Location of Adventure
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Group Size Limit
A very important feature of our Galapagos tour is the limited group size, as the islands and their unique wildlife are best encountered in the lower-impact presence of a small group. And our guests get far more personalized attention from our guides, including a richer interpretive experience, in a small-group context.
Specialized 4x4 Land Rovers and Land Cruisers
Our Private Leaders
- Trip price includes: Accommodations including the M/C Ocean Spray, Nat Hab's deluxe private Tortoise Camp, and hotel/hacienda on the mainland, services of Nat Hab's professional Expedition Leaders, all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on final day, local beer and house wine with dinner aboard the ship, snorkeling gear and wetsuit, most gratuities, airport transfers on Day 1 and final day, all activities and entrance fees, all taxes and service fees.
- Internal air fee includes: Round-trip flights between Quito and the Galapagos.
- Permit fee includes: Galapagos National Park permit and transit fees.
Travel to and from the start and end point of your trip, some alcoholic beverages, some gratuities, passport and visa fees (if any), optional activities, items of a personal nature (phone calls, laundry and internet, etc.), airline baggage fees, airport and departure taxes (if any), required medical evacuation insurance, optional travel protection insurance.
Easy to Moderate
Our Galapagos adventures feature a full agenda each day, with early mornings and long days filled with various activities. Activities primarily include island walks, swimming and snorkeling. Trails are often rough and uneven, crossing sharp lava fields and loose rocks and gravel. Walking over slippery rocks is sometimes necessary when stepping ashore. Passengers must be able to walk a minimum of two miles to participate in this trip, 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 required. 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 instruction for those in need of additional snorkeling guidance. Travelers are not required to participate in every activity.
Elevation: Please note that our first two nights are spent either 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 Earth for Natural Habitat's nature-loving guests than the Galapagos Islands. With rare and amiable wildlife found at every turn, the islands provide a wonderland for nature travelers, which our Expedition Leaders unveil in a warm and intimate manner. The key to the success of our Galapagos adventures is our small group size. The Letty accommodates just 20 guests and two Expedition Leaders. The Ocean Spray hold a maximum of 16 guests and two Expedition Leaders. Once we step ashore, we divide up into even smaller groups. Splitting the group also allows our guests to move at varied paces, although all guests must be able to walk over uneven terrain up to two miles, as well as disembark the panga in sometimes-rough conditions. In addition to land excursions, we have the opportunity to snorkel almost every day while in the islands. Another important and exciting element of this trip is a unique opportunity (optional, but included) to stay in the highlands of Santa Cruz at our private Tortoise Camp, with accommodations in walk-in safari-style tents and treehouses overlooking the distant Pacific Ocean. On this private land, Galapagos tortoises roam freely in their natural habitat most months of the year, and often wander right into camp.
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 Trips
We welcome children ages 7 and older on scheduled departures. However, while some 7-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 7 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 for 2018 trips: Please arrive in Quito no later than 4 pm on Day 1 in order to attend a welcome dinner at 7 pm.
Arrival for 2019 trips: Arrive in Quito any time on Day 1.
Departure: On the final day, you are free to depart from Quito after 9 pm for trips on the Letty and Ocean Spray.
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.