Affordable Tours to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Affordable Tours to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
The Galapagos Islands are a bucket-list destination for good reasons. With its untamed terrain and notoriously fearless creatures, the isolated isles of the Galapagos lure those looking for exhilarating encounters in the wild. This archipelago of about 19 islands and many smaller islets sprinkled 620 miles off Ecuador's coast in the Pacific Ocean is a double World Heritage site, both land and sea are protected, and served as the inspiration for Charles Darwin's Theory of Evolution. Most of the wildlife in the Galapagos hasn't learned to fear humans, making it very easy to observe sea lions, giant tortoises, seagoing lizards, short-feathered penguins and blue-footed boobies.
Galapagos Islands Explorer Package from Santa Cruz Island
offered by Viator

Choose from a 4 or 5 day trip through the Galapagos Islands to explore this natural wonder aboard a comfortable yacht. Sail from island to island and learn about the flora and fauna that drew Charles Darwin to this gem of Ecuador, which resulted in his most iconic book, The Origin of the Species. Visit his scientific station, sail through some of the most prized and beautiful islands on earth, each with their own unique features and relax in the evenings at the Santa Cruz Island Hotel. The multi-day tour includes hotel stays in Santa Cruz, transport, tours, guides and breakfast and lunch aboard your yacht. A five day upgrade to the tour insures that you will see all that this archipelago has to offer.

Meet your friendly guide at the airport in Santa Cruz Island and travel by comfortable coach to your accommodation. Make a stop at the lava tunnels and sea turtle reserve. Then venture to historic Charles Darwin Station to learn more about this master of evolution's work. On day two, visit Tortuga Bay beach and enjoy a 40-minute stroll through this calm stretch of sand and shore. Enjoy a bit of free time before making your way to 'La Loberia', where you'll spend the afternoon swimming with sea lions and snorkeling in crystal clear waters. Next, head to 'Canal de Amor' for breathtaking panoramic views. Finally, stop at 'Playa de los Perros' where rare marine iguanas thrive before returning to your Santa Cruz hotel. Kick off day three by sailing on a yacht, if the weather and season permits it, to a handful of islands where you'll spend the day exploring before returning to the comfort of your Santa Cruz hotel. Personalize your trip to meet your interests and book well in advance to ensure your spot on your favorite destination. The volcanic rock islands, known as Plaza Islands, are home to white sandy beaches. Travelers can spot iguanas and blue-footed boobies while exploring scenic walking trails that lead to epic views of manta rays and clear blue waves. Snorkel with sea lions or relax on the pristine beach. The Bartolome Island is known for its shades of red, orange, green and black that color this volcanic wonderland. In this perfect spot for geology lovers, travelers can check out lava tubes from past eruptions and summit the now dormant volcano. Stop by Pinnacle Rock, one of the most iconic stops in the Galapagos and climb to the island's highest peak for views of playful penguins swimming through blue waters. The low, rocky cliffs or North Seymour Island are just part of what makes this destination unique. Travelers who choose to stop at this scenic island will find indigenous Palo Santo trees and vast stretches of pristine white sand. Playful pelicans and blue-footed boobies call Seymour home, and protected nesting sites for both birds and turtles insure visitors get an up close look at the beauty of nature the Galapagos Islands are known for. Check out pink flamingos at Dragon Hill and learn from your guide how a seismic event gave birth to this island, where low cliffs hang only a few feet above the shoreline. Finally, set sail into open waters at 8:00 am and spend 45 minutes aboard a sleek fishing yacht before arriving at the island of Santa Fe. Grab your binoculars for a bit of bird watching and then hop aboard a dinghy to get up close to sea lion colonies. In clear waters travelers may see Galapagos Sharks known and 'Tintoreras', as well as marine iguanas. Spotting sea turtles and stingrays is guaranteed in the Marine Aquarium area. The tour ends with a stop at 'Playa Escondida' for snorkeling off the hidden beach. Water is only about a meter deep and travelers can swim alongside sea lions before enjoying lunch and heading back to Puerto Ayora in the afternoon.

