Why Visit the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos is made up of 14 main bodies and 6 small isles in the eastern Pacific Ocean. Part of the Ecuadorean government, it is an archipelago, a collection of islands about 620 miles off of Ecuador’s coast. The region has plenty of friendly wildlife and gorgeous landscapes, making it an attractive destination for anyone looking for a tranquil exploration of nature. Depending on the island, you can enjoy surfing, volcanic rocks, or white sand beaches. Learn more about why visit the Galapagos Islands before your trip.

The islands of Galapagos have their own characteristics in terms of scenery, wildlife, and vegetation. You are more likely to run into tattlers or turnstones in one area and a variety of coastal birds in another. Sites are trailed, often walking along uneven boulders or rough lava, and there can be wet landings that will be traveled by dinghies or rafts. Snorkeling is a strong component of what makes the Galapagos so unique, so expect to snorkel at least once every day.  A world of adventure awaits you in the Galapagos.

When and why visiting the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Family Vacation
The Galapagos Islands Breathtaking Scenery Is One Of The Most Photographed Aspects Of The Islands

Why visit the Galapagos Islands and when to go? The region has a wondrous climate year-round, but when to visit should be based on your personal tastes. Any time of the year can be considered high season because there are not that many vessels to go on, and so it is highly recommended to book way in advance.  Quite naturally, summer travel, Easter, Christmas, New Year’s Eve, etc, are very busy times in the islands. The winter months are a great time to get away from the cold back home in the Northern Hemisphere. During these colder months, most days on the islands have sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s despite the potential for a quick downpour.

Why visit the Galapagos Islands from June to November? If you prefer cooler weather, this season would be perfect for you. Seas may get a bit rough, but there can be great waves for surfing, and experienced divers say the colder waters attract marine life, making it more likely you’ll run into schools of whale sharks and hammerhead sharks. Birds such as boobies, albatrosses, pelicans, and more will be quite active in these months as the ocean provides great quantities of food. Courtship rituals are true highlights at this time of the year.

There’s no such thing as a “bad time of the year” when it comes to visiting the Galapagos Islands!

Enjoy the Wildlife of the Galapagos Islands

Santa Cruz's Guests Hanging Out With Giant Tortoises At El Manzanillo.
Guests Hanging Out At El Manzanillo Giant Tortoise Reserve (And Ranch, For The Humans!)

Why visit the Galapagos Islands for nature lovers? The landscapes are natural, volcanic, and beautiful, interact with sea lions, penguins, iguanas, giant tortoises, and an extraordinary bird populace. Among the destination’s storied history are its ecosystems being the foundation for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Natural Selection.

Tourism on the islands is carefully monitored in order to ensure the protection of wildlife and keep resources pristine. There is the famous Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island sponsored by the Darwin Foundation that will help you appreciate the island’s history and desire to preserve it. Many visitors find the Tortoise Breeding Center in Puerto Villamil to be incredibly interesting, but there’s also the Galapagos Interpretation Center in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island.

Visitors to the islands of the Galapagos are often awestruck by the inspiring clear views on Bartolome Island or the azure waters at Gardner Bay on Española Island. Santa Cruz Island is lush with evergreen vegetation up in the highlands together with prickly-pear cactus. On all the islands, animals are not fearful of human contact. On San Cristobal Island, it’s not unusual to interact with sea lions and other wildlife.

One of the most popular activities in the Galapagos is snorkeling. Bring a waterproof camera and immerse yourself in a world of fish, sea lions, sea turtles, and more. Scuba diving is also popular. There are daily dives with local tour operators on Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal, or you can head out on the water by utilizing a liveaboard, a vessel designed as a residence. Primary destinations for diving are Wolf and Darwin islands, both of which are only accessible by liveaboards. Not recommended for the novice, the diving in those regions can be challenging, but it is also the best opportunity to run into giant mantas, sting and eagle rays, tuna, sea turtles, hammerheads and even whale sharks. If scuba diving is your thing, you must bring with you your C-card. Getting certified in the islands is another viable option.

The Galapagos is a hidden treasure for surfers, its climate responsible for some amazing waves. You may want to fish in the reserve, hike across the highlands for a greater perspective of island formations, or enjoy the Wall of Tears. Bike rentals are available. You can also enjoy kayaking, horseback riding and other great ways to spend your vacation days.

Traveling to the Galapagos Islands

It is great to travel on a Galapagos cruise across calming waters.  The cost will cover accommodations, food, island activities, lectures, and transportation, and your cruise ship will travel between islands while you sleep and dine. By the time you arrive at each island, you will be well-rested and prepared for exploring exciting new worlds.

If you want to learn about the Galapagos, a cruise will be an ideal education. You will not only have access to top facilities and delicious meals; you will also spend the trip with a staff member who is familiar with all things Galapagos. You can schedule a series of stimulating and safe expeditions with expert guides. A trip to the Galapagos archipelago by cruise can be an incredibly affordable and educational adventure, interesting tour tips you should know to have a wonderful Galapagos trip.

Blog Reviewed & Edited by Francisco Dousdebés
All Images: Francisco Dousdebés

Updated:May 9, 2023

Published:October 28, 2016


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




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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.

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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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