Galapagos Multisport (Lodge Based)
Discover the Galapagos Archipelago through an active multisport adventure that will deliver the most extraordinary of this world-class naturalist haven. This Galapagos adventure is a land-based tour that combines daily active excursions with the best waterfront hotels available. As you kayak, mountain bike, trek, snorkel or surf, you will experience incredible close encounters with sea lions, iguanas, giant tortoises, boobies, rays, a myriad of tropical fish, and even sharks if so desired! This is a socially and environmentally responsible tour that provides many benefits to local Island communities. Learn and enjoy from top adventure and naturalist guides that will immerse you in the realm of natural history and evolution.
|Trip Length||9 days|
|Meeting Place||Quito, Ecuador|
|Gateway City||Quito, Ecuador|
- Itinerary at a Glance
• Deluxe lodging on 3 unique islands
• Sea kayak with sea lions, penguins and marine turtles
• Discover perfect white sand beaches by mountain bike
• Snorkel with Galapagos sharks, rays, and hundreds of tropical fish
• Meet blue-footed boobies, finches, and other famed birds
• Relax in perfect white sand beaches
• Spend more time on land for more wildlife encounters
• Top-notch adventure and nature guides will accompany you every step of your journey
• Support the local communities through this sustainable land and water-based program
• Effortless inter-island transfers include one flight and one boat crossing
- Detailed Itinerary
Sample Itinerary for the Galapagos Multisport:
Because of the Galapagos’ famed natural history and remarkable creatures, these remote islands are revered the world over. In an effort to protect and preserve these “enchanted isles”, that literally changed the world, access is restricted and regulated. On this land and sea adventure, our special permit allows us to visit these protected sites
Day 1 – Arrive Quito, Ecuador
Upon arrival in Quito, you will take a short taxi ride to your hotel. The room will be registered and pre-paid in your name but you will have to present passports and a credit card for incidentals. “Meet and greet” services are available for the airport for an additional fee so please just let us know if you need assistance. Overnight Quito
Day 2 – Hiking Frigate Hill and Snorkeling in Darwin Bay
After breakfast, you will taxi back to the domestic wing on the airport for a morning flight from Quito to San Cristobal Island. Once we arrive we will have a welcome lunch and a briefing before the adventure begins. Our first hike will lead us out of town for a visit the San Cristobal Interpretation Center to learn about the island’s creation and natural history. We will continue on a lava trail to explore a unique dry forest where we identify cacti, acacia, palo santo, and Galapagos cotton. We reach Frigate Hill to enjoy our first encounters with local wildlife as the hill is often visited by Galapagos wildlife such as the magnificent and great frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, brown pelicans, gulls, herons and lots of land birds including Darwin finches, warblers and mockingbirds. We return to Carola Beach – one of San Cristobal’s best surf spots – for splendid views of the coastline, swimming and a perfect sunset. The evening is open for guests to choose dining options and explore town.
DAY 3 – Kayaking and Snorkeling at Isla Lobos and Leon Dormido- San Cristobal Island
Today we will outfit our ocean kayaks and spend the morning paddling along the northern coast, exploring bays and coves full of wildlife. We visit Darwin Bay, the site of the first landing of the HMS Beagle. We continue paddling north as we encounter marine turtles, rays, blue-footed boobies and frigate birds. Once we reach Playa Ochoa, we continue to nearby Isla Lobos on the lookout for marine iguanas and sea lions. This is a fantastic snorkeling site where we are nearly guaranteed to enjoy the best sea lion encounters of the entire archipelago. We continue on to Leon Dormido, the jagged remains of an old tuff cone whose flanks are home to thousands of sea birds. Leon Dormido is an exceptional snorkeling and diving site frequented by Galapagos sharks, eagle and golden rays, as well as dozens of species of tropical fish, clams, starfish and marine invertebrates. There are good opportunities to swim next to hammerhead and white-tipped sharks! In the afternoon we return to our hotel for our last evening in San Cristobal Island.
