Galapagos: In Darwin's Footsteps

15 days
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£4,599
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4.8 / 5 from 6 reviews >
Trip code: 
TPGA
Way to Travel:
Guided Group
Activity:
Wildlife Walks
Min age:
16
Group size:
6–15

A unique trek amid the volcanic Galapagos archipelago

Extended trekking on the island of Isabela in the remote Galapagos archipelago is a rare privilege and we are one of only a few operators allowed here. As part of this trip we enjoy a three day trek to the 10km wide crater rim of the Sierra Negra Volcano, a hike blessed with striking views of the lava-strewn landscape and its smouldering fumaroles. As well as five major volcanoes, Isabela is also one of the last remaining habitats of the Galapagos giant tortoise. Elsewhere in the Galapagos we undertake shorter walks to appreciate the geological features of these enchanting islands and discover their endemic wildlife.

Highlights

  • Three day camping trek to the crater rim of the Sierra Negra Volcano
  • Plenty of island walks to discover the Galapagos landscape
  • Incredible wildlife viewing and photographic opportunities with near-tame animals
  • Plenty of snorkelling opportunities with iridescent fish, playful sea lions and turtles
  • Island hopping by motorboat but sleep in hotels, lodges & tents

Key information

  • 3 days walking with full porterage; up to 6 other walks
  • Altitude: sea-level to 1200m in Galapagos, 2800m in Quito
  • Group normally 6 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 years
  • 11 nights hotels and guesthouses and 2 nights full-service wild camping in 2-person tents

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners included
  • All accommodation
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Compulsory Galapagos taxes USD120 (approx. GBP95) paid locally.

9

Pace:

Leisurely/Moderate walks of approx. 3 - 12 km

Terrain:

Low altitude and typically good paths

Day by day breakdown
Day 35.0km/3.0miles
Day 45.0km/3.0miles
Day 64.0km/2.0miles
Day 73.0km/1.0miles
Day 812.0km/7.0miles
Day 912.0km/7.0miles
Day 1011.0km/6.0miles
Day 1110.0km/6.0miles
Day 126.0km/3.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

London
to
London
  • Day 1

    Fly to Quito.

    The group flight usually arrives into Quito this evening. Land Only clients should aim to arrive at the hotel this afternoon/evening. Free transfers are available for all clients.

    Accommodation: Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

  • Day 2

    Quito city tour.

    This morning you'll have the opportunity to meet your fellow travellers as we have a welcome briefing and take a guided tour of the main sights in Quito. Quito is the second highest capital in the world, standing at 2800m on the western cordillera of the Andes. It is one of the smaller and more attractive of the colonial capitals of South America. Because of the altitude you are advised to take it easy at first.

    Accommodation: Hotel Vieja Cuba (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Fly to San Cristobal; visit the Galapagos Visitors' Centre.

    Transfer to Quito airport and fly to San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands. On arrival we settle into our hotel and have the opportunity to get a light lunch in the small town before spending some time at the Galapagos Visitors' Centre. This afternoon we hike to the cliffs at Las Tijeteras to see colonies of frigatebirds and there will be time for swimming and snorkelling close to a sea lion colony.

    Today’s walking distance is approx. 5km

    Accommodation: Hotel Mar Azul (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Walk along Playa Ochoa beach.

    Travel by small motorboat to the picturesque Manglaralto Beach, where there is time for snorkelling before we navigate around Kicker Rock (Leon Dormido), an impressive lava tuft formation. Several species of nesting sea birds can be found here, including frigatebirds, Blue-footed and Masked boobies. Continue by boat to Playa Ochoa Beach, an expanse of white sand dominated by a large sea lion colony as well as being home to many birds and marine iguanas.

    Today’s walking distance is approx. 5km

    Accommodation: Hotel Mar Azul (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    San Cristobal highlands walk; snorkelling at Puerto Chino.

    After breakfast we drive to the highlands of San Cristobal. A short one hour walk brings us to the fringe of El Junco Lake, one of the few permanent freshwater lakes in the Galapagos where frigatebirds can often be seen bathing near the lake. The San Cristobal highlands offer panoramic views across the smaller islands lapped by the Pacific. Afterwards we visit a reserve where the famous Galapagos giant tortoises roam free before snorkelling in a nearby bay. In the evening, we can visit La Loberia, the perfect place to unwind surrounded by colonies of sea lions and marine iguanas.

    Accommodation: Hotel Mar Azul (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 6

    Boat to Floreana; visit sea lion colony.