Price: $796.00
6-Day Galapagos Land Tour: Los Tuneles Program
offered by Viator

Spend a 6-day tour focusing on one of Isabela Island's most biodiverse sites, known as Los Tuneles. Go snorkeling with sea turtles and observe blue-footed boobies, then travel to Santa Cruz to see the Galapagos Giant Tortoise. All inter-island transportation, meals and activities per itinerary, and overnight accommodations are included in this fantastic tour. On day 1, you will be picked up in Baltra Airport to then head to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. After taking the public speedboat to Isabela around 2 p.m. (2.5-hour ride), you will visit the Flamingos Lagoon, the largest coastal lagoon and one of the main reproductive sites for flamingos in the Galapagos. On day 2, you will explore on a full day tour the Sierra Negra Volcano, located 13 miles from Puerto Villamil. Hike the crater and enjoy the view before continuing to Volcan Chico, a still active volcano which warms the surrounding grounds. A lunch box will be provided as well as a snorkelling equipment with a tube, mask and fins. Spend the afternoon snorkeling in Concha Perla with sea lions, colorful varieties of fish and sea turtles. Day 3 begins at 8 a.m. via speedboat and the first stop is a small islet in the middle of the ocean, home to pelicans, blue-footed boobies, and sea lions. The Finados snorkeling site is the next stop; swim with sea turtles, tintoreras sharks, trumpetfish and surgeonfish. Once there, the speedboat navigates through various spots in and around the Lava Tunnels. Do some more snorkeling and enjoy some short walks while observing the landscape and wildlife inhabiting the area. On day 4 visit Tintoreras Islet, named after the white-tip sharks which come to rest in its clear waters. Get close to endemic wildlife such as penguins and sea lions. Snorkel and swim next to colorful fish, sharks and rays. In the afternoon, visit Humedales Complex which includes a visit to The Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, Muro de las Lagrimas, Mirador Orchidia viewpoint and El Estero de Isabela. Around 6 a.m. on day 5, take the public speedboat to Puerto Ayora, where the guide will be waiting. Check in at the hotel and take off to visit the Highlands of Santa Cruz Island. Enjoy a visit to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat. In the afternoon, head to the Ch. Darwin Research Station and observe colorful land iguanas and a large variety of Galapagos Giant tortoises brought from the most important islands in the archipelago. The tour ends on day 6 upon the arrival to the Baltra Airport to catch your plane to either Quito or Guayaquil.The transfer to the airport is included and on the way out stop by The Twins (Los Gemelos).

Price: $1,313.00
Galapagos Islands Cruise: 4-Day Catamaran Sail Aboard the 'Nemo I'
offered by Viator

This 4-day cruise aboard the Nemo I catamaran takes you into the eastern side of the UNESCO-listed Galapagos Islands, an archipelago of 19 islands located off the Ecuadorian coast, with your choice between two itinerary options (see below for more details). The recently renovated catamaran accommodates 14 passengers only, and is wider than the majority of motor yachts that operate in the Galapagos Islands. Enjoy your buffet-style meals, 'al fresco', in the covered terrace outside, starting with lunch on your first day until breakfast on your day of departure. Water, tea, and coffee are included, but if you would like a drink with a little bit more kick (own expense), head to the bar inside the main deck. Each twin cabin, located in the hulls, comes with a private bathroom, air-conditioning and a fan. You'll access your cabin through a hatch, which also serves as a skylight window to shine in more daylight along with the portholes. A few cabins offer matrimonial beds, but most have bunk beds. To reach the islands, you will leave the catamaran at the anchorage-site and board a dinghy for the final stretch to land. Your crew is trained and ready to assist you as needed. In addition to snorkeling, enjoy opportunities to scuba dive, at your own expense or explore by single or double sea kayak some of the protected bays or shorelines. Snorkel or kayak alongside sea lions and turtles, and sunbathe on the boat's hanging nets as you journey into the UNESCO-listed archipelago.

