Location of Adventure
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Group Size Limit
Approximately 14 Travelers
A very important feature of our Galapagos kayaking and hiking trip is the limited group size, as nature expeditions are best experienced with a small group of travelers.
Specialized 4x4 Land Rovers and Land Cruisers
Our Private Leaders
Accommodations, meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on Day 10, overnight at NHA's Wild Tortoise Camp, safe drinking water, services of a Natural Habitat Expedition Leader, boat crew, some gratuities, airport transfers, use of wetsuits and snorkel gear (limited sizes available), permit fees.
Travel to and from Quito, round-trip air Quito to Galapagos (added to your invoice and subject to change through day of departure), most gratuities, alcohol, Galapagos tax and transit card (currently $120, added to your invoice), items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, etc.), travel insurance, optional activities.
Moderate to Difficult
This is a very active trip with early mornings and long days filled with varied activities. General physical fitness and mobility are required to participate in this trip. If you have no prior experience with kayaking, we ask that you are prepared to learn and sign on knowing that your participation may be limited if you cannot meet minimum abilities. Activities include mainland and island walking, kayaking, swimming and snorkeling. Snorkeling opportunities will be offered nearly every day in the Galapagos, so we strongly recommend practicing beforehand if you have limited experience.
Island hikes often take place on trails that are rough and uneven, sometimes traversing lava fields and navigating sharp or slippery rocks. Constrained by the limited nature of the park trail systems and the size of the islands, most of our hikes will be a mile or two long, with one walk that's roughly five miles over very gentle terrain. When weather and conditions permit, our trip will include three to five opportunities for sea kayaking, each outing about two hours in length with some excursions taking place early in the morning. The double kayaks we use have a suggested weight limit of approximately 375 pounds total for two people, so heavier passengers may need to use single kayaks or may not be able to participate. A couple of kayak outings may require breaking through waves and rough water, though instruction will be provided and all outings will be supervised by two guides and with a panga accompanying us for safety. Most activities will range in length from 1-2 hours, and we will have several activities in one day. Travelers are not required to participate in every activity, but there may not be alternate activities provided if you opt out.
Elevation: Please note that the first two nights will be spent in the Andes mountain region of Otavalo, at elevations between 8,500 and 10,500 feet above sea level. The Quito airport is situated at 8,700 feet and the city of Quito (should you join our Extra Day Program) is at roughly 9,400 feet. The relative lack of oxygen at these elevations may manifest in altitude-sickness symptoms that can include headaches, dizziness, tiredness and nausea during the first few hours or days spent at elevation. Hydration and rest usually help symptoms to resolve, though participants may wish to talk with their doctor about taking along a prescription for a medication such as Diamox to better manage potential physical reactions to high altitude. We recommend arriving one day early to Otavalo or Quito to acclimate.
Important Information About This Trip
There is perhaps no more appropriate destination for nature travelers than the Galapagos Islands. With rare and friendly wildlife in abundance, the islands exhibit the wonder and intricacies of nature in a remarkable setting. Our highly trained Expedition Leaders are on hand to help bring it all alive in a personalized manner. The key to the success of our Galapagos adventures is our small group size – we boast one of the lowest guide-to-guest ratios of any operator in the islands. The Nemo III, our intimate sailing catamaran, accommodates approximately 14 guests plus our Expedition Leaders and sailing crew. This trip is the most unique Galapagos experience available for travelers who are interested in (and physically capable of) getting "out there" on foot and by kayak. In addition to land-based and paddling excursions, we'll have the opportunity to snorkel almost every day while in the islands – a major part of any comprehensive Galapagos experience. It will be a top highlight, for certain!
Please note: The itinerary provided is meant as a guideline and is subject to change without notice. On rare occasions, it may be necessary to deviate from our regular itinerary for reasons beyond our control. In these instances we will provide the best available alternative.
Age Limit on Galapagos Kayaking Trips
NHA recommends a minimum age of 12 years old given the demands of the
activities and nature of the boat. We believe it's best to consider this
age recommendation a guideline – you, as a parent or guardian, are best
qualified to decide whether your child would enjoy the experience
without compromising the comfort of others. We strongly encourage you to
speak with one of our Adventure Specialists about the specific
requirements of the trip so you can make an informed decision. We do not
permit children younger than seven on our scheduled departures due to
safety regulations, physical limitations and concerns regarding group
Since the areas we travel to on this trip are remote and wild (that's why we go there!), we require medical evacuation insurance for our guests' safety. If you decline the medical evacuation insurance coverage offered by Natural Habitat, we request that you send us documentation of the independent coverage you have selected. We will add the cost of a medical evacuation policy to your tour invoice until you provide our office with proof of coverage including your insurance company's name, contact number and your individual policy number. Thank you for understanding that our policy exists exclusively in the interest of our guests' safety.
Getting There & Getting Home
Arrival: Please arrive in Quito no later than 4 pm on Day 1 in order to attend a welcome/orientation dinner at 7 pm.
Departure: You are free to depart from Quito after 8 pm on Day 10.
We can best serve you if our Natural Habitat Adventures Travel Desk makes your reservations, as we are intimately familiar with the special requirements of this program and can arrange the most efficient travel. Please call us at 800-543-8917. Note that while we offer you the best possible rates available to us on airfare and additional nights' accommodations, you may find special web rates or better fares online.