Galapagos Islands vacation

“Fascinating two week small group tour featuring fairly shortish treks, island to island flights and motorboat rides, snorkelling, beach time and lots and lots of wildlife.”

Highlights

Quito | San Cristobal | Las Tijeteras | Manglaralto Beach | Kicker Rock | San Cristobal highlands | Isla Floreana | Tortuga Island | Sierra Negra Volcano | Volcan Azufre | Puerto Villamil | Galapagos giant tortoise breeding center | Santa Cruz | Tortuga Bay | possibility of also visiting Bartolome Island, South Plaza Island or North Seymour |

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29 Feb 2020
US $6549
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04 Apr 2020
US $6849
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02 May 2020
US $6849
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10 Oct 2020
US $6749
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31 Oct 2020
US $6749
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14 Nov 2020
US $6749
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19 Dec 2020
US $6749
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Responsible tourism

Galapagos Islands vacation

Carbon reduction

Your vacation will help support local people and conservation. We must also reduce CO2. Learn about the CO2 emissions of this vacation and how to reduce them.

Environment

Activity:
Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a trekking trip. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem in certain places and therefore our trip leaders encourage clients to stick to advised routes in order to minimise this. On a trip which revolves so much around appreciating wildlife and exploring this unique environmnet, it is even more vital that we operate with a strict ‘leave no trace policy’. This extends to all of our activities- including snorkelling, sailing and visiting sites like the ‘Wall of Tears’ and the Charles Darwin Reserach Centre.

UK Office:
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Community

Accommodation and Meals:
We spend 12 nights in hotels and guesthouses and 2 nights full-service, wild camping in 2-person tents. The hotels on the Galapagos Islands are generally small, family-run establishments, which is beneficial for the local community. Spending part of the trip in non-permanent, low energy accommodation also reduces our carbon footprint of this trip. Most meals are provided with ingredients sourced on the islands and where free meals are concerned, clients are encouraged to try some of the locally run restaurants in the area. This is a great support to the small network of businesses on the Galapagos and we endeavour to spread our commerce to several places so that many feel the benefits. Regional specialties include freshly caught seafood, like sea bass, crab, oysters and lobster.

A Fair Deal:
We work closely with our local operator and ensure that local guides are being employed and that in exchange for their expertise that they are paid and treated fairly. This is hugely important in an area as relatively unpopulated as the Galapagos. All income stays in the area and goes directly back into community businesses. These tours have been verified by the Rainforest Alliance, which means they have been vetted for ecological, social and economic benefits to the community. The leaders will give a briefing on responsible tourism issues to help you understand how you can help reduce your impact and maximise the benefits to the local people from your visit. Our chefs, sous chefs, camp staff, mule drivers and other transporters are also all locally hired.

Charity:
Our local operators support conservation and social projects such as the Verde Milenio Foundation, which is a non-profit organisation in Ecuador. Verde Milenio run environmental education and research projects which contribute towards reforestation, classification of flora and fauna, veterinary control and rescue of native animals. They also donate regularly to a school in Tumbabiro village and help local Afro-Ecuadorian communities like La Victoria by supporting the pottery works which are the basis for their economy.

Group Size:
This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.

1 Reviews of Galapagos Islands vacation

4 out of 5 stars
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Reviewed on 02 Nov 2019 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?


Snorkelling in the Galapagos Seeing the wildlife in the Amazon Camping on a volcano ridge

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?


Spend more time there if you have it! There is so much more to explore and
see!

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?


Yes, especially at the Galapagos. Only comments are that a lot of plastic bags
were used for packed lunches both for Galapagos and for Amazon; also, at the
Amazon, would suggest that the awareness of guides for wildlife could perhaps be improved - e.g. knowing when to leave an area, when monkeys are getting agitated with our presence

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?


Really good experience! However, communication from the operator could be
better and we are unlikely to book with the operator again

Read the operator's response here:

We would like to thank Mei-Yee for her review; we were very pleased to read that she had such a great experience in the Galapagos and in the Amazon. We understand that she has raised some concerns regarding plastic bags and the awareness of local guides regarding observing wildlife. We have shared these comments with the local manager and asked that any necessary training or action be taken as we are currently endeavouring to ensure our vacations operate with as little plastic as possible. We were very sorry to read that she found communication pre-trip to be poor and whilst there are no specifics highlighted we can focus on, we would like to assure her that this feedback has been shared with the relevant members of staff.

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