The first itinerary is the following. Fly from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Airport on your first day and board the Sailing Catamaran Nemo I in the afternoon to proceed to the check-in, learn about safety on the boat and have lunch. You will make your first landing at North Seymour for a guided walk through the large seabird colonies, following a circular loop (easy level: 2km/1.25 mi/about 2hrs). Before dinner your friendly guide will give the first daily briefing, and the captain and his crew will present themselves and share a welcoming toast. Around midnight the Nemo I will lift the anchor and sail to Genovesa for about 5h30. Your second day's program includes two longer walks, snorkeling and optional sea kayaking. After early breakfast and a wet landing at the sheltered beach of Darwin Bay you will go for a guided walk (moderate level; about 3km/2mi). Enjoy a snack aboard before snorkelling or sea kayaking. Then we will sail to nearby Prince Philip's Steps, close to the entrance of the broken caldera. There you will have a guided walk through cliff top seabird colonies (moderate level; about 3km/2mi). Nemo I will lift the anchor shortly after dinner, and navigate about 5 hours, heading back south in the direction of Santiago and anchoring at Bartolome. Your third day's program is largely dedicated to volcanism. After breakfast, climb the stairs of Bartolome's Summit Trail, which is rewarded with panoramic views (guided walk, moderate level; about 800m/0.5 mi; 114m/375ft altitude difference). Then explore the fantastic shallow water snorkeling spot at the foot of Pinnacle Rock, walk around or even relax on the beach. During lunch Nemo I will navigate about an hour to Chinese Hat, where you can snorkel again. Learn more about Galapagos' fascinating geology during the late-afternoon walk on this typical volcano-islet (easy level; about 0,7 km/0.5 mi). While sailing to Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, about 7hr, you will have dinner. We will anchor in the sheltered harbour of Academy Bay just after midnight, where you can enjoy a fairly quiet sleep. This cruise itinerary ends in Puerto Ayora. En route to the airport you will pass the lush highlands of Santa Cruz, where you will get the opportunity to quest for most-famous representatives of Galapagos: a wild population of Galapagos giant tortoises. After an early breakfast it is time to say goodbye and to leave the yacht. You will travel by inflatable dinghy and private bus from the pier of Puerto Ayora into the highlands. In the agricultural zone you can see Galapagos giant tortoises in the wild before continuing to the airport.

Or, go with a second itinerary. Fly from Quito or Guayaquil to Baltra Airport on your first day and board the Sailing Catamaran Nemo I in the afternoon to proceed to the check-in, learn about safety on the boat and have lunch. Then visit the Charles Darwin Research Station as an introduction to Galapagos and get some free time to stroll through the cosy town of Puerto Ayora. Short before midnight the anchor will be lifted for this tour's longest navigation, about 8 hours in eastern direction to Pitt Point. On your second day, you will make a wet landing at Pitt Point after breakfast, from where you will hike to the cliff-top seabird colonies and back. After that snorkelling is scheduled and during lunch we will navigate along the shore of San Cristobal to Witch Hill, where a lot of activities can be undertaken: a dinghy-ride, sea kayaking, more snorkelling and a beach stroll. This evening we will sail to Santa Fe, about 4 hours west, where you will enjoy a comfortable night rest in a sheltered bay. You will start your third day with a guided walk on the beach of Santa Fe. Your guide will decide whether the easy shorter circuit is followed, or a strenuous longer hike land inward (moderate level; about 3km/2mi). Don't forget to keep your strength to enjoy a fabulous swim or snorkeling in the crystal clear azure waters of Barrington Bay after the hike. Around lunchtime we will proceed to South Plaza, about 2 hours northwest, possibly escorted by bottlenose dolphins. You will make an unforgettable guided walk on this 'Jurassic islet' (easy level; about 1,25 km/0.75 mi). While navigating 2 hours to Black Turtle Cove, before dinner and sunset, we will have opportunities to do some great whales watching. After dinner you can enjoy a relatively quiet floating sleep. Enjoy breakfast and spend your final morning in Black Turtle Cove, on the northern side of Santa Cruz island. There are no landing sites here, so you'll wander by Zodiac boat through a tranquil red mangrove lagoon full of golden rays and spotted eagle rays, reef sharks and hammerheads. Keep your eyes open for sea turtles, herons and pelicans as well. Your Galapagos adventure ends with a boat ride to Baltra, where you'll board a shuttle that will transfer you to the airport.

Price: $1,458.00
5-Day Galapagos Adventure and Multi-Sport Tour
offered by Viator

