This Galapagos active adventure is the first of its kind offered in this tropical archipelago--and now it's better than ever! Ours is the only adventure that gives you the opportunity to camp on island beaches as well as explore the rim of a recently active volcano. Witness the wonderful wildlife of these islands up close and personal from the seat of a kayak versus onboard a cruise, providing you a more intimate journey in the enchanting Galapagos Islands.
So come to the Galapagos Islands with sea kayak paddle in hand for a multisport adventure! Marvel at the oceanic geologic origins, rich sea life, diverse wildlife and intriguing natural history of the islands, all of which are unique on this planet. Our Galapagos Island Sea Kayak, Snorkeling and Hiking Adventure allows you to discover them on an intimate level. Leave the crowds of visitors and the well-worn paths behind to enjoy the peace of walking and paddling our way through this island paradise.
Few places on earth allow for such intimate contact with a dazzling array of wildlife as the Galapagos Islands. Words cannot describe the intense wonder of exploring these oceanic islands where the birds and animals have little or no fear of humans. Swim with sea lions, and get within a few feet of blue footed boobies, marine iquanas and the giant Galápagos tortoises. Watch pelicans dive for fish, snorkel in transparent water rich with fishes and, if you desire, swim with sharks.
Our sturdy, speedy, and stable expedition sea kayaks are for one or two paddlers and are specifically equipped for the conditions we encounter. All kayaking portions of the trip are supported by a panga, or small motorboat, to ensure everyone's comfort and safety. Although participants should have some paddling experience, we begin with practice and safety instruction. Our camping sites are approved, and we adhere to leave-no-trace ethics in all our excursions. Activities include: walking, hiking, snorkeling and sea kayaking.
The Galapagos Islands have been a national park of Ecuador since 1959 and the islands remain a far-flung destination. These remote islands are revered the world over for their famous natural history and remarkably friendly, utterly unique creatures. In the effort to protect and preserve the Galapagos, access to the islands is restricted and regulated. Most tours to the Galapagos are cruise based tours set on yachts carrying from ten to ninety people. This unique journey, the only one of its kind, allows our small groups to visit sites that are not on the main routes and also lets you explore in the most environmentally-friendly manner imaginable--under your own power. We walk and sea-kayak where other, more intrusive modes of travel would not take us, and our reward is not only what we see but the pleasure of getting there.
Our itinerary takes us to five islands that include a wealth of wildlife and ecosystems. Every journey is more than its destination, and we are thrilled to offer an experience in the Galapagos for those intrepid and indefatigable souls who come along with us.
Images & Videos
Arrive to Quito
Fly into Quito on mainland Ecuador, where you're greeted by a SKA representative who assists you with your luggage and transfers you to the hotel for your overnight stay. If you have time, explore some of mainland Ecuador's historic sites and tasty cuisine before bed.
Quito City Tour
Enjoy your first morning in Ecuador with a day exploring Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Quito is home to many ancient, colonial and modern wonders including the colonial monasteries of Santo Domingo and San Francisco as well as sprawling colonial temples. Peer into Quito’s past with visits to the Independence Plaza and neighboring Jesuit Church La Compañía, the St. Augustine Covent. the Municipal Building, the Archbishop’s Palace and the Presidential Palace. Up next, gaze up at the elaborate interior of the Church of San Francisco—a stunning remnant of the New World.
Relax with some lunch, after which you continue to SKA’s Ecuador headquarters. Sample some delectable Ecuadorian chocolate and gather for a trip and kayaking orientation. Mid-afternoon finds you back at your hotel, where you can relax or do some more exploring before dinner.
Arrive San Cristobal, Kayak Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to Manglecito Beach
In the morning, fly from Quito to San Cristobal Island, the easternmost island in the archipelago. One of the oldest in the chain, San Cristobal's volcanic peaks are greatly eroded but the island boasts more abundant vegetation than many of the others in the archipelago. Upon arrival in the provincial capital and second largest town in Galapagos, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, we have our lunch at a local restaurant. Here you also have the chance to try the snorkeling and wet suit equipment.
This afternoon, set off on your first Galapagos sea kayaking excursion with a 6-mile paddle from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno to Manglecito Beach. Pass by Lobos Island as you paddle and look out for the blue-footed boobies and brown pelicans hopping along the rocky coast where marine iguanas bake in the sun. Sea turtles can occasionally be spotted dipping their heads out of the water for a quick break, or even mating, along this route.
