Arrive: Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador
Depart: Quito or Guayaquil, Ecuador
After exploring Quito's historic quarter, fly to Baltra on Day 3 and board the Passion, heading to the mangrove lagoon known as Black Turtle Cove for a panga (Zodiac) ride among golden rays. At remote Genovesa, we land at Darwin Bay to snorkel among colorful fish and hike the coast to see red-footed boobies, red-billed tropicbirds, great frigatebirds, and elegant swallow-tailed gulls. Our trail on Bartolomé Island leads to magnificent views of Pinnacle Rock and we'll snorkel with Galápagos penguins in the cove below.
Rábida's red-sand beaches give way to a saltwater lagoon with greater flamingos and white-cheeked pintails. At Cerro Dragon, we find a fantastic land iguana nesting site, then head to Santa Cruz to visit the Darwin Station's tortoise-breeding facility. Back on board and during meals, enjoy talks by your naturalist guide.
South Plaza Island captivates with its black-lava shoreline and copper-colored land iguanas. On Santa Fé, we see the unique land iguana endemic to the island. Española Island has a high degree of species differentiation due to its remoteness. We follow flipper prints on a white-sand beach to find lounging sea lions, and keep an eye out for Galápagos hawks, Galápagos doves, and Hood mockingbirds. Fly to Quito on Day 10 and depart, or join one of our extensions.
Pricing below is per person and based on double occupancy. The earlier you book, the more choice you’ll have. WT also has the most generous cancellation and transfer policies in the industry, we make it easy if you change your mind. Have a small group of your own? Take over an existing date or choose your own. You’ll have your own private guide–and the adventure–all to yourselves!
At time of reservation: $2,000
150 days prior to departure: $4,000
90 days prior to departure: Balance
*Please note that this differs from our standard policy.
Minimum fee: $1,000 per person
61-120 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost
60 days or less: 100% of trip cost
*Please note that this differs from our standard policy
Scroll through our signature accommodations for this trip below. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.
Days 1-2 (2 nights)
This elegant boutique hotel is located in the center of Old Town just steps from the main square and is a wonderful introduction to the city of Quito. The building itself is a work of art, with beautiful colonial architecture dating to the 16th century. Guest rooms are basic but...
Days 3-10 (8 nights)
Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders have a passion and a joy for creating an unforgettable journey. We are extremely proud of them and the incredible travel experiences they make possible. For more information, including client comments about them and which specific trips they will be leading, please click on their profiles below.
Carolina Larrea AngermeyerView Profile
Rafael PesantesView Profile
Patricia StuckiView Profile
Fernando OrtizView Profile
The trip is rated Level 1+, Easy, according to our trip grading system. Trips that are rated 1 have optional walks and little elevation gain or loss. The + indicates that this trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of this level. Our Galápagos journey is appropriate for anyone in good health who is physically active and enjoys regular moderate walks and hikes, but please consider the following factors when choosing this trip:
The daily hikes are not long (up to 3 miles) but often involve uneven ground, either on dry lava, which can be quite sharp, on rocky trails with uneven surfaces, or on sandy beaches.
Trips ashore are by Zodiac. Boarding the Zodiac involves walking down a gang-plank set of stairs and stepping onto the Zodiac while both the yacht and Zodiac are moving with the roll of the seas. A crew member on the Zodiac will reach for your hand to help steady you, but it can often feel tricky, depending on the amount of ocean swell. Passengers are required to wear life jackets when traveling in the Zodiacs.
Shore landings are either "dry" (you step out of the Zodiac on to large rocks or a wooden pier) or "wet" (stepping out of the Zodiac into a foot or so of surf and wading to shore). A dry landing is occasionally tricky, especially on days when the seas are active and the rocks you step onto may be slippery. For a wet landing, you may be stepping from the Zodiac into surf that may be up to your knees or higher, so it is important that you have the agility for this. Of course, our boat staff will be on hand to assist with landings.
Trip members should be able to swim and ideally have previous snorkeling experience. The itinerary includes snorkeling excursions on most days and snorkeling is a major attraction for any visit to the islands. The boat has complimentary shorty wetsuits (3mm neoprene) available on board for your use. Please consult our office (and your Trip Leader on the boat) with any concerns about swimming and snorkeling in the islands. Most snorkeling is in water between 10 to 40 feet deep, but if conditions allow, we may offer open-ocean snorkeling near an off-shore reef. These open-ocean snorkels are not suitable for first-time snorkelers or weak swimmers. Your Trip Leader accompanies the group on all snorkeling excursions and the Zodiac will attempt to stay close, should anyone wish to get out of the water. We do not, however, have staff members available to individually assist snorkelers. It is incumbent on each swimmer to keep track of his or her own whereabouts. Currents in Galápagos can be strong at some sites. You should only choose to swim and snorkel in places where you are completely comfortable. To snorkel, you slide off the side of the Zodiac into the water. Getting back in the Zodiac requires climbing up a small metal ladder attached to the side of the Zodiac. The boat man will help, but it is impossible for him to pull you out of the water — you must be prepared to do most of the work under your own power.
