WHY THIS TRIP
This is a great trip for seasoned travelers and/or those looking to keep costs down. With your own private guide on each island (from one of National Geographic’s Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth), you’ll join onto shared tours each day. This helps cut down on the cost of logistics, without skimping on a quality of your guides. You’ll hike, sea kayak, bike and snorkel your way through the Galapagos. With evenings free and suggested self-guided excursions you gain access to the park through your guided excursions while still keeping your autonomy to enjoy and explore the islands on your own.
The Essential Galapagos Multisport Adventure is the perfect choice for those wanting to explore the amazing flora and fauna of the Galapagos, but who don’t want to be cooped up on a boat, and want more action than just slow-paced naturalist walks. On this Galapagos Multisport, you will be hiking, sea kayaking, snorkeling, and mountain biking alongside the world famous wildlife of the Galapagos, spending more time out in nature recreating than on any naturalist cruise.
You will discover the incredible wildlife of the Islands with top naturalist and adventure guides. Each guide specialized in running active, challenging tours and to do it safely. These guides are trained as both naturalist guides (certified by the National Park) and as adventure experts, so you get both interpretation of the Islands’ natural wonders and the expertise to run a truly thrilling tour.
By overnighting on three different Islands in local lodges, you get a bit of time to yourself and a feel for each Island’s particular culture. Since you don’t travel to new Islands every day, you spend more time visiting sites and less time traveling. But you also travel enough to really get a sense for the diversity between the Islands to see how the animal and plant life evolved independently. You’ll be active all day and in the evenings, you have time to explore small port towns, or just kick-back in quality, choice hotels.
This trip is a more budget friendly version of our other land-based multisport adventures in the Galapagos Islands, but you still have high quality guides, wildlife viewing, and adventure activities. To help cut down on trip costs, you use shared transportation for all of your daily tours and activities. You will also have some free time to do a self-guided tour or explore on your own. Not all meals are included, you’ll have all dinners and some lunches on your own. However, you will have private guides for all of your tours. The guides for NeoTropic are exceptional, experienced naturalist and adventure guides, so you know you’ll be getting some of the best guides in the islands. You will have a different guide on each of the three islands you visit.
LOCAL OPERATOR: NEOTROPIC EXPEDITIONS
A pioneer of the multi-sport experience in the Galapagos, Quito-based NeoTropic Expeditions provides meaningful, fun and safe eco-adventure experiences reflecting the company’s strong commitment to sustainable eco-tourism in Ecuador.
Steve G –
Excellent service from the beginning of the booking process right to the last day of our 16 day trip. Highly recommend Detour (and Layna) for booking any adventure travel!
Rob E –
What a fabulous experience! My wife and I and our 23 year old son did this trip in February and had a great time. We are really glad that we chose the land adventure over a cruise. Experiencing restaurants and culture in the 3 towns added to the wonderful landscape and animal life of the Galapagos. Our guide, Maximo was great and seemed to know everyone on all 3 islands. He was very knowledgeable about the history, topography and wildlife of the islands having grown up on Isabela Island. The people at Detour were also really good in helping us plan this trip. Highly recommend this trip and Detour!
Don C –
Fantastic trip!. WE are so glad we opted for this Land Based Trip rather than a cruise. Not only did we do and see so many of the Galapagos attractions, we got to stay in local accommodations and eat in local restaurants, with the locals. Would definitely recommend this trip to anyone that is intersted in a very active and enjoyable experience.
Great trip!! We did this tour for our honeymoon, had to book a private trip because of the dates we needed. It was perfect! Our guide was fantastic – spoke English and had lots of Galapagos knowledge to share with us, he was super fun! The activities were great, took up a good chunk of the day, but we also had time in the evenings to spend on our own. It was a great mix!
Would definitely suggest this trip to anyone!
Shelly P –
Why would anyone go on a vacation like this???To have the time of their lives!!!!!!
We had the vacation of a lifetime. Absolutely hands down the best vacation ever!!!! While we were there we swam with sharks, turtles, & sea lions & then we kayaked with iguanas. We mountain biked, swam with more sea lions, kayaked some more & did a 7 hour hike and summited the Sierra Negra Volcanoe in Isabela Island. We hiked with turtles & climbed thorough a lava tunnel. Celebrated New Years Eve in Santa Cruz Island by burning human like dolls in the middle of the street (really). And that was just the first week. It was kind of like a boot camp 😉 Two activities a day that were long & action packed. On day 8 we headed to the Amazon Jungle to relax after all that exercise but couldn’t sit still so we built a raft with our bare hands & floated down the Napo River in the Amazon Jungle. Then the next day to take a breather we decided to white water raft a class IV river in Tema, Ecuador, almost 30 miles. No kidding- you’ll see pictures attached. Then off to the Sacha Lodge by 5 hour boat ride, hike in a mile & poof we were in the jungle. Hiked by day & canoed by night. No rest until we got back to the states. Just the way we like it!!!! Thanks for everything. You’re the best.
