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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.

  • Krista Whitley - 10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - May 2024
    Pablo (our guide) is the Steve Irwin of Ecuador and Karen at Galakiwi offered 24/7, 365 concierge customer service. Truly an exceptional experience from booking to completion that left our family with new life long friends. I cannot recommend Galakiwi highly enough!
    Krista Whitley
    10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - May 2024
  • Melanie Eustace - 6-day Land Galapagos Tour, January 2024
    A big thank you to the team at Galakiwi for making my holiday in the Galapagos the most incredible experience I could have ever wished for. I thought I had missed out completely when my flight from Miami got canceled but Laura rescheduled everything in Ecuador for me and arranged for me to catch up with my group without missing out at all. Pepo our guide did a superb job and every day was even better than the one before, except the last one when we had to go home ?. From beginning to end every single member of the Galakiwi team was incredible. I couldn't recommend this 6-day Galapagos holiday or Galakiwi highly enough. I will treasure all the wonderful memories of the Galapagos.
    Melanie Eustace
    6-day Land Galapagos Tour, January 2024
  • Murray - Family Tour - 2023
    I would give this trip six stars if I could. This was my second trip with Galakiwi, the first having been with a small group of adults none of whom I knew before the trip. This trip, I requested a custom itinerary for myself, my adult daughter and her husband, and their bright and very active kids aged 7, 10 and 12. The staff did a great job seeking out activities suitable for us, some of which I'd done previously and some I had not. We were even able to book a surfing session. Pablo Valladares was our guide on the first trip and I requested him for this tour because of his outgoing personality, encyclopedic knowledge about the islands, and obvious deep love for the place where he lives. I cannot recommend Galakiwi highly enough. In addition to all the above, Galakiwi offers a land based tour so you sleep in a hotel every night and not on a boat. What could be better?
    Family Tour - 2023
  • Michele Lemay - Galapagos Private Customized Tour - Feb 2023
    Galakiwi provided our 7-person group with outstanding, professional services throughout the 13-day customized tour. From the expert advice during the pre-trip planning to the booking experience, the efficient on-site logistics, the exceptional, highly knowledgeable guides, and the excellent family-run quality hotels, everything was perfect. It was the experience of a lifetime that our group had dreamed of. Galakiwi is a superb team all around.
    Michele Lemay
    Galapagos Private Customized Tour - Feb 2023
  • Kurtis Siegle - 10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - May 2023
    I learned so much and had so much fun! It was an adventure I will never forget!
    Kurtis Siegle
    10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - May 2023
  • Alex W - Customized Family Tour 2023
    This was absolutely the trip of a lifetime! We booked a private tour with Galakiwi for our family of 6 - mom, dad, grandma, and three kids ages 7, 10 and 12. From the moment we arrived we were completely taken care of. With three kids we didn't have to worry about getting from one point to another. But more importantly, we were shown the most extraordinary places and wildlife. We hiked a volcano, surfed, and snorkeled with sharks and giant sea turtles and sea lions! Our guide Pablo was so caring and related to everyone in our group so well. He made changes as needed in the itinerary to give us the best experience every day. And he taught us so much. He truly loves these islands and the plants and animals who live there, and his enthusiasm and curiosity were infectious. We felt like we were being let into a secret garden that only Pablo knew about. Our only regret is that we didn't stay longer! There is so much to see and do.
    Alex W
    Customized Family Tour 2023
  • Heidi - 10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - 2023
    Galakiwi is the way to Go-lapagos! Super organized, anticipating every move and connection in a well choreographed professional manner. Great gear was at our disposal, excellent food served by all of their partner restaurants and caterers. Pepo and Paulo were excellent local guides that we all felt lucky to have lead our adventure, They provided clear insight on the fragile ecosystems that are the gems of the Galapagos and explained Ecuador's cautious development of sustainable tourism in the region. Special visits to the Tree House, meeting their moms and Tim's kids on the last day made it a truly special visit.
    10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - 2023
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