Our paddle takes you to our prepared beach camp, where you may choose to soak in the views and settle into your tent or set out on one of our SUP boards to explore the becalmed bay and the wildlife found there.
As the sun sets, relax with a fresh, delicious dinner, 360˚ views and a secluded beach where wildlife are the only passersby.
Kayak Manglecito Beach to Puerto Grande, Snorkel at Kicker Rock
Today we take our kayaks and paddle along the coast, traveling to our camping area from Puerto Grande, another gorgeous beach. On arrival, relax with lunch and enjoy some bird watching and beach time.
After, hop aboard a catamaran to Kicker Rock, or Isla Leon Dormido. En route we may encounter porpoises! Then we begin an amazing snorkeling experience during which we may see Galápagos and white-tipped reef sharks, eagle rays and sea turtles. We see hundreds of fish and sea stars.
Return to relax on Manglecito beach by late afternoon and enjoy our last night at camp.
Explore, Kayak & SUP Board Isabela Island
After breakfast, take some time to explore the area before taking a boat back to town. There, we meet our flight to Isabela Island. This seahorse-shaped island is the largest in the archipelago and was formed from 6 merged shield volcanoes. Despite its remarkable beauty, Isabela is not a stop on most Galapagos cruises, making it a less-visited site perfect for our adventures.
Because it is a relatively young island, Isabela’s lava fields and surrounding soil do not have the varied vegetation zones of other islands. Despite this, the rich animal, bird, and marine life are beyond compare. There are more wild tortoises here than on all the other islands combined, and they roam freely in the calderas.
Upon arrival on Puerto Villamil, Isabela’s main town, we check into our accommodations and enjoy some lunch at a local restaurant. After, settle into your kayak for a paddle along Isabela’s stunning bays and beachfront. Wildlife abounds—especially the elfin Galapagos penguin who love to hop around the volcanic rocks here. Snap on your snorkel gear for a better view of the sandy sea floor or take to a stand up paddle board to navigate the bay.
Hike Sierra Negra
After breakfast this morning we drive to the highlands of Isabela for an entirely new view and feel of the Galapagos. Reach the base of Sierra Negra, which last erupted in 2005, and set off on a 6-10 mile hike through the new and dramatic layer of lava accompanied by plenty of birds such as flycatchers, finches and possibly the evasive Galapagos hawk. Our hike takes us to Isabela’s caldera—the second largest in the world with a diameter of 6.5 miles—where you can catch your breath and magnificent views.
After our excursion, return to town. Some may enjoy a walk to the beach for a cool swim, or a stroll in town before gathering for dinner. Enjoy beachfront BBQ served with views of a Galapagos sunset and a toasty bonfire tonight.
Snorkel Los Tuneles, Visit Tortoise Breeding Center, Explore Wetlands
In the morning, weather permitting, we take a boat ride to Los Tuneles: a most curious and remarkable lava formation consisting of arches and caves. Walk along the shore and snorkel in crystal clear water for a glimpse into the remarkable underwater world.
Enjoy lunch aboard the boat before continuing on to nearby El Finado, where you discover an inlet used by local fishermen to rest from their journeys in the ocean for years. Snorkel among white-tipped reef sharks, stingrays and colorful tropical fish flitting amongst submerged lava rocks forming caves and small reefs.
Spend the afternoon on land with a visit to the Tortoise Breeding Center, where you can see the Galapagos’ titular tortoises at all stages of growth. Learn about the Galapagos National Park’s conservation efforts and witness the gentle creatures up close.
Return to our accommodations through the wetlands, where flamingos stand bright against the four different species of mangrove that grow in the tidal lagoons.
Spend your evening strolling along the beautiful white sand beach of Puerto Villamil and exploring the town on your own.
Explore & Kayak Santa Cruz Highlands
We wake early and set off for the day’s adventures by sea. We take a speed boat to Isla Santa Cruz, the urban center of the archipelago and the home of the Darwin Research Station, the National Park Headquarters, and Puerto Ayora. Once we land, drive on Santa Cruz’s main highway into the lush ecosystem of highlands. Wild Galapagos tortoises lumber throughout these dense forests, and we spend some time walking amongst them as they chew on the vegetation and roam slowly through the diverse environment.