    A three hour navigation by motorboat takes us to Isla Floreana, one of the first islands to be inhabited in the Galapagos. En route we may see whales, dolphins and sea birds. In Floreana we have lunch followed by a walk to discover the black volcanic beaches, which are home to red iguanas and sea lion colonies. There is also time for snorkelling today.

    Today’s walking distance is approx. 4km

    Accommodation: Hotel Wittmer (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 7

    Visit highlands of Floreana; sail to Isabela and visit Las Tintoreras.

    After an early breakfast we visit the highlands of Floreana, where one of the few sources of fresh water in the entire archipelago exists. Visit lava caves once used by pirates who based themselves on the islands and see a large enclosure of Galapagos giant tortoises. Just before midday we navigate to Isabela and see Tortuga Island, a huge eroded marine crater where thousands of sea birds such as Blue-footed and Nazca boobies, pelicans and frigatebirds nest. After lunch at Puerto Villamil, we spend the afternoon sailing to the islets and lava channels of Las Tintoreras, one of the best places in the islands to see White-tipped reef sharks, as well as penguins and sea lions. There will be time for snorkelling today. On this afternoon's excursion we may be lucky enough to spot the endangered Chatham mockingbird.

    Today’s walking distance is approx. 3km

    Accommodation: The Wooden House (or similar)
    Standard Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Start Sierra Negra Volcano trek.

    Today we begin our three day trek around the Sierra Negra Volcano. With its 10km diameter, the caldera of the Sierra Negra is the second largest in the world after the Ngorongoro Crater in Tanzania. After loading our vehicle with all of the equipment and supplies that we need for the next few days, we drive 45 minutes into the highlands to reach the start point of our walk to the volcano on the east side of the island. Our campsite will be pitched up close to the entrance whilst we start our trek towards Volcan Chico. The walk takes us across stark lava-strewn highlands punctuated with miconia shrubs and other vegetation. The otherworldly landscapes are incredible and we pass many volcanic features along the way where we can observe steam fumaroles and a variety of lava formations.

    Today’s walking distance is approx. 12km

    Accommodation: Wild Camping
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 9

    Continue trek and camp on the rim of the crater.

    Today we walk to Volcan Azufre (Sulphur Volcano) whilst our gear is carried on horseback. The trek takes us alongside pastureland which soon changes into highland vegetation with many ferns and interesting plants to see en route. Our camp will be located close to the rim of the crater in a remote area at 900m. With good weather, there are excellent views of neighbouring Volcan Azul (Blue Volcano) and we'll have the opportunity to descend 100m into the crater to see the sulphur deposits, fumaroles and bizarre landscape. Our walk returns 100m uphill to the crater rim.

    Today’s walking distance is approx. 12km

    Accommodation: Wild Camping
    Full-service Camping

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 10

    To Puerto Villamil via Galapagos giant tortoise breeding centre.

    After breakfast we return to the entrance of the Sierra Negra where our vehicle will be waiting to return us to our guesthouse in Puerto Villamil. On our way back we stop at a Galapagos giant tortoise breeding centre, which is home to tortoises of all ages and sizes.

    Today’s walking distance is approx. 11km

    Accommodation: The Wooden House (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch
  • Day 11

    Visit the historical 'Wall of Tears' on Isabela.

    This morning we visit the Wall of Tears, a sad reminder of Isabela's very different past when the island was used as a penal colony. Between 1946 and 1959 convicts were forced to build this wall from huge blocks of lava simply as a form of punishment, which, combined with the harsh conditions, led to many deaths. After this sobering visit we hike back to the town through the mangroves, wetlands and along sandy beaches of the coast. This is one of the best places on the islands to view migratory birds, including Wilson’s phalarope, the Blue-winged teal and if we're very lucky, even osprey. This region has also seen the reintroduction of Galapagos giant tortoises from the breeding centre into the wild and we are likely to encounter several on our walk. The afternoon is free for swimming, snorkelling, walking or just relaxing on one of the beaches around Puerto Villamil.

    Today’s walking distance is approx. 10km

    Accommodation: The Wooden House (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Sail to Santa Cruz; visit Tortuga Bay.

    Navigate by motorboat to Santa Cruz and have lunch at one of the local restaurants. Our destination this afternoon is Tortuga Bay, a 1km stretch of white sand regarded as one of the best beaches in the Galapagos. The trail leading to the beach is paved and takes between 45 minutes to 1 hour, with possibilities to observe Galapagos finches and lizards along the way. The beach is scattered with marine iguana's, who lay amongst the clusters of black rocks or stroll along the sand. In the water turtles can sometimes be seen. Swimming is not recommended here due to strong currents. After a relaxing afternoon, we'll hike the same route back towards the main town of Puerto Ayora where our hotel is located.

