Swim Adventure in the Galapagos

Join Water World Swim in our next Voyage to the Galapagos Islands! Seize this unique opportunity to explore this Pacific Archipelago, discovered by Charles Darwin in 1831. Swim, snorkel, kayak, and hike through this spectacular vegetation, where you will see the most immaculate nature protected by world preservation.

Triathletes, aqua athletes, swim competitors and enthusiasts jump start your season with a swim training vacation. Fine tune your swim technique with four-time Ironman™ finisher Coach Pedro Ordenes and his team of certified coaches. Prefer a vacation pace? With water so warm and so clear that you can see the bottom, you will have time to wonder at the sea life and experience the Galapagos’s famed marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins, the legendary giant tortoise and more! You will also enjoy local food and drink and relaxation.

This was a trip of a lifetime, and I'm just so thankful for everyone who made this possible. Beyond the incredible early morning swim lessons, or longer swims mid-morning in one of the most beautiful and historically significant national parks in the world, the community of people leading and participating in this trip was incredibly special. Huge thank you. Even after six months, it's rare a day passes without thinking back on our time in the Galapagos.
Paul Keys - April 2015 Expedition


Swim with Coach Mike on this trip.

Swim with Coach Pedro on this trip.

Galapagos Partners

Water World Swim is proud to work with locals invested in the preservation and sharing of these beautiful islands!


Ricardo Arenas

A Galapagos resident since 1985, Ricardo runs Sail’n Galapagos, a yacht services company, and partners with the Charles Darwin Foundation to promote preservation, biodiversity, and ecotourism. He co-founded the Galapagos Triathlon and Galapagos Challenge with Fernando Ortiz, and has completed triathlons, a marathon, cycled part of the Ecuadorian coastline twice, and swam from Caamaño Islet to Puerto Ayora four times.

Yvonne Mórtola

Yvonne has been a Naturalist III (the highest level!) since 1984. She has assisted field investigations of masked boobies and albatrosses and has worked in almost all tourism vessels in the islands. She is trilingual - fluent in German, English and Spanish. A cofounder of Sail’n Galapagos with husband Ricardo, she guides private yachts that visit the islands. Her excellent work has been recognized by the Galapagos National Park and the Charles Darwin Foundation.


Fernando Ortiz

Fernando is a marine biologist and dive master, and is also passionate about cycling. He completed the Tour of Ecuador and cycled from Santiago to Puerto Montt, Chile. He headed the Galapagos Marine Reserve and then an NGO devoted to the conservation of the marine environment. He is a cofounder of the Galapagos Triathlon and Galapagos Challenge with Ricardo Arenas.

At a Glance


Visiting the Galapagos Islands was a long time bucket list item for me. Doing it with WWS made it extra special. The experiences and friendships gained will last a lifetime.
Terry Garrity - April 2015 Expedition
Galapagos is swimming the channel instead of taking the ferry, close encounters of the (exotic) bird kind, snorkel playtime with sea lions, pre-breakfast swim clinics in a secret canyon, giant tortoise home visits, the best accommodation, local guides and swim coaches you could wish for.
Duncan Scott - August 2015 Expedition

Have a friend, spouse, or partner who wants to join? Bring them with! Even if they are not swimmers, they're bound to have a blast!

Thank you to the Galapagos Minister of Tourism without whom this trip and the preservation of these islands would not be possible.

Trip overview and details


  • Prices and dates TBA 2018

Package includes:

  • Transportation from Baltra Airport to Hotel on the first day; Transportation from Hotel to Baltra Airport on the last day
  • 5 nights at Hotel Cucuve
  • Welcome dinner in the Galapagos
  • 2 coaches
  • Daily breakfast and tours
  • Farewell dinner in The Galapagos
  • Lunch on Day tour Navigation-Galapagos

Package does not include:

  • Travel insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee USD 100.00
  • Tourist card USD 10.00
  • Air fare to The Galapagos
  • Anything not specified
  • Credit Card usage fee

Charles Darwin landed on this beautiful paradise in 1831. Join internationally renowned Water World Swim for this once in a lifetime swim expedition.

While swimming in the Galapagos, you will experience water so clear that you can see the marine life on the sea floor. In celebration of this isolated nature, we do everything in our power to ensure eco-friendly tourism.