After our time with the tortoises, we visit some of Santa Cruz’s lava tunnels created as hot lava once snaked throughout the earth’s crust. We explore the labyrinth of subterranean twists and marvel at the force of nature before returning to the surface.
As the afternoon continues, we find our way to white-coral beach and a nearby shallow lagoon where hop into our kayaks. Watch for sharks, rays, and seabirds as we paddle along the coastline or flamingos enjoying the calm waters of the lagoon.
Later, we return to the hotel where you have some time to rest. You are free to enjoy dinner on your own either at the hotel or take a water taxi and explore the town. Puerto Ayora is a bustling town with lots of dinner choices and the opportunity to enjoy the local night life.
Visit the “Trapiche” or Sugar Mill – Visit Garrapatero and Kayak
After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a scenic drive to El Garrapatero, with the opportunity to visit a coffee farm in Bellavista that also produces sugar the old-fashioned way. Learn how sugar cane juice is extracted before being transformed into “Galapagos Moonshine”.
Then continue to the beautiful beach of El Garrapatero where you can relax on the sands, take a dip or go kayaking to explore the nearby mangroves. In the evening, you’ll be treated to a delicious dinner featuring traditional ingredients with a local angler as you experience authentic Galapagos hospitality.
Return to Mainland Ecuador
Begin your morning with a journey to Baltra, where you catch your flight to mainland Ecuador and say goodbye to the Galapagos Islands. Once in Quito, you may meet your return flight home or stay on with an extension tour to delve into Ecuador’s rich Incan past or Amazonian ecosystems.
Dates & Rates
|Dates||Adult (USD)||Child (USD)|
|Jan 24, 2020 to Feb 02, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Feb 21, 2020 to Mar 01, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Mar 06, 2020 to Mar 15, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Mar 20, 2020 to Mar 29, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Apr 03, 2020 to Apr 12, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Apr 10, 2020 to Apr 19, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|May 15, 2020 to May 24, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Jun 19, 2020 to Jun 28, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Jul 10, 2020 to Jul 19, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Aug 07, 2020 to Aug 16, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Sep 18, 2020 to Sep 27, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Oct 23, 2020 to Nov 01, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Nov 13, 2020 to Nov 22, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Dec 19, 2020 to Dec 28, 2020||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
|Dec 25, 2020 to Jan 03, 2021||$5,400£0€0$0$0||$5,400£0€0$0$0||BOOK NOW|
2019 Tier Pricing:
- 4 - 7 Guests - $5590 per person
- 8 - 12 Guests - $4990 per person
2020 Tier Pricing:
- 4 - 7 Guests - $5800 per person
- 8 - 12 Guests - $5400 per person
December Supplement: $150
Single Supplement: $750
*Prices are based on double occupancy. If desired, we will strive to pair you up with another single guest to elimate the single supplement fee however, please note that this is not always possible.
Please note that an additional amount of $1020 should be allowed for internal flights and Park Tariffs
- Full service of our Adventure Consultants
- Professional Galapagos Naturalist Guide
- Private services throughout the tour
- Double accommodation in hotels and for camping
- All necessary kayaking, camping and snorkeling equipment
- All ground transportation as noted on the itinerary
- All meals and drinks as noted on the itinerary
- All domestic flights
- Gratuities for guides
- International flights to Ecuador
- Park fees necessary for the itinerary ($120)
- All domestic flights ($900)
- Items of a personal nature
- Alcoholic beverages
- Insurance of any type
- Cost of hospitalization or evacuation if necessary
Tiered Pricing Explained
Our trips are budgeted for full or near full sign-ups which enables us to offer trips at the lowest possible price. Because of numerous fixed costs, it is more expensive to operate a trip for a small group. Therefore, on some of our trips, in order to avoid having to cancel a trip, we have a “tier-pricing” system to avoid canceling a trip with a low number of sign ups. We have found that most people also prefer this alternative to having a trip cancelled. Thus, you will note on our trip prices there may be different price for 6-8 people versus 9-10, versus 11-12, etc...
We may initially invoice you at the higher tier price, and refund the difference depending on the final group size. Trip costs quoted are based on foreign exchange rates current at the time of this printing. We reserve the right to raise the trip fee if there are exceptional cost increases beyond our control.
