Galápagos backpacking tour – Island Hopping for groups 1-8. We dedicate this tour to all the nature lovers – you will have an opportunity to observe Galapagos penguins, blue footed boobies, sea lions and other wild animals. This trip allows you to explore three beautiful Islands – Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal.
This backpacking tour will include a self-guided instruction manual that will be provided to you during your meet & greet at Galapagos. With this guidance, you can easily make your way to and from places. Part of local excursions/transport is guided (as specified in the itinerary).
|RETURN||San Cristobal Airport|
|INCLUDED||Trips according to program with local guidance;|
Transfers mentioned in the itinerary with Spanish speaking driver;
Day trip”Los Tuneles” ;
Day trip Kicker Rock or Isla Lobos;
|Accommodation: 6 x overnight in a dorm room in a local hostal;|
9 x breakfast, 1 x lunch;
Local assistence 24/7 in case of emergencies;
|NOT INCLUDED||Flight tickets;|
INGALA Migration card $20;
Entrance fee Galapagos Islands $100;
Municipal tax to Isabela $10;
|Taxi boats $1 pp per ride;|
All others which are not mentioned in the itinerary;
|Activities||A boat trip, Sightseeing, Swimming, Trekking, Watching animals|
|Location||Baltra, Ecuador, Galápagos Islands, Isabela, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz|
6 Days of Happiness in the Galapagos is a backpacking tour which will include a self-guided instruction manual that will be provided to you during your meet & greet at Galapagos. With this guidance, you can easily make your way to and from places. Part of local excursions/transport is guided (as specified in the itinerary below). This tour is a perfect way to visit Galapagos in depth on the budget. We dedicate this tour to all the nature lovers – you will have an opportunity to observe Galapagos penguins, blue footed boobies, sea lions and other wild animals. This trip allows you to explore three beautiful Islands – Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal.
Day 1. Baltra - Santa Cruz: arrivals & welcome meeting
Welcome to Ecuador! Your journey starts at Baltra Airport which is one of the Galapagos Islands. You will be picked up at the airport and transferred to the island Santa Cruz. You will first cross the Itabaca channel by a ferry boat, and then you will continue by car. Your first stop will be in the highlands of Santa Cruz. The “Parte Alta” (this is how the highlands are called in Spanish) is very lush and green and is the natural habitat of the giant Galapagos tortoises. You will visit a private ranch where you will have lunch. Here you walk between the trees and search for the giant tortoises that prefer to stay close to the small lagoons. You also will visit the lava tubes, which are formed when the surface of a lava stream solidifies, but the inside stays liquid and flows out like a river. After this tour, you continue by private transport to your hotel. Here you will have a meet & greet with one of our staff members who will explain the rest of your itinerary to you. You have the rest of the afternoon free to explore Santa Cruz on your own.
Day 2. Santa Cruz - Isabela
In the morning, you will have to be early at the dock of Santa Cruz from where you will take a lancha (small motorised boat) to the island of Isabela (included in the price). The boat ride will take about 2 hours and, depending on the weather; it can be a bit bumpy. After arriving at the dock of Isabela, you will need to make to your hotel. In the afternoon, you will have a half day tour to ´Las Tintoreras´ (included). The islet Las Tintoreras is located south of Puerto Villamil which you will visit in a small boat with a naturalist guide. During your boat ride, you will most likely be able to observe Galapagos penguins, blue footed boobies, sea lions and more. The bay of Tintoreras is connected to a crevice of crystal clear water, that is shallow, and when the tide is low, the entrance closes. In this crevice, you can see how reef sharks rest and swim. After half an hour you will set foot on the islands. Most of the trail is lava AA, except for a white sand beach and a black stone beach. At the first beach, there are colonies of sea lions. It is also a nesting site for marine iguanas, during the nesting season. Throughout the trail, you can see many marine iguanas on the rocks or under the mangroves. Las Tintoreras is one of the few places where the iguanas breed successfully because of the absence of non-native animals that could kill the youth. After the walk, it is time to snorkel in the bay.
• When necessary (because of availability), we change this tour to day 3 in the morning.
Day 3. Isabela - Santa Cruz
Today you will have the morning off to explore the beautiful island of Isabela on your own. In the afternoon, you will need to make your way from the hostel to the dock of Isabela. Here you will take the lancha back to Santa Cruz Island, which will take about 2 hours (this transport included). Once you have arrived, you will make your way to your hotel in Santa Cruz.
Day 4. Free day on Santa Cruz or optional tour
Today a free day for exploring the island on your own or a day for taking an optional day tour to one of the non-habitat islands; Seymour, Bartolome, Santa Fe or Plazas. Alternatively, you can take an optional snorkelling trip to Plazas or Pinzon. We can book one of the following optional day tours for $210,00 per person or, if you would prefer, only a snorkelling tour for $140.00 per person (no disembarking on islands, just snorkelling and lunch to the islands Pinzon or Plazas). Which one this is, will be confirmed with you at a later stage. See the descriptions of the day tours below. In all tours, the price includes lunch and snorkelling equipment
Your first stop will be a refreshing one as you will be snorkelling at Punta Carrion where you can see colourful fish and sea turtles. Afterwards, you continue to Plazas. There are two islands, Plaza Norte and Plaza Sur. Only Plaza Sur, the southern bigger island is visited by tourists. This island has a lot to offer. Flora and fauna will astonish you. This island is mostly known for the many land iguanas that live on it. When you are a little further from the coast, it looks like you have walked into the movie “Jurassic Park”, because you will be eye to eye with beautiful green, yellow and orange land iguanas. The place is all surrounded by beaches, beautiful cacti and in the background of the blue ocean. At the coast, the male sea lions live in peace. The militant lifestyle is only maintainable for males who are in their prime. The elders spend their last days in colonies, of which you can find at Plaza Sur. It is sensational to see how the sea lions and iguanas mix. They play together as real pals. This island also offers a lot to bird lovers – e.g. a cliff with swallow tailed gulls, masked boobies, blue-footed boobies, tropical red bill birds, frigates, pelicans and Audubon’s. The gulls, partners forever, are always here cuddling or nesting.
