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Pre & Post Trips

Everything from diving in the Galapagos to birding in the Ecuadorian cloud forest or visiting the Amazon can be arranged for you, depending on what your interests are. If you have the time, our 7-day Ecuador tour is a great addition as well. Some of our most popular add-ons and extensions are below. Let us know if you want to book these, or any other activities.

Galakiwi Difference: We include all entrance fees on our day tours and mini-adventures!

Ecuador mainland - quito Options

City Tour of Quito

We visit the new and old town of Quito, Ecuador, including the Independence Square and the Churches of Basilica, La Compañia and La Catedral. After this we go to the Panecillo (a lookout point in the old town), which affords the best view of Quito, then return to the hotel. 

Trip Info: This trip takes about 3 1/2 - 4 hours and can depart everyday at anytime. Entrance fees to the churches and Panecillo are included.

You’ll need to wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera, rain jacket, and water bottle.

$140 per person – 1 person

$80 per person – 2 people

$67 per person – 3-4 people

$61 per person – 5 people

$51 per person - 6 people or more

$53 per person – 5 people or more

Gastronomy City Tour of Quito

A tour for the food lovers! The gastronomic highlight is touring through Mercado Iñaquito, where your guide will treat you to samples of everything from local produce and juices, to a plate of pork meats. There are many strange and interesting fruits and vegetables here to try, while wandering through the rest of the market is a great local experience. We never know what surprises are in store for us on this tour!

After the market, enjoy your Quito city, where you will visit the new and old town of Quito, Ecuador, including the Independence Square and the Churches of Basilica, La Compañia and La Catedral. After this we go to the Panecillo (a lookout point in the old town), which affords the best view of Quito. 

Finally, we'll head over to the church of San Augustin. Here, there are more tasty treats to be had. Ecuadorian humitas, tamales, colaciones (sweet snacks) and the not so enticingly named caca de perro (corn covered in sugar) are some of the items we'll treat ourselves to before ending the tour. 

Trip Info: This is a busy trip that takes about 7 hours and can depart everyday. Departure times range from 8-10am. Entrance fees to the churches and Panecillo are included. On Sundays, San Augustin is closed, so a visit to La Ronda is substituted. All food samples are included, but you are free to buy anything you enjoy trying.

You’ll need to wear comfortable shoes and bring your camera, rain jacket, and water bottle.

$148 per person – 2 people

$125 per person – 3-4 people

$108 per person – 5 people

$96 per person – 6 people or more

City Tour and Equator Line 

After the city tour we go to The Equator line, Mitad del Mundo, located 45 minutes away from Quito to visit the world monument and shops. Here we also visit the Inti Ñan, a local museum where you can see different experiments to prove that you are at the Center of the Earth.

There is an optional visit depending on weather conditions, to The Pululahua crater that is only 10 minutes away from the monument.

Trip Info: This trip takes about 5 hours and can depart everyday at anytime. Entrance fees to the churches, Panecillo, and Equator line museums are included.

You’ll need to wear comfortable walking shoes, bring your camera, rain jacket, and water bottle.

$99 per person – 2 people

$89 per person – 3-4 people

$73 per person – 5 people

$67 per person – 6 people or more

 

Cotopaxi National Park Hike

Get ready for some adventure! A spectacular 2-hour drive in private transport takes you to Cotopaxi Volcano, 5897m, the second highest active volcano in the world. You will visit a museum in the park and hike around a lagoon at the bottom of the volcano to learn about the flora and fauna found at this altitude. You then continue by car up the volcano to the parking lot, at an altitude of more than 4500m.

From there, your hiking begins. It is approximately 90 minutes to the refuge at 4800m where you can enjoy a coca tea or hot chocolate and take a few pictures. After a short break to enjoy the views of the volcano, you will head back towards Quito in the afternoon, driving along the Pan-American Highway. Lunch is either at a stop on the way back to Quito, or your group may decide to by a boxed lunch to enjoy at the park.

Trip Info: This is a full day trip that departs every morning at 8am. Return to Quito late afternoon. Entrance fee to the National Park is included. Lunch is not included ($15-25 per person).

You’ll need warm clothes, a raincoat, and hiking shoes.

$146 per person - 2 people

$111 per person - 3-4 people

$90 per person - 5 people

$78 per person - 6 people or more

Otavalo Market 

The market in Otavalo is considered one the biggest and best native markets in South America. It's located a little over 2 hours from Quito and you can find all the handicrafts that are made in Ecuador here. En route on the Pan American Highway, we'll visit the village of Calderon where the famous and decorative manufactures of the bread dough known as 'Mazapán' can be found. After you've explored the Otavalo market, we'll make our way to the leather market at Cotacachi.

