Ecuador & Galapagos 10-Day Private Trip

$4,800 USD – Trip cost per person. (See below for inclusions and exclusions.)

A down payment of $2,400 per person is needed to secure your spot on this trip. Below is the payment schedule:

*If we do not reach 12 customers 120 days before the trip, we will refund everyone in full minus $300 and the trip will be canceled. 

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 $1,325. If you would like your own room, the additional supplement can be purchased at check-out.

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 :

  • 10 nights accommodation (based on double occupancy)
  • Activities as indicated on the itinerary
  • Day excursions on Galapagos yacht
  • Use of snorkeling equipment on Galapagos yacht
  • Round-trip flights: Quito – Baltra / Baltra – Quito
  • Ground & sea transportation
  • Bilingual national park guide & local Ecuadorian tour leader
  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 3 dinners
  • $100 Galapagos National Park fee
  • $20 Galapagos transit control card

What is not included :

  • International flights
  • International airport pick-up and drop-off
  • Some lunches & dinners
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Optional activities
  • Gratuities
  • Souvenirs
  • Insurance
  1. Physical requirements

    This trip requires a low to moderate level of physical fitness. In the Galapagos, some hikes on rougher and uneven terrain may be difficult depending on your level of fitness. If you’re not feeling up for an activity, you’re welcome to stay on land and explore the area on your own.

    Some hotels do 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 please keep this in mind when tipping.

    To participate in this trip you should be able to:

    • Walk 1 – 3 miles throughout the day, up/down stairs, over unpaved or cobblestone surfaces with/without an incline, and on paths with rough terrain made of dirt, mud, rocks, stones, etc.
    • Be comfortable on your feet for up to 4 hours walking and standing, indoors and outdoors, and in all weather conditions.
    • Carry your luggage from the taxi/van to the hotel and to your room.
    • Get in and out of a van and boat without assistance.


    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.

    Water transfers

    You will ride in a zodiac boat (panga) in the Galapagos. You will need to be able to get in and out of the panga unassisted. A pair of water shoes is recommended.

    NOTE: The sea is usually calm in January but it can get choppy. Steady sea legs (and a sturdy stomach) are essential in rough sea conditions. If you’re worried about motion/sea sickness, then we recommend bringing medication or patches.

    In the Galapagos, you may be exposed to the sun for extended amounts of time. It’s very important to use sun protection and drink plenty of water.

    Smile policy

    We welcome all kinds of travelers on our tours, and the group dynamic of each trip is different but also part of what makes the trip so amazing. You will need to treat everyone in the group as well as the locals with respect and kindness.

    Free time

    Our tours are designed for the semi-independent traveler. If you choose not to participate in any of the included activities, you are responsible for organizing your own activities. Your tour leader can offer recommendations for alternative activities but it is up to you to make reservations for extra activities.

    Tour leader

    Your tour leader and Galapagos guide’s role is to help you have an unforgettable experience. He/she can answer questions and offer suggestions about what to do in your free time. He/she will always try to go above and beyond to help you have an amazing trip but is not your personal assistant. Travelers must exercise a certain level of self-sufficiency and independence on our tours. We also suggest tipping those who went out of their way to help you, especially your tour leader who will be with you every day throughout the entire tour. Finally, you will need to come with an open mind and adventurous spirit in order to have the trip of a lifetime!

    NOTE: Changes to the itinerary 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. A sense of humor and flexibility will ensure that you have a fun, relaxing trip in this beautiful part of the world no matter what happens.

  2. Your group will consist of 10 – 16 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.

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

    The minimum age on our non-private trips is 18.

    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.

  4. While most daily activities are already included in the trip price, you will have some free time and the tour leader can recommend activities that might interest you. 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 around $50 USD worth of one and five-dollar bills to use for tips, cabs, and small purchases in markets. Making change is often difficult 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 some large supermarkets, 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 tour leaders/Galapagos 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.

    For more information about tipping your tour leader, please see our blog on tipping your tour leader.

  8. Based on past travelers’ feedback, an estimated amount to bring for spending is between $400 – $600 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. US, Australian, Canadian, 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. 

    In the Cloud Forest and 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 you 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 or absent in the rooms. Keep in mind that the signal may not be as strong as you’re used to at home.

    In the Cloud Forest, there is Wifi close to the lodge shop and there is not usually any signal in the rooms. There will usually not be any Wifi while doing day trips to the islands in the Galapagos. Get ready to ‘disconnect’ while in the Cloud Forest and the Galapagos Islands.

  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 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, it doesn’t experience the same tropical heat that 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 the dry or warm season, it’s always a good idea to bring warmer clothes for the evenings as temperatures can get cool at night. Rainwear for 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
    • Ear plugs (for Quito if you’re a light sleeper)
    • 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

    If there is rain, wind, or any other weather conditions that nature decides to throw at you, all activities and excursions will continue as planned unless the weather is deemed unsafe by the crew and the local government.

    NOTE: 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. 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 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.


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 spot on the 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.

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.

We try our best to select accommodations with impeccable service, old-world charm, and a central location.

Some 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 so please keep this in mind when tipping.

All hotels you 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

This colonial hotel is located on Quito’s Plaza de la Independencia. It features a wellness spa and a restaurant serving traditional Ecuadorian cuisine with the occasional live guitar music. There’s a beautiful balcony on the 4th floor where guests can enjoy grand views of the plaza below and surrounding areas.

Mindo Cloud Forest

This eco-lodge is located in a private ecological reserve and offers comfortable rooms, a restaurant, and a bar. All rooms have private balconies with forest and/or mountain views. You’ll truly feel like you’re sleeping in the clouds here!

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 offers 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 few 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.

We require 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


If your trip does not have 12 travelers from your group booked 120 days before the trip, we will refund everyone in full minus $300 and the trip will be canceled.
Once 12 people from your group have booked, the trip will be confirmed which means it is guaranteed to happen. We will also email everyone to go ahead and book trip insurance (which is mandatory), flights, etc.
If someone cancels once the trip is confirmed, they can be refunded through their trip insurance but we will not offer any refunds at that point. If they do not have trip insurance, we will not offer any refunds. 
Once 12 from your group have booked, we’ll update your trip to reflect the changes and you’ll need to buy trip insurance.