North Seymour is located north of the island Baltra. The island has a surface area of only 1.9 square kilometres and is almost entirely flat. At this island there are the breeding colonies of the frigates, the blue-footed boobies and the swallow tailed gull. To impress the female frigates, the male blows up his red throat bag. To attract more attention, they fly around in the surroundings of the female. You can imagine that this is not too easy with a blown-up throat bag because they lose their balance quicker. It is interesting to watch. Afterwards, you will navigate towards the beach of Bachas. Here you can relax at the beach and follow the trails of the nesting sea turtles and snorkel a bit and swim at the beach. There is also a trail leading to a flamingo pool where there might be flamingos, on the way you see the shipwreck of Bachas.
You can appreciate the beauty of this Island from the trail which climbs the fault cliff overlooking the southern half of the bay. This plateau is also the best place to find the large land iguanas (Conolophus Pallidus) that are endemic to Santa Fe Island. The Santa Fe land iguana lives nowhere else in the world and, in fact, on no other Galapagos Island. A subspecies of the famous endemic Galapagos land iguana, the Santa Fe variety is yellowish-green in colour and can grow to over one meter in length. At the beach of Santa Fe you can observe a sea lion colony, and in the bay, there are often rays, white tip sharks and sea turtles. At the rocky side of the gulf, you will snorkel with colourful fish.
A full day tour. The price includes breakfast (in most cases), lunch and snorkelling equipment. Bartolomé is a bit further away than other islands. Therefore you start early today. The first stop will be a refreshing one. At Sullivan Bay, you will snorkel from the boat or relax at the beach. Here you can find, from December until April, green sea turtles that come ashore to lie in the sun. This is special because in other places the turtles only come ashore at night to lay eggs. During the day they are staying in the safe water. Snorkelling is almost a must here. With a little luck, you will see the “Moorish Idol”; this is the most beautiful fish from the Galapagos. Afterwards, you will continue to Bartolome. The island has a surface area of only 1.2 square kilometres, and the highest point of the island is at 114 meters. You can reach this point by taking a path through an almost surrealistic landscape and past recent signs of volcano eruptions. You will visit the highest point of the island with a spectacular view over the lava in different colours, the many volcanoes and the deep blue sea as well as the famous “Pinnacle Rock”.
Day 5. Santa Cruz - San Cristobal
In the morning, you will go from your hotel to the dock of Santa Cruz from where you will take a lancha (small motorised boat) to the island of San Cristobal (price includes this transport). The boat ride will take about 2 hours and, depending on the weather, it can be a bit bumpy. After arriving at the dock of San Cristobal, you will go to your hotel. In the afternoon, you will have time to walk around in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, where you can go to the breathtaking beach Loberia, snorkelling in Las Tijeretas, visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Centre or go to the beach Playa Mann to enjoy the sea lions once more. Enough to do here and explore by yourself. Our tip is to go to Loberia which is a beautiful white sanded beach. Here you can make a small walk passing the lazy sea lions that sleep on the beach, towards the iguanas on the rocks. Moreover, take a swim and snorkel with sea lions, turtles and iguanas in the turquoise sea water.
We will include information about how to get there in the welcome package upon arrival.
Day 6. San Cristobal: the end of the tour. We hope to see you again!
After breakfast, free time to explore more on your own. At the end of the morning, you need to go to the airport of San Cristobal. From here, you will take your flight back to the mainland. We wish you pleasant, safe and lovely adventures in the future!
Important information – Insurance
To confirm your booking, we must receive a copy of your travel insurance (you will have to provide it together with the booking form we will send to you).
We require every passenger to possess the travel insurance which will be valid for your stay in Ecuador. There are many providers of such insurance. For example, InsureandGo, TravelGoCompare and others so choose the one that suits you best. Your travel insurance must provide cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses and emergency repatriation with a recommended minimum coverage of US$200,000 for each of the categories of cover. We also strongly recommend to cover cancellation, curtailment, personal liability and loss of luggage and personal effects.
Difficulty of the tour
This tour does not require from you to be an athlete. Regular level of fitness will be okay. Apart from organised excursions and transport, you will also be exploring the Islands on your own or together with your group. However, our guides/representatives will be still there if you need any assistance.
- Deposit: £400 per person paid to our trustee account after receiving the confirmation of services from us. In this confirmation, we will include all the details on how to pay the deposit & the balance.
- The balance: £499 per person paid to our trustee account. Please, notice that the full balance has to be paid at least 65 days before departure.
- There is no single supplement in this tour as you will be in the shared accommodation. This tour suits solo travellers.
If you want to cancel a reservation…
You have to inform us about the cancellation in writing. In the case of “6 Days of Happiness in the Galapagos”, the cancellation policy is following
Up to 65 days before the departure – Tauri Travel will retain the deposit.
64 – 0 days before the departure – Tauri Travel will retain 100% of the payment.
We strongly recommend buying a travel insurance which covers cancellation from your side.
What can I expect from this journey? 🙂
6 Days of Happiness is a backpacking tour for groups 1-8. You can expect to see incredible landscapes and a lot of different animal species. The Galápagos Islands are indeed unique – our low-budget offer allows to explore the beauty of this destination without spending a fortune. You will be in shared accommodation, so hopefully, you will have an opportunity to meet lots of amazing people. If you want to spend more time on the Galápagos Islands, the check out our tour “10 Days in Paradise“.