Trip Info: This is a full day trip that departs in the morning. Return to Quito late afternoon. Lunch (~$10) is not included.

You’ll need comfortable walking shoes, a raincoat, your camera and water bottle. If you are interested in the shopping bring small and new bills.

$136 per person – 2 people

$114 per person – 3-4 people

$97 per person – 5 people

$88 per person – 6 people or more

Mindo Day Tour

Located about 2 1/2 hours from Quito, Mindo is a nature lover paradise, with a range of interesting and unique outdoor experiences to enjoy. This full day tour starts with a drive out to Alambi. The Alambi Cloud Forest Preserve is perhaps Ecuador's best place for viewing hummingbirds. Home to 32 species of hummingbirds, plus a great range of other species including many rarely spotted birds, the preserve has plenty of easy pathways and trails to explore during your visit.

From Alambi, you head to Mindo, home to plenty of wildlife as well. The highlight of Mindo is the beautiful scenery. Depending on capabilities and interests, there are hikes of varying difficulty here, visiting waterfalls and showcasing Ecuador's great biodiversity. We recommend hiking out to some waterfalls and taking the scenic gondola ride back for a birds-eye view of the forest.

A hearty lunch nearby ($10 a la carte) splits up your day, as you have decisions to make for the afternoon. With so many things to do around Mindo, you can't possibly do everything in 1 day. The most popular activities for the afternoon are visiting a butterfly farm and orchid garden. But, for those who want more adventure, an optional visit to the Mindo zip lines (extra cost: $25) is possible too. There is time to choose two activities, so it's up to you and your group to decide what the afternoon will include.

Trip Info: This is a full day trip that can depart everyday at 8am and takes about 8-10 hours. Entrance fee to the reserves are included, as is the butterfly farm and orchid garden. Lunch is not included (~$10) and the zip lines are optional.

You need a raincoat, hiking shoes, camera, water bottle, walking stick (optional), and binoculars if possible.

$145 per person – 2 people

$116 per person – 3-4 people

$99 per person – 5 people

$90 per person – 6 people or more

Bellavista Cloud Forest

If you are a nature lover, this is a day trip designed for you. Head into the Bellavista cloud forest and experience the dramatic changes in the temperature and vegetation compared to back in Quito. Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve is located almost exactly on the Equator (just slightly north), on the edge of Choco, which is among the most diverse ecosystems in the world.

For many people a highlight here is the vast birdlife as 320 species have been recorded in the Tandayapa valley area of the park. You will likely see hummingbirds and some rare species, and you will most definitely hear many more. With a keen eye you’ll spot other forest creatures in the trees and forest cover as well. There is both primary and secondary forest here and you can learn about the flora and fauna of the area from both a naturalist guide and an ornithologist.

Trip Info: This is a full day trip that can depart everyday at 7am and takes about 8 hours. Entrance fee to the reserve is included. Lunch is not included (~$5-$20).

You need a raincoat, hiking shoes, camera, water bottle, walking stick (optional), and binoculars if possible.

$147 per person – 2 people

$112 per person – 3-4 people

$95 per person – 5 people

$86 per person – 6 people or more

Papallacta Hot Springs

A visit to Ecuador isn’t complete until you’ve soaked yourself in some soothing thermal waters. Only 2 hours drive from Quito is where you’ll find the Termas de Papallacta. These Hot Springs are located on the Cinnamon trail, which is the same route that Francisco de Orellana took in 1542 when he crossed the Andean mountain range in search of spices and gold, subsequently discovering the Amazon River!

Your route to the hot springs takes a short cut, passing by the church of Guapulo. It is a fun day of exploring, including an overland ride across the forest tundra, called paramo. The highest point reached is 4069m before you descend to the spectacular Papallacta Hot Springs at 3300m.

Included things to do:

  1. Soak in the hot springs, which are of varying sizes and temperatures.
  2. Take photos and enjoy views of the Antisana volcano 5750m.
  3. Go trekking up the river.

Optional Activity: Visit and relax in the spa. Cost is $25. Massage services also avaialble at a cost of $25-65.

When you get hungry, the lunch at the restaurant offers a variety of typical dishes, such as trout. You will return to Quito in the afternoon.

Trip Info: This is a full day trip that can depart everyday at 8am and takes about 8 hours. Lunch is not included in prices ($25-45). 

You need warm clothes, hiking shoes, and a raincoat. A bathing suit, towel, and sandals would be ideal to bring if you want to soak in the pools.

$147 per person – 2 people

$125 per person – 3-4 people

$108 per person – 5 people

$99 per person – 6 people or more

ECUADOR MAINLAND - mini-adventures

Mindo Mini-Adventure

We take our popular Mindo day tour and make it even better, by packing in more great nature experiences and enjoying an overnight stay in Mindo. Extra highlights include a frog symphony and tubing down the Mindo River! Mini-Adventures can be booked directly on our website.

