Giant tortoise crossing a dirt road through the jungle trees in the Galapagos, Ecuador

Exclusive Land Based Tour of Galapagos Islands

Ratings of Zicasso's Service
Customizable Itinerary

This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist

Countries Visited

Galapagos / Ecuador

Places Visited

Quito, Mindo, Galapagos Islands, Santa Cruz

Suggested Duration

12 Days

The Central Galapagos Islands revel in their intimacy and authenticity, a series of sites symbolizing the dramatic beauty of the entire archipelago. From your base at a luxuriant eco hotel you enjoy 12 days exploring the eclectic sites, taking daily yacht and land excursions to see remarkable wildlife. This exciting venture offers an exclusive land based tour of Galapagos Islands without being on a cruise. Complete the itinerary by marveling at the cloud forest of Mindo and the heritage of ancient...

Customizable Itinerary

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Trip Highlights

  • Spend 12 days discovering the Galapagos Islands from the base of a luxury hotel
  • Enjoy four unique yacht excursions to some of the archipelago's most iconic sites, including North Seymour, South Plaza, and Santa Fe Islands
  • Fully explore Santa Cruz Island, taking your time as you encounter the world's largest tortoises and many strange seabirds
  • Walk across the bizarre volcanic lava flows of Bartolome, the surreal landscape seeming to come from another world
  • Snorkel into a mysterious underwater world teeming with pelagic giants and strange tropical fish
  • Start your tour of Ecuador and Galapagos in Quito, which became the world's first ever World Heritage site in 1978
  • Wander through the cloud forest of Mindo, taking in eclectic hummingbirds and a huge abundance of butterflies

Detailed Description

A cruise isn't the only luxurious way to explore the Galapagos archipelago. Using a Santa Cruz hotel as your base, you enjoy 12 days of an exclusive land based tour of Galapagos Islands, discovering the eclectic and iconic sites of the archipelago. Wander across lava flows, stand surrounded by giant tortoises, sunbathe beside sea lions, and snorkel through incredible marine landscapes. A mix of land and yacht excursions take you into the untouched Galapagos world at your pace, allowing you to indulge in the weird and wonderful; frigates with inflated red chests, blue-footed boobies, fur seals, camouflaged rays, bizarre fish, and much more. Staying on land means there is lots of free time and opportunities to explore without a guide. Outstanding snorkeling and bird sites can be found within walking distance of the hotel, and there's always the dusk scene of sea birds diving for their dinner.

Just as there's more to the Galapagos than a cruise, there's more to Ecuador than the Galapagos. Your vacation starts in Quito, Latin America's largest colonial city and a treasure chest of historical charm. Stay in the ancient city center and soak up an atmosphere of another era; colorful courtyards, 16th-century churches, elegant palaces, and an eclectic mix of imported styles. Head to Mindo on day three and spend two days in a mysterious cloud forest. Dozens of hummingbirds flutter beside your balcony while thousands of butterflies float gently through the trees. You'll also hike deep into the forest to find endemic birds and zip-line above the forest canopy. Take a moment to read for yourself actual accounts of Galapagos trip reviews from travelers like yourself.

A land-based Galapagos itinerary is ideal for those who don't have their sea legs or are seeking the freedom and luxury that isn't possible on a boat. The lavish eco hotel in Santa Cruz offers space, privacy, and stunning wildlife scenes within walking distance. A program of excursions ensures you fully discover the dramatic variety of the islands. Head out by yacht to islands like Santa Fe and North Seymour, both alive with endemic wildlife and vivid wildlife mating scenes. Santa Cruz is the second largest of the Galapagos Islands, and you'll also take land excursions to its multiple sites, like the giant tortoises of the highlands and beaches populated with sea lions. You're also within walking distance of Puerto Ayora, with its cute collection of shops and cafes around the harbor. But while you'll find people in the town, there are few places without unusual wildlife scenes.

Starting Price

$11,695 per person (excluding international flights)

Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.

What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all activities and tours
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip

Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.

Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service

4.88 stars based on 220 reviews.

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"Our guide in Ecuador was excellent, and the crew and guide...

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