Top 3 Things You Can Only Do In Galapagos (Vol. 2)

The fun and novelty never ends in the Galapagos! With incredibly unique wildlife and otherworldly landscapes, the enchanted isles delights with the presence of places and creatures seldom found anywhere else in the world! That’s why, as a follow up to last time’s Top 3 Things You Can Only Do in Galapagos, we’ve created this second list of things that visitors can come away with and proudly say that ONLY in the Galapagos did they get to experience such unequivocal species and beautiful sites! These are things that all of our guests will get to experience aboard the Santa Cruz II Galapagos cruise. The fun never has to end either, for each itinerary aboard the Santa Cruz II offers its own unique set of iconic species in the Galapagos (otherwise known as our BIG15 group).

Get Up Close and Curious with the Galapagos Giant Tortoise

Lethargic and mesmerizing by their very nature, these giant, ambling creatures fascinate newcomers with their sheer size and remarkable ability to passively allow spectators examine them up close. Often times they’ll keep on minding their own business – “business” that usually involves slowly munching on the thousands of green leaves that surround them. It’s an open buffet for these gargantuan creatures, and visitors that get a chance to explore the highlands of Santa Cruz Island (available on our Eastern and Western Itineraries throughout the archipelago) you’ll get to experience them out in the open, right in their home pastures. Alternatively, you can also experience them over at the Charles Darwin Research Center where they are bred in captivity. Either way, you’ll find yourself mesmerized by these hulking and friendly giants, with their long accordion necks (that stretch in and out from their shell dramatically).

Guests Taking Photos Of Some Galapagos Giant Tortoises.
In Galapagos, You’Ll Always Get Such Great Shots!

Bonus: Participate in a Giant Tortoise Shell Race!

Up in the highlands, at the Galapagos giant tortoise reserve, you’ll get the chance to literally try on (more like enter through) the giant, superbly heavy and hollowed-out shell of the very creature! If you’re feeling extra bold, you might even summon the guts to try and race a friend or family member while donning the colossal shells! You’ll discover why it is they move so slow once you try one on!

Check out the Galapagos Penguin

The image of a penguin in the tropics often clashes with our common understanding of this little animal. Not so in Galapagos. Throughout your visit you’ll get to see and believe it with your own eyes – penguins can totally co-exist with warmer climates! The penguins you’ll get to experience are the only ones in the world that have managed to live north of the equator!

Galapagos Birds: Penguins
The Galapagos Penguin Is Also The Second Smallest Penguin In The World.

Partake in an Old Pirate & Whaling Tradition

A big piece of advice before coming to Galapagos: Make sure you bring the home addresses of your loved ones! This is so that you can send them a postcard without the need of a postage stamp! Over on Floreana, at the aptly-named Post Office Bay, a tradition that originated with pirates and whalers that frequented this same site continues to this day. It involves a small barrel and a letter-exchange system whereby people deposit their hand-written postcard inside and hope that other travelers (passing through and headed home) will happen to live near the designated address on the postcards. The rule is you have to deliver it in person!

Updated:May 8, 2023

Published:August 22, 2017


Machu Picchu & Galapagos Islands Tour 2024 Package: 12 days / Quito, Galapagos Islands and Machu Picchu / From USD 9,598 per person



Bottlenose Dolphins Galapagos

Dolphins in the Galapagos! 

Supremely playful in their demeanour and aquatic way of life, dolphins in the Galapagos tend to dazzle lucky visitors with their whimsical & curious dance.


Condé Nast Traveler ONLINE

This small, secret rooftop of the restored Casa Gangotena mansion peers over Plaza San Francisco in the center of Quito’s colonial Old Town, the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site. Order a Cedrón Spritz, a refreshing mix of rum, lemon, sparkling wine, and fresh lemon verbena (cedrón) syrup and leaf, then revel in the mesmerizing, real-time montage of daily life in Ecuador’s capital as it parades past.

National Geographic Traveller

A Font of information, Klaus has spent decades in the field, leading tours in the Amazon, Andes and Galapagos Islands. He hung up his guiding boots a few years back and now creates itineraries for the tour operator, Metropolitan Touring. Adrift in the Pacific Ocean, hundreds of miles from mainland South America, Galapagos is one of the most biodiverse locales on Earth.

Cruise Critic

Santa Cruz II is a replacement for the much-loved Santa Cruz, which plied the waters of the Galapagos for 36 years. It is not a new ship; it was built in 2002 and sailed as Mare Australis under the Australis cruise brand, operating expedition cruises around Cape Horn and to Antarctica. Metropolitan Touring bought the ship in 2015 and completely refurbished it, launching it as Santa Cruz II in October 2015.

Telegraph Ultra Travel: 50 Greatest Hotels in the World

When this modern, minimalist, glass-walled jungle lodge opened in 2012, it changed the accommodation game in South America. Arquitect Alfredo Ribadeneira’s “protective cocoon” would impress in a modern city; in the depths of an Andean cloudforest, it is wild, audacious and beautiful. Though only 70 miles from Quito, Maspi Lodge sits in splendid isolation, perched on a cliff at the end of an unsealed road.

Terms and Conditions

Itinerario de 5 días / 4 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (4214 USD + impuestos por persona)
Itinerario de 7 días / 6 noches: Basado en la tarifa regular (5672 USD + impuestos por persona)
No reembolsable. Aplica únicamente para residentes ecuatorianos en nuevas reservas directas realizadas, hasta el 30 de junio del 2022, con un ejecutivo de ventas del hotel. Válido para estadías hasta el 31 de agosto de 2022. No puede ser combinada con otros descuentos, promociones u ofertas. El descuento no aplica para otros servicios. El precio no incluye recargo de combustible de $20 por noche de crucero.

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