Water temperatures are expected to be around 24ºC ( 75ºF) to 25ºC (78ºF). Leave the wetsuit at home!

Currency and Language
The currency in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is the U.S. Dollar. The majority of people in tourist offices and hotels speak English.

Swimming Distances
Swim distances will range from approximately 1.5k to 4k, depending on the current and weather conditions. You can return to the escort boat to rest at any time, or forego a swim and enjoy a guided eco friendly tour instead.

Group Size 
Water World Swim is committed to minimizing our impact on wildlife and the environment. We have small groups, a maximum of 18 people with at least two certified, experienced open water swim coaches, two local swim guides, and local boat pilots that practice responsible tourism. The swim groups are organized based on speed and ability.

Essential Equipment
In addition to normal daily clothes you will need to bring the following:

  • Swimsuit (2)              
  • Walking shoes
  • Swimming goggles (2) *             
  • Waterproof jacket
  • Towel                                           
  • Sun Hat and Sunglasses
  • Waterproof sun block                 
  • Small backpack
  • Water bottle
  • Aqua shoes or sandals (mandatory to get from beach to boat and back)

 Please note that Water World Swim will supply swim caps.

*Try to bring at least 1 clear lens and 1 tinted lens for different light conditions. We recommend one clear goggle, one smoke, and one blue or yellow. Goggles are light, and you can never bring too many back-ups of your favorite pair.

Optional Equipment
These items are optional. However, we do recommend that you bring them to give you more comfort options:

  • Wetsuit
  • Swim aids as zoomers or fins
  • Snorkel and mask
  • Rash vest to protect you from the sun.
  • Body Glide
  • Neoprene cap, if your head gets cold easily

Walking Conditions
Most walks will be on recognized paths and tracks. Some walks may be over trails, or uneven terrain.

Day 1 - April 2
Everyone meets in Guayaquil, Ecuador at the Holiday Inn for dinner and meeting each other. Do your best to arrive in time for this.

Day 2 - April 3
We will all travel together on LAN flight 1553 11:00am-12:05pm to Baltra Airport. Again, be sure to arrive with us to save time and hassle 🙂 If you arrive earlier, you may be waiting a long time. After getting our luggage, get changed to swim! Non-swimming attendees will wait on the ferry as swimmers cross the Itabaca channel from the airport to Santa Cruz.

Arrive in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz in the Galapagos Islands. Check in to the Hotel Cucuve. Once everyone has checked in, we will meet for lunch at La Garrapata Restaurant. After lunch, all swimmers are invited to join us for a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station. The station, established in 1964, conducts scientific research and environmental education. This fragile ecosystem is the ideal venue to learn about social and environmental responsibility.

We will have a welcome dinner. The guides and swim coaches will brief all swimmers and provide a description of the six-day swim program. Swimmers will receive a detailed schedule and options of all activities.

Day 3 - April 4
All swimmers meet at Puerto Ayora. We start off the day with a hike to Tortuga Bay, (2.5k to 3k / 1.5 miles to 1.8 miles). Our first swim will be a 1.5k at Playa Mansa. We will return to Puerto Ayora by boat, coasting along the island, ending at our hotels.

We will then Tour Bahia Academy, snorkel with seals, and swim with birds and many other unique sea creatures of the islands. After our excursion, everyone can return to the hotel to rest or nap before Dinner.

Day 4 – April 5
We will swim approximately 2k in Bahia Divine.
After our swim we will hike to the summit of the Island. We will have lunch in Manzanillo. After lunch we will hike to the summit of the Galapagos, visit the tunnels, and experience a professionally guided nature tour.

At the end of our day, we will have a briefing for tomorrow’s events. Enjoy dinner with your fellow swimmers.

Day 5 - April 6
After breakfast, get ready for an all day island tour! We will have a professionally guided conservation tour of this unique environment.

We will return via the Itabaca channel between Baltra Island and Santa Cruz Island. Depending on the current, we may swim round-trip.

Day 6 – April 7
Take a ride on WWS's Yacht the Sea Finch for amazing sight, swimming, and jumping from the yacht. An epic long distance swim day! We will swim one way from the Las Grietas del Amor Pier inside the Bay Divine to the little Islote Caamano. We will swim around the Islote Caamano to the public wharf in Santa Cruz. Enjoy a hearty lunch after your memorable swim! Take a well-deserved nap before our Farewell Dinner.

