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Galapagos Islands National Park

The Galapagos Islands National Park was established 1959 as Ecuador's first National Park, and in 1979 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The National Park, which makes up 97% of the land area of the Galapagos Islands is situated in the Pacific Ocean around 1,000 km (620 miles) from the South American continent. These 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called a unique 'living museum and showcase of evolution'

Jump to our Active South America Galapagos Tours

Galapagos National Park

When you visit the Galapagos on one of our tours you'll learn first-hand from our local guides how the islands were formed and why they're a 'melting pot' of marine species. Located at the confluence of three ocean currents and isolated from the rest of the world, the islands provide a unique habitat for unusual animal life – such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise and the many types of finch. These animals inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection following his visit in 1835. 

All of our tour guides are local to the islands and have completed four years of study to become official Galapagos Islands National Park naturalist guides. This role is held in high esteem and often you'll find numerous members of a family, including different generations, all joining the park service. Their enthusiasm for the conservation of the Galapagos Islands is contagious and they play an integral role in educating locals and visitors alike. 

 

Tortuga

“The Galapagos exceeded my expectations! The tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, sea lions were everywhere and so accessible. Our accommodations were good and frequently located right on the beach. Wonderful seafood meals and entertaining companions. I highly recommend this trip. ”
Pennsylvania, United States
Tortuga, January 2014
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Galapagos National Park

 

Galapagos National Park Wildlife

More than 1,900 of the 5,000 species found in the Galapagos Islands are endemic (not found anywhere else on earth).  We firmly believe that the best way to see and experience wildlife, such as the iguanas, tortoise and birds of the Galapagos Islands is on a land-hopping tour. Rather than arrive by cruise and stay offshore, our Galapagos tours use local island accommodation and provide a mixture of land and marine-based activities, allowing our guests the chance to connect with the islands on a deeper level. You'll see seals lounging on the streets of San Cristobal, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station and see Giant Tortoises in the highlands, in their natural habitat. Offshore you'll kayak, snorkel and dive with marine iguanas, black-tipped reef sharks, manta rays and turtles, both at famous sites like Kicker Rock and in secluded bays near the main islands. 

Your guides will brief you on what's expected of visitors to the Galapagos National Park, but you can also find a full list of the park rules here.

 

Trip Reviews

  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 947 reviews)

    Awesome, Awesome, Awesome!

    The Condor trip with our tour leader, Zac, was AWESOME! Our W guide, Cem, was also exceptional. The two of them kept us at a great pace and kept us laughing. You're on this trip for the scenery, and it was breath-taking. A great one word description of the landscape is "rugged". This tour provides a nice balance of longer hiking days and shorter hiking days with just truly stunning scenery including Torres del Paine, French Valley, Grey Glacier, Perito Morano glacier, and Fitz Roy. Definitely do the ice hiking!
    Sandy Landsberg Review Image
    – Virginia, United States
    Condor, February 2018
  •   4.53 out of 5 (from 947 reviews)

    Fantabulous

    A simply amazing trip-- pristine scenery, magical and majestic mountains, and all coordinated seamlessly by a fantastic trip leader and guides. Our family of seven-- spanning the ages of 78 to 12-- was perfectly supported, educated, and delighted by Arturo our trip leader and the local guides. They are all kind, fun, and experienced. Cem was true to his name, a gem, ever so patient with those of us with sore joints, and always with a sparkle or story to share.
    Krista Toomre Review Image
    – Florida, United States
    Condor, January 2017
  •   4.55 out of 5 (from 1341 reviews)

    "Make it happen and you absolutely will not be disappointed"

    The Galapagos Islands turned out to be everything you hear about and more! My style of travel has never been geared towards tours or trips (EQ Type: Authentic Experiencer), however I signed up for the Tortuga trip last minute to join my parents and couldn't have been more pleased! Being a land-based tour vs. boat tour we were able to support the local economies on the various islands we visited while experiencing the authentic and incredible wildlife and landscapes the Galapagos has to offer. We got to enjoy a variety of local restaurants rather than eating the same buffet meal similar with other tours and stay in a range of different accommodations along the way. Our tour guide Pablo however, really made the trip and I am not sure if it would be quite as amazing without him. The passion, knowledge and love he has for the Galapagos Islands glimmered through every day we were with him and his smile shared with each new experience was priceless. The only disappointment of the trip was that it would have been good to know extra activities such as diving, are non-refundable if a illness or anything else comes up last minute as they often do and it may have affected our choice to opt out earlier. Saying this, I would very strongly recommend the Tortuga trip to everyone. If you every have the chance to visit the Galapagos Islands, make it happen and you absolutely will not be disappointed. Each day we were left amazed and utterly shocked at how much we were able to see and do with each activity. I have traveled to some pretty spectacular places around the world but this trip is a once in a lifetime experience. - Myla xo
    Myla Yeomans-Routledge Review Image
    – British Columbia, Canada
    Tortuga, December 2016
  •   4.50 out of 5 (from 1973 reviews)

    Amazing Adventure

    what an amazing adventure we had! we enjoyed every bit of our Jaguar trip and would recommend Active Adventures to anyone who asks! The trip was very well organized and the guides were all informative and amazing. Our main guide, Erick Farfan was the best! he always made sure everything ran smoothly and had to deal with many different personalities on this trip but made it all work. The Inka trail was a tough trail for me due to the altitude but what an amazing feeling once you complete it and arrive at the sun gate! We thoroughly enjoyed the jungle as well as the visit to lake titicaca and our local family that we stayed with. look forward to our next amazing adventure with you! Hoping to do Patagonia soon!
    Brigitte Rosson Review Image
    – Texas, United States
    Jaguar 2017, June 2017
  •   4.55 out of 5 (from 1341 reviews)

    Great guide

    Jessica was wonderful and so was the intern Jessica. Loved the people on the trip. Nice size group - 13!
    Judy Harmon Review Image
    – Ohio, United States
    Tortuga, August 2016

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Why travel with Active Adventures?

Above all, we aim to be amazing hosts. We're proud of our kiwi roots, and our professional, warm and relaxed style of running trips around the world is unforgettable.

We're VERY picky about who we select to work in our team, and we have people from all over the world lining up to guide our trips. So we get to hire the absolute BEST in the business.

As soon as you get off the plane, we've got all the details of your vacation covered – top notch meals, comfortable transport & accommodation, amazing guides and INCREDIBLE service.

Whether you’re new to adventure travel, or you’ve never travelled in a group before, you’ll find yourself arriving home positively different from when you left.

With our small groups (no more than 14), you'll get to know our team, your fellow travellers, and have the flexibility and freedom to do as much (or as little!) as you like.

It's all about getting there under your own steam – on foot, in a sea kayak, or by bike. What better way is there to experience mind blowing scenery? If it's your first time, no worries – our expert guides have got you covered.

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