    Today’s walking distance is approx. 6km

    Accommodation: Mainao Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Explore Bartolome, North Seymour or Plazas Island; optional visit to Charles Darwin Research Centre.

    Visit either Bartolome Island, South Plaza Island or North Seymour (depending on the National Park restrictions). South Plaza Island has a remarkable vegetation of succulents and cacti that provide a unique habitat for land iguanas. The iguanas form small colonies at the base of the tall opuntia cacti, waiting for their flowers and dead pads to fall to the ground so they can feed on them. The island's rocks are home to swallowtail gulls, shearwaters and sea lions.
    North Seymour is a flat, boulder-strewn island and is a major nesting site for frigatebirds. It's also a good place to see Blue-footed boobies performing their courtship rituals, as well as sea lions playing in the powerful surf. Bartolome is a spectacular scene of dramatic lava cones, perfect clear turqouise sea and affords perhaps the most famous view of the Galapagos Islands, looking across the red cinder cones to the recent black lava fields on James Island. If possible we will snorkel today (usually around Bartolome) where the water is calm.

    Back on Puerto Ayora there will be time to visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre which is home to the headquarters of the Charles Darwin Foundation. This is the main research centre on the islands and many visiting scientists come from all over the world to study the flora and fauna. Please note that our schedule for visiting the Charles Darwin Centre is flexible and it may be more convenient for this visit to take place a day earlier or later, depending on timings.

    Accommodation: Mainao Hotel (or similar)
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast Lunch Dinner
  • Day 14

    Fly to Guayaquil; depart Guayaquil.

    After breakfast this morning we drive to the airport at Baltra and fly to Guayaquil where it's possible to connect with international flights this evening from 6pm onwards. Alternatively, you can extend your stay for a few extra nights or join the Napo Wildlife Centre Extension (which starts in Quito). Land only clients may prefer to organise post-tour accommodation for the night in Guayaquil and organise their international flights for the following day.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 15

    Arrive London

    Arrive home.

Essential Info

Visas

Ecuador

British passport holders do not need a visa for Ecuador. Very few other nationalities need a visa for Ecuador, but if you are in any doubt you should contact the nearest Ecuadorian Embassy.
Please note that if flying via the US (even as a transit passenger) you must clear US immigration. Most UK citizens are eligible for visa-free travel, but you must register on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA), which costs USD14 and is valid for two years. Please go to http://www.exodus.co.uk/USvisa for more information.

Vaccinations

Ecuador

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements. Recommended vaccinations are: Typhoid and Hepatitis A. If you will spend any time in the Amazon Rainforest we recommend a Yellow Fever vaccination. Please note that your certificate of vaccination may be inspected on arrival to this region. Malaria is also a risk in some areas of the country (including the Amazon Rainforest) so we suggest you consult a Doctor for more advice. Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up‐to‐ date information.

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners are included whilst on this trip.

When camping, meals will be prepared for you by a chef who will cook a mixture of local and international dishes. Some days packed lunches of sandwiches, fruits and juice will be provided whilst at other times, meals will be taken at restaurants. The choice of meals in some areas of the Galapagos can be limited but special dietary requirements can usually be catered for if we are advised at the time of booking. When flying to and from the Galapagos, snacks are usually included on the flights.

Weather

In Quito and the highlands it should be warm by day and generally dry. Maximum daytime temperatures are almost constant throughout the year at 20ºC, nights 8ºC. Some rain can be expected in February to May and October to November but storms, though heavy, are generally short, and Quito is considered to have quite a pleasant climate.

It is possible to visit the Galapagos at any time of year, but seasonal variations do affect what you see and there are climatic changes to be aware of. The weather is controlled by the two main ocean currents of the region, the Humboldt, bringing cold water from the Antarctic, and El Nino, which brings tropical water from the Gulf of Panama. How close to Galapagos they converge (which varies from year to year) is the key to the weather.

'Dry season'

Generally speaking, late May to early December is the cooler 'dry' season. In this period it is not necessarily dry, as there is a persistent light mist (garua) and often light drizzle, and the higher mountain slopes are covered in cloud and fog or rain. At this time the winds are in the southeast and are higher than at other times, so seas can sometimes be choppy and anyone worried about seasickness might be better advised to avoid it. Daytime maximum temperatures lie between 27ºC and 31ºC, the cooler months being July to November. In July and August the fairly strong winds introduce a chill factor, and it can feel quite cold at nights, though throughout the year the official night temperatures vary between 19ºC and 24ºC.

