Ecuador (Galapagos)

Ecuador: Highlands & Galapagos (San Cristobal Island)

  • Overview
    Starts at



    9 days


    Level 2


    8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

    Leave the crowds of visitors and well-worn paths behind and actively explore the Galapagos Islands with San Cristobal as your base. This trip is for the adventurous family that is eager to trade the confines of a cruise ship for quaint bed and breakfasts in order to discover the flora and fauna of the Galapagos in a unique and active way!

    Experience the Islands and the Highlands

    Ecuador is a fascinating country that has many personalities and experiences. Explore the Galapagos Islands and its amazing wildlife and get a glimpse into life in the Andean Highlands.

    Hike to Find Giant Tortoises

    Hike on quiet trails through protected farmland to look for the most famous inhabitant of the Galapagos Islands, the giant tortoise!

    Visit a Village in the Highlands

    Experience a cultural connection that will stay with your family forever as we take you into the Andean Highlands to spend time in a local village.

    Swim with Sea Lions

    Jump into the water with these friendly and playful creatures for a swim and the chance to take some awesome photos with them!

    Kayak San Pablo Lake

    Kayak across San Pablo Lake, surrounded by beautiful hills and mountains, only taking breaks when you feel like going for a swim!

  • Itinerary

    Day 1

    Fly to Ecuador

    Days 2-4

    Andean Highlands

    Find a Hidden Treasure with GPS

    After your kids have learned how to use a handheld GPS device, we will put their new skills to work as we set out on a hike in search of a buried treasure.

    Angla School Visit

    Head to the little town of Angla to visit a local school where your family can spend some time with kids and teachers and, time permitting, help with their daily activities.

    Active Morning Option – Kayaking

    San Pablo Lake is one of the most scenic areas in the province of Imbabura. During a two-mile kayak across the lake, enjoy the great views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

    Cultural Morning Option - Huarmi Maqui

    The village of Peguche is home to the Huarmi Maqui organization, a cooperative of women that an indigenous leader has organized to support the education and health of the members’ children. Here we will have the opportunity to see some locally made handicrafts and typical Andean products such as corn, peas, beans, potatoes, and more.

    Otavalo Market

    You cannot leave Ecuador without visiting Latin America’s second largest indigenous market! At Poncho Plaza we’ll be able to shop for many things. Otavaleños are most famous for their weavings including sweaters, blankets, gloves and ponchos. You’ll also find Panama hats and colorfully embroidered blouses and shirts. Good-natured bargaining is expected here!

    Days 5-7

    San Cristobal Island

    Tijeretas Kayaking

    After arriving here we will kayak to Tijeretas, a nesting colony for frigatebirds. It is an easy paddle and you will (hopefully) have the chance to see sea lions, marine turtles, blue-footed boobies, and frigatebirds.

    Make Your Own Ceviche

    Learn how to make one of the most famous dishes in South America, ceviche! This won’t just be any ceviche, it’ll be traditional Ecuadorian. The best part is that it’s easy and won’t be hard to replicate when you get back home!

    Hike to See Giant Tortoises

    We’ll hike down trails and to see and photograph the giant tortoise. This is an experience that can only be had on the Galapagos Islands and one we’ll remember forever!

    Kicker Rock Snorkeling

    Take a trip out to Kicker Rock, the remains of a volcanic lava cone eroded by seawater over thousands of years. We’ll snorkel between the steep vertical cliffs for an unforgettable experience!

    Manglecito to Puerto Baquerizo Kayaking

    We’ll kayak from Manglecito Beach to Puerto Baquerizo. Watch out for aquatic birds and other distinct Galapagos wildlife.

    Day 8


    Farewell Dinner

    We’ll say goodbye to our fellow travelers over a farewell dinner as we share our favorite moments of the adventure.

    Day 9

    Depart / Arrive home

  • Dates & Prices

    2018 Dates


    Adult $6390PP
    Teen $6390PP
    Child $6340PP
    Internal Air $750


    Adult $6590PP
    Teen $6590PP
    Child $6540PP
    Internal Air $750

  • Hotels

    Wyndham Grand Condor

    Featuring free Wi-Fi and a restaurant, Wyndham Quito Airport offers accommodations in Tababela, just 12 miles from Quito. The hotel has a terrace and fitness center, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar.

    Hacienda Cusin

    Hacienda Cusin is a restored 17th-century Andean estate about 90 minutes north of Quito. The hotel features 43 beautiful, individually decorated rooms, each with a mountain-view and most of which have a beamed ceiling and a functional fireplace. The beautiful gardens surrounding the hotel contain countless species of flowers, bushes, and trees, and attract over 50 species of birds. Other highlights include animals, horseback riding, a game room, massages, mountain biking, an internet café, laundry service and a fully-staffed kitchen with a great menu.

    Golden Bay Hotel and Spa

    Located right on the sea, the Golden Bay Hotel boasts incredible uninterrupted views of the water and showcases the serene nature of the Galapagos Islands. The hotel is home to a delicious restaurant that uses fresh ingredients and makes a ceviche you won’t forget! With a pool, spa, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and a friendly and helpful staff, your family will have no problem coming here to relax after a day of adventure.

    Thomson Family Adventures will attempt to adhere to this itinerary and its hotels as much as possible. However, certain conditions (political, climatic, environmental, cultural, or availability) may necessitate changes in the accommodations.

  • Why Thomson

    Smart Traveler Advantages

    Book your trip 9 months in advance and get access to all of the advantages that come with being a smart traveler from free flight insurance and trip cancellation to a brand new GoPro.

    Friends Across Borders

    Your child will have a cultural connection like no other by meeting kids the same age from the country you’re traveling by playing games, throwing a Frisbee, kicking a ball around, or just chatting. Ask us about our pen pal program.

    Guaranteed Departures

    No matter what happens, once your family books a trip you’re going.


    Be accompanied for your entire trip by an expert local in-country guide who will know all of the ins and outs of the adventure and destination.

    Small Groups

    With a small group you’ll have plenty of time for spontaneity and to develop a connection with your fellow travelers and guide.

    Travel Insurance

    Every Thomson Family Adventures trip comes with travel insurance for your entire family at no extra cost.