Galapagos destination research – start planning your trip to a wildlife-filled archipelago!
Ecuador’s “enchanted isles” are a one-of-a-kind adventure for travelers of all ages. Located in the Pacific Ocean, 600 miles west of Ecuador, the archipelago offers an extraordinary experience. The islands are famed for the Galapagos giant tortoise and writings by Charles Darwin. Embark on a small ship cruise for wildlife encounters in one of the most spectacular places on earth.
Come face-to-face with a Galapagos giant tortoise, swim with sea turtles, and walk amongst marine iguanas with blue-footed boobies and frigate birds curiously looking onward. Explorers young and old will feel childlike wonder in this fascinating national park. Travelers can come together on trips featuring activities for all ages – from 8 to 80 – to enjoy. Exploring by small ship makes it seamless to step through a National Geographic magazine for a week.
When to Visit
The Galapagos Islands are an incredible year-round destination. Each month is a fantastic time to embark to cruise the equatorial, lava-formed islands. Some considerations for choosing your ideal departure date are if you prefer warmer temperatures or are set on seeing particular wildlife behaviors, such as the blue-footed boobies mating dance.
From December to May, the water and air temperatures are warmer, while visitors can expect cooler temperatures from June to November.
During the peak season from mid-December to January and June to August, it is particularly important to make travel arrangements well in advance. Whether you visit in May or January, there really is no “off-season” and there are wonderful experiences all the time.
How to Choose a Trip
The recommended best way to explore is by small ship. Move about the archipelago with ease and have a range of enriching experiences. While you’re sitting down to enjoy lunch or stargazing at night, your small ship can be navigating to the next adventure. Travel by sea eliminates the guesswork of how to get from point A to point B. This style of travel allows you to focus on exploring the Galapagos Islands for the duration of your time onboard.
Cruises range from brief (4-6 days), classic (most recommended length is 7-8 days), and in-depth (up to 15 days). Expedition Easy recommends 2-3 pre and post nights in Guayaquil or Quito, in addition to the cruise portion of a trip.
For a traveler keen on extending their trip, a host of exciting options are available from mainland Ecuador to Machu Picchu, Peru.
Expedition Easy can help you choose the best trip for your goals, from itineraries for a cruise and pre/post options to a ship that fits your travel style. However you choose to explore, the Galapagos Islands are a trip of a lifetime!
What to Expect
A typical day onboard a small ship will feature an average of three excursions, such as snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, zodiac cruising, and hiking. Time on the ship can be enjoyed with three delicious meals, briefings and lectures by naturalist guides, and viewing the stunning scenery. Special activities often are available depending on the cruise, including stargazing, ceviche demonstration, equator-crossing celebration, or kid-friendly games on family departures.
For most activities, a relatively moderate level of exertion is required. For example, you will need to climb into and out of zodiacs for shore excursions. While ashore, you will walk moderate distances, at times over uneven terrain.
Cruising the Galapagos Islands really feels like being in another world. One can see right away how Charles Darwin was inspired by the spectacular nature and wildlife.