A variety of snorkeling equipment is available on board, but if you are a serious snorkeler, we highly recommend bringing your own snorkel, mask, and possibly fins to assure a proper fit. A proper fit of your mask is critical for allowing you good vision underwater. There is no scuba diving available on our Galápagos trips (our yachts are not set up for scuba diving but there are places in Puerto Ayora where diving is available if you would like to extend your trip). Depending on your personal tolerance for cold, you may not need a wetsuit, but most trip members prefer a wetsuit. Complimentary shorty wetsuits are available on board for your use. If you easily get cold, you may prefer to bring your own full-length wetsuit. Some people like to swim in lightweight leggings or in "skins" (lycra bodysuits sold at dive shops).
You should understand that this is not a "large-ship cruise," but once you have adjusted to yacht living, you will find this to be one of the most pleasant journeys imaginable. The day usually starts with a delicious breakfast of fresh fruit, cereal, breads, eggs, fresh juice, and coffee or tea. This is often the time when your Trip Leader gives you a briefing on the day's schedule so you can plan your clothing and equipment. On return to the boat, there may be a chance to snorkel or swim before a multi-course lunch is served. During lunch, the yacht often transits to a new area, and in the later afternoon, you'll make a second landing, taking the Zodiac ashore for more exploration and hikes. Visitors must depart the islands by 6:00 pm. After a relaxing dinner, a wrap-up talk will be given by the Trip Leader.
"The Passion was great, the crew was fantastic, and we had a wonderful family experience."
Los Angeles, CA
"Our guide was phenomenal! The crew was attentive, positive, and, in general, outstanding!"
Oklahoma City, OK
"The trip was fabulous. Our naturalist was very knowledgeable and the entire crew would help with anything."
"Fantastic trip! From the moment we landed, the journey was seamless. Excellent attention to detail and warm, enthusiastic communication. The naturalist was best-in-class and really made the trip extra special!"
"Thank you so much for the wonderful trip to the Galápagos you organized for us. It was a great experience for the children as well as the adults. The boat was fantastic, the crew excellent, the guide Rafael superb, everything worked out so well. Thank you again."
"My husband and I traveled to the Galápagos to celebrate our 30-year wedding anniversary. We were on the beautiful ship Passion in their VIP/Master Suite! Everything about the trip was perfect from our amazing Trip Leader, Juan, who knew everything about the flora, the fauna, and the culture of the Galápagos, to the exquisite food freshly prepared and served topside to the beautiful sunsets. Highlights for me were the penguins literally swimming inches below my feet to the sea lions frolicking over and around my flippers to the truly unique land tortoises. The biomass of all the animals, fish, and sea creatures was breathtaking. Every day was an adventure! I HIGHLY recommend this trip!"
Virginia Beach, VA
"This trip was wonderful. The ship staff were exceptional in their service, professionalism, and interaction with the tour members. The Passion was comfortable, larger than expected and exceptionally clean."
Mary Lou B.
"The Passion was our home for the week. Such luxury! The boat was spacious and our room terrific. It was so exciting to be in the thick of this wonderful place—waking up to another striking view, a tall craggy rock structure, crashing waves on a cliff in one direction and low hills in a volcano shape in the other, with a little beach in between, and clouds along the horizon in every direction."
Baja: Exploring the Sea of Cortez
Ecuador Private Journey
Galapagos Private Journey
Small Group Adventure
Ultimate Galapagos aboard the Passion: Eastern and Western Islands
Our Area Specialists know every detail about our tours. They will be happy to answer any questions and help you choose the journey that’s right for you. Contact us to learn more or book your trip today!
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With more than 200 different adventures to choose from, we want to help you find the trip that’s right for you. Our Trip Level system ranks each trip in two ways: a number rating from 1 to 6 according to the activity, and general travel rigors. 1 is the easiest and 6+ the most difficult—see descriptions below for explanations of each number. A plus (+) sign means the trip is a bit more strenuous than other trips of that level. The detailed explanation of each trip—below the bar with the number rating—is perhaps more important, specifying activities, altitudes, hiking, and travel conditions. The Detailed Itinerary, available by download or mail, gives further information. Our Area Managers can also answer questions and guide you to the trip that best suits your interests.
Level 1 – Easiest
Non-camping journeys, optional walks, little elevation gain or loss.
Level 3 – Moderate
Half- to full-day hikes (3-6 hours) over rolling countryside on most days, occasional steep trails. Many of our hotel-based walking tours are in this category, as are our snorkeling adventures.
Level 5 – Strenuous
Full-day hikes (4-8 hours), mountainous, steep terrain (hiking up or down as much as 3,500 feet) on many days. Trips with hiking at average altitudes of 10,000 to 12,000 feet are in this category.