Location of Adventure
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Group Size Limit
Letty—20 guests; Islander—48 guests
The Letty accommodates a maximum of 20 guests, and trips are accompanied by two NHA Expedition Leaders. The National Geographic Islander accommodates 48, with an expedition team of approximately five.
Specialized 4x4 Land Rovers and Land Cruisers
Our Private Leaders
Aboard the Letty:
Activities, accommodations and land transportation as detailed in the itinerary, airport transfers when using our preferred hotels, meals from dinner on Day 1 to breakfast on the final day, drinking water throughout the trip, soft drinks (soda, coffee, tea and juice) at meals, local beer and house wine with dinner aboard the Letty, snorkeling gear and wetsuit, services of Natural Habitat Adventures professional Expedition Leaders, most gratuities, taxes and service charges.
Aboard the Islander:
Accommodations; meals indicated; excursions; services of Lindblad Expeditions’ Leader, naturalist staff, expert guides and a ship’s doctor; use of kayaks, snorkeling gear and wet suits; port charges and service taxes, bar tab excluding some premium brands of alcohol; one hour of wireless internet per day.
Aboard the Letty:
Round-trip transportation from your home city to Quito, Ecuador, round-trip flight between Quito and the Galapagos (added to your invoice and subject to change), items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry, etc.), alcoholic and other beverages (other than those described above), Galapagos National Park Fee ($100 for adults, $50 for children 11 and under) and $20 per person Transit Control Card (added to your invoice), some gratuities, required medical evacuation insurance, travel insurance, airline baggage fees, optional activities.
Aboard the Islander:
Air transportation; personal items such as alcoholic beverages (except those noted above), laundry, voyage DVD, etc.; discretionary tips to ship’s crew; optional travel and/or medical evacuation insurance.
Easy to Moderate
Our Galapagos adventures will keep you very busy with early mornings and long days filled with various activities. Activities consist of island walks, swimming and snorkeling. Trails are often rough and uneven, traversing sharp lava fields and loose rocks and gravel. Walking over slippery rocks is sometimes necessary when coming ashore. Passengers must be able to walk a minimum of two miles to participate in this trip, must be able to walk up and down stairs, and be able to get in and out of motorized pangas (rigid inflatable rafts), which can be very unsteady in rough water. A few wet landings, where we disembark from the panga directly into the water and walk up onto the beach, are included. Itineraries that feature a visit to Bartolome include a walk with more than 300 wooden steps to reach the viewpoint at the top of the island. Snorkeling is a big component of this trip, with excursions offered nearly every day, sometimes twice a day. While no snorkeling experience is required, prior practice is recommended, and travelers should be comfortable swimming in moderate currents, near shore and in deep water. Our Expedition Leaders will also offer guidance for those in need of additional snorkeling instruction. Travelers are not required to participate in every activity.
Elevation: Please note that the first two nights of this adventure are either spent in the Otavalo region in the foothills of the Andes Mountains at elevations between 8,500–10,500 feet above sea level or in Quito at an elevation of 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.
Important Information About This Trip
There may be no more appropriate destination on the planet for nature travelers than the Galapagos Islands. With rare and friendly wildlife found at every turn, these islands unveil the beauty and intricacies of the natural world in a truly unique manner. The key to the success of our Galapagos adventures is our small group size. On the Letty we accommodate just 20 guests staffed with two Expedition Leaders. We generally break down into even smaller groups ashore. Splitting the group also allows our guests to move at their chosen pace, although it is important that guests be able to walk on some uneven terrain up to a mile or two, as well as to disembark the panga (motorized raft) in sometimes rough conditions. Snorkeling is a regular part of the itinerary in the Galapagos. The trip includes an optional stay at our deluxe camp in the highlands of Santa Cruz, with accommodations in permanent safari-style tents and treehouses, with shared bathhouse facilities. On this private property the Galapagos' famous giant tortoises roam freely and often wander in close proximity to camp. Some families may prefer to charter their own vessel—please call us for details: 800-543-8917.
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
Age Limit on Family Galapagos Trips
We welcome children ages seven and older on scheduled departures. However, while some seven-year-olds are well suited for our Galapagos adventures, others may not be ready for the requirements of group travel. We believe it's best to consider this minimum age limit 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 dynamics.
Since the areas we travel to are remote and wild (that's why we go there!), we require that all guests have medical evacuation insurance for this program. If you decline the medical evacuation insurance coverage offered by Natural Habitat Adventures (NHA), we require that you send us documentation of the independent coverage you have selected. We recommend that your chosen independent insurance plan includes at least $250,000 in medical evacuation coverage. Please note that we will add the cost of NHA's medical evacuation policy (currently $48 per person) to your tour invoice until you provide our office with proof of coverage including your insurance company's name, phone number and your individual policy number. Thank you for understanding that our policy exists exclusively in the interest of our guests' safety.
To protect your investment and to provide peace of mind while you travel, we also strongly recommend purchasing comprehensive travel insurance. Plans may cover everything from medical treatment to trip cancellations and delays and lost luggage. Please contact our office if you would like more information about the medical evacuation and comprehensive travel insurance policies we offer by calling 800-543-8917.
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 9 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.