Galapagos + Ecuador – January 2024*

Rated 5 out of 5
(12 reviews)

“It is not the strongest of species that survive… But the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin. The mere mention of the Galapagos Islands conjures dreams of adventure, intrigue, and excitement. It’s a place of mystery that millions know about, but only a handful have explored. This trip also includes time in the colonial city of Quito and the magical Cloud Forest in mainland Ecuador.

Walk in the clouds: Spend 2 nights in the ethereal Cloud Forest where colorful birds sing their songs, powerful waterfalls roar, and white, fluffy clouds float around you.

Get a good night’s rest: Stay on land and explore the Galapagos Islands on day trips for a more comfortable night’s sleep. This also allows you to explore the culture and interact with the locals in your free time.

No hidden costs: All domestic flights and national park fees are included! ($1000 USD value)


Ecuador & Galapagos 13-day Trip

$4,700 – Trip cost per person. (See below for inclusions and exclusions.)

A down payment of $1,700 per person is needed to secure your spot on this trip. The rest is due in 2 installments with the final payment of $1,500 due 75 days before the trip start date.

*$300 of the down payment serves as an administration fee and is non-refundable. See our cancellation policy HERE.

I’m a single traveler. Will I be charged a single supplement?

If you would like a single room throughout the tour, you can purchase the “single supplement”The single supplement fee for this trip is $800. If you would like your own room, the additional supplement can be purchased at check-out. We have made the single supplement fee as affordable as possible so that those traveling solo are not discouraged from traveling with us.

If you are comfortable sharing a room with another traveler of the same gender and would like us to pair you with someone to avoid paying the single supplement, we can arrange this for you. Pairing with another person of the same gender comes on a first-come, first-served basis. At the time of booking, there will be a questionnaire pertaining to this. Please complete it accurately so that we can try our best to accommodate your preferences.

IMPORTANT: If we cannot find a roommate for you, you will need to purchase the single supplement. Roommates will always be the same gender. We try our best to pair roommates based on preferences (i.e. non-smokers, no snoring, night owls, early birds, etc.), but this is not always possible. If you are a light sleeper, sensitive to certain smells, etc., we recommend purchasing the single supplement. We will put you in contact with your roommate after booking. If you wish to have your own room at any point during the trip, you will need to purchase the single supplement pro rata. This will also be subject to availability.

What is included :

  • 12 nights accommodation (based on double occupancy)
  • Activities as indicated on the itinerary
  • Day excursions on Galapagos yacht
  • Use of snorkeling equipment
  • Round-trip flights: Quito – Baltra / Baltra – Quito
  • Ground & sea transportation
  • Bilingual national park guide & local Ecuadorian guide
  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches
  • $100 Galapagos National Park fee
  • $20 Galapagos transit control card
  • $10 Isabela Island fee

What is not included :

  • International flights
  • Airport pick-up & drop-off (for international flights)
  • Some lunches & most dinners
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Optional activities
  • Gratuities
  • Souvenirs
  • Insurance
  1. Each group consists of 4 – 14 travelers. We prefer small group travel because based on our experience, large groups are less easily able to integrate into society and generally have less authentic contact with the locals.

    A small group number also means that group members will receive more personal treatment from the guide who can more thoroughly attend to the needs of each person. Small groups are also more mobile and flexible as travel plans can be more easily altered en route.

  2. Most of our travelers are in their late 30s to late 60s/early 70s and most are solo travelers. The minimum age on our trips is 18. Generally, we get a good mix of diverse people and every trip is unique thanks to the group dynamic.

    We like to think of our trips as get-togethers at amazing destinations. Past travelers have told us that the group dynamic and the friends they made were highlights of the trip.

    Check out pictures from our previous trips to get an idea of the group dynamic by clicking HERE.

  3. Quito is located just over 9,000 feet above sea level and you may experience some altitude sickness. If you’re prone to altitude sickness or you’re unsure how it’ll affect you, we recommend bringing medication for this just in case.

    While in the Galapagos, you may find some hikes on rougher and uneven terrain more difficult depending on your level of fitness. However, if you’re not feeling up for a particular activity, you don’t have to do it! You’re welcome to stay on land and explore the area as all of our hotels are centrally located.

    You will be riding in a zodiac boat (panga) on various day excursions so you will need to be able to get in and out of the panga during wet landings. A pair of water shoes is a good idea for these wet landings.

    The waters you’ll sail are usually calm, but there are times when the sea can get choppy. Steady sea legs (and a sturdy stomach) are essential when traveling by boat in rough sea conditions. If you’re worried about motion/sea sickness, then medication or patches for this are highly recommended.

