- Days 1 & 2: Arrival, Quito city tour
- Days 3 & 4: Explore San Cristobal, camp at exclusive beach location
- Days 5, 6 & 7: Explore Isabela Island
- Days 8, 9 & 10: Explore Santa Cruz Island, return to Quito
Day 1: Arrive in Quito
Fly into Quito and begin your Galápagos Unbound adventure. Upon arrival, meet with the hotel’s representative and take their private shuttle to your hotel for the evening.
Accommodations : Casa Ilayaku, Quito
Day 2: Quito City Tour
After breakfast, venture out to explore Quito. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Quito offers historic sites such as colonial temples and the monasteries of Santo Domingo and San Francisco. Visit the St. Augustine Convent, the Independence Plaza neighbored by the Jesuit Church of La Compañía, the Municipal Building, the Presidential Palace and the Archbishop’s Palace. Next, we continue our exploration with a visit to the Church of San Francisco, an incredible remnant of the New World known for its elaborate interior.
We take a break with some lunch, after which we stop by the Galápagos Unbound headquarters in Ecuador. Tempt your tastebuds with some of Ecuador’s rich chocolate before gathering for a trip briefing and kayaking orientation. Return to your hotel by mid-afternoon and relax before dinner.
Accommodations : Casa Ilayaku, Quito
Meals Included : Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3: Quito - San Cristobal – Manglecito.
Activities: Fly from Quito, sea kayaking, snorkeling, swimming, beach camping.
Wildlife: Sea lions, blue-footed boobies, sea turtles.
This afternoon, settle in for your first kayaking expedition of the trip with a 6-mile paddle from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to Manglecito Beach. The paddle takes you past Lobos Island, where you can spot marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies and brown pelicans perched on the rocky coast. You may even be able to spot passing sea turtles popping their heads out of water to take a breath or even mating.
You arrive to a beach camp welcome from your camp guides, settle into your tent to relax and enjoy the view or indulge in more wildlife spotting.
This evening, enjoy camping on a secluded beach and relish the freshly prepared food, tranquil views and the occasional visit by the local wildlife before bed.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Kayak from Manglecito to Puerto Grande – Snorkel Kicker Rock
Activities: Swimming, snorkeling, kayaking.
Wildlife: Sea lions, blue-footed and masked boobies.
Accommodations: Secluded beach camping
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: San Cristobal - Isabela Island - Wildlife Kayaking
Activities: Inter-island flight to Isabela, paddle that bay, walking.
Wildlife: Marshlands, mangroves, flamingoes, tortoises.
Our morning travels take us to Puerto Villamil, where we check in at our evening’s accommodations and enjoy some local cuisine at lunch. Up next, we hop in our kayaks and paddle around Isabela's beautiful bay and beachfront. Wildlife is abundant, especially birdlife, and this is probably our best chance to see the tiny Galápagos penguin as they love to hang out and nest on the rocks here. Bring your snorkel gear along as you will have plenty opportunity to jump in and explore beneath the water. The pure white sand on the seafloor makes this a snorkel paradise.
Accommodations: Isabela Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Isabela’s Sierra Negra
Activities: Hiking to a volcano’s rim, Sierra Negra caldera, fumaroles, afternoon swim.
Wildlife: Short-eared owls, Galapagos hawks, finches, flycatchers, warblers.
Enjoy a fresh breakfast before heading out into Isabela’s highlands for a new view of the Galápagos Islands’ diverse terrain. Our travels take us to the base of Sierra Negra—an active volcano whose last eruption in 2005 left it coated with a remarkable new layer of lava. Hike 6-10 miles to the caldera, the second largest in the world, and enjoy incredible views while looking out for flycatchers, finches and the elusive Galápagos hawk.
Once we reach the caldera’s rim, relax and take in the sweeping views of Isabela laying before you. Then, our hike continues to Volcan Chico*, where a lunar landscape of fumaroles and rippling snakes of black lava await you. From the highest points, you can see Isabela’s other volcanoes and the surrounding islands.
After our hike through Isabela’s heights, return to back to town. Enjoy a stroll along the beach, cool down with a swim or explore more of Puerto Villamil before rejoining for dinner. Delicious BBQ is served outside on the beachfront, giving you an excellent opportunity to relax under a Galápagos sunset warmed by a bonfire.
Accommodations: Isabela Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7: Boat ride to Los Tuneles & El Finado - Tortoise breeding center
Activities: Tuneles, swimming, snorkeling.