At Dinner share your Water World Swim adventures, say goodbye to the Galapagos and all your newfound swim friends.

Day 7 - April 9 Thanks for swimming with Water World Swim
Our bus will meet us at Puerto Ayora to take us to Baltra Airport. All airlines that fly from the Galapagos to Ecuador will arrive in Guayaquil between 2:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. This should you give you enough time to relax at the airport, and wait for your international flight home, and journalize your adventures with Water World Swim.

STEP ONE: Getting to Guayaquil in Ecuador
There are direct non-stop flights from several US cities like Houston, New York and Miami, as well as from European cities like Madrid to Guayaquil.

We recommend purchasing travel insurance.

When you register, send us your arrival details to Guayaquil Airport, and whether you will be staying at a hotel. We will meet you at Guayaquil Airport, provide a courtesy shuttle to your hotel, and back to Guayaquil Airport for your final leg to the Galapagos.

Our guide will help you navigate through Customs at Guayaquil Airport. Complete details will be provided after registration.

STEP TWO: Customs and Check-In at Guayaquil Airport
If you prefer to arrange your own transportation from Guayaquil Airport, please ensure that you use the official taxis waiting at the Airport. Also, should you prefer to do Customs and Check in, you must arrive at least 3 hours before your flight to the Galapagos Islands. We recommend re-confirming your flight the day before.

The Galapagos Governor’s office will review your documentation and give you a permit to enter the National Park $10.00 USD (fee not included). The Galapagos is a fragile ecosystem. To minimize the introduction of threatening elements, your baggage will be checked. You are not allowed to bring in any seeds or fruit into the Galapagos Islands. After your baggage screen, you will proceed to the airlines Check In desk. The airlines that provide daily Flights to Santa Cruz from Guayaquil or from Quito, Ecuador are LAN Airlines, Tame Airlines, and Aerogal Airlines.

STEP THREE: From Guayaquil to Balta Airport in the Galapagos
It is your responsibility to reach Santa Cruz Island where your Water World Swim adventure begins! Try to join us on LAN 1553 at 11am on April 4th. There are flights from the city of Guayaquil, Ecuador to Baltra Island Airport, which is on a smaller island just a short ferry ride from the northern tip of Santa Cruz.

The incoming flights to Guayaquil arrive late at night. If you arrive in Guayaquil the day before you fly to Galapagos, you may decide to stay overnight. There are many hotels in the city, all very near the Airport. The Holiday Inn closest hotel from the Airport, within walking distance. Try to join us there on the 3rd! You may book on line and their rates very reasonable, between $90.00 USD double room to $120.00 USD. Taxi fare costs roughly $5.00 for rides within the city of Guayaquil. Please note that food, lodging, and transportation before arrival to Baltra Island on Day 1 is not included.

You may also fly to San Cristobal Island where you can take a boat that leaves twice a day to Santa Cruz Island. The ride to the Santa Cruz island pier takes 2 hours, at a fee of $30.00 USD.

STEP FOUR: Arrival at Baltra Airport, Galapagos Islands
Once you land at Baltra Airport, you will have to pay a Tourist tax $100.00 USD per person. Water World Swim will refund this $100.00 Tourist Tax. A Water World Swim representative will meet you at Baltra Airport. There will be a bus to take you to the small ferry that will travel to Santa Cruz Island’s pier. As you disembark in Santa Cruz, another bus will transport swimmers to Puerto Ayora. If you don’t wish to take the bus, taxis are also available for a $20.00 fee. The bus or taxi ride is approximately 45 minutes.

BONUS: Transportation on the island
In the Galapagos, taxis cost $1.00 per ride. Nope, that's not a typo! Just a dollar a ride to anywhere. In Guayaquil, a taxi costs $5.00 for any distance or destination.

Marine Life Disclaimer
Swimming in the Galapagos is a rare experience, but you need to be aware of potential challenges. You may see marine life – such as jellyfish, sea urchins, and coral. We will minimize potential challenges and will brief you on how to responsibly interact with marine life. Our escort boats are equipped to treat the most common minor issues. However, it is your responsibility to contact us prior to booking if you suffer from Anaphylaxis or other medical conditions and allergies. You should seek medical attention if you develop any infection following contact with the above. We recommend that you purchase Travel Insurance.