    While at sea and when exploring the islands, you may be exposed to the sun for large parts of the day. It’s very important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.

    While there is an itinerary in place, changes may occur due to weather or instructions from the local authorities. This can happen with little to no notice so please be prepared for potential modifications to the route or activities. A sense of humor and flexibility will ensure that you have a fun, relaxing trip through this beautiful part of the world no matter what happens.

    Finally, 1 or 2 of the Galapagos hotels may not have elevators so you’ll need to be able to walk up and down at least 2 – 4 or more flights of stairs with varying degrees of steepness with your luggage and unassisted. Most hotels will have porters or staff to help you with luggage, but we ask that you please keep this in mind when tipping.

  4. While most daily activities are already included in the trip price, you will have some free time and the guide can recommend and/or help arrange any activity that might interest you. Most of the activities can be arranged with little to no notice. Optional activities are not included in the trip cost and will be paid at your own expense.

  5. The official currency of Ecuador is the US dollar. Ecuadorian coins are sometimes given as change. The Ecuadorian currency’s value is equivalent to its US counterparts. $1 USD coins are also common and legal tender throughout Ecuador so don’t be surprised if you receive one as change!

  6. If you’re a US traveler, there’s no need to exchange money in Ecuador as its official currency is the US dollar. We strongly recommend bringing at least $50 USD worth of one and five-dollar bills to use for tips, cabs, and small purchases in markets. Making change is often a hardship for small vendors and cab drivers.

    If you run out of cash, there are ATMs in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. The easiest way is to pull money out from the ATM at the airport upon arrival and throughout your trip. It is always a good idea to carry some cash on you in case your bank puts a hold on your ATM card.

    It’s important to tell your bank and/or credit card company that you’ll be using your card in Ecuador. Some banks block transactions in foreign countries or currencies if they haven’t been forewarned of your travel plans.

    You can find ATMs at almost all bank branches, as well as at most large supermarkets, some petrol stations, shopping malls, airports, and post offices. There are also ATMs in the Galapagos Islands.

  7. Ecuador does not have a strong tipping culture. In restaurants, taxis, and for personal services, all tips are at your discretion. If you do decide to tip, around 10% of the total bill is appreciated.

    Tipping your guides: If you feel he/she did an exceptional job, then you can tip anywhere from $10 – 15 a day.

    Tipping your boat crew: If you feel they did an exceptional job, then you can tip around $10 a day.

  8. Based on past travelers’ feedback, an estimated amount to bring for spending is between $500 – 700 USD. WE HIGHLY ADVISE BRINGING OR HAVING ACCESS TO MORE MONEY THAN YOU EXPECT TO SPEND IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

    As most components of your trip have been prepaid, you will only need money for lunches and dinners as well as any optional activity you may want to participate in. If you are an avid shopper or enjoy a cocktail in the evening, these costs are incurred at your own expense.

  9. Americans, Australians, Canadians, and EU passport holders traveling to Ecuador and the Galapagos for less than 90 days DO NOT need a visa. You may be required to show proof of exit from Ecuador in the form of a departure flight ticket.

    As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when traveling internationally. Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel.

  10. When using your phone overseas, be sure to check with your provider to get informed about data and call roaming prices. When you land in Ecuador, you will usually get a message from your provider that will give you the price of data, calls, and texts. See the example below:

    Welcome to ‘Ecuador!’ Your plan gives you unlimited data at up to 2G speeds and texts at no extra cost. Calls at 20 cents/min. Want our fastest data and unlimited calls? Get an International Pass for just $5/day. 

    When traveling around the Galapagos Islands, please be aware that coverage can be spotty if not absent.

    You may consider contacting your service provider to learn about what kind of international plans they offer for calls, texts, and data.

  11. All hotels we will be staying at will offer free Wifi as will most restaurants and other public places. Some hotels may only offer it in the lobby and the signal strength may be weak to absent in the rooms. Keep in mind that it may not be as strong as you’re used to at home.

    There will usually not be any Wifi while doing day trips to the islands in the Galapagos.

  12. In Ecuador, the voltage for outlets is 110 volts, 60 Hz cycle electricity, just like the voltage in the United States and Canada.

    US travelers will not need any adapters or converters in Ecuador. The outlets are the same and so is the voltage (120 volts, 60 Hz). Outlets are like those in the USA as seen in the pictures below:

  13. January temperatures in Ecuador are cool during the day (mid 60s°F) and can get even cooler at night (high 40s°F).

    In the Galapagos, it is a bit warmer during the day (high 70s°F to low-80s°F) and a bit cooler at night (high 60s°F to low 70s°F).