Wildlife: Marine iguanas, sea lions, white-tipped reef sharks, blue-footed & masked boobies, sea lions, spotted eagle rays, damselfish. Tortoise at every stage of development
At El Finado, we anchor our boat and once again hop into the water to snorkel amongst the reefs, submerged caves and marine life wonderland. A favorite haunt of white-tipped reef shark, vibrant tropical fish and stingrays, El Finado offers plenty to see. Further into the lush mangroves, you can discover wrasses, parrotfish and hogfishes navigating alongside you in this unique habitat.
After this morning’s snorkel excursions we visit the Tortoise Breeding Center, an initiative by the Galápagos National Park to conserve the many and varied species of these gentle giants. See tortoises at every stage of development and learn about the initiative's work to preserve the species before they are returned to their native habitats.
We return to the hotel via the wetlands, where flamingos add a splash of color to the brackish waters of the tidal lagoons that are home to them as well as four species of mangrove and numerous migratory birds.
This evening, stroll along the white sandy beach and enjoy a leisurely night independently exploring the town.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 8: Boat ride from Isabela to Santa Cruz – Visit Highlands and Kayak
Activities: Inter-island boat ride to Baltra, wildlife walking tour.
Wildlife: Giant tortoises, sharks, rays, bird life, marine life.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Day 9: Visit the “Trapiche” or Sugar Mill – Visit Garrapatero and Kayak
Activities: Visit the Sugar Mill, relax and kayak on the beach.
Wildlife: Darwin’s finches, Vermilion flycatcher, Saclesia and Miconia forest, frigate birds, manta rays, sea turtles.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10: Puerto Ayora - Baltra & Return to Quito
Activities: Transfer to Baltra, catch the flight to Quito.
In the morning we drive across the island of Santa Cruz, back to Baltra and the airport. Baltra was the location of an air base built by the US Navy during WW II, although the runway has been relocated since then. Fly back to Quito, where you may catch your international flight home or continue your Ecuadorian adventure with one of our extension tours.
Travel to Quito:
The simplest way to get to Quito is to connect through one of several US cities, including NYC, Atlanta, Houston, Miami and Fort Lauderdale, which all offer direct flights to Quito.
Airport Transfer Upon Arrival:
Arrival airport transfer is included in your package price. Please provide your international flight information and we will arrange to provide transportation to your hotel in Quito, where the tour officially begins. On the final day, the trip ends upon arrival back to the Quito airport. If you have arranged extra hotel nights or extensions to your trip, you will need to arrange your own transportation. The hotels we use offer complimentary shuttle services, and taxis are available in abundance at the airport.
Here at Sea Kayak Adventures our first and foremost goal is for you to have an enjoyable and safe experience. While most of our trips are suitable for beginners, some of our trips are more active than others and it’s important that you understand the physical requirement of the trip you choose.
All of our trips are active adventures that involve some level of physical exertion and possible exposure to the elements including but not limited to wind, rain, heat, sun, cold temperatures and cold water conditions. Sea Kayak Adventures is able to accommodate people with physical limitations, disabilities and medical conditions; please speak with your Adventure Consultant if you think you will require any additional assistance while on the trip. We ask that you consult your Doctor if you have health or medical conditions that could impact your ability to participate in an active and outdoor adventure. In general, all trip participants must be able to do the following:
- Wear all protective and safety equipment that are required by Sea Kayak Adventures and recommended/required by industry wide standards.
- Load and unload, on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion, the bus and/or van providing transportation for Sea Kayak Adventures activities.
- Reach the water access points (put-in and take-out) on their own, or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Enter and exit a raft, kayak and/or inflatable kayak on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion.
- Remain seated and balanced in a floating raft, canoe, kayak or inflatable kayak w/ the aid of adaptive equipment, if necessary.
- Float on their back when entering moving and still water. The participant must be capable of turning from face-down to face-up in the water with the aid of a Personal Floatation Device and must be able to hold their breath while under water.
- Remain calm and keep breathing under control in the event of a swim.
- Climb into the kayak, with the help of another person, should an involuntary swim happen at any point on the water.
- Make progress toward the shoreline or a boat by swimming in moving water and must be able to exit the water and ascend the shoreline once reached.
- Participate as an active paddler when instructed by the guide for the duration of trip.
- Move about the campsite on their own or with the aid of a qualified companion on all trips that include overnight camping and/or lunch.
