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Galapagos Islands Trip Details

Introduction

Welcome to The Galapagos Islands!

Ecuador, your host country, is the one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. It’s truly one-of-a-kind with four different worlds coming together in a spectacular way.

The Pacific Coast, the Andes, the Amazon, AND the Galapagos Islands constitute Ecuador’s geography and cultural identity. These distinct worlds offer a truly mind-boggling array of experiences.

The Galapagos Islands are considered the living laboratory of Darwin's theory of evolution. It's no wonder 80% of the land birds, 97% of the reptiles & land mammals, and more than 30% of the plants are native to only these islands.

Immerse yourself in the wildlife, culture, and unique ecosystem it has to offer. We’ll hike, snorkel, and boat our way across the archipelago as we get to know the wildlife, locals, and remarkable landscapes.  

Duration:  8 days, 7 nights

Start: Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) -- Quito, Ecuador
To ensure included transportation: plan to arrive after 2:00 pm on Day 1.

If you arrive earlier, please plan to meet us after 2pm at the airport for included transportation.

Finish: Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) -- Quito, Ecuador
To ensure included transportation: plan to depart after 8:00 pm on Day 8.

Airfare booking details will be sent after registration – please wait to book your flight until you receive further instructions.

What's Included

  • 8 days / 7 nights shared accommodations in boutique hotels
  • 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and 7 dinners
  • Certified Galapagos Naturalist guide for 5 days on the Galapagos Islands
  • Domestic round-trip flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands
  • Round-trip speedboat between Santa Cruz and Isabela Island
  • Round-trip boat ride between Santa Cruz and an uninhabited island
  • Guided tour and entrance to Giant Tortoise Reserve and Local Ranch
  • Snorkeling and hiking experience on an uninhabited island
  • Experience the largest white sand beach in the Galapagos at Tortuga Bay
  • Guided hike on Sierra Negra Volcano
  • Snorkeling and hiking on Tintoreras Islet
  • Countless encounters with native wildlife
  • Guided city tour of Quito
  • Galapagos Transit Control Card
  • Airport pick-up upon arrival
  • Airport drop-off upon departure
  • Under30Experiences Trip Leader
  • Personal recommendations for optional activities
  • The chance to meet some kick-ass people
  • Access to the Under30Experiences community
  • Taxes always included, never hidden fees, & NO blackout dates
Book with confidence: it's free to switch your trip more than 60 days out

Travelers are responsible for international airfare to and from Ecuador, $100 cash fee to enter the Galapagos Islands on Day 3, and $10 cash fee to enter Isabela Island on day 5

Highlights

  • Visit three different Galapagos Islands
  • Hang out with Giant Tortoises in their natural environment
  • Hike the Sierra Negra Volcano, home of the one of the largest volcanic craters in the world
  • Swim, snorkel, and hike with tons of wildlife like the Galapagos penguins, blue footed boobies, sea turtles, sea lions, sharks, manta rays, and much more
  • Learn how to experience the Galapagos responsibly from your certified naturalist guide.

Is this Trip for You?

Do you see yourself soaking up the sun in one of the most biodiverse places on our planet?

The Galapagos are a haven for animal lovers, adventure seekers, and nature lovers. You'll have experiences only found on this tiny archipelago as we hike active volcanoes, swim with sharks and turtles, and lounge with iguanas.

WiFi will be available but may be unreliable because of the remote location of the islands. We encourage you to take this opportunity to disconnect and immerse yourself in one of the most unique places on our planet.

-Age Requirement:  21+
-Group Size:  8-15 travelers
-Physical rating: Moderate. This trip is a good mix of activity and relaxation and includes moderate physical activities.  Participants should expect to be active 3-4 hours most days. An active lifestyle is helpful though not required to enjoy the trip.

Community

Travel connects us. Community keeps us connected.

Once you come on a trip, you become part of our Travel Community forever.

From U30X Alumni resources (and a secret group) after your trip, to custom Facebook groups before your trip, to meetups around the world, you will have the opportunity to meet and stay connected to other like-minded adventurers.

