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Galapagos & Andes Family Multisport Tour
Galapagos & Andes Family Multisport Tour

Hike to villages in volcano-studded highlands, where crafts, folkloric music and ancient ruins are yours to discover. Then enjoy a mind-blowing adventure in the Galápagos Islands. Ever see a frigate bird strut his stuff? Or a seaweed-eating iguana? Alongside a naturalist, witness incredible wildlife behavior right before your eyes.


Straight Talk
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.

Travel Time & Comfort

Please note that there is a substantial amount of travel time on this trip, and we may have earlier mornings than you are used to on Backroads trips—including as early as 4 a.m.—due to our flights between the Ecuadorian mainland and the Galápagos Islands. Once in the Galápagos, the main form of travel is by boat, so be prepared for occasional wet, windy conditions and bring seasickness medication if you think you'll need it. Also, in summer months the waters can be a bit rougher.

Itinerary Changes

The Galápagos Islands are a welcoming and fascinating place, yet complex and at times logistically challenging due to national park regulations. Mid-trip itinerary changes are quite common. Rest assured, if we encounter changes to our planned activities, your Trip Leaders will find alternate activities that you're sure to enjoy.

Service Standards

Although the Galápagos Islands are part of Ecuador, they can feel worlds away from the mainland, including slow or no internet connectivity and ATMs possibly running out of cash. Service at inns and restaurants can lack a sense of urgency when compared with other regions. Your best bet is to sit back, relax and soak in the island way of life.

Terrain & Trail Support

The hikes on this trip follow rocky and sometimes uneven paths, many of which are remote and do not intersect with roads. Vehicles will get us to and from the trailheads, but the nature of these trails is such that we won't see our vans along the route. Ample trail support in the form of water, snacks and encouragement is provided by your Backroads leaders and local guides.

Hiking on Your Own

We provide plenty of hiking options and ample trail support so that you can hike at your chosen pace throughout the trip. However, in the Galápagos, in accordance with the national park's environmental protection regulations, hikers are not allowed to hike alone or in non-designated areas.

Day 1 Hike the orchid-lined caldera rim of deep blue Laguna de Cuicocha  Explore Poncho Square, the heart of Otavalo's world-famous artisans' market, while the younger set takes part in a scavenger hunt Visit Ecuador's foremost master weavers Enjoy the spirited serenading of musicians playing handcrafted instruments.

Days 2-3 Hike in the Andes with spectacular views of snowcapped mountains  Walk through eucalyptus forest and the fertile valleys between Cayambe and Imbabura Volcanoes  Learn about daily life in the community of Angla from the locals   Fernando Polanco, grandson of an Ecuadorian president, welcomes us to Hacienda Zuleta, a 4,000-acre working farm set amid volcano vistas and pre-Inca ruins  Hike to archaeological sites and along winding roads through the lush pastureland of the Zuleta Valley Ever milked a cow? Now's your chance!

Days 4-8 Get set for incredible up-close wildlife viewing in the Galápagos Islands, an isolated sanctuary for a stunning array of unique plants and animals  With an expert local guide, marvel at blue-footed boobies, giant tortoises, white-tipped reef sharks, fluorescent fish, sea lions, lava lizards and possibly penguins  Boat from island to island, stopping to snorkel, kayak, hike, bike and swim  Explore Isabela Island's Sierra Negra volcano, the second largest caldera in the world  Spot marine iguanas basking in the sun, unfazed by the Sally Lightfoot crabs that scurry about  Kick back at our comfortable island lodges or venture out to hike, play at the beach and discover unique port towns.


Trip Highlights
  • Hike in the Andes with spectacular views of snowcapped mountains and visit an award-winning rehabilitation center for Andean condors
  • Explore small highland villages, where Otavaleño Indians continue centuries-old traditions
  • A scavenger hunt for kids in a bustling local market
  • Incredible up-close wildlife viewing in the Galápagos with a expert local guide
  • Snorkel and kayak with tropical fish, sea lions and white-tipped reef sharks
big map


Casual Inns

Hacienda Cusín (1 night): Located in the Ecuadorian sierra, this restored Andean estate traces its history to 1602, when the land was purchased from the King of Spain.

Hacienda Zuleta (2 nights): Luxuriate at this 4,000-acre working farm and living museum open only to select groups of travelers. Our host is Fernando Polanco, the great-grandson and grandson of former Ecuadorian presidents.

Casa Playa Mann (2 nights): Just steps from the beach, this charming bed-and-breakfast is surrounded by lush gardens.