A reasonable and exciting way to see the Galapagos. Kayaking was wonderful. Guide was very accomodating and friendly. Definately recommend the trip.
Using local accommodations as a base for forays into the surrounding environment is a great way to visit the Galapagos. It avoids the compression of too many fellow tourists in too small a space (as on buses and boats). Our small group of 8 was a definite bonus. Our favorite times were being among the animals, either on the water (snorkeling and kayaking) or hiking/strolling through the countryside on well-marked trails or beaches. We spent many hours being still and quiet, surrounded by unique wildlife – tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, sharks, sea turtles, etc. We were accompanied by an excellent English-speaking guide (from Ecuador Adventure) and by a local guide (only Spanish-speaking) who knew special places to visit. We asked many questions and always got informative answers from this pair. The multi-sport trip to the Galapagos was a very relaxing but breath-taking finale to a longer vacation that included 16 days of trekking in the Peruvian highlands.
It was a great trip!!! Best in the lifetime. Expect it to be HOT!!! Recommend camel backs and wet! Our guide Jan Post was excellent!!!
Dan B –
The trip was amazing. We had a great time, learned so much, saw so much. Our guide, Jan, was fantastic. The whole experience was terrific. We really enjoyed the activities and were glad we didn’t take a cruise to see the Galapagos. We feel it was a much better way to experience all that it has to offer. We have told everyone that this is the way to go. Thanks again for your suggestions and help with planning the trip of a lifetime. The memories will last forever.
My wife and I chose this trip as a chance to see a part of the world that’s like no other. The Galapagos is an ecosystem that is continually evolving in a variety of ways. The land, the plants, and the animals are all adapting to an ever changing environment…and this opportunity seemed too good to ignore.
As we were on the plane, Felipe (our guide), introduced himself to us and comfortably engaged the group in conversation.
To be straight forward, I found Felipe to be absolutely first rate throughout the trip. His knowledge, enthusiasm, energy, patience, and language skills are excellent. The overall itinerary was quite good, with a very good blend of flora and fauna…along with a wide array of physical activities.
The physical nature of the trip (hiking, swimming, snorkeling, bike riding, horseback riding, kayaking) was very enjoyable. While none of it was easy, I’d also have to say that none of it was difficult either. You definitely exerted yourself, and while everyone slept well at night, nobody to my knowledge was exhausted at the end of the day.
I suggest you either purchase or rent a wet suit for snorkeling. That way, you can stay in the water significantly longer. Snorkeling, by the way, was a delight.
I also suggest you bring an underwater camera (they have disposables). Sea lions are great photography subjects under water, not to mention the tranquil sharks that you might swim with.
The only negatives I can point out are that the bikes needed to be serviced better (better brake pads) and the horses were poorly cared for at the time. I know that Felipe is working to get the horses in better condition, but who knows if the owners will make any changes.
As for the flora and fauna, I can’t say enough about the uniqueness of the experience. To have wild birds and sea lions completely ignore you while you’re only 3 feet away is a thrill…and a photographer’s delight.
The only other suggestion I have is that if you’re interested in photography, bring at least one long lens that’s auto-focus. Sometimes, the subject is too far away for a 50mm lens to capture properly…so something in the neighborhood of 300mm or longer would work very well.
Excellent experience…and we were extremely lucky to have an enthusiastic group of people in our group. I’m sure it made a big difference in everyone’s overall level of enjoyment.
Accomodations – Very good
Food – Very good
Water – Almost always purified
Bryan R –
The Galapagos Islands is a unique destination with so many species and features found nowhere else. Our stops covered the ‘recommended’ tourist spots where we able to observe many of these animals. At wildlife reserve on Santa Cruz it was wonderful to see the giant tortoises in there native habitat. It would have been nice to explore some of the more remote areas of the islands.
Sea kayaking in both San Cristobal and Santa Cruz we were able to see the boobies, frigate birds, seals, and other endemic species close up in there habitat. Snorkeling with the sea lions was a highlight of the trip. Going through the channel at Leon Dormito was also exhilarating, with sharks swimming below and the interesting fish and marine species along and on the walls, surprisingly colorful. The itinerary for biking called for biking from the highland back to a beach, this would have been more fun, weather permitting, than biking back to town on the muddy road. This was my one let down for activities. We even got to see a pod of dolphins perform for us on the boat ride to Santa Cruz.