More than 70% of our travelers come solo but they all leave with friends.

Whether you have joined us on a trip or are looking for a group of like-minded people, we welcome you to the Under30Experiences Travel Community.

Itinerary Disclaimer

Travel can be unpredictable. Our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience.

While it is our intention to adhere to the itinerary, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into it and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations.

Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances, including weather, operation of local ferries, and restrictions to protect the environment.

Cancelation Policy

It's FREE to switch your trip more than 60 days from departure

If you have an emergency cancellation that is less than 60 days before your trip, please refer to your travel insurance company as they may cover you for some expenses. 

We are not able to transfer trips or gift experience credits within 60 days of the trip because we will have already purchased your local flight from Quito to The Galapagos Islands.

Meals

Breakfasts will be served at your hotel. Dinners will be enjoyed at your hotel or local restaurants a short walk away.

Sample Breakfast Menu:

  • Fruit, yogurt, coffee, milk, eggs, toast

Sample Dinner Menu:

  • Dishes will be typical Ecuadorian meals and seasoned in a traditional way
  • An option of a chicken, pork, beef, fish or a vegetarian dish will be available. Dishes will be accompanied by a salad and rice

We do our best to accommodate dietary restrictions. Most meals can be modified for special requests and food allergies.

Transport

You will be traveling by private ground transportation, public speed boat, and an included domestic flight throughout your trip.

  • Domestic flights to and from the Galapagos Islands (Included)
    Includes:
    (1) checked bag. The weight allowance is 28kg (61lbs).
    (1) small carry-on of 8kg (17lbs).
    Each traveler is responsible for any fees associated with bags being overweight when checking in at the airport.
  • Private ground transportation in Santa Cruz and Isabela Island (Included)
    On Isabela Island you may travel on a typical "Chiva" style bus.
  • Private ground transportation to and from activities in the Galapagos islands (Included)
  • Private boat to and from an uninhabited island (Included)
  • Public speed boat between Isabela and Santa Cruz Islands (Included)

Accommodation

You will be staying in shared boutique hotel rooms for the duration of your trip.

Accommodations may vary but will be the same quality.
Solo travelers are paired with someone of the same gender.
Private room options are available upon request subject to hotel availability (for an extra charge).

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is mandatory in order to participate on any of our trips.

When selecting a travel insurance policy please bear in mind that all travelers must have medical coverage and that we require a minimum coverage of USD 200,000 for repatriation and emergency rescue. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Please ensure that all the activities you plan on participating in are covered by your travel insurance. For World Nomads, the “Explorer Plan” will cover all of the included activities on U30X trips.

If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt or credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.

Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads.

Trip Leader Expectations

All Under30Experiences trips are accompanied by experienced Trip Leaders.

The goal of the Trip Leader is to facilitate an awesome experience and help our travelers have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.

You can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects.

Packing List

Please be eco-friendly
  • Bring a reusable water bottle.
  • Use as little plastic as possible by declining straws and plastic bags at restaurants and when shopping - the Galapagos Islands are working on becoming plastic free!
  • Please avoid aerosol bug sprays as they negatively affect the environment.
  • Bring "reef safe" sunscreens that do not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate because they kill coral.

We recommend using a travel backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person. You will be responsible for carrying your own luggage.

Do not forget: reusable water bottlesunscreensandalsbeach towelwaterproof rain jacketsunglasseslight day pack, and a hat!

Below includes our staff picks of the best items on the market that we travel with!  All products selected are 3 ounces or less to comply with TSA carry-on size and organically inspired when possible.

Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you Under30Experiences will earn a small commission if you make a purchase.

Passport & Visas

Guidelines for U.S. Passport Holders

Make sure you have an updated passport with you. Your passport must be valid for 60 days after your trip. Under30Experiences recommends that your passport be valid for at least 6 months after your trip.  Please consult the U.S. Department of State with any more questions.

Make sure there is no damage to your passport. Conditions that may constitute damage requiring you to replace your passport include water damage, a significant tear, unofficial markings on the data page, missing or torn out visa pages, a hole punch, or other injuries.

