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The Galapagos Islands

Why visit the Galapagos Islands

For most people a Galapagos Islands holiday is a once-in-a-lifetime experience to see some unique and unusual wildlife species that has no fear of man. There are 13 main volcanic islands to explore, and the wildlife is as good under the water as above it. The Galapagos is very special indeed.
The reasons to visit the islands include:

  • Fascinating wildlife with no fear of mankind.
  • A nature lover’s dream and amazing for photographers.
  • Cruise from island to island on a choice of high quality yachts, catamarans, or cruise ships.
  • Marine iguanas, giant tortoises, magnificent frigatebirds, fur seals, lava lizards, blue-footed boobies, red-footed boobies, waved albatrosses, penguins … the wildlife is unique and incredible.
  • Incredible diving and snorkelling opportunities.
  • Swim with curious sealions.
  • As an alternative to a cruise, take an island-hopping tour staying in hotels each night.


When to go to the Galapagos Islands

There is never a bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands. The dry season is roughly July to December, with temperatures around 16-23°c. The rainy season is from about January to June, when temperatures are about 20-28°c. However there could be a month that is more suitable for you depending on what you’re hoping to experience. For example if you want to see the waved albatrosses you need to come to Espanola Island between about May and December.

For more details about the pros and cons of each month, take a look at our page on this site about When to Visit, or go to our dedicated Galapagos website.

Planning your trip to the Galapagos Islands: How to do it.

Getting there: To get to the Galapagos Islands you need to fly to Ecuador. Most people fly into the capital, Quito, but you could also fly to the coastal town of Guayaquil. From these cities you fly over to the islands, landing on one of 2 airstrips depending on the departure point of the boat you’ve chosen. From Quito it is about a 3 hour flight and about 2 hours from Guayaquil. You will need at least one night in Quito before the trip depending on your international flight times, but an overnight at the end is not always necessary.

Cruise Itineraries: Most people experience the islands on a cruise. The Galapagos Islands are all very different and they each have specific landing sites and visitor sites. The nature trails are carefully marked out to avoid disrupting the wildlife, and we follow these accompanied by our expert on-board naturalist guide.

Exact Galapagos holidays and Galapagos cruise itineraries depend on which yacht you choose for your cruise. Most of the longer distances are covered at night, ensuring that your time visiting the Galapagos Islands is put to the best use.

Trip Duration: The most popular duration for a stay in the Galapagos is one week. Most boats offer 1 week cruises, though 2 weeks are available, and some also do shorter trips of 4-5 days.

Combining with other places: A few people come to see the Galapagos as a stand alone destination, but far more people combine it with visiting another area too. This might be seeing the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest, or staying at a hacienda in the Ecuadorian highlands, or perhaps visiting Peru’s Machu Picchu, or even going to see Costa Rica.

Yachts in the Galapagos

We work with about 50 boats, from small 12-berth yachts to 100 berth cruise ships. We have a square-rigged tall ship and other motor sailers, luxury catamarans and elegant motor yachts, specially-equipped dive boats, or larger expedition cruise ships.

Since we work with the majority of the Galapagos feet, we have the widest choice of vessels of any tour operator in the UK.

If you don’t fancy sleeping on board, choose a hotel on one of the islands and take day trips to nearby islands, or go island hopping.

See our invaluable YACHT COMPARISON CHART on our Galapagos Specialists website. It will help you choose which boat is right for you.

Hotels in the Galapagos

If you don’t fancy sleeping on a boat, choose a hotel on one of the islands and take day trips to nearby islands, or go island hopping.

There are hotels or lodges on the four inhabited islands: Santa Cruz, Isabela, San Cristobal and Floreana. From one, or more, of the islands you can take day trips by smaller boats to nearby islands.

Read More

popular holidays in Galapagos Islands

Marine iguana, Galapagos Holidays
Quito and Galapagos

Explore the city of Quito before heading off to Galapagos Islands for an unforgettable wildlife cruise.

great frigatebird
Galapagos and Southern Highlands

A superb combination of the magnificent scenery of the southern Highlands and the wildlife of the Galapagos.

Iguana in Ecuador
Ecuador holiday: Andes & Iguanas

Galapagos Islands, cloudforest, Andean scenery - 12 exciting days you'll never forget!

Galapagos and Costa Rica
Galapagos and Costa Rica

A holiday of contrasts as you explore the magnificent Galapagos archipelago and then travel onward to see highlights of Costa Rica.

Galapagos yacht
Ecuador and Galapagos Deluxe

Luxury accommodation, superb scenery and wildlife all combine in this deluxe adventure of a lifetime.

inspiring experiences in Galapagos Islands

Read about some of the inspirational experiences you could have in Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands featured accommodation

Below you'll find some of our very favourite places to stay in Galapagos Islands. However you can also see our full directory of properties by clicking the "All Places to Stay" button.

Paul Cook
Guy Marks
Rory McCormick
Anita Crowson

We know and love Galapagos Islands, and would be delighted to help you plan your perfect trip here.

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Mini map of galapagos-islands

facts and information

Time: GMT - 6 hours

Flight time: Flights to the Galapagos Islands leave from Quito and touch down in Guayaquil en route, taking about 3 hours from Quito or 2 hours from Guayaquil. The flights land either at Baltra or San Cristobal.

Language: Spanish is the official language in the Galapagos Islands.

Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.



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