FAQ & More
Both tours offer camping on San Cristobal. The Galapagos by Kayak trip visits fewer islands and there is more time spent kayaking than on the multisport trip. Both are superb journeys offered by no other company and we invite you to call our office to help you decide which trip would be best for you. You see roughly the same number of species of animals on either trip.
Whenever your schedule allows! Because it’s on the equator, air temperatures don’t change a lot. However water temperature does fluctuate as much as ten degrees during the year. The cooler Humboldt Current comes up from Antarctica from May to September/October and the sea is cooler and tends to be rougher at this time of year. Cooler water temperatures mean you generally see more sea life because there is more food for the animals that depend on the planktons and other sea nourishment. From November to April, the cooler Panama Current flows from the north and brings warmer water. The sea tends to be calmer at this time of year. If you’re going on our land-based tour then rough water is less of a concern. If you’re doing a cruise, and you are prone to seasickness, you might want to consider coming in the November to April time frame. Check out further recommendations on when to go here.
For a month to month comparison of temperatures and wildlife activity check out the Galapagos Calendar.
Visit this page for a month-to-month detail on weather. Because the Galapagos Islands are on the equator, it’s warm most of the year. The warmest season is usually January to April and average temperatures range from a low of 70F/22C to around of 84F/31C. This is also the “wet season” and there may be afternoon thundershowers. During a severe El Nino year, it’s more likely to rain at any time of day. April to December is considered the “dry season” and is cooler, with average temperatures ranging from around 68F/19C to 82F/27C. At this time of year it is not uncommon to have the "garua" (misty rain) early in the morning and in the highlands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. Our experience is that the time of year doesn’t make a lot of difference in terms of the amount of rain as there isn’t enough to impact your trip too much.
From the U.S. and Canada there are daily flights via Houston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, New York and Miami, to Quito, Ecuador.
On this tour, you should arrive on day one of the itinerary. This is included as a travel day to ensure all guests in the group are checked in and ready for the Quito city tour on day two.
Ecuador uses the US dollar which was adopted as the official currency in 2000. Be sure to bring cash bills in good condition because bills with markings or tears won’t be accepted. There are also ATM machines in the larger towns. It’s also a good idea to alert your bank that you’ll be traveling to Ecuador so they don’t stop the transactions.
We have been running trips in Ecuador since 1992 and know the country well. We have plenty of ideas for extending your trip whether it be to the Amazon, the Cloud Forest, the highlands in the north or south, or whatever might be your special interest. We can also arrange extensions to Peru and Machu Picchu.
There are a lot of arrangements to be made for a trip like this one. It’s very helpful with our planning if you book four to 12 months in advance. However, if you can’t plan that far ahead, then it’s usually not a problem to book up to about two months in advance. If you find yourself looking for last-minute space just call us and check!
The Galapagos is surely one of the best places in the world to snorkel. The flourishing ocean life is an ecological treasure, and one of the main draws to the archipelago. You will have multiple chances to snorkel, sometimes at multiple locations in a day. We do recommend you try snorkeling ahead of time for your trip to get the most out of your experience, if you have never done so. Wetsuits aren’t strictly necessary, but “shorty” wetsuits (knees to elbows) of about 2mm are recommended to keep out any chill. We have full snorkel gear available to use including wetsuits.
All of the kayaking and camping equipment is provided, so just bring your clothing and personal gear. A complete pack list is available here. We highly suggest traveling “light” for this adventure, as the domestic flights limit the amount of luggage to 35 lbs per person.
The Galapagos Islands (or Archipelago de Colon) are a Province of Ecuador located about 500 miles (800 kilometers) west of the Ecuadorian coast and are located directly on the equator.
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We do not arrange international air travel but we do have a great air travel specialist we refer you to if you’d like.
Yes, all Domestic flights between mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands will be included on your invoice. We will make the arrangements in conjunction with our partners in Ecuador. Flights to the Galapagos Islands depart several times daily from both Quito and Guayaquil aboard Boeing 737’s or Airbus 320’s or similar.
We recommend if you'd like to enjoy some scuba diving, that you stay on the islands for an extra day or two. This can easily be arranged at an additional cost. Please note that most diving locations in the Galapagos are very technical and often require certification in addition to significant experience.