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Discover nature’s wildest frontier in the Galapagos
Encounter giant tortoises, sea lions and penguins in their natural habitat, hike to the caldera of Sierra Negra and navigate the Avenue of the Volcanoes in Cotopaxi
Choose your dates for your trip to Ecuador Galápagos Islands
9 day trip from £3599 - £3699
Fri 10 Apr - Sat 18 Apr
Sat 16 May - Sun 24 May
Fri 24 Jul - Sat 1 Aug
Sat 14 Nov - Sun 22 Nov
Sat 12 Dec - Sun 20 Dec
About this trip
From Sierra Negra to Santa Cruz, encounter the rich wildlife of the Galapagos Islands on this 9-day adventure.
On this trip, you’ll journey to the remote archipelago celebrated for its unique wildlife – the very place that inspired Charles Darwin to develop his groundbreaking theory of natural selection.
These lush islands are home to an abundance of species that can’t be found anywhere else in the world: here, you’ll encounter giant tortoises, sea lions and marine iguanas, surrounded by a landscape of volcanic islands and mountains.
Wrapping up in just over a week, explore the raw natural wonders of the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador alongside a group of like-minded travellers.
- Local transport
- Most meals included
- Max 14 travellers per group
- Atol protected
- Private airport transfers
Remember, flights aren't included. We're happy to help you find the best ones for you.
Day 01 Touch-down in Quito
Welcome to Quito – the second highest capital city in the world. Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by an airport transfer which will take you to the hotel. After meeting your fellow Flashpackers and guide, head out together for a welcome feast at a traditional restaurant in Quito’s Old Town. With a menu boasting classic Ecuadorian staples, familiarise yourself with the local cuisine as you settle into the first night of your adventure.
Day 02 Discover colonial Quito
This morning, head out to uncover the colonial Old Town by foot. With its 17th century churches and catholic monasteries, discover the legacy that Spanish rule left in its wake after Ecuador gained independence in the 1820s. Later in the morning, learn about local chocolate-making traditions, with a guided tour and exclusive chocolate tasting at the Republica del Cacao. From midday onwards, it’s time to roll your sleeves up with an interactive cooking class. Under the guidance of a professional chef, learn how to make traditional Ecuadorian dishes – a perfect addition to your dinner-party repertoire back at home. After your cooking class, move onto your next destination in the volcanic heartlands of Cotopaxi.
Day 03 Explore the Avenue of the Volcanoes
Begin the day with some beautiful hiking routes through the mountains, passing shimmering lakes and snow-capped volcanoes. Take a gentle hike through the foothills of the world’s second highest active volcano, savouring the serenity of the mountains. After a picnic lunch, it’s time to channel your inner cowboy: you’ll meet a local chagra – an Andean cattle-farmer – who will guide you through the mountains by horseback. Spend the evening unwinding in a historical hacienda, beneath thousands of mountain stars.
Day 04 Hello, Galapagos
Today, you’re off to the famed Galapagos Islands. With unique wildlife roaming its shores, from giant tortoises to inquisitive sea lions, this is an area of intense biodiversity and natural splendour. Upon arrival in Santa Cruz, head straight to the Itabaca Canal to explore the coast by kayak. Paddle through red mangrove forests and along cliff banks formed through ancient lava flows, keeping an eye out for sea lions and reef sharks as you go. Later in the afternoon, head up into the highlands to a giant tortoise reserve, conveniently located beside your glamping site. Bordering the National Park, this vast habitat is home to the island’s iconic creatures, where they roam freely without any threat of predators. Then, settle into your camp for the evening, enjoying dinner and drinks overlooking the hills – with perhaps a wandering giant tortoise for company.
Day 05 Adventures on the archipelago
This morning will see you explore the remote islands of the archipelago by boat, uncovering distant shores under the guidance of a naturalist. Disembark to explore one of the islands of the national park, with time to appreciate the wildlife and pristine natural surroundings. Lunch will be served aboard the boat, with the refreshing sea breeze keeping you cool. Back on Santa Cruz, head out with your group for a unique dinner in a lava tunnel that has been adapted into a cosy restaurant. Bon appetit.