Whether you are an avid sea kayaker, or it is your first time, you’ll enjoy these incredible trips, and share in our passion for adventure, commitment to conserving the environment, and relishing unique experiences. For those new to the sport, kayaking is easy to learn in the sheltered waters that we visit, and we provide all of the camping gear, kayaking equipment and guidance needed. In addition, we keep our groups small to allow you to not only travel intimately among nature, but to ensure you receive the necessary attention from our guides.
- Money belt to carry your passport, travel documents and money, concealed under your clothes.
- A copy of passport, air tickets placed elsewhere in luggage.
- $100 cash for Galapagos National Park fee.
- $ 12 cash for Isabela Arrival Tax
- Cash for gratuities (see more information below)
- A credit card that works internationally
- Watch or small travel clock with alarm.
Luggage – We think it is wise to avoid checking any luggage under the plane. If you do, make sure that you have everything that is either essential or, would be hard to replace, with you in your carry on bags. You will be using three main bags during the trip. One is your main duffel for things you only need at camp. The second is a small day pack that has things you need with you during the day, and the third is a dry bag provided by ROW that you carry on the kayak with you and the fourth is an optional “wet gear bag.” The contents for each is explained below.
1) One duffel bag or roll-on that meets carry on requirements. If you don’t want to carry a duffel bag through airports on your air travels, pack a light duffel bag inside a roll-on bag of carry-on size. Then, in Quito, you can pack the things you need for the Galapagos inside the duffel bag and leave the roll-on at the hotel. At the end of the trip, this same duffel can then be used as an extra piece of luggage for your souvenirs on your return flight. Again, this should be a medium-size duffel that meets carry-on requirements. You can just take your roll on bag with you but remember - Wheels add weight.
2) One small day pack. Outside zippered pockets are nice. This qualifies as a carry-on “personal item.” A good size measures 18” high x 12” wide by 8” deep plus outside pockets about 2” deep. Carry medications, books, games and other essentials or “hard-to-replace” items in this on the plane. While in Ecuador, this is perfect for stashing those items you’ll want during the day, whether sea kayaking, hiking or visiting towns.
3) Dry Bag (Provided by ROW) – To use in the Galapagos on the sea kayaks for items you want to keep handy during the day in your kayak. This small bag will hold your rain gear, sunscreen, sun shirt, binoculars, camera, etc. on top of your kayak for easy accessibility.
- One pair long, lightweight, nylon pants with zipper pockets. Zip off legs give you more options.
- One other comfortable pair of pants or skirt (One of these first two items is worn on airplane)
- One pair nylon shorts (that double as a swimsuit for the guys.)
- Swimsuit for gals
- Two t-shirts or polo shirts
- One pair light weight pajamas
- One short sleeve button-up shirt - nylon or poly/cotton
- One long sleeve shirt for sun protection1. You can buy tight-weave nylon shirts with 30 SPF protection made by companies such as Columbia, etc. Sun protection is essential and the equatorial sun is intense and reflected by sky and water.
- One long sleeve button up shirt for town – light poly/cotton (pack in a ziplock bag to minimize wrinkles if you care).
- One light fleece or polyester sweater or jacket for warmth in the evenings and mornings
- Three or four pairs underwear.
- One wide-brim, tie-on hat – floppy nylon is ideal as it packs well. A baseball cap & bandana also works.
- One lightweight raincoat – like a windbreaker that has some waterproof qualities.
- Three pair light nylon or cotton socks, (one thicker pair cotton for the Volcano hike)
- One pair sandals with ankle straps to wear while kayaking, on the beaches, walking around towns, etc. Chaco is our preferred brand, but Teva and others make these.
- One pair sturdy tennis shoes, or running shoes, to use for the volcano hike and for other times when you want to wear something other than the sandals. Most people would find hiking boots unnecessary, but if you prefer them, or need extra ankle support, then a lightweight pair may be appropriate.
- Water Gear
- One pair of paddling gloves. If your hands are prone to blisters. Cheap, fingerless bike gloves work great.
- One lycra “rash guard” shirt adds to the warmth and ease of getting your wetsuit on and off but is not essential
*If you wish to borrow snorkel, fins, mask and/or wet suits, please let us know and it can be provided at no additional cost – this gear will not be considered part of your 35lbs check in weight as we will transport the rental gear for you.
- One flashlight. The nicest kind is a headlamp. Extra batteries and bulb.
- One wide-mouth water bottle.
