From hiking the rim of an active volcano, Sierra Negra, to swimming with penguins, our Galapagos gay land adventure will take us to three distinctly unique volcanic Islands. Meet blue-footed boobies, Darwin’s finches, sea turtles, marine iguanas, and sea lions as we explore these picturesque islands.
The Galapagos Islands are located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador with more than 95% of the islands being protected as part of the Galapagos National Park System. We will explore 3 of the 13 volcanic islands. Some of the youngest islands are still in the process of being formed.
We will learn more about the extraordinary variety of plant and wildlife as we visit the islands. There are 29 species of land birds found here and 22 of them are endemic to the islands. See the world’s smallest penguins, the bright red-chested frigate birds, the flightless cormorants, blue-footed boobies, hawks and lava gulls. In the sea, we’ll snorkel to find serene sea turtles, playful sea lions, and colorful fish. Each night, we’ll enjoy the comfort of the best hotels each island has to offer.
March 01 to 09 – $6998 USD
Duration: 9 Days
Starts In: Quito, Ecuador
Ends In: Homeward Bound
Required: $1000 Deposit
Airport transfers in Quito at beginning of the tour, and in the Islands; All accommodations in a shared room (1 night in Quito, 7 nights in the Galapagos); All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 5 dinners; Round-trip Quito-Galapagos-Quito airfare in Economy Class; Transportation by air or boat between islands; Services of knowledgeable local guides, and the services of a knowledgeable HE Travel tour host (with a minimum number of participants); Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100) and Migration Control Card ($20); All hotel service charges, government taxes, porterage, and meal gratuities for included meals. HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Transportation to and from Quito; 1 lunch and 2 dinners; Airport departure fees (though these should be included in air ticket fees); Gratuities to local guides and HE host; Personal items including alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls.
The itinerary below is subject to change, based on the regulations set forth by the Galapagos National Park and the Ecuadorean government. These regulations are adjusted to fine-tune the management of the Islands and keep the environment as pristine as possible. If necessary, we will make adjustments and substitutions to maintain an adventuresome exploration of each island.
Our next stop will be at a local coffee plantation as well as a chocolatier! Ecuador is well known around the world for its coffee and chocolate.
Today we will visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, where we will learn more about many of the endemic species we will meet during our adventure, as well as the ongoing conservation efforts in the Galapagos and why they are so important to the world today.
Dinner will be spent “food hopping”, with several stops at some amazing restaurants on the island.
This afternoon we head out to snorkel Tintoreras, a set of small, rocky islets tucked in Isabela Bay. Tintoreras’ islets are filled with wildlife, most notably the Galapagos Penguin, the only penguin that lives at the equator. We will also be able to see sharks, sea turtles, sea lions and more as we explore the small coves and beaches of Tintoreras.
Dinner will be enjoyed in town at a local restaurant.
Our hike continues to Volcano Chico, a secondary crater that has a wild landscape of puffing fumaroles and colorful lava formations. A three-course lunch will be enjoyed at Hauser House. In the afternoon, we return to Puerto Villamil to enjoy Isabel’s exotic white sand beaches.
Tonight we will enjoy a special BBQ dinner.
In the evening, we’ll join up again for a fun local party with music and drinks.
As we continue riding along the coast, we explore pristine white sand beaches, mangrove forests, and brackish lagoons. This area is filled with birdlife, including oystercatchers, herons, flamingos, finches and many shorebirds, as well as the ubiquitous sea lions and marine iguanas.
We’ll transfer to the airport for our quick flight to San Cristobal Island and check into our prime waterfront hotel (which boasts some of the best seafood in the islands). After lunch, we continue our journey at the Galapagos Interpretation Center to learn about the unique wildlife, geology, history, and social dynamics of the Galapagos.
After our visit, we hike to Tijeretas (Frigate Hill) along natural trails formed of lava rocks. The path is surrounded by native plants like Galapagos cotton, Palo Santo, acacia, and cacti, and we will spot blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, pelicans, herons, gulls, warblers, mockingbirds, and finches in the vegetation and sea cliffs.
We cool off from our hike with a refreshing snorkeling session at postcard-worthy Carola Beach, surrounded by sea turtles, sea lions, and marine iguanas, and bask in the setting sun. After dinner, explore the friendly, laid-back beach town and stroll down the boardwalk to visit the neighboring colony of Galapagos sea lions.
After a full day spent exploring the seas, we head back to the hotel. Tonight we will enjoy our farewell dinner.
Itinerary subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances. There is the possibility of the itinerary order being reversed if necessary. As of Feb. 2018, all guests traveling to the Galapagos must be able to show proof of public or private insurance.
“I’ve never experienced so many things for the first time as I did on this trip.” – James G. New York, NY“A land-based tour was so much better than taking a cruise. Our Ecuadorian guide was excellent at getting us to participate in as many activities as possible. The hotels were great, as was the camaraderie with other travelers!” – Will D., Seattle, WA“The Galapagos Islands were more amazing than I ever imagined. It was truly a one-of-a-kind adventure. The highlight for me was snorkeling while penguins darted by and sea lions played mere inches away. The island of Isabela was so peaceful with its sandy beach roads and laid-back way of life. Each island had a unique feel- all were amazing!” – Zachary Moses, HE Travel Tour Developer and Marketing Director, Salt Lake City, UT
Join us for a gay Ecuador Adventure Tour that brings you down below… the equator, that is! Horseback riding through the hills of the Andes, hiking down into an extinct volcano crater and biking down the side of Cotopaxi Volcano await your arrival into this enchanting country. When you take two tours Back-to-back, you get a discount! Contact us for details.
For those who join the Galapagos tour, we are happy to arrange a custom visit to our charming Hacienda!
Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself.
For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
This tour starts in Quito, Ecuador. Most flights from the US arrive in Quito in the late evening on Day 1, so because our flight to the Galapagos Islands is early the next morning, our Day 1 hotel is near the airport – about a 90-minute drive from the city. If you wish to arrive early and need an extra hotel night, please advise whether you want to be at our hotel near the airport, or in the city.
The tour ends with a flight from the Islands to Quito, arriving late afternoon on the final day of the tour. Therefore, schedule your flight home in the evening of the final date shown above. If your flight is the following day, please let us know if you wish to reserve an extra post-tour hotel night at a hotel near the airport.
You should be reasonably fit for the activities on this tour. Walking on the islands is often across rugged terrain over uneven paths. While hiking in the El Chato reserve it tends to be slick even with the rubber boots provided. You will be getting on and off boats, especially in Santa Cruz where we use water taxis.
In the Galapagos, we will be staying at three beautiful hotels. In San Cristobal, our hotel is very modern and fresh and on Isabela Island, we’ll have a great beachfront view and an outdoor pool. On Santa Cruz, we’ll stay in a charming gay-owned hotel with the privacy and undisturbed quiet and wildlife viewing.
For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174
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Elizabeth Bay NSW
02 8667 3336