The sea kayaks, both hard shell and inflatable, paddles, etc, were in good condition. Mountain bikes were well maintained and it was great they had a mechanic to fix problems and adjust bikes. Considering the water temperature Ecuador Adventure should have provided or paid for wet suit rentals.
I was pleased that none dairy meals were provided for the two of us who were lactose sensitive without having to ask. Meals were very good. I enjoyed the Ecuadorian style breakfast at the hotel in San Cristobal.
The hotel rooms were all comfortable and clean, nothing fancy. This was fine with me, I would have felt out of place in luxury hotel in the Galapagos.
Our guide Filipe was excellent with a great personality that made the trip fun. He knew all the endemic species, where to find them, and how to identify them. He had complete knowledge about our destinations in the Galapagos Islands as well as places throughout Ecuador.
The trip was a great experience. I think we got a great overall view of the Galapagos on both land and sea.
Minimal experience is necessary for this trip. I am a novice horseback rider and still managed to stay on my mount when it stumbled in one of the holes on the trail. I have lots of experience in the other activities.
My hotel Quito when I first arrived was only a few blocks from the Ecuador Adventure office, so I stopped in the office to give them the hotel and address I would be staying at before my flight to San Cristobal. The ticket voucher was delivered without a problem.
I was told I would be contacted at the Casa Blanca Hotel before the start of the trip about meeting up with the rest of the tour. When I was at the office in Quito I gave them my email address and told them I would be checking email while I was traveling in Ecuador so they could send any updates about the trip to me. I did not hear from anyone and on September 13 when the trip was to begin I waited until 3pm for the rest of the group to arrive. I wish I had known this before so I could have plans for the day.
Overall a great experience and I’d definitely recommend this to a friend!
Steve H –
Great family vacation. Good weather, interesting and exotic sights, informative, helpful and friendly guides, enough varied daily activity to feel good. Land based tour allowed us to feel more connected to the Galapagos versus taking a ship based trip that seemed passive and arms length. Accommodations were just what we were looking for — comfortable but not luxurious
Zachary M –
Steve C –
The only confusion was the night before we left quito for Galapagos. We were told that vouchers would be delivered to the hotel. They were not needed, but still caused several moments (couple hours) of panic before we were able to get in touch with someone from Ecuador adventures – because no one was answering the emergency numbers.
Meredith C –
Only negative thing was the communication with Ecuador Adventure in Quito before the trip. Our email said that vochers would be dropped off at our hotel the night before our flight and nothing was. It took quite a while to finally contact someone with Ecuador Adventure only to be told that they would NOT be dropping anything off. The confusion was totally unnecessary.
David E –
This was a fantastic trip! Alfredo, the guide, was fantastic and we became freindw with him on this trip. It was a really good decision to take this trip rather than a boat-based trip—we got to really experience the islands and wildlife. We found experiencing the wildlife was better than we expected. We kayaked feet away from shore where boobies were nesting right on the banks. Animals are not afraid of you–even the fish were not afraid of us.
We had one negative–we got upgraded hotels on the trip and this was not worth it. All the hotels, except for on Floreana, had air conditioning and were pretty nice. Our upgraded hotels in one case were actually worse than the regular hotels. Don’t upgrade your hotels on this trip.
On the horseback riding 2 of us preferred to walk most of the way. Mountain biking was fun but not the best wildlife experience.
All in all a great trip!
Mary Ann –
We just got back from Quito and Galapagos Island adventure tour. It exceeded our expectations! We had a great time. The folks at Ecuador Adventure were prompt, professional, knowledgeable, friendly…what other great adjective can I use to describe them! In particular, I want to call out our guide in Galapagos – Alfredo – oh, my gosh, very knowledgeable about the islands, took care of us, very, very athletic and diverse. Everything promised – horseback riding, sea kayaking, snorkeling, etc was fulfilled. Animal life – AWESOME. Saw all animal life in their natural habitats including the giant tourtesus (sp?), boobies, etc. Another person w/ Ecuador adventure that I’d like to give kudos to is George (Jorge spanish). He took us to the market on Saturday and took care of us to and from the airport on our Galapagos trip. Please keep in touch regarding other “adventure” trips you provide. Frankly, this type of trip was our speed. Anything less would have been a disappointment and anything more would have been, frankly too much.