the safety and enjoyment of our guests, as deemed necessary and appropriate by Austin Adventures and Red Mangrove.

Dates, Rates
& Details

Start planning your next adventure now. See the information below for the rates and selection of available dates. For additional information on dates and availability, please contact our travel specialists.

  • 8 days/7 nights
  • Next Departure: Call (800) 575-1540
  • From $3,141 / person
  • (Varying single supplement)

Additional Trip Information

Departure
  • Please arrive in Quito no later than the evening prior to your trip (we recommend arriving a minimum of 2 nights to allow for potential flight delays and misconnection).
  • You will fly from Quito or Guayaquil to the Galapagos Islands, arriving between 11:30 am and 1:30 pm to Baltra airport, depending on your flight schedule.
  • Upon arrival at Baltra airport, you will be greeted and escorted by a Red Mangrove representative.
  • A short bus ride to Itabaca Channel, followed by a 5 minute ferry ride to Santa Cruz Island will bring you to your private charter bus. This bus will take you south to the town of Puerto Ayora and the Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge, your home for the evening.
  • Your trip ends with a drop-off at the Baltra airport, on time for your flight back to the mainland. From Quito or Guayaquil, you can make your post trip connections.
Activities
  • Hiking – 1 to 7 miles per hike, easy to challenging terrain.
  • Snorkeling – Equipment provided, no experience necessary.
  • Kayaking – Equipment and instruction provided, no experience necessary.
  • Boating – Inflatable Zodiac touring with naturalist guide.
Meals

The hallmark of an Austin Adventures vacation is our exceptional dining. Meals are included as indicated in the daily itinerary. (B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner). Alcoholic beverages and related gratuities are not included in the trip price.

Included in Trip Price
  • Double occupancy rooms with private baths.
  • All meals as listed in detailed daily itinerary & soft drinks during meals.
  • Excursions with a Freelance English speaking Naturalist guide, provided by Galapagos National Park.
  • All snorkeling gear and equipment.
  • Transport and guide from Baltra airport to hotel and vice versa.
  • 10% service charge as per Ecuadorian law.
  • When in Puerto Ayora and Isabela, free use of bikes.
  • Austin Adventures T-shirt & luggage tags.
  • Pre-departure and packing information.
Not Included in Trip Price
  • Entrance fee to Galápagos National Park ($100 International visitors). Must be paid in cash.
  • Control Visitor Card ($10 per person). Must be paid in cash.
  • Air ticket to/from Galapagos (flight schedules / prices may vary).
  • Optional gratuities.
  • Alcoholic beverages.
  • Pre-and post-trip accommodations and associated expenses.
  • Air and land transportation to/from host cities.
  • All types of personal insurance.
  • Personal expenses.
Photos

A few more reasons why you've gotta go…

  • 1. You don’t need to be wearing a jacket and freezing your nose off to see a penguin in the wild, 1500 aptly named Galapagos Penguins live, swim, and waddle around these islands each day!
  • 2. Haven’t you always wanted to see a lizard swim!?!? You’ll have to come here to cross that off the bucket list because the only marine going lizards in the world, the marine iguanas, are found in the Galapagos.
  • 3. Charles Darwin was twenty-six when he first saw the Galapagos Islands. His observations about life on the islands eventually led to his famed theory of evolution.
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