Designed for nature lovers seeking a little adventure, this 5-day tour of the Galapagos Islands combines natural highlights with activities such as kayaking, biking, hiking, and snorkeling. Snorkel with sea lions and tropical fish in Concha Perla, hike to the crater of the Sierra Negra Volcano, and observe blue-footed boobies and marine iguanas on a bike ride through Puerto Villamil. Four nights accommodation, all meals, guided tours, and transfers from Baltra Airport are included. Get picked up in Baltra Airport on your first day to then head to Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. Afterwards, you will take the public speedboat to Isabela at around 14:00 (2.5 hours. approx.). After arriving in Isabela Island, take a brief rest at the hotel and then head to the Flamingos Lagoon, the largest coastal lagoon and one of the main reproductive sites in Galapagos. Early in the morning of your second day, head for a hike to Sierra Negra Volcano, the world's second largest volcanic crater, measuring 6 miles in diameter and 300 feet deep. Hike the crater and enjoy the view before continuing to Volcan Chico, a still active volcano which warms the surrounding grounds. A lunch box will be provided as well as a snorkelling equipment with a tube, mask and fins. Spend the afternoon snorkeling in Concha Perla with sea lions, colorful varieties of fish, and sea turtles. On day 3, once equipped with lifejackets and oars, enjoy a kayaking excursion along Puerto Villamil Bay. Reach Tintoreras Islet, a great site to observe Penguins, Blue-footed Boobies, and marine Iguanas. Make it up to El Faro before heading back to shore (approximately 2 hours). In the afternoon, head for the Humedales Complex for a bike trip. The first stop is the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center of Isabela. Mount on your bikes again to Mirador Orchilla, Estero de Isabela, and Playa del Amor and Wall of Tears. On day 4, take the public speedboat at 6am towards Puerto Ayora (2 hours). After a short rest, head to the highlands of Santa Cruz for a hike along Cerro Chato Reserve (2 hours approx.). The adventure starts at Santa Rosa through endemic vegetation, rocks, and some mud lagoons. Spot the Galapagos Giant Tortoises, Galapagos Finches, Bird Wizard. In the afternoon, visit the Ch. Darwin Research Station, and observe colorful land iguanas and a large variety of Galapagos Giant tortoises brought from the most important islands in the archipelago. Transfer to Baltra Airport is included on day 5. On the way out, stop by "The Twins" ("The Gemelos") before the tour ends upon arrival to the airport to catch your plane to either Quito or Guayaquil.

Price: $1,157.00
Galapagos Top Excursions Pass
offered by Viator

Make the most of your time on the incredible Galapagos Islands and save up to 20% with the Galapagos Top Excursions Pass. This flexible package deal gives you access to the islands' top four day trips, including a Galapagos History Excursion, a Tortuga Bay Tour, a Yacht Tour to Santa Fe Island and Sustainable Coffee Plantation tour. Schedule the tours on whatever day you choose to customize your Galapagos adventure. This pass includes private, round-trip transfers from Baltra airport! The first excursion is the Galapagos History Excursion and Airport to Hotel Private Transfer. They will welcome you at the Baltra airport to take you to your hotel on the Santa Cruz island. Your transfer will begin by bus ride to the tip of the Itabaca channel, where you will proceed by public ferry service in the Island of Santa Cruz. On the way, visit the lava tunnels and a Turtle reserve. Visit to the Scientific Charles Darwin Station, where you can learn more about the Galapagos Island and observe Giant Turtles in captivity. This trip is available everyday with airport pick-up. Another famous excursion available with this pass is the Tortuga Beach and Bay Tour (8 hours). In the morning excursion to Tortuga Bay Beach, after a 40-minute walk, you will arrive at one of the most beautiful beaches in the Islands with time to swim, enjoy the beach and some free time for lunch, at your own expense. In the afternoon, tour around the bay aboard a yacht, and visit "La Loberia", named because of the presence of sea lions. Here you will be able to swim or snorkel. Next, head to the "Canal del Amor" (Channel of Love). Observe reef sharks and continue with a short walk to see the marine iguanas that inhabit "la Playa de los Perros". You will also get to visit Punta Estrada. This tour is available on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday with pick-up hours between 7h45 and 8h15am. The third tour, the Santa Fe Island in Yacht Tour departs at 8h00am, to navigate for approximately 45 minutes in a unique artisan fishing yacht. The tour begins once you arrive at Santa Fe, where you will watch birds in the cliffs of the island. Enter the Santa Fe Bay and do a dinghy ride to observe colonies of sea lions, blue footed boobies and marine iguanas. If conditions are favorable, you will be able to observe "Tintoreras" or Galapagos Sharks. On this island you will find sea turtles, stingrays and a wide fish diversity in the Marine Aquarium area. The tour will proceed to "Playa Escondida" for snorkeling, where you will be able to see Galapagos sharks and a colony of sea lions, then returning to Puerto Ayora in the afternoon. This tour is available everyday with pick-up hours between 6h00 and 8h00am. The last tour is the Sustainable Coffee Plantation Excursion and Hotel to Airport Private Transfer, which is available everyday with airport drop-off. The tour guide will pick you up at your hotel to go to the canal of Itabaca, where a ferry will take you to Baltra Island. On the way, visit a coffee plantation which is part of a social responsibility program. This organic coffee cultivation contributes to the conservation of plants and soil making a model of sustainable tourism.

Price: $550.00

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