Finch Bay Eco Hotel (2 nights): A beautiful waterfront lodge near the heart of Puerto Ayora.


Routes For All Abilities

Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.

Daily Route Options
Day Activity EASYGOING ACTIVE AVID
Level 1 Level 2 Level 3 Level 4 Level 5
miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain miles feet gain
1 Walking/Hiking 3 200
Kids Kids: Scavenger Hunt at Otavalo Market (1 Hour)
Other Weaver’s Studio Visit (1 Hour)
2 Walking/Hiking 4* 1300 7* 1600 10 1600
Kids Kids: Cow Milking (1 Hour)
3 Walking/Hiking 4 800 6 800
4 Other Kids: Soccer Activity (1 Hour)
Other Lobería Hiking & Snorkeling (3 Hours)
5 Other Kayaking & Snorkeling (6 Hours)
6 Walking/Hiking 4 200
Other Interpretive Center & Frigate Hill Walk (1.5 Hours)
7 Biking 8 400
Other Giant Tortoise Walk (1.5 Hours)
 
note:

On this trip, we'll be using titanium mountain bikes that are just right for the non-technical dirt road riding as well as the paved riding. (approximately 15% dirt and 85% paved).

* Includes a shuttle


2015 Dates & Pricing*

FAMILY TRIPS
  • 12/20-27 Price: $6998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 12/21-28 Price: $7348 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $790
  • 12/23-30 Price: $7348 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $790
  • 12/24-31 Price: $7548 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 12/25-1/1 Price: $7548 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 12/26-1/2 Price: $7548 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630

*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.


2016 Dates & Pricing*

FAMILY TRIPS
  • 3/20-27 Price: $5998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 3/27-4/3 Price: $5998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 4/3-10 Price: $5998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 4/10-17 Price: $5998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 6/19-26 Price: $5998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 7/3-10 Price: $5998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 7/17-24 Price: $5998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 7/31-8/7 Price: $5998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $660
  • 8/14-21 Price: $5998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $660
  • 12/18-25 Price: $6998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 12/19-26 Price: $6998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 12/20-27 Price: $6998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 12/21-28 Price: $6998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $790
  • 12/22-29 Price: $6998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 12/23-30 Price: $6998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $790
  • 12/24-31 Price: $6998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630
  • 12/25-1/1 Price: $6998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1100 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $630

*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.


Recommended Kids Ages

Minimum Ages:

General Info on Minimum Ages:

We strongly encourage families to join our Family Trips, designed with kid- and adult-friendly features. Please note that we have a minimum age requirement of 1 year for all Inn trips and 2 years for all Camping trips. Other than that, we do not restrict trips to a minimum age except in the rare case of a hotel age restriction. We do, however, recommend minimum ages based on the following criteria: Please note that a trip may feature an activity with an older age requirement than the minimum age recommendation for the trip. Younger kids are still welcome on the trip and while they will not be able to participate in the activity, the leaders will suggest an alternate activity. For safety reasons, children under 7 may not ride their own bikes and are required to ride on a Piccolo or in a Burley. For certain destinations, children must be 9 or older to ride their own bikes.

Private Trips Options & Pricing

Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.

You can pick any open date for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required. Call us for date availability.

Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)

2015

8 - 9 guests from $6,098 pp dbl. occ. 12 or more guests from $5,298 pp dbl. occ.
10 - 11 guests from $5,598 pp dbl. occ.

2016

8 - 9 guests from $6,598 pp dbl. occ. 12 or more guests from $5,798 pp dbl. occ.
10 - 11 guests from $6,098 pp dbl. occ.
Internal flights from $550.

For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Youth savings do not apply to Private Trips.


Guest Trip Reviews

Ecuador was an unexpected gem. What a beautiful country with wonderful people! We just loved the hiking and mountain biking.
Sue Floyd- Bellaire, TX

I loved the part of the trip in the Highlands of Ecuador... Our leaders were enthusiastic, helpful, flexible and kind, and the food was excellent. The scenery and contact with the local people was superb, and I loved the hiking and biking!
Lisa Conn- Cherry Hill, NJ

Backroads planned an amazing and rich trip, and executed it with polish and good humor. We were extremely impressed and will travel with Backroads on all our future organized travel. Guides were wonderful with guests, kids, dietary and medical restrictions, and at keeping everything moving smoothly. By the end of the trip, we felt our family had grown to include the leaders and other guests.
Denise Pinkston- Berkeley, CA