'Wet season'

Depending on how close the convergence of the two currents comes to Galapagos, there may or may not be a wet season from January to April or May. Approximately every seven years the El Nino current actually hits the islands and there will be heavy rains in these months. In other years rain usually falls sporadically from otherwise clear skies. The ocean temperatures are higher, with generally calm seas and strong sunshine: pleasant, but potentially very hot. Apart from an El Nino year, the weather is usually better from December/January to April/May than at other times even if there is some rain, and most people would regard these months as the best time to go.

Is this trip for you?

This trip has been given grade 2: Leisurely/Moderate.

Most of the walking is at a leisurely pace but the Sierra Negra Volcano trek has been graded moderate. In the Galapagos the underfoot conditions will often be very rough, with some of the walking being done on sharp lava rocks. It is also likely to be hot at times, as the lava reflects the sun fiercely. We recommend this trip to those who are in a good state of physical fitness and who can withstand strong sunshine. A little patience and flexibility are also required, as it is not always possible to follow a strict schedule due to weather and sea conditions and sometimes it is better to do the planned activities in a different order (but almost always on the same day as this activity is originally planned).

Please note that walking times stated are given as approximates only and these usually include lunch and photo stops although this will vary depending on the pace of your group.

Altitude: sea-level to 1200m in Galapagos, 2800m in Quito

Accommodation

Hotels & Wild Camping

11 nights hotels and guesthouses and 2 nights full-service wild camping in 2-person tents.

The hotels and guesthouses on the Galapagos Islands are generally small, family-run establishments with limited facilities, yet all have rooms with en suite bathrooms and hot water.

Camping during the Sierra Negra trek is in wild campsites - horses transport all gear and the local staff will erect tents and perform all camp chores (although of course any help is welcome!) As this is wild camping, there are no purpose built facilities such as showers or toilet blocks. Water will be provided for hand washing/cleaning and there will be a basic toilet tent. Due to national park regulations, all litter and organic food waste will be removed from the park at the end of the trek.

Optional single supplements are available (hotels and single tents) - see Dates & Prices.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed March 2017
    Jonathan Dusheiko

    Galapagos March 2017

    An enjoyable trip through a special part of the world. Snorkelling or swimming almost every day was the highlight.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Dawn over Sierra Negra volcano.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pablo was excellent, organised our own tents for all solo travellers which was a bonus.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I found it easier to bring all my own snorkelling gear including flippers. You can't hire on Floreana and also you know your own is of good quality. The water was not cold at that time of year, long sleeve rash vest with some insulation was enough. Gaiters are useful for dense wet vegetation near second camp on the trek. I found a 45L packable duffel fine for the trek. Poncho and non-waterproof boots and walking shoes are cooler options compared to jackets and lined footwear. There are frequent heavy tropical downpours.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The storage of valuables in the safe at The Wooden House needs improving. Had an a anxious few hours after other travellers took my Exodus document wallet with passport by mistake as identical to theirs. Should be sealed in an envelope and you should sign in and out.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Alan Long

    Galapagos Wonderland

    When this trip was advertised on the site at the end of last summer I booked straight away,something about this magical place appealed to me. Everything you see on the TV is there, it is all around you, from the first steps on the Islands you see Iguanas, Finches, Fly catchers with their brilliant yellows and oranges. Our first introduction to the Galapagos is a boat trip out to the locally known Kicker rock and our first snorkelling, our first Turtles, rays and for the lucky few even Shark.Blue footed boobies on the rocks, with Frigate birds filing the skies and Sea lions filling the seas. It was like everywhere you looked there was more to see and marvel at,birds so close Iguanas round almost every corner. Then came what we all wanted to see the Galapagos giant tortoises, the breeding programme is well established and it is great to see the work they are doing. After a few days and a change of Islands we began our trek up the Sierra Negra volcano. The feeling you get from the rim of this enormous crater is one of awe and power. the next thing was to see the steam coming from live vents on the mountain side, imagining what life was like thousands of years ago.We then walked up to the vents and the smell of sulphur was really strong but again the feeling of power was still there. Onto the rest of the trek with camping on the rim,well looked after by our helpers who with the horses got everything we needed to the rim and cooked us all very good meals, thanks. This trip is very full on and every day so far we have an early start and either walked or took boats to visit many islands and wildlife areas. This trip exceeded all of my expectations and with a great leader in Pablo who`s knowledge of the Islands was fantastic, we the group who all got on so well together, cared for each other, they helped make this whole trip the best ever. Although it did seem a awfully long way back home!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    This is easy for me it has to be going up Sierra Negra, a real live volcano, awesom power from the very heart of the earth.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Pablo, the leader for our trip was the best his knowledge of the islands was amazing and with the help of the local guides including Joceleyn (not sure of the spelling there) we could not have been looked after better.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Prepare to be amazed at the beauty of this amazing place.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I would like to add my thanks to all at Exodus for allowing us the chance to visit these marvellous places wherever in the world they are.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Jackie Hamnett