    Despite the Galapagos being in a tropical region, they don’t have the same tropical heat as most expect. The wet season usually takes place from December to May. Surprisingly, you will see a lot of sun with average temperatures of around 80ºF during this season. Despite it being the wet season, the rain leaves as quickly as it arrives with brief moments of heavy rain gracing the arid islands and disappearing again.

    We recommend packing lightweight clothing in general. For the cool/chilly evenings, it’s best to bring a warm coat or sweater.

    To help you plan, below are the average low and high temperatures in the Galapagos and Ecuador. Keep in mind that the rain is usually brief and disappears as fast as it comes.

  14. No matter if you travel in dry or warm season, it’s always a good idea to bring warmer clothes for the evenings as temperatures tend to be cool at night. Rainwear for the rain showers and lightweight clothing are also essential items.

    Below are a few things that we suggest bringing to make your trip more comfortable:

    • Sturdy, comfortable walking shoes/hiking boots
    • Deck shoes (i.e. Crocs or flip flops)
    • Snorkeling mask, snorkel and fins (optional – will be offered free of charge)
    • Wetsuit (optional – can be rented for $10 a day)
    • Walking sticks (for hiking in Cloud Forest and Galapagos)
    • Waterproof day pack
    • Rain jacket or poncho
    • Light and warm jacket or fleece
    • Quick-drying clothes
    • Water shoes
    • Swimsuit
    • Sunscreen (biodegradable, if possible)
    • Sunglasses
    • Hat
    • Camera
    • Binoculars (for bird watching in Cloud Forest)
    • Warm pajamas
    • Seasickness medicine (if needed)
    • Altitude sickness medicine
    • Waterproof case for phone and/or camera
    • Washcloth

    Please be aware that if there is rain, wind, or any other weather conditions that nature decides to throw at us, all activities and excursions will continue as planned unless the weather is deemed unsafe by the crew and the Galapagos government.

    PRO TIP: A comfortable and securely closable bag is also a good idea if you have a camera or other travel items while out and about on excursions. Finally, it is advisable to avoid flashy, expensive accessories and/or jewelry that are valuable or precious to you.

  15. Some hotels on this trip offer laundry services at a fee, if needed.

  16. Most will agree that the drinking water in Ecuador and the Galapagos is not safe for consumption. Thus, drinking tap water anywhere in Ecuador is not advisable, and drinking only bottled water is highly recommended. Bottled water is easily found and can be purchased for a minimal fee.

    You will be able to purchase bottled water but to alleviate the plastic waste epidemic, we recommend a reusable filtered water bottle like LifeStraw or Grayl.

  17. As with most travel destinations, it is important to exercise caution and to be aware of your surroundings while traveling in Ecuador, especially in larger cities. We suggest not wearing expensive jewelry when walking around and keeping an eye on your bag while out and about. Wearing your bag on the front of your body is also advisable. Traveling with one other person or more at all times is also a good idea, especially at night. It is always a good idea to store portions of your cash in different places. (i.e. $100 in your purse, $100 in your suitcase, $100 in your carry-on, etc.) Finally, we recommend carrying a color copy of your passport and keeping the original in a safe place.

    Most travelers to Ecuador and the Galapagos do not have any problems. As long as you remember to keep a watchful eye on your belongings and stay aware of your surroundings, you will have a safe and memorable trip!

  18. Hotels throughout Ecuador and the Galapagos offer a wide variety of foods. When making your reservation, please notify us of your specific requests such as gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, etc. Alternative options will always be possible throughout the tour although options might be limited.

  19. Please review the CDC Health Information for Travelers Website before traveling to Ecuador to see any recommended vaccinations.

    If you suffer from pre-existing medical conditions or are concerned about what vaccinations may be right for you, we strongly advise that you visit a medical professional or your personal physician before your trip.

  20. Yes! We offer private trips to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands for groups of 4 or more people. The itinerary can be completely tailored to your needs and you will enjoy a personalized experience with our guides and your friends and family.

    Please contact us at for more information.


Your arrival and departure city is Quito (UIO).

*Please do not purchase any flights until you receive an email confirmation from us which will be sent to you 24 – 48 hours after booking your trip.


Passport holders of Australia, Canada, and the United States DO NOT need a visa for a stay of up to 90 days in Ecuador. Your passport needs to be valid for at least six months after the final day of travel.

If you are not a citizen of one of the countries mentioned above, please check with your nearest embassy or consulate for information on visas and travel to Ecuador.