DAY 4 – Mountain Bike and Explore Isabela Island
In the morning we board a small plane for an inter-island flight from San Cristobal to Isabela Island. Isabela is the largest Island in the archipelago, formed by 6 shield volcanoes – Alcedo, Cerro Azul, Darwin, Ecuador, Sierra Negra and Wolf. All of these volcanoes except one remain active, making this island one of the most volcanically active places on earth. We will use mountain bikes to explore the beautiful coastline for its scenery and wildlife treasures. We visit to El Muro de las Lagrimas which translates to “Wall of Tears”, a historic site that dates back between 1946 and 1959 when Isabela Island was used as a penal colony. The wall was built with lava blocks and had no other purpose that of keeping prisoners busy from the madness of isolation. We continue riding along the coast as we explore expansive white sand beaches, mangroves and brackish lagoons. This area is filled with birdlife such as American oystercatchers, herons, flamingos, finches and many shore birds, as well as sea lions and marine iguanas. In the afternoon we visit Tintoreras, a set of small Islets within Isabela bay. These Islets are filled with wildlife and are home to the Galapagos penguin, the only penguin that lives in equatorial region. We may also see sharks, marine turtles, sea lions and much more wildlife as we explore its many small coves and beaches.
DAY 5 – Discover the Highlands and Hike a Volcano
From Puerto Villamil, we drive to the Isabela highlands. We reach our trail and prepare our day-packs to enter a world of recent geological history. Depending on your hiking abilities, it takes 1-2 hours to arrive at the rim of the Sierra Negra volcano, an active volcano which last erupted in October 2005. We explore along the circumference of the massive 6×5 mile-wide (9×8 kilometer) lava-filled crater. We may also get views to the other Isabela volcanoes and the Perry Isthmus and beyond. Based on conditions we may continue our hike all the way to Volcano Chico, a smaller crater that offers puffing fumaroles and extraordinary lava formations. These are great examples of the dramatic geological events that have forged the Galapagos Islands over millennia. In the afternoon, we return to Puerto Villamil for our last afternoon in its exotic white sand beaches. Those who wish to try their hand at surfing may do so.
DAY 6 – Giant Tortoises. Lava tunnels and Volcanic Craters
In the morning we embark on a fast boat from Isabela to Santa Cruz Islands. Once we arrive, we transfer to a tortoise reserve in the Santa Cruz highlands, which is the natural habitat of the Galapagos tortoise. We hike in this reserve to learn about these lumbering giants. We come across highland wildlife such as pintail ducks, egrets, flycatchers, finches, and frigate birds bathing in freshwater lakes. We also explore some amazing volcanic tunnels that were created by flowing lava. As we walk in these underground geological formations we revive tales of buccaneers hiding Inca gold. We continue to Los Gemelos, two volcanic craters near the top of the Island. We walk around these deep craters through a beautiful Scalesia forest covered with epiphytes and ferns. In this habitat we will seek for the short-eared owl, one of the two owls that live in the Islands. We return to town in the afternoon. This evening is free to dine at any of the Island restaurants.
DAY 7 – Sea Kayak. Hike and Surf
In the morning we take our kayaks and paddle around Divine Bay and Punta Estrada. We kayak through calm turquoise waters that wind through high-walled lava channels. Within the channels, white-tipped sharks and rays tour beneath the clear water, while colonies of blue-footed boobies, tropicbirds, herons, crabs and marine iguanas perch along the jagged cliffs. In the afternoon, we hike to Tortuga Bay, a beautiful white sand beach area, nesting site to thousands of marine turtles. This trail is 3.5 miles (6 kilometers) long and crosses through a dry forest lava habitat home to hundreds of iguanas. We return to Puerto Ayora to spend the evening at leisure in Galapagos’ most populous town.
DAY 8: Transfer to Baltra and Flight to Quito
In the morning we visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn about conservation and management efforts in the archipelago. We finally transfer to Baltra Island for our airport connection back to the continent. Tonight we will overnight in Quito
DAY 9 – Back in Quito
After an early breakfast at the hotel, take a taxi to the airport to catch flights home or get ready for your next adventure in Ecuador.
- Accommodations in Quito
La Jimenita: Featuring comfortable and luxurious suites, an on-site restaurant with cozy fireplaces and an extensive garden, Hotel Casa de Hacienda La Jimenita offers free Wi-Fi and a complimentary breakfast. The suites in Casa de Hacienda La Jimenita feature private bathrooms with vertical hydromassage showers, fireplaces, hand-made furniture and splendid scenic views. La Jimenita has a 90,000 square metre private natural reserve, natural trails and an archaeological tunnel on-site.