    Galapagos, in Darwin's Footsteps - Amazing!

    This was to be our "holiday of a lifetime" - I was slightly concerned it might not live up to my expectations as I had wanted to visit Galapagos for many years. However I was not disappointed! Every day I thought it couldn't get any better, but it did. The wildlife was all fantastic. I didn't expect to do so much snorkelling, but it meant we were swimming with turtles, sealions, sharks and many colourful fishes :)

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Highlights for me were Floreana (especially meeting the Wittmer family), camping and walking up Sierra Negra, and swimming with turtles.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabian was excellent! He pulled a very diverse group of people together and made sure no-one was left out. His knowledge of the islands and the wildlife was great.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the book "Floreana" by Wittmer before you visit the Island of Floreana. It is a fascinating story and you will look at the island in a different light! Buy a wildlife guide book before you go. I expected there to be a wider choice of guides on the islands, but there is in fact very little choice.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Mimi Thomas

    Galapagos trip

    I travelled in november 2016 to the galapagos. I had a great trip. There were fourteen in the group. It was a mixture of couples and singles. The days were spent either travelling by boat , swimming/ snorkelling . Or some walking. The snorkelling was amazing. It was more difficult than i had anticipated. The snorkelling at kicker rock was really cold and not for the faint hearted. The walking was easy. It was very dry and dusty on the hike. It wouldn't have taken much rain for the trail to become very muddy.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Loved all the snorkelling. My favourites were santa fe and floreana. There was a mix up with bookings - at the end of the trip we went to santa fe instead of bartholome.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabian was knowledgable and very patient. There were also galapagos guides who were good. You just had to turn up and everything happened.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I took my own snorkel and mask. I was glad i did as i could make sure it fitted properly before i went. You can hire them though. The water was cold and some days you did need a wet suit. I hired one. For the hike i had walking boots and a walking pole. I carried the pole like an ornament most of time. However i think it could get very muddy on the trail. If it is muddy, A walking pole would be handy. The trail down to the suphur mine was steep. You don't need to buy much water. All the hotels had water fountains with filtered water. Souvenirs were more expensive than i thought they would be. I waited until santa cruz to buy things. I got a few bits from darwin research centre. The bus ride from the airport to the hotel can take ages. Sometimes the traffic was horrendous.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    No
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Jill Bobek

    Galapagos in Darwins footsteps

    A few days spent on each of four slightly different islands allowing you to see lots of wildlife and some interesting geological features.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Snorkelling with sea turtles ( never seen so many) rays and sea lions and the trek up to the rim of Sierra Negra. View of the caldera was amazing.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabian was very knowledgeable , had a great sense of humour and the patience of a saint.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    With hindsight I wouldn't have bothered to take my own snorkel gear - there was plenty available to hire .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A trip to Galapagos had been on my bucket list for years - I'm not a good sea traveller so opted for this land based trip - it didn't disappoint.
  • Reviewed November 2016
    Wendy Williams

    Galapagos In Darwin' Steps

    Simply the best trip I have ever been on. I did not want to come home! The leader made everything happen with no hitches - and encouragement for a slightly trepidatious snorkeller! As for the Galapagos - Wow! I think that that the trip, being landbased, allowed us to experience so much more, meet more locals and eat local food and just soak up the atmosphere - on the beaches or in the bar!!

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Two inspirational moments - playing with the sea lions in the surf and snorkelling with turtles.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our Leader was fantastic - ensured all arrangements just happened, was passionate, deeply knowledgeable and inspirational about The Galapagos, found us great places to eat and was encouraging and caring on the more difficult parts of the trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a reasonable camera, an underwater camera and lots of memory power. The sea was surprisingly cold - a wet suit would be a great addition to the packing.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    When can I go back?

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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