The safety of our swimmers, and environmental responsibility are the two priorities for Water World Swim. For safety reasons we rely on decent weather conditions during all swim crossings. Open water swimming requires an inherent degree of flexibility. The planned itinerary may change. This adds to the uniqueness of each tour!

I'm a swimmer, but my friend/spouse/partner is not. Can they still come? Is there a price difference for them?
Non-swimming attendees are more than welcome to join us! They have as good a time as swimmers do. They are encouraged to travel with you. The price does not change for non-swimmer guests.

I have very particular dietary restrictions. Can they be accommodated?
Yes! In your registration form, mark your needs in the dietary section. We are more than happy to accommodate.

Can I bring swim aids or my own equipment?
If you have favorite flippers, snorkels, swim paddles, or other aids/tools, you are welcome to bring them. We will also have some on hand if you'd like to try.

I am coming on this trip alone. Will I have to share a room with a stranger?
Not if you don't want to! Let us know if you'd like a private room. We have been able to accommodate at no extra charge.

What currency is used in the Galapagos?
US dollars! Cash or credit - no need to exchange to any other currency. If you’d like to have cash on hand, about $250-350 should be plenty.

Is Guayaquil safe to walk around at night?
Yes, both men and women will be fine to walk around Guayaquil if you have a stop there for a night (not everyone does).

If I have a night in Quito, what hotel do you recommend?
Ricardo Arenas recommends you check out Hotel Rio Amazonas.

Which hotel are we staying in in the Galapagos?
The hotel is called Hotel Cucuve. It’s a very comfortable and well located hotel that was remodeled this year. Pedro and Mike will be staying there too, so we’ll all be there as a group. It is about 2 people per room, so let us know if you'd rather be alone or have someone you'd like to room with.

What about WiFi and cell service?
The hotel has free wifi. There is also cell service on the islands.

Will we be able to snorkel in the same locations we are swimming in?
Yes! Snorkeling will always be available when we head to water. Kayaking will be optional too.

What about water conditions? Any dangerous animals?
The water is in the 70s, and not very rough at all. We will have two experienced divers with us. You’ll be seeing all kinds of marine life - marine iguanas are very shy, sea lions are very friendly. There are some small sharks but they have never expressed an interest in swimmers or people in general, so they are completely non-threatening. Our swimmers have been thrilled to swim with sharks! We are prepared to handle the rare event of jellyfish stings - but in our experience in the islands, we've never seen one. So in summary - there are no real fears to be had about the wildlife especially as there is no record of any marine life attack on a person, but we are prepared for worst case scenario nonetheless. Safety is our priority but there is nothing alarming out there.

I’m traveling elsewhere afterwards/bought some big souvenirs and want to ship some stuff home. Is that possible?
Yes, we can help you ship anything home. However, it will require DHL, which is a little expensive but most reliable.

Do we need insect repellent?
There are not that many mosquitos, but if you are often regarded as a tasty morsel by no-see-ums, then make comfort your priority 🙂 Right by the sea at sunset can be a hot time for mosquitos.

How long will the longest walk be?
The longest walk will be about 3-4KM. The islands are small. Wearing shorts, sports shoes and sun block are recommended - long pants are unnecessary unless you have sensitive skin.

What do we wear in the water?
In addition to your swimsuit, you might want to consider a wetsuit if you like having the option or you’re more comfortable in one. However, the water is very warm in the 70s, so it is not entirely necessary. We do recommend a rash guard - it is basically a long-sleeve top often worn by surfers and other boarders to prevent chafing as they lay on boards. However, it is also excellent as sun protection, and will serve you well as you will be right on the equator. You can get one at any sports store - Sports Basement, sports Authority, Big 5, etc - even Target and Walmart may have some.

What do we wear to dinner?
Galapagos is pretty casual. No need to fret over suiting up! Something light and casual is fine.

Who is coming on this trip?
Once the trip is full, we will have a video chat to answer questions and say hello. You will all be copied in on emails and have the chance to see the names and hometowns of fellow adventurers. Coach Mike and Coach Pedro will be there.


Water World Swim respects the natural environment of the Galapagos Islands. We are committed to social and environmental responsibility and practices that minimize our presence and impact to sea life and the natural habitat. We have partnered with marine biologists, naturalists, and environmental activists at Sail’n Galapagos and Tri Galapagos who devote their efforts to responsible tourism in a fragile ecosystem.

Ask us about the trip!
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