- About the Region
In 1835 Charles Darwin sailed on the British ship H.M.S. Beagle and visited the islands. The evidence he found in this unique volcanic archipelago inspired his theory of the origin of species, which shook up the scientific world. The islands provide a living museum of evolutionary changes that profoundly affect all those who witness their splendor. In 1936 the Galapagos was declared a National Park to preserve its unique vegetation and wildlife. UNESCO declared Galapagos a World Natural Heritage Site in 1978 and subsequently a World Biosphere Reserve in 1985. Protection was further strengthened in 1994 with the creation of the Reserva Marina de Galapagos, which was recently extended to cover the 130,000 square kilometers within a 40-nautical mile radius of the islands making the Galapagos the second largest marine reserve in the world, after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
The archipelago is purely volcanic in origin and features beautiful volcanic formations not found on the mainland. The islands emerged from lava eruptions that came from the bottom of the ocean and rise as much as 2,600 feet above sea level. Lava from more than 2,000 craters has continually altered the terrain of this region. Currently the archipelago contains 13 large islands, 6 minor ones, and more than 40 islets. Some of the younger islands still have active volcanoes. Many variables, such as isolation, climate, altitude, and the unique terrain account for the archipelago’s distinct flora and fauna.
From the world’s only seagoing lizards to flightless cormorants and penguins, flamingos, inflatable frigate birds, wave albatrosses, clownish boobies, giant tortoises, and 13 species of finches, you can enjoy thrilling encounters with animals-up close and in large numbers-who are completely at ease among human visitors.
There are extraordinary opportunities to swim with marine animals such as sea lions, dolphins, sea turtles and manta, eagle, and golden rays, as well as 300 species of colorful fish. The more adventurous may relish the chance to snorkel with the friendly Galapagos sharks, white-tipped reef sharks or even hammerheads.
The plants of Galapagos are equally fascinating. Many species of indigenous Scalesia (“tree daisies”) as well as tree ferns, bromeliads, and orchids are found in the highlands. Giant prickly pear and candelabra cacti abound on the coast while tiny Brachycereus cacti grow on barren lava flows. Vivid morning glories and mats of bright red sesuvium blanket the shores. Galapagos also has its very own native species of cotton, tomato, pepper, guava, and passionflower. Many kinds of plants, particularly those belonging to the daisy family, have evolved into whole arrays of endemic species on the different islands, providing scientists with perfect examples of adaptive radiation.
- Trip Planner
This trip planner has been created to help prepare you for your upcoming adventure. We have tried to anticipate questions you might have concerning travel arrangements, what to bring, and getting in shape. If any of your questions remain unanswered, please don’t hesitate to call.
Your trip begins and ends in Quito, Ecuador. You will need to arrange for your international flights. American, Delta, United and Continental airlines offer direct service into Quito from Miami, Atlanta and Houston, respectively. We will make the arrangements for your Quito-Galapagos flights.
Upon arrival at the Quito Airport you will clear customs and then take a taxi to your designated hotel. Unless told otherwise, your hotel in Quito will be:
Your Sunday morning flight to the archipelago departs at 6:45am (unless you are told otherwise). We will have your e-ticket itinerary printed and and your Ingala (park) card ready for you at the hotel. Make sure you have cash for your park entry fee.
When you arrive at the domestic terminal, take your bags through the agricultural screening system on the right hand side before you check in at the airline desk. You will need to present passports in order to get your boarding pass.
After Your Trip
Following your nights in the Galapagos, we will return to Quito where you will spend one final night before transferring to the airport the following morning for flights home.
Ecuador uses US dollars as their currency. Each participant will be required to pay a park entrance fee for the Galapagos Islands ($100 per adult, $70 per child, 12 years and under). Having between $300 and $600 for souvenirs and meals in Quito should be more than adequate depending on how much you like to shop! In the Galapagos Islands, you will most likely need cash as ATM machines are limited and credit cards are not widely accepted. In hotels and shops in Quito you can use credit cards to charge purchases such as food, accommodations, and clothing. American Express, Visa, and MasterCard are widely accepted.
The trip leader is responsible for the safety of all trip members and he or she may evacuate or disqualify a trip member in the field if anyone’s safety is jeopardized. Please be aware that hospital facilities for serious medical problems may be far away, doctors are not always available and that evacuations can be prolonged, difficult and expensive.
If you are taking any prescription drugs, be certain that you bring a sufficient supply to last through the trip. Do not pack these medications in your checked luggage. You will not find common American drugs in Ecuador. If you have concerns about seasickness, we suggest that you speak with your doctor about available treatments. Scopolamine patches (prescription) or Bonine (over the counter) are common medications for preventing seasickness, while an electro-stimulator worn on the wrist can also be an effective prevention.
