We’ve got your back. When you join one of our trips, we want you to have peace of mind. In response to COVID-19, we’ve:
To learn more:Traveling with Atlas Obscura amid COVID-19 How We’re Adapting Our Trips Destination Requirements (via Embassy Pages)
On this immersive and action-packed eight-day adventure on “Las Encantadas,” or “The Enchanted Islands,” you'll see, as Charles Darwin once did, that each island has its own unique community of wildlife. Get a once-in-a-lifetime glimpse into this unique and eye-opening world by exploring four of the most impressive islands in the archipelago. But this isn’t your typical Galápagos tour. With the help of local guides and expert wildlife biologists, you’ll enjoy a tropical island experience beyond compare. You'll get up close with the islands' marine critters by snorkel and kayak, have a chance to observe some of the world's rarest species as you explore the islands in style, and get a living lesson on ecology and conservation in one of the planet’s most historically important habitats.
You’re in good company. Solo travelers typically make up about half of our small groups. With curiosity at the center of our experiences, there’s a natural camaraderie that develops over the course of a trip. We have two options for you:
Shared Room (subject to the latest Covid-19 guidelines): You'll be matched with another solo traveler of the same gender.
Private Room: Have your own room, subject to availability, for a supplemental cost of $730. After booking your trip, please request a private room when you fill out your traveler information form and we’ll add the option to your booking and final balance.
Participants should be comfortable walking 2 to 4 miles over the course of a day. You should also be prepared to participate in the itinerary’s various water activities, which include swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking, as these are a highlight of the trip and some of the best ways to observe the local wildlife and geology. Please contact us directly if you have further questions about health and fitness level for this trip.
You should aim to arrive in Quito by 4 p.m. on Day 1.
For departure on Day 8, we will aim to arrive in Quito around 6 pm and do not recommend booking outbound flights home earlier than 11 pm. There are a few air carriers with late flights, however, we suggest staying overnight in Quito if possible. We are happy to help arrange a post-trip hotel night at the Quito Wyndham airport (or similar) if required (extra fees apply.)
Accommodations in the Magic Galapagos Lodge include luxury safari-style tents with en-suite bathrooms as well as four elevated tree houses, with en-suite toilets and shared shower facilities. Showers have hot water, and there is (limited) wi-fi in the main lodge area.
Lava Lodge is a rustic hotel steps away from the black sand beaches of Floreana Island. You’ll fall asleep to the sound of the waves and wake up to the barking sea lions, who have a colony nearby. Accommodations are all double occupancy, and each room includes en-suite bathrooms with hot water. Wifi is limited.
Albemarle is a boutique beachside hotel that offers A/C, a swimming pool, and delicious meals. Wifi is complimentary, and available throughout the hotel.
Single supplements are available for an additional cost.
Your participation in this trip helps to support the vital conservation work carried out by the Galápagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Research Foundation. Together, these institutions study, manage, and protect the National Park, which covers some 97% of the archipelago's landmass, and the Marine Reserve. This work includes visitor education, habitat restoration, invasive species removal, captive breeding programs, and more. In addition, while most visitors to the islands travel by yacht or cruise ship, we'll stay in lodges and hotels. That means much more of the money we spend on food and lodging remains with local residents rather than international corporations. By providing financial incentives through tourism, local businesses and families are empowered to view wildlife and wild spaces as worthy of protection. You can increase your impact even more by purchasing souvenirs from locally owned businesses and by offering cash tips to lodge staff, drivers, boat crews, and local guides.
The International Ecotourism Society has formally defined ecotourism as “responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education.” In other words, it is an effort to combine sustainable travel with ecosystem-level conservation and the explicit recognition of and respect for the rights of indigenous people. That’s why ecotourism is more than just “nature tourism”; it has the explicit goal of benefiting local communities both environmentally and economically. By providing financial incentives through tourism, these communities can become empowered to fight against poverty, and in achieving a more sustainable sort of economic development, can better resist other more exploitative industries like mining, agriculture, ranching, or logging. Ecotourism has also motivated the traditional tourism industry in general to move towards more “green” or sustainable practices.
All you need to enter and depart Ecuador is a valid passport with evidence of return or onward travel. With a U.S. passport, you will automatically receive a free 90-day tourist visa. For more information, see the State Department’s Ecuador travel page.
Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated if advance notice is given, though in most cases ingredients can't be substituted or omitted from particular dishes. If you have a severe allergy, please contact us to find out if this is the right trip for you.