- Small towel for camping. Beach towels are available on the snorkel boats.
- One bandana for sun protection and cooling off.
- Toilet Kit
- Toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, soap (Ivory or biodegradable are best*)
- General hygiene products & shaving essentials
- Heavy duty skin lotion for dry, sun-baked and salted skin,
- Chapstick/ lip balm with sunscreen.
- Medications - (Dramamine-motion sickness, Benedryl -allergic reactions. See below.)
- Prescription Medications
- Small squeeze bottle of hand-sanitizer gel
- Sewing Kit (optional)
* Under our Park Service permit we are not allowed to use any soap in the sea. At camp you can use soap to wash your face, hands, etc. and we have a bucket where we store this soapy water.
- Bug Spray or Lotion – Guests have experienced a higher than normal presence of mosquitos while at camp recently. It is highly recommended that you have plenty of bug spray, preferably with some DEET. In addition, Insect Shield is a company that will treat your selected items of clothing to be insect-repellent up to 70 washes. While the cost can add up, a treated long-sleeved shirt and pair of pants may go a long way towards ensuring your maximum comfort during the camping portion.
- Sunscreen - 30 SPF or higher. Sun protection is essential and the equatorial sun is intense and reflected by sky and water.
- Lip balm w/sunscreen for your day bag
- Sunglasses - Good ones that will protect your eyes from the sun and the reflection off the water. Polaroid lenses offer great marine wildlife viewing.
- Headstrap for glasses and sunglasses – Chums, Croakies or similar.
- Extra pair of sunglasses and glasses.
- Small container of clothing detergent – If you want to do some laundry in your hotel room. Just 3-4 oz of powdered kind. (Optional – soap and shampoo work too).
- Four or Five white 11-gallon kitchen garbage can liners - for wet clothes, dirty shoes etc. These are quite useful.
- A few 1-gallon ziplock bags – for packing sunscreens, lotions or anything that might make a mess.
- Camera, video camera, film or memory cards and extra camera batteries – No Flash Photography allowed on the Islands.
- A waterproof camera or GoPro is great for snorkelling
- Small waterproof camera box like the Pelican brand. ROW provides a soft dry bag for daytime essentials and your camera can go in this but it is not as secure as a box.
- Binoculars – optional but nice for bird watching, dolphin or whale watching, etc.
- Books, pen and note pad, deck of playing cards or other games, etc.
Galapagos Unbound Pre-Departure Packet - Includes reading list, information on extensions, packing, money information and more.
Galapagos Islands Weather Forecast - Check the local weather before you go.
Trip Adviser - Read reviews from past guests.
Galapagos Unbound Website - Here you can find information on other Galapagos tours and mainland Ecuador extensions.
Quito Tourism Guide - Learn more about the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Terms and Conditons
TRIP MEMBERS RESPONSIBILITY
Trip members have the responsibility to choose a trip appropriate to their abilities and interests. We are happy to discuss this with you. Trip members are held responsible for being in sufficient good health to undertake the trip and for preparing for the trip by studying the itinerary and pre-departure information sent by ROW Sea Kayak Adventures.
While most travel, including travel to international destinations, is completed without incident, travel to certain destinations may involve greater risk than others. ROW Sea Kayak Adventures urges passengers to review current announcements and advisories, travel warnings, and restrictions issued by the United States Government prior to booking travel to any international destination. Up to date infromation on various international travel conditions can be found at www.state.gov, www.tsa.gov, www.dot.gov, www.faa.gov, www.cdc.gov, www.treas.gov/ofac and www.customs.gov. By offering travel to particular international destinations, ROW Sea Kayak Adventures does not represent or guarantee that travel to such locations is advisable or without risk, and ROW Sea Kayak Adventures is not liable for damages or losses that may result from travel to such destinations.
ROW Sea Kayak Adventures reserves the right to disqualify anyone at any time before or during the trip for medical or psychological reasons. Each trip member is ultimately responsible for his or her own medical expenses. We cannot refund costs of medical examinations or other expenses incurred while preparing for a trip. If you arrive at the start of your trip with a pre-existing condition or injury that was not disclosed in writing to ROW Sea Kayak Adventures and you are subsequently forced to leave the trip because of this condition, you will be charged all extra evacuation expenses and will not receive a refund of any unused trip services. All health information is treated as confidential.