Currently, if you fly direct between the USA and Ecuador, no vaccinations are required. However, regulations and recommendations change frequently, so please check with the Center for Disease Control (www.cdc.gov/travel/tropsam.htm) for up-to-date information.
Essential Travel Documents
Your Passport – If you don’t have a passport, apply for one immediately because the process can be lengthy. If you do have a passport, find it and check the expiration date. You will need to have at least 6 months left on your passport in order to enter Ecuador. Check your passport for blank pages. If you do not have a least two blank pages in your passport, we recommend that you apply to have additional pages added.
Make a photocopy of the photo page of your passport and carry it separately from your passport. If your passport is lost or stolen, a photocopy will help the local consulate speed up authorization for replacement.
Please do not pack your passport in your check-in luggage. You may be asked for your papers not only upon departure but a various times during your trip, even while checking into the hotel in Quito. If you are carrying a customs form, please keep it in a safe place at all times, perhaps in your pouch along with your other valuables. We do not recommend carrying it in the passport because you must often submit the passport at hotels, where the form can easily be lost.
Visas – Visas are not required for US or Canadian citizens to enter Ecuador. For others, please check with the Ecuadorian Consulate.
Travel and Evacuation Insurance
Travel insurance that includes medical emergency evacuation is mandatory in order for you to take part in this expedition. You must provide proof of purchase of evacuation insurance prior to the trip. Purchase information is included in your confirmation packet. You may call Travel Insurance Service at 800-937-1387 or visit their website at http://www.travelinsure.com/what/imedhigh.htm?32931. Coverage for baggage loss, medical protection, trip cancellation, trip interruption is highly recommended. When selecting a policy please make sure you are very clear about what it will and will not cover. No travel insurance covers all scenarios. Proof of insurance will be required prior to your trip.
Please let us know if you’re having a birthday or anniversary on the trip. We’ll also need to know of any medical or dietary requirements that you’d like us to consider in planning your trip (i.e. if you’re a vegetarian or vegan, or if you have any food allergies.). Please note this on the online registration (be specific as to what your needs are) at least 30 days before your trip. If you’re booking your trip less than 30 days before departure, please make sure you’ve discussed any special requests with our office.
You may want to check one week prior to your trip for an up-to-date weather forecast. We recommend you check the following web sites: www.weather.com or www.wunderground.com
There are two primary seasons during the year in the Galapagos. Each offers a good time for visiting, but the character of each season is somewhat different.
December through June is the warmer time of year, with the highs in the upper 80s to mid-90s. Although the islands receive relatively more rainfall during this time most of the lower elevations of the islands are quite arid and there is plenty of sunshine and blue skies. The sea is at its warmest, and it is usually calmer at this time of year.
The drier garua season lasts from June or July through November. The garua is mist that forms in the highlands of the islands. Ironically, the garua season provides more moisture at the upper levels of the islands than the so-called wet season. Air temperatures are lower, with highs in the upper 70s. The climate at this time is affected by the strong Humboldt Current, which comes from the south. The water temperature, therefore, is at its coolest during this time, about 68 degrees Fahrenheit.
In Quito, which is about 9300 feet above sea level, the elevation greatly moderates the climate. The temperature ranges from 45 to 70 degrees, with lower temperatures from April to October. Daytime temperatures are warm and pleasant, while evenings are cool and comfortable.
This trip is relatively moderate but hiking, snorkeling and kayaking require a combination of cardiac and strength training. Jogging, swimming, and aerobic exercises will help increase endurance for the activities. Push-ups, sit-ups and other weight training exercises that increase upper and lower body strength will ensure preparedness for getting the most out of your experience. Regular exercise prior to your trip will certainly add to your enjoyment.
The hikes are moderate and allow you to get up close and personal with the magnificent wildlife in the islands. We recommend that your hiking shoes be lightweight, with sturdy soles, and that they are well worn in. If you are buying new hiking shoes for this trip, be sure to walk them in well in advance to avoid blisters during the trip.
Snorkeling will expose you to a new world. You may come face-to-face with baby sea lions as they dart playfully past your mask. Penguins flit by in a trail of bubbles and sea turtles glide beneath you. The ecological diversity characteristic of the Galapagos is on grand display beneath the surface of the ocean as much as it is on land. If you’ve never snorkeled before, you’ll want to try it out here as the experience is not to be missed.
