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Why only 15 in a group?

A group of 15 or less keeps our trips intimate and dynamic yet still affordable. We usually have a great mix of people from several countries and conversation is never in short supply. Socializing is part of the experience many people enjoy the most and you'll probably make several new friends throughout the week.

How far in advance should I book?

That depends.  How adventurous are you?  If you're keen for a last minute special or don't mind traveling in the low season (Sept, Oct., Nov.), it's possible to get a trip with less than two months before departure.  It's possible, not advisable.  If you want a specific date, especially over the holidays or summer months, it is best to book as far in advance as possible as these dates start filling 6 months to 1 year before departure.

What if I get sick on the trip?

An ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.  Make sure you are healthy before you leave and be prepared for the possibility of traveler's diarrhea or seasickness.  Although most people have no problems during the week, a secret stash of Imodium and Dramamine is always a good idea.

What kind of shape do I need to be in?

While you don't need to be an athlete, a reasonable degree of fitness is recommended. A four-six hour hike up the volcano, Sierra Negra on Isabela Island, is the most rigorous day for the majority of people.  You don't have to be an avid hiker but you do need to be comfortable walking for that amount of time.  Don't worry, we stop several times for water, rest breaks are frequent and the view from the top is definitely worth the walk.

What if I've never snorkeled?

We try, whenever possible, to have two people in the water with every group.  All of our guides and assistants are excellent swimmers and have grown up swimming, diving and/or surfing in the islands.  The first snorkel, along the coast of San Cristobal Island, is usually in a shallow, calm swimming area with ample time to get comfortable in the water and with the equipment.  The hardest thing for most people is breathing through their mouth.  Sinking is not an issue as you will naturally float with your face in the water and if you opt to wear a wetsuit, you'll have even more buoyancy.

What if I don't like biking?

No problem.  All of the activities are completely optional.  During the biking in the highlands of San Cristobal, a support vehicle will be available if you get tired or don't feel comfortable and you can still enjoy the great views from the highlands.

What happens if I don't want to participate in a particular activity?

Because this is a land-based trip, there's no need to worry about being stranded on a boat if you don't want to participate in an activity.  You can use your free time to relax in your room, explore the town, or head to beach with a book in hand.

What happens if I can't go?

First, we need to be informed in writing as soon as possible.  The date the letter or email is received by GALAKIWI will determine the cancellation charges applicable.  There are three different scenarios.  If you cancel:

  1. More than 60 days before departure: lose the deposit ($500).
  2. 60-31 days before departure: lose 50% of tour cost
  3. 30 days or fewer before departure: lose 100% of tour cost

We strongly advise taking out cancellation insurance at the time of reservation.

What's a Galapagos Naturalist Guide?

Naturalist Guides are certified by the Galapagos National Park and are a requirement for any and all tour groups to visitor sites throughout the park and marine reserve.

How do they become Naturalist Guides?

On San Cristobal, Isabella, and Santa Cruz admission test are given to potential guides.  Of the participants scoring 80% or more, the top 30 are chosen.  The candidates then complete a certification course and must pass a final exam before becoming official Galapagos National Park guides.   Twenty-seven courses have been conducted to date and there are approximately 320 certified guides in Galapagos.

When is the best time to visit the islands?

Any time is a good time to visit the Islands.  Different animals breed at different times throughout the year and there is always something to see.  During the warmer months from January to June, the water is warmer and generally calmer meaning more comfortable boat crossings and snorkeling.   However, the cooler waters and nutrient rich currents from July to December bring food and a flourish of activity to the underwater world of Galapagos.  During this period most of the animals, which rely upon the sea for their food, will be breeding.  Nevertheless, this is the wild, there is no off-season, expect to see anything, anywhere, anytime.

  • Kath Silvester, New Zealand - 10-day Galapagos Adventure, May 2017
    The x-factor with Galakiwi's tour, being land-based, is the insight you get into real life on the Galapagos. This was what lifted our trip beyond the expected 'trip of a lifetime' to see the natural sights of the Galapagos, to a really meaningful (though short!) experience in another country and culture.
    Kath Silvester, New Zealand
    10-day Galapagos Adventure, May 2017
  • Alison Gray, New Zealand - 6-day Land Galapagos Tour, March 2016
    We had a great land-based trip with Galakiwi -it as fun being ashore at night and wandering among the wildlife and with the locals in the street. And staying on an extra couple of days gave us time by ourselves but with full support from the Galakiwi team when we wanted it. The best of both worlds with a great professional approach. Thanks heaps as they say in NZ!
    Alison Gray, New Zealand
    6-day Land Galapagos Tour, March 2016
  • Jamie Jacobs, November 2015 - 10-day Galapagos Adventure Tour
    While I knew I would enjoy the Galapagos, the trip with Galakiwi became for me the highlight of our South American travels.
    Jamie Jacobs, November 2015
    10-day Galapagos Adventure Tour
  • Chi & Jay, New Zealand - Custom Ecuador & Galapagos Wedding Tour
    We just wanted to write a quick note to say a massive thank you to everyone in Galakiwi who have helped make this trip so memorable for us. Everyone had a great time and really enjoyed it.
    Chi & Jay, New Zealand
    Custom Ecuador & Galapagos Wedding Tour
  • Chris Urquhart, Canada - 10-day Galapagos Adventure Tour, June 2016
    We spent a month in South America and our time in the Galapagos was the highlight. There were new delightful surprises multiple times a day. Our guide, Pablo, shared his enthusiasm with us and kept us entertained with great stories and fascinating information each and every day. The land based tour from Galakiwi was definitely the right choice. We have spoken to others that took ship based tours and we feel that we made a great choice with Galakiwi. It was the trip of a lifetime!
    Chris Urquhart, Canada
    10-day Galapagos Adventure Tour, June 2016
  • Duly Lee, USA - Custom Galapagos Family Tour
    I had been planning a trip with my family for ages, and when the idea to go to Galapagos emerged, I thought what a better place to reunite with family and induce some very needed bonding opportunity. The fantastic natural setting was super conductive to this goal, but if it wasn't for GALAKIWI's immaculate service and attention it wouldn't have happened. So thanks to you guys for everything!
    Duly Lee, USA
    Custom Galapagos Family Tour
  • Larry Katz, USA - 10-day Galapagos Adventure Tour, December 2015
    We are three couples with different interests and abilities, but the trip was great for all of us. The activities were a blast, our guide was top-notch and everything went just as we had hoped. We really loved it and would highly recommend Galakiwi to anyone thinking of a land-based Galapagos trip.
    Larry Katz, USA
    10-day Galapagos Adventure Tour, December 2015
  • Rachel Mundy, New Zealand - Galapagos Biking Tour
    The Galapagos mountain biking adventure trip was an amazing experience. Having to dodge a giant tortoise in the middle of the road is not something that happens every day. A great way to see these beautiful and unique islands in a slightly more detailed way.
    Rachel Mundy, New Zealand
    Galapagos Biking Tour
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