Ecuador (Galapagos)

Galapagos Islands Cruise & Andean Highlands

  • Overview
    Starts at



    9 days


    Level 3


    8 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners

    Come aboard a small cruise ship and hop around from island to island in the world’s most protected archipelago, the Galapagos. On this Galapagos family vacation not only will you cruise to several different islands but also get to experience the rich culture of the Andes and mainland Ecuador.

    Cruise Around the Galapagos Islands

    Avoid packing and unpacking and moving hotels and just relax on a small cruise ship as you explore the Galapagos Islands.

    See Giant Tortoises in the Wild

    Quite possibly the most famous inhabitant of the Galapagos, you’ll find the Giant Tortoise lumbering around protected fields looking for food to snack on.

    Explore Several of the Galapagos Islands

    Experience a wide array of islands, discovering the different intricacies and what makes each island special and unique while searching for blue-footed boobies, magnificent frigate birds, sally lightfoot crabs, albatrosses, marine iguanas, sea lions, and fur seals.

    Walk through Quito

    Take to the wonderful streets of Quito to explore the old churches, shopping stalls, and squares of this UNESCO World Heritage city.

    Find Adventure in El Cajas National Park

    Look for the alpacas roaming free in the highlands of the park as you hike the trails and breath in the fresh Ecuadorian air.


    Itineraries vary depending on travel dates. Please give us a call for specifics.

  • Itinerary

    Day 1

    Fly to Ecuador

    Days 1-3

    Andean Highlands

    Yanacocha Hike

    We’ll head to Yanacocha reserve, one of the most biodiverse Andean forests, to hike different trails and paths. We’ll learn about the ecosystem of the area, efforts to conserve the land, and search for countless humming birds and the emblematic bird of Quito, the puffleg.

    Explore Pululahua Crater

    Over 2,500 years ago a volcano collapsed and created a caldera, the Pululahua Crater. We’ll explore the landscape from the three lava domes and surrounding forest to the village at the crater’s base where we’ll meet some of the locals.

    Intinan Museum

    We’ll go to the Intinan Museum, or “Path of the Sun” Museum, to learn about the equatorial line, the ancient indigenous groups of the area, and experiment with how the force of gravity and astronomy work at zero latitude.

    Visit the Cochasqui Pyramids

    We’ll head to the Cochasqui Pyramids, an archaeological complex comprised of 15 pyramids and 21 funeral mounds for us to explore.

    Go on a Treasure Hunt

    While at the Cochasqui Pyramid complex, kids will get an extra bit of fun running around the area on a hunt for hidden treasure!

    Explore Quito

    We’ll explore the historical center of Quito, visiting the colonial temples and monasteries, a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well as Independence Plaza, the Cathedral, La Compania de Jesus, the Presidential Palace, the Municipal Building, the Archbishop’s Palace, and the Church of San Francisco.

    Days 4-8

    Galapagos Islands

    Buccaneer Cove, Santiago Island

    Explore the impressive cliffs of Buccaneer Cove. This cove is home to a large number of marine birds, sea lions ,and inter-tidal organisms. Enjoy amazing natural rock formations such as “The Bishop” and “Elephant Rock”. Additionally, the cove is an excellent location for snorkeling or a panga ride.

    Puerto Egas

    After disembarking at this beach on Santiago Island, enjoy a swim or snorkel amid a rocky shoreline, usually in the company of marine turtles. From here, head off on a walk with a great opportunity to see land and marine birds amid landscape of tuff-stone layers and lava flows. At low tide, marine iguanas graze upon algae beds. Watch for a colony of sea lions.

    Rabida Island

    We explore Rabida Island’s red-coloured beach. A stroll allows us to observe a large colony of sea lions, marine iguanas, mockingbirds, yellow warblers and several species of Darwin’s finches. This is a great place to snorkel from the beach. We can also enjoy a panga ride, kayaking or ride in our glass-bottom boat.

    Explore Bartolome Island

    We’ll explore volcanic craters and lava tubes that will give us the feeling of walking on the moon! We’ll also have to keep our eyes open for Galapagos penguins swimming in tropical waters, green sea turtles, sea lions, and Galapagos sharks.

    Prince Phillip's Steps, Genovesa Island

    After an interesting panga ride along the cliffs, disembark at Genovesa Island for a steep climb (90 feet) up some stairs. The top of the stairs is flat for a mile allowing for an easy walk among large colonies of Nazca boobies, red-footed boobies, great frigate birds and storm petrels. Alternatively, stay aboard the panga for a longer ride along the cliffs (weather dependent).

    Darwin Bay, Genovesa Island

    Land at this beautiful beach and enjoy some swimming and/or snorkeling. Take an easy stroll to observe hundreds of birds, mainly frigatebirds, red-footed and Nazca boobies, gulls, herons, finches and mockingbirds. There’s an optional walk over sharp lava and uneven terrain, or choose to relax at the beach or enjoy a panga ride.

    Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, Tortoise Breeding Center

    On the island of San Cristóbal, the Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado is a breeding center atop a red dirt hill, put in place for the purpose of repopulating giant tortoises. It is one of the best places in the Galapagos to see these gentle behemoths, with such a heavy, deliberate concentration of them living in peace.

    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 $7990PP
    Teen $7990PP
    Child $7140PP
    Internal Air $750


    Adult $7990PP
    Teen $7990PP
    Child $7140PP
    Internal Air $750


    Adult $7990PP
    Teen $7990PP
    Child $7140PP
    Internal Air $750


    Limited Availability
    Adult $7990PP
    Teen $7990PP
    Child $7140PP
    Internal Air $750

    Additional Info

    Smart Traveler Advantages

    Book a trip 9 months ahead of the day that you want to leave and get free flight insurance, free cancellation insurance, and a GoPro Hero Session!

    Triple Discount

    $200 for children under 12 sharing with 2 adults (land portion only)


    Traveling in a party of six or more friends or family members? Call us about our large group discounts.

    Alumni Discount 

    If you are a returning Thomson guest, please subtract $500 per family from these prices.

    Price includes

    All entrance fees, accommodations based on two to a room, land transportation, private bilingual guide throughout, all meals, bottled water & snacks in the vehicle, Comprehensive Travel Insurance.

  • Hotels

    Hacienda Rumiloma

    This hacienda is just on the outside of Quito, in the middle of the forest on a hillside, and speaks to the beauty and simplicity of the traditional hacienda. With free access to the internet and a friendly staff that prides itself on service, this is a great place to stay as your explore the Andean Highlands.

    M/V Santa Cruz II

    This small-cruise ship is a fantastic and fun experience for travelers of any age. Parents can enjoy the sun deck lounge area, gazing out into the sea, while kids can take part in the “Young Pirates” program or have visits with the ship’s Captain. The cabins have just received a make-over with new furniture and décor— making everything feel fresh and new! The rooms have a light and spacious feel, great for relaxing and if you need to connect with home don’t fear; the ship has a library with internet access available. The ship is a great and fun way to see the islands of the Galapagos and relax after days of exploration!

    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.

    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.