The Galapagos is a wonderful place to sea kayak as you glide over a plethora of marine life. The yacht is equipped with one double and a single for exploring the seashore. In the last two years, they have begun to regulate the areas in which we can sea kayak so it tends to vary by the trip and park regulations. In any case, the paddling is always exceptional!
The surfing in Galapagos is outstanding, but many of the reef breaks require good surfing skills and waves can be up to 4 meters. However, there are also some more forgiving beach breaks that are ideal for beginners. We have both short and long boards available for the group to share. If you are interested in a “surfing only” experience, contact Brian at 888 639 1114 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org and he would be delighted to customize something for you
There are a few places in the islands where we have options to bike. It’s mostly mellow road or trail riding and a sweep vehicle is never too far away.
Suggested Packing List
If you do not already own any of the items on the suggested packing list feel free to call our office for suggestions.
• Duffel Bag: Bring your gear packed in a soft duffel bag rather than suitcase
• Daypack: For day hikes it should be large enough to carry water bottles, camera and rain jacket and can double as your flight carry-on bag
• Spare soft duffel for purchases while in Ecuador (or purchase in Ecuador)
• Plastic Bags: Large trash bag and Ziploc bags to separate clean and dry clothes from wet and dirty.
• Sunglasses with securing strap
• Earplugs: It will sometimes be necessary to motor through the night to make it to the next day’s destination
• Sunscreen (Waterproof & SPF 15 or higher)
• Lip Protection (SPF 15 or higher)
• Moisturizing Lotion
• Insect repellent
• Personal First Aid Kit (Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment, ibuprofen, moleskin)
• Spare pair of glasses and/or contact lenses
• Water Bottles: Heavy duty and minimum 2 quart capacity. For day hikes, hydration systems like a “Camelbak” are great too
• Headlamp or Flashlight, extra batteries and bulb
• Camera, batteries, chargers and/or memory cards
• Notebook and Pen
• Cash for National Park entrance fee, gratuities and souvenirs
Any clothing you bring should be synthetic, quick drying, and breathable. This is a sub-tropical adventure and you will be exposed to sun, wind, and water. Long sleeves, long pants, and wide brimmed hats are recommended for sun protection. In general, you will need loose fitting clothes for the hotter parts of the trip and some extra layering for evenings. Keep in mind that some of what you bring may get sweaty and wet due to the humid climate. You will also encounter dust, sand, and salt, and may feel a little grubby from time to time. No fancy dress clothing is required.
• Long Sleeved Shirt: Lightweight and light color for sun protection.
• Long Pants: Lightweight and light color for sun protection (jeans not recommended)
• Shade Hat or Visor with tie and a spare
• Rain Jacket & Pants: A hooded jacket is recommended as well as good secure closures around your head, neck and wrists. Rain pants are optional
• Swimsuits: 2
• 1 -2 rash guard tops for snorkeling
• Underwear: Quick-drying
• Shorts: 2-3 pair lightweight, and fast drying
• T-shirts or lightweight fast drying tops
• Sport Sandals: Teva, Chacos or Keen brand
• Athletic Shoes or Lightweight Hiking Boots: 1 pair, comfortable and with good tread
• Hiking Socks: 3 or 4 pair mid-weight
• Casual clothes for evenings and in Quito (Note: evenings are cool)
• Walking Stick: collapsible
• Binoculars: compact
• Shorty wetsuit
• Electrolyte mix for flavoring water
• Personal snorkel gear (we provide gear but many prefer their own)
Bringing the right camera equipment will go a long toward determining the quality of your photographs. If you’re an avid photographer, we recommend bringing a good digital SLR camera that can be used on land and when aboard the catamaran. There are many great underwater digital cameras that are salt-water resistant and protected against sand.
Bring more memory card space than you think you’ll need. And don’t forget to pack spare camera batteries or a charger. You should be ready for bright sunlight, so you may want to bring a polarizing filter. Zip-Lock plastic bags help protect you camera against sand and salt. We strongly recommend you take out a rider on you homeowner’s policy to cover your camera -especially if it’s fine equipment.
For Women Only
Even if you aren’t anticipating your menstrual period, come prepared for it. We recommend you bring some sandwich size zip-lock bags. They can be used during the day while you are on the water or hiking and can be disposed of when you reach your overnight lodging. (Hint for tampon users: o.b. tampons are 1/3 the size of regular tampons, tuck discreetly into pockets and have less paper wrapping). Many women suggest bringing a small supply of baby wipes.