View full details about this Mini-Adventure.

Otavalo Mini-Adventure

An extremely popular day tour is made even better by staying the night in Otavalo and enjoying some of the nearby attractions. You’ll have extra time to explore Otavalo by night, and then visit San Antonio de Ibarra, known to have many of the best wood carvers. A visit to the Condor Park for a birds of prey demonstration is also included, giving you a close up experience with eagles, hawks, condors and other birds. You can book this tour directly on our website.

View full details about this Mini-Adventure.

Galapagos Options

Diving in the Galapagos

Known around the world as a top diving destination, we have helped many travelers experience the underwater world of the Galapagos Islands. Diving is an option on our custom tours, as well as on our 6-day and 10-day Galapagos Adventure tours. Be aware that diving in the Galapagos is for experienced divers only. This is not a destination for novice or new divers (for example: some dive destinations in the Galapagos require 30+ dives logged). Our diving partners will likely refuse to let you dive if they are not confident you can handle the sometimes challenging dive conditions in the Galapagos.

Trip Info: Diving is available from either San Cristobal or Santa Cruz Island, with trips to Kicker Rock and Gordon Rocks respectively, however other destinations may be available. Diving must be requested in advance. Diving options are run by our qualified partners in the Galapagos.

You’ll need to bring your diving certification with you, all equipment provided.

$225-250 per person, for 2 dives

Brewery Tour: La Endémica. Cerveza Artesana de Galápagos.

The first craft brewery of San Cristobal Island, and first craft brewery in the Galapagos Islands that has their beer on San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and soon Isabela Island! La Endémica started selling beer in 2016 and now offers a Blonde Ale and a Coffee Stout. This small operation allows tours of their facility, with advance booking. 

Trip Info: Tours should be arranged in advance and last about 1 hour. The best time for tours is end of day. Galakiwi can contact the brewery for you to arrange a tour. They are located about a 5 minute walk from the Galakiwi office.

$8 per person, includes beer sampling

Los Tuneles Snorkel Tour, Isabela Island

If you think sleeping sharks, sea horses, sea turtles and strange lava tunnel formations sound intriguing then you’re going to need your mask, snorkel and flippers, because you get all that and more at Los Tuneles.

Also called Cabo Rosa, this area about one hour from town was created when lava flows reached the ocean, forming tunnels, arches and sheltered bays perfect for snorkeling. They also happen to be perfect feeding grounds for sea turtles and resting places for other species like Galapagos sharks! Even the cute Galapagos penguins have been known to visit this area at times. It is one of the most diverse snorkel spots in the entire archipelago, and also home to some birds, such as nesting blue-footed boobies.

The ride to get here can be a bit rough, and because of the lava formations, safe access is only possible at certain tides. If you want to maximize the time you spend in the water in the Galapagos, Los Tuneles should be on your list! We haven’t even mentioned that sea lions, eagle rays, octopus and plenty of tropical fish, sea stars and sea urchins are also spotted in these crystal clear waters! One of our all-time top things to do in the Galapagos.

Trip Info: This day tour is available as an optional excursion on Isabela Island only, as a replacement to the Volcano Hike. Subject to availability and tide conditions. Must be requested in advance, or as part of a custom tour. It is at least a 1 hour boat ride to get here from the pier in town. Expect to have at least a few hours of time for snorkeling in the water.

You’ll need to bring comfortable hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, camera, and a bathing suit.

$150 per person

Day trip to Bartolome Island

One of the most picturesque landscapes of the Galapagos is from the top of Bartolome Island. The hiking trail here brings you above a sandy beach with coves on both sides, and views of the famous Pinnacle Rock formation. Beach snorkeling here allows you to often get close to sea lions, turtles and perhaps penguins.

Trip Info: This day tour is available as an extension from Santa Cruz Island only, and is subject to availability. Must be requested in advance, or as part of a custom tour. It is a 2 hour boat ride to get here from Santa Cruz Island. Expect to have at least a few hours of time for snorkeling in the water. This is a full day tour.

You’ll need to bring comfortable hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, camera, and a bathing suit.

$250 per person 

Day trip to North Seymour Island

If you want boobies, this is a great island to take a day trip to! Blue-footed boobies are in abundance, as are frigate birds and sea lions. Other birds you may find here include the red-billed tropicbird and swallow tailed gulls. This is an island rich in wildlife, presenting many great photo opportunities. This island is up near Baltra, and visits often include a stop along the coast of Santa Cruz. A special species you may observe here, that you may not see on other tours, is the Galapagos land iguana. There is great snorkeling here as well at a place called Bacchus beach, which happens to be on the north tip of Santa Cruz island.