Health & Insurance

The tap water in Ecuador is not safe to drink. Please bring a reusable water bottle to refill from filtered water stations and join us in our efforts to be environmentally friendly and keep Ecuador beautiful.

Our suggested travel insurance vendor is World Nomads and has a minimum of $200,000 USD coverage.

Please consult with your doctor before traveling in regards to physical activity and vaccinations.

No inoculations are required to enter Ecuador from the United States but the Center for Disease Control suggests routine vaccines for all travelers. Required vaccines should go through CDC, recommended vaccines should be through your doctor.

More specific Health information for Travelers to Ecuador can be found at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention website.

Money & Currency

The official currency in Ecuador is the United States Dollar (USD).

Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to additional expenses such as snacks, alcoholic drinks, souvenirs, and optional activities.

We suggest bringing about USD $250 in cash for the duration of the trip.

There will be opportunities to withdraw from an ATM during the trip

Remember to call your bank and credit card company and let them know you'll be traveling overseas.

For an up-to-date exchange rate, download the app XE.

Safety & Security

Always carry a copy of your travel insurance, health insurance and passport with you. A photo of these items on your phone is also a good backup.

Keep your passport and any valuables locked in your hotel room.

Don’t leave valuables unattended.

US Citizens please consider registering with US State Department's “SMART Traveler Program” who can contact your family in case of emergency.

Weather

In Quito, the weather is mild with temperatures between 48 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

We recommend using light clothing during the day, and sweaters or jackets at night.

The coast, including the Galapagos Islands, has warm weather. The average temperature is around 87 degrees Fahrenheit or 28 degrees Celsius. 

We recommend light clothing, comfortable and water resistant shoes, and a sweater or jacket for some cold nights. We also recommend bringing sunglasses, a hat, bug repellent, and plenty of sunscreen.

cultural information

Ecuadorian culture consists of a mix of indigenous practices and European colonial influence.

Spanish is the official language in Ecuador, however, as tourism develops in this country you can occasionally find people who speak English. In the highlands you may also find people who speak Quechua, the ancient Incan language.

Two of the most popular leisure activities in Ecuador are soccer and dancing. You can find Ecuadorians enjoying a variety of music like salsa, bachata, and merengue.

Key Phrases
  • Hello -- Hola
  • Excuse me -- Perdon
  • How are you? --¿Como estas?
  • Thank you -- Gracias
  • Please -- Por favor
  • A beer please -- Una cerveza por favor
  • Cool -- Chevere/Bacan
  • Buddy -- Pana

Optional Activities

Please bring cash with you. It will be helpful to have at least USD $250 in cash.

Swimming in Las Grietas: Free

Charles Darwin Research Center: Free

Scuba Diving: ~USD $150

Kayaking: ~USD $30

Bike Rental in Isabela: ~USD $4 per hour

While your Trip Leader will assist you with optional activities available, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of the Under30Experiences itinerary. We offer no guarantees on the safety or standard of the activity.

General Rules

Respect the people around you and the environment in which you’re traveling. This includes, but is not limited to fellow travelers, Trip Leaders, the local community, nature, wildlife, and yourself.

Do your best to keep yourself and fellow travelers out of harm’s way.

It’s important to obey local laws and customs while on our trips. This includes, but is not limited to wearing appropriate clothing while visiting certain communities, refraining from taking photos of people without asking, avoiding the use of illegal drugs, having weapons, and soliciting prostitution. If you’re not sure about something, take time to educate yourself, or ask.

Travel involves contact with new cultures. When confronted with a different way of living than you’re used to, do your best to understand that neither way is better or worse. They’re simply different ways of life.

Know your limits! This applies to physical ability, emotional space, social situations, and alcohol consumption. If you can’t participate in something, be upfront about it. If you need a break from people, take it. Stop drinking before you get too drunk.

Trip Leaders are working in the travelers’ best interest. If they say something or ask you not to do something it’s not because they’re tyrants, but because they want you to have a good time!

Lying or withholding information about any physical or mental condition that might affect your ability to participate in any of the activities may be grounds for removal from your trip with no refund.

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