Packing Your Gear
We recommend traveling as light as possible! Excess baggage can be a burden to you and to support personnel. On an international flight, you are typically allowed 1-2 pieces of checked luggage at no additional fee but luggage restrictions are changing regularly and vary according to airline – please check with your specific airline to determine luggage allowance. On the flight from Quito to the Galapagos, you will only be allowed 44 lbs. Excess luggage may be kept at the hotel in Quito.
Complimentary bottled drinking water is available at the hotel in Quito. We will provide purified water while in the Galapagos. It is best to bring your own reusable water bottle or hydration pack, in order to limit waste. Do not drink water from the tap as it frequently contains bacteria that can cause stomach problems.
The Catamaran is equipped with a water desalinization machine to provide us with freshwater for daily use. Please limit the number and time of your daily showers, as the machine provides 200 liters of freshwater per hour, and an average shower requires 40 liters. For the same reason, we ask that you do not wash your clothes on the boat.
It is crucial that you stay hydrated while in the tropics, especially when we are hiking, biking and kayaking. Electrolyte powders make water taste better, while replacing salts and minerals lost to sweating.
Ecuador is on the 110V AC system. Sockets are the standard US style, either 2 flat prongs or 2 flat prongs and a round ground. There are sockets on the catamaran for recharging batteries. In order to save power, please remember to switch off the light and A/C when not in your cabin.
The sun is very strong in the Galapagos. Reapply sunscreen often, and wear your hat and sunglasses.
In hot climates, cuts and scratches can easily become infected and take a long time to heal. Prevent infection from coral cuts by immediately washing wounds with fresh water. Use an antiseptic like hydrogen peroxide and an antibacterial like Neosporin. Prickly heat, or salt/heat rash is a common ailment for tropical adventurers. It is caused by salt buildup in the sweat glands. The skin becomes soggy and small red blisters appear. At first sight of the rash, wash with fresh water and apply calamine lotion, dust with talcum powder and change clothes. Until the rash improves, avoid alcohol and caffeine.
Your guide will conduct a briefing every evening after dinner. He or she will explain the following day’s activities and talk about what animals and plants might be seen.
Please remember you are visiting a national park, and will be expected to follow park regulations. The instructions you receive from your guide are intended for the preservation and conservation of the Galapagos.
• Stay on marked trails
• Do not touch or feed the animals
• Do not smoke on the Islands
• Clean the soles of your shoes to avoid carrying endemic seeds from one island to another
• Take only pictures, leave only footprints
Each guest will be given a mask, a snorkel and a pair of fins, in an individually numbered bag, to use for the duration of the trip. Please rinse your gear in freshwater after each use. Snorkelers are asked to follow these simple instructions:
• Stay with the group; look up every few minutes to check that you are still close
• Be aware of the location of the panga
• When getting on and off the panga, stay clear of the outboard motor
• Have all your gear on before getting off the panga
• Take off only your fins before re-boarding the panga
• When diving under be sure to look up before resurfacing
• If you feel more comfortable in a life vest, you are welcome to wear one
For those interested, scuba diving will be an option for an extra fee. The dives are offered at times that may interfere with the land-based activities. Please bring your diving license if you’d like to participate.
Please inform us of any dietary restrictions when booking the trip. Snacks will be offered between meals.
Everywhere in Ecuador, including Quito and the Galapagos Islands, people are asked not to throw anything into the toilets, including toilet paper. A wastebasket is provided for toilet paper and it is emptied often. This may seem strange to North Americans, but please obey this rule and avoid being the cause of a backed up septic system. Thanks!
Laundry service is available at the hotel in Quito and the occasional location in the islands. Before dropping any laundry check for turn-around times. We recommend lightweight, quick drying articles of clothing that can air dry easily.
The Galapagos Islands are in the same time zone as Central Standard in the USA (CST). Quito time is the same as Eastern Standard Time.
The tipping of guides is entirely discretionary, and we feel strongly that gratuities should not be offered to them if they lead anything less than a great trip. However, we expect that our crew will do a great job in making your trip memorable and, when they do, it is not uncommon for our travelers to offer a gratuity. The guides very much appreciate it.
In this regard, we are often asked what is appropriate. As a general tipping guideline, we have found that our travelers will leave $150 per person to the crew (they will share it) and another $100 per person to the naturalist/guide. If you desire, the North American R.O.A.M. guide can be tipped separately as well (similar to naturalist). Once again, tipping is entirely at your discretion and varies by culture.