Trip Info: This day tour is available as an extension from Santa Cruz Island only, and is subject to availability. Must be requested in advance, or as part of a custom tour. Your time will be split equally on land and in the water. This is a full day tour.

You’ll need to bring comfortable hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, camera, and a bathing suit.

$250 per person 

Day trip to South Plaza Island

Sea lions and land iguanas are the big draw for visitors to Plazas Island. One of the largest sea lion colonies is found here. The interactions between mothers and their pups, and the ever-present dominant bull protecting his territory create great photo opportunities as well as some entertainment.

The island itself is quite small and relatively flat. There is a hiking trail of about 2 miles in length that takes you over the gently sloping landscape. Many prickly pear cacti are found on the island, a favorite food of land iguanas, which are also common here, and are among some of the more colorful orange/yellow iguanas you’ll find in the Galapagos.

Numerous other bird species are frequently seen here, such as tropicbirds, swallow-tail gulls and frigate birds. The island has a very large cover of Galapagos carpet weed, a type of colorful low-lying flowering plant. Depending on the time of year the island may appear to have either a lush green or vibrant red, blanket of vegetation.

Trip Info: This day tour is available as an extension from Santa Cruz Island only, and is subject to availability. Must be requested in advance, or as part of a custom tour. You time will be mostly spent on land, with a snorkel opportunity usually at the end of the tour. This is a full day tour.

You’ll need to bring comfortable hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, camera, and a bathing suit.

$250 per person

Day trip to Sante Fe Island

If you want a Galapagos Day Tour with plenty of snorkel time and encounters with sea lions, this may be the island for you. In fact, the sea lions can sometimes make it challenging for us to get to the trailheads on land as they’re blocking the way! Sante Fe is one of the oldest islands in the Galapagos. The attraction here is a great, isolated beach with many sea lions, and the chance to possibly see a unique land iguana species.

The Sante Fe land iguana (or Barrington land iguana) is considered a unique species endemic to Sante Fe. While they are found across the island, they are not always easily spotted. Vegetation-wise, compared to some other islands, the prickly pear cacti here are tall, creating a forest-like environment in places. Palo Santo trees are also very common here. A great way to see first-hand how even the plant life in the Galapagos can vary from island to island, just like the wildlife.

After some exploring around the island by walking path, most of your free time will be for snorkeling off the beach or hanging out with the sea lions.

Trip Info: This day tour is available as an extension from Santa Cruz Island only, and is subject to availability. Must be requested in advance, or as part of a custom tour. You time will be split almost equally on land and in the water. This is a full day tour.

You’ll need to bring comfortable hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, camera, and a bathing suit.

$250 per person

Day trip to Espanola Island

To many Galapagos visitors, Espanola Island is a must-visit, largely in part because it is the only place where Waved Albatross come to land to nest. In addition to these huge, impressive birds, Espanola also boasts great up-close encounters with Blue-footed Boobies and Nazca Boobies. The booby birds are often found nesting right along the trails, forcing visitors to take “detours”.

Galapagos Doves and Galapagos Hawks are also possible to spot on Espanola Island. While you may need to be lucky to see them, you will surely see many of the most colorful red and green hued marine iguanas. Espanola marine iguanas seem to have their brightness levels turned up an extra notch or two! Only the ones on Floreana Island seem to get as bright.

Gardner Bay is the beach highlight on Espanola. It is a long, white sandy beach - perfect for easy access to the water for snorkeling. You’ll also find more than enough sea lions here to keep you amused and keep you camera clicking!

Trip Info: This day tour is available as an extension from San Cristobal Island only, and is subject to availability. Must be requested in advance, or as part of a custom tour. It is a 2 hour boat ride to get here from San Cristobal Island. Waved Albatross are only on the island from about April - December each year. You time will be split almost equally on land and in the water. This is a full day tour.

You’ll need to bring comfortable hiking shoes, hat, sunscreen, camera, and a bathing suit.

$250 per person

Camping at Casa del Ceibo

Away from the typical tourist path, El Progresso is a small community on San Cristobel Island. Two of our Galakiwi guides grew up here, and their family built a great treehouse for them to play in. Today, the treehouse, known as El Ceibo, is a rustic adventure open to travelers who want something different. Complete with running water, a shower and electricity, it’s a unique experience to be sure. While the treehouse has beds and all the comforts you would need to sleep, it is no longer available to sleep in. Instead, visitors are allowed to explore during the day and camp on the ground at the property.

Trip Info: You can request to have breakfast included in your stay at the treehouse. Transportation is not included (short taxi ride or bike ride from Puerto Baquerizo). Should be booked well in advance.

$10-25 per person, per night.

 

 

  • 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?
    Murray
    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.
    Heidi
    10 day Galapagos Adventure Tour - 2023
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