Location: Galapagos and Ecuador Duration: 9 Nights Price: From £4,750 per person in low season based on two adults travelling together and including all flights in economy class, accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis, private transfers, transportation, experiences as stated and taxes

Think the Galapagos can only be explored by boat? Think again. If you’re crazy about wildlife, but less keen on the idea of a cruise, then this land-based adventure is a dream come true. Hopping between three islands, you’ll have unbelievable wildlife encounters the moment you step off the plane, from snorkelling with marine iguanas to sunbathing with huge colonies of sea lions. 

Perfect for

Anyone who prefers not to be on a boat (e.g. families, those who get seasick, or free-spirits who like to head out whenever they choose). It's also great if you like to be a bit more active, with rainforest walks, volcano treks, and kayaking through lava-formed caves.

In the know

If you’re not affected by sea-sickness, then you should definitely consider a Galapagos cruise. These combine brilliantly with a land-based itinerary: treating you to a non-stop wildlife show, and allowing you to explore some of the tiny un-populated islands.

Recommended for...
Wildlife & Nature

QUITO - 1 night

Fly to Quito in Ecuador and spend a night of relaxation before your wildlife adventure at the JW Marriott hotel in the heart of the city. Soak up the sun in the tropical gardens and take a dip in the pool- or explore the charming colonial old town and browse the bustling markets. Wake up to stunning views over Quito and the surrounding snow-capped volcanoes.

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An early morning flight will take you from Quito to San Cristobal, the smallest and sleepiest of the Galapagos Islands. Check into your friendly base, Casa Opuntia, and be greeted by an extraordinary array of wildlife and birds, which are every bit as laidback as the human residents, such as the sleepy sea lions. Your expert naturalist guide will introduce you to other spectacular Galapagos inhabitants, including the red-breasted frigate bird. You'll also get a chance to snorkel with marine iguanas, and as you head out to the open waters around Kicker Rock, you'll see eagle rays and hammerhead sharks- this is their hunting ground. 
Visiting the island’s interpretation centre is a must, as it provides a fascinating insight into the islands’ unique ecology (as studied by Darwin) and its relationship with the local community.

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A short flight will take you to Isabela, with amazing aerial views of the Galapagos that few people experience, and the possibility of seeing schools of manta rays from above. Isabela is known for some of the most beautiful beaches in the Galapagos, and your home for two nights, Iguana Crossing, is right by one of them. At this boutique surf pad, chill out on the beach, do some surfing or cycle to the nearby town. You’re also in for a real wildlife treat here- see giant tortoises, sea turtles and amazing birdlife, such as flamingoes and Galapagos penguins. Trekkers will love hiking to the rim of the Volcan Sierra Negra: this is the second-largest active caldera on the planet, with jaw-dropping views of the sea and the surrounding volcanoes, including Volcan Chico, with its rainbow coloured rocks and other-worldy landscape dotted with snorting fumeroles.

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You'll enjoy another scenic flight from Isabela to Santa Cruz, and maybe this time you’ll spot pods of whales and dolphins from the air. You’ll be staying at the luxurious eco-hideaway Finch Bay (which also sits on one of the Galapagos’ most enticing beaches). From here, you’ll head out to see giant tortoises in their natural habitat, kayak through lava tunnels where pirates are rumoured to have stowed away Inca gold, and visit one of the most stunning beaches in the Galapagos, La Tortuga. End your Galapagos adventure by watching the sunset at Finch Bay, or perhaps joining the locals for a game of ‘Ecuavolley’ before flying back to Quito the following day.

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QUITO - 1 night

Your adventure will conclude with a final night in Quito, where you’ll stay at the historic La Casona de La Ronda hotel, in the characterful old town. Here's a chance to relax and reacquaint yourself with Quito- wander the cobbled streets and discover cosy restaurants and bars, before your flight home the next day.

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Best time to go

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Travel is possible (but it’s not the best time)

Travel is not recommended

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