TERMS OF SERVICE
RESPONSIBILITY ~ AN IMPORTANT NOTICE
These paragraphs define our responsibility with respect to all of our trips. Please read carefully. Payment of deposit represents an acceptance by the tour member of these terms and conditions.
ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. an Idaho Corporation, and its owners, agents and employees give notice that services provided in connection with its itineraries, including transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurants, and other services, are purchased from various independent suppliers who are not affiliated with ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. Although it endeavors to choose the best suppliers possible, ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. has no right to control their operations and therefore makes these travel arrangements upon the express condition that
ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. and its own agents and employees shall not be liable for any delay, expense, mishap, inconvenience, bodily injury or death to person, or damage to property occasioned through the conduct or default of any company or individual engaged in providing these services. Each of these passenger conveyance companies, hotels, tour companies, restaurants, etc. is subject to the laws of the state or country where the service is provided.
ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. shall not be liable for bodily injury or property damage for any reason, including but not limited to acts of God, detention, annoyance, delays and expenses arising from quarantine, strikes, thefts, pilferage, force majeure, failure of any means of conveyance to arrive or depart as scheduled, civil disturbances, government restrictions or regulation, discrepancies or change in transit over which it has no control.
ROW Sea Kayak Adventures reserves the right, either prior to or after departure, in its good-faith discretion and in circumstances that warrant it, to change or re-price any tour, trip, or expedition. This includes the possibility of moving to an alternate location due to extreme water conditions, wind conditions, forest fires, road closures and/or acts of God.
ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. reserves the right to substitute hotels and leaders and to alter the itinerary when deemed necessary or advisable.
ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. reserves the right to take photographic or film records of any of our trips and may use any such records for promotional and/or commercial purposes.
All of our guests are required to sign a liability release form acknowledging that there are inherent risks associated with the nature of activities planned prior to traveling with ROW Sea Kayak Adventures. Your trip is not confirmed until ROW Sea Kayak Adventures receives this signed liability release form. Participation in the tour will not be allowed without a signed completed liability release form, and consistent with ROW Sea Kayak Adventures’ cancellation policy, no refund will be granted.
ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. operates our trips in British Columbia, Canada. All other trips in foreign countries are arranged through and are operated by independent suppliers that provide the goods and services for your trip including, for example, food service providers, equipment suppliers, yacht and other transportation companies, lodging facilities, local ground operators, certain guides, etc. As a result, we have no right to control their operations and therefore make the described travel arrangements upon the express condition that the ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. its subsidiaries, agents and employees, shall not be liable for any delay, mishap, inconvenience, expense, irregularity, bodily injury or death to person, or damage to property occasioned through the conduct or fault of any company or individual engaged in providing these services.
We do our best to follow our itinerary as published; however, the nature of adventure travel is such that each trip will be slightly different. Weather, park regulation changes, hotel availability, guest ability, and other factors may require modifications. We always do our best to substitute equivalent destinations and activities. ROW Sea Kayak Adventures will not be held responsible for any refunds whatsoever for changes to the printed or scheduled itinerary.
Travel requires a flexible attitude. Due to factors out of our control, including but not limited to weather, unannounced road construction, etc., delays do occur. For example, flights sometimes don’t operate as scheduled, roads may wash out, or detours may be necessary. We advise you to consider these potential factors when planning your travel to our tour destinations, as well as ask for your flexibility and understanding when delays due to factors out of our control necessitate changes to your tour itinerary.
ROW Sea Kayak Adventures reserves the right to cancel any trip prior to departure for any reason whatsoever, including insufficient sign-ups or logistical problems, which may impede trip operations. The refund of all land payments received shall release ROW Sea Kayak Adventures from any further liability. In the event of trip cancellation, ROW Sea Kayak Adventures, Inc. is not responsible for expenses incurred by trip members in preparing for a cancelled trip (e.g. visa fees, equipment, nonrefundable advance purchase air tickets, etc.) or for any additional arrangements should the trip member have embarked prior to the scheduled group departure date. A trip cancellation due to insufficient sign-ups would normally occur at least 30 days prior to departure.
ROW Sea Kayak Adventures shall not be liable for (a) expenses such as additional hotel nights and meals not specified in the individual trip itineraries, but which may be required to get to and from a trip start or end; (b) expenses due to the delay of a trip for any reason (e.g. bad weather, trail conditions, landslides, flooding, sickness, etc.); (c) expenses incurred in recovering luggage lost by airlines, belongings left behind on a trip or in shipping purchases or other goods home from abroad.