As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity when traveling internationally. Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel.

The hotels in which you will be staying in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are handpicked. We try our best to select accommodations with impeccable service, old-world charm, and a central location.

Please be aware that some of the hotels may not have elevators so you’ll need to be able to walk up and down at least 2 – 4 or more flights of stairs with varying degrees of steepness with your luggage and unassisted. Most hotels will have porters or staff to help you with luggage, but we ask that you please keep this in mind when tipping.

All hotels we will be staying at will offer free Wifi as will most restaurants and other public places. Some hotels in the Cloud Forest and the Galapagos may only offer it in the lobby and the signal strength may be weak or absent in the rooms. Keep in mind that the connection also may not be as strong as you’re used to at home.

Quito, Ecuador

Located in the financial center of Quito, this hotel’s warm and friendly staff is dedicated to making your experience in the capital city a memorable one. There is a chic restaurant offering a gourmet dining experience as well as a rooftop bar with incredible views of the surrounding area.

Mindo Cloud Forest

Surrounded by hummingbirds and the peaceful sound of Mindo’s river, this eco-lodge is specially designed to help you disconnect from your daily life. It’s far enough from the town of Mindo to provide that peace so you can come and simply relax. Explore the secrets of the cloud forest through walks on its private paths and hikes to the area’s greatest points of interest. There is also a restaurant on site serving tasty, local cuisine.

Quito, Ecuador (Airport hotel)

Get a good night’s rest before your Galapagos adventure in this airport hotel, just a 5-minute drive from Quito’s airport. It boasts comfortable rooms as well as a fitness center, heated indoor pool, restaurant, and bar.

*We have selected airport hotel accommodation in Quito due to the early departure on Day 6. This way, you will not need to wake up as early to catch the Galapagos flight since your hotel will be just a couple of minutes away from the airport!

Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos

This boutique hotel is located in the main town of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz which features a restaurant, outdoor swimming pool, bar and garden. The hotel was built for the optimal use of solar energy to contribute to the protection of the environment. The entrance to Tortuga Bay is within walking distance from the hotel with easy access to a beautiful beach.

Puerto Villamil, Isabela, Galapagos

Set in a Mediterranean-style house located right on the pristine, white sand Cuna del Sol Beach, this boutique hotel on Isabela Island features a lush garden with an outdoor pool. All rooms have either sea or pool views.

We recommend that you purchase trip/travel insurance for your trip. We work with Travelex which offers travel protection plans to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay, and more. Otherwise, you are welcome to shop around online for a provider and policy that best suits your needs.

For more information on the recommended plans or to enroll, click on the image below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792. Globe Drifters’ reference location number is 09-0984.

Trip insurance get a quote travelex

The product descriptions provided here are only brief summaries. The full coverage terms and details, including limitations and exclusions, are contained in the insurance policy. Travelex CA Agency License #0D10209. All products listed are underwritten by, Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance Company, NAIC #22276. 11.17 E7N


Great trip!

Rated 5 out of 5
September 14, 2022

Great trip! Wonderful guides, accommodations, etc. Will definitely travel with Globe Drifters again!

Peg P.

Adventure of a Lifetime

Rated 5 out of 5
September 13, 2022

The Galápagos Islands tour is definitely an adventure of a lifetime! Each day offered something magnificent. We hiked in and around lava tunnels and caves to see blue-footed boobies and their fluffy babies, frigatebirds that put on a show with their red puffs, penguins that made us laugh. We snorkeled off of white sandy beaches or lava rocks to see beautiful sea life. We saw hundreds of giant tortoises and iguanas around every corner. The views were magnificent and varied from peaceful waters to stormy seas, from beautiful terrain to areas that looked prehistoric and other-worldly. Our guides were amazing, knowledgeable, kind and enthusiastic about sharing their love for their beautiful Quito and Galápagos Islands.

Carole Kuck

Ecuador and Galapagos

Rated 5 out of 5
February 22, 2020

Really enjoyed this adventure. The cost paid was well worth it. Great accommodations on the boat. Crew very attentive and supportive . . Tour leader great always worked to make sure we were safe and enjoying ourselves.

Rosielee salinas

Great trip

Rated 5 out of 5
February 1, 2020

Wonderful trip. Our guide was fantastic. The itinerary was packed and the activities were fun, exciting and well planned. The Galapagos is an awesome place to visit.


Amazing wildlife and trip

Rated 5 out of 5
January 29, 2020

Was impressed by all the different types of animals we saw on the trip. If you’re a nature lover, you’ll love it! The guide was simply amazing and had vast knowledge of the islands.


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