Galapagos Island Hopping Experience

  • Destination: Ecuador, Galapagos
  • Price from: $1750
  • Duration: 6 days
  • Class: Tourist
  • Level: Moderate
  • Group tour (max. 16)

Snorkeling with sea lions, hiking on lava fields, getting up-close and personal with giant tortoises, or even hiking up to an active volcanic crater. The Galapagos Island Hopping Experience is a great option for exploring the best sites on inhabited Galapagos islands and is ideal for budget travelers or those who prefer to spend most of their time on dry land.


The Galapagos Island Hopping Experience is a great option for backpackers, families traveling on a budget or those who prefer to spend most of their time on dry land, allowing you to literally hop between different inhabited islands (by speed boat or public transportation), stay in local hostels or hotels and enjoy day tours at each location. You’ll get to visit less crowded visitor sites where cruise boats can’t access and you’ll have the chance to explore the islands on your own or take part in different optional activities, local culture and night-life. This tour offers fixed programs with set departure dates, but you can also ask about private and tailor-made options.
Keep in mind that you won’t be able to see all the Galapagos species on an island-hopping tour because some species live on just one island or even just one part of an island, and these tours only visit the inhabited Galapagos islands. Species you will be able to see on this tour include sea lions, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, swallow-tailed gulls, tropic birds, marine iguanas, sharks, rays, penguins, giant tortoises, turtles, Darwin finches, mockingbirds and lava lizards.

This tour includes

· Accommodation in double or triple accommodation
· All meals
· All activities and guided tours included in itinerary
· Bilingual naturalist guide
· Transfers to and from the airport
· All transportation (boat or bus)
· Snorkel gear and short wetsuits
· Isabela port fee

This tour does not include

· Airline ticket to/from mainland Ecuador
· Entrance fee to Galapagos National Park ($100 for adults / $50 for under-12s)
· Tourist Transit Card TCT ($20)
· Optional visit to Cabo Rosa
· Alcoholic beverages
· Travel insurance
· Tips
· Any other service not mentioned herein

Sample Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrival - San Cristobal Island
Fly in to San Cristobal Island from the mainland. Pick-up and transfer to your hotel. Lunch followed by visit to Lobería Beach and cliff to spot huge marine iguanas and sallow tailed gulls, blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies and frigate birds. This is not a long hike, but it can be tough as you need to walk on lava rocks for a part of the hike. You’ll then get to do some snorkeling on the beach to spot turtles, tropical fish and sea lions. Meals included: -/L/D
Day 2 - San Cristobal Island
Morning excursion to Kicker Rock (or León Dormido), a great site for snorkeling to spot rays, reef sharks and even hammerhead sharks. You’ll then visit a nearby beach by boat, have lunch on board and relax before returning to port. You’ll have a free afternoon until dinner. Meals included: B/L/D
Day 3 - Floreana & Isabela Islands
Early start for departure to Floreana Island by boat. On arrival you’ll do some snorkeling before visiting the highlands, a place called Peace Asylum where the first colonizers settled. Your guide will tell you about the history of the inhabitants in this area. You will also get a chance to spot giant tortoises on the way. You’ll then have lunch in the small village of Velasco Ibarra. You’ll then continue to Isabela Island, where you’ll visit flamingo lagoon around sunset. Meals included: B/L/D
Day 4 - Isabela Island
On day four you’ll have the choice between two options.
Option 1: You can either take part in a volcano hike, setting off early into the highlands to trek (6 hours) to Sierra Negra and Chico volcanoes. Sierra Negra is the second largest active crater in the world. You’ll then continue to Chico volcano, walking through moon-like scenes and enjoying incredible views of Fernandina Island. You’ll have lunch at a local farm and tortoise reserve. You’ll then get to enjoy a relaxing swim and snorkel at Concha de Perla lagoon in the afternoon.
Option 2: The other option is a less strenuous excursion to the Cabo Rosa tunnels (this is an optional extra which is not included in the price). This is a great excursion if you enjoy traveling by boat. Cabo Rosa is an amazing location where volcanic activity has created lava tunnels above and below sea level. You can see penguins and blue-footed boobies. There is some great snorkeling here too. You’ll return around 2pm for a late lunch and join the other group for a swim and snorkel at Concha de Perla lagoon in the afternoon.
Meals included: B/L/D
Day 5 - Isabela & Santa Cruz Islands
Morning visit to Tintoreras Islet to spot small Galapagos penguins, sea lions, marine iguanas and sea lions. You’ll then enjoy a short hike and snorkel. Afterwards you will travel to Santa Cruz Island (2 hours) and settle at your hotel before lunch. In the afternoon you’ll hike (3km each way) through a cactus forest to Tortuga Bay beach for a last swim in the beautiful waters of the Galapagos islands and the chance to visit a huge iguana colony. Meals included: B/L/D
Day 6 - Departure
Flight out of Baltra airport to the mainland. Meals included: B/-/-

Packing tips

Please read the packing tips included in our Galapagos travel guide for more information.

Rates (per person)

Accommodation Single Double Kids
Tourist class $1995 $1750 -10%
Upgrade $2455 $2030 -10%


Choosing the Right Galapagos Tour

Make sure you understand the options when it comes to booking your once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos tour.

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