Day 06 Snorkelling with reef sharks
After a very early breakfast, you’ll all make your way to Isabela, the largest of the Galapagos islands but also one of the least inhabited. Upon arrival, you’ll bike to the island’s breeding centre, where the local giant tortoise population is slowly recuperating. Here, you’ll learn about the process of breeding, as the guide talks your group through the challenges facing conservation and reintroducing these creatures to the wild. Continue your bike journey, exploring a network of paths winding through the island. Uncover the island in its full biodiverse beauty, weaving through different varieties of mangrove trees amid colonies of marine iguanas and flamingos en route. Stop for lunch at a local restaurant in town, before heading out to explore the Tintoreras islets. Spend the afternoon snorkelling alongside playful sea lions, who are inquisitive and friendly by nature.
Day 07 Hike to the caldera of Sierra Negra
It’s an early wake up call this morning, as you’ll be hiking up to the caldera of Sierra Negra. Isabela is one of the youngest and most volcanic islands of Galapagos – and the mighty Sierra Negra is a testament to the island’s intense volcanic nature. At the peak, you’ll encounter the world’s second largest caldera – a colossal crater impossible to capture in an image. Absorb spectacular views over the archipelago, before returning to town just in time for lunch. In the afternoon, hit the beach for a few hours of relaxation. You’ll also have the option to kayak around the bay – a great spot for seeking out penguins and sea lions. In the evening, head out with your group for your last dinner on Isabela.
Day 08 An evening in Guayaquil
This morning will see you make the long journey back to mainland Ecuador. Come afternoon, arrive in Guayaquil, a lively city overlooking the Pacific coast. After checking into your hotel – a beautiful historic building in a city park – the rest of the day is yours to explore the city at leisure. Unwind in the hotel, stroll along the Malecon or head out to buy some last souvenirs. In the evening, gather with your group for a farewell feast at the hotel.
Day 09 Goodbye, Ecuador!
After breakfast at the hotel, your adventure has come to an end. It’s now over to you to make your way to your next destination. Not quite done with South America? Why not extend your escape with our best-selling Peru adventure?
Browse a selection of our favourite hotels, for a flavour of where you may stay on this trip
Chilcabamba Lodge, Cotopaxi
Rustic hacienda in Cotopaxi National Park
Experience a taste of historical Ecuador in this rural hacienda, with views of the snow-capped volcanoes rising around you.
Why we stay here
With spacious rooms, a restaurant, bar and garden, you’ll feel right at home amid the splendour of the national park.
Magic Galapagos, Santa Cruz
Highland campsite with doorstep access to incredible wildlife
Located high in the wilderness, sink into the natural surroundings of the island secluded from the town.
Why we stay here
Bed down beneath the stars in beautiful safari tents, with giant tortoises roaming around you. This campsite will allow you to experience a unique wildlife phenomenon in the heart of the Galapagos.
Hotel del Parque, Guayaquil
Beautiful restored building located in the heart of the historic park
Surrounded by leafy boulevards and colonial buildings, this hotel blends comfort and elegance to enchanting effect.
Why we stay here
Sleep in comfort with the park at your doorstep, with experiences from chocolate harvesting to coffee roasting at your disposal.
Fly into Quito Airport (UIO) and depart from Guayaquil Airport (GYE).
We suggest that you arrive in Quito before 2pm on day 1, although we will arrange an airport transfer for you at whichever time you arrive. We suggest departing after 10am on the final day.
Please note that you’ll have to pay a fee of $100 in cash upon entering the Galapagos National Park.
Please be aware that the itinerary, activities and hotels are subject to change. These changes can happen with little notice due to availability, poor weather, seasonal changes, or other circumstances beyond our control – but we’ll do our best to ensure it has little impact on your adventure. From time to time we may also make changes to your itinerary to try out new ideas and keep things fresh and exciting.
We take safety very seriously on Flash Pack adventures. Read our safety guidelines for more information.
Joining the Flash Pack community comes with a few special guarantees...
Our trips are for like-minded people in their 30s and 40s – and 98% of them join us solo. It’s almost a given you’ll make friends.
We know the world’s best bits, so your adventure will always be immersive and authentic, and your accommodation hand-picked.
Our guides on the ground know their destinations better than anyone, so expect unprecedented access to local living and cultural secrets.
We take all the hassle out of travel planning for you. Unique accommodation? Activities? People? Sorted.
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