Galapagos Tours

What To Expect on Your Galapagos Tour?

Are you overwhelmed by the number of options you have seen for Galapagos? Are you wondering what to expect in the Enchanted Islands? Or perhaps what it is, exactly, that makes the islands so special? The Galapagos is a lifetime experience, and all you need to do to “prepare” is brace yourself for the amazing. With highly unusual wildlife and otherworldly landscapes that aren’t found anywhere else on Earth, Galapagos dazzles with its vistas. Sunsets will cast a golden spotlight over the surrounding beaches and scenery as delectable gourmet dinner is prepared by our world-class chef. On top of this you’ll also get a truly luxurious and remarkably comfortable experience, where every detail has been thought of before you even considered it. Naturalist guides will provide the perfect touch of narrative of information to complement your expedition throughout the archipelago as you snap hundreds of wonderful pictures. In fact, there’s often so many different things to see and do in the archipelago that it is important to receive the advice from a destination expert!

Talking about experts, take it from those who know the archipelago by heart and make sure you read this blog on the 3 Best Hacks to Choose a Galapagos Cruise! From a myriad of options, choosing the right one can be a difficult task. We’ve narrowed it down for you.

Top Galapagos Special Deals for 2018 – 2019 – 2020

The Best Galapagos Deal of 2018!
The Best Galapagos Deal of 2018!
The Best Galapagos Deal of 2018!
The Best Galapagos Deal of 2018!
The Best Galapagos Deal of 2018!
The Best Galapagos Deal of 2018!
The Best Galapagos Deal of 2018!
The Best Galapagos Deal of 2018!
The Best Galapagos Deal of 2018!
The Best Galapagos Deal of 2018!
Santa Cruz II package price: $3,798 pp
Yacht La Pinta package price: $4,358 pp
Yacht Isabela II package price: $ 3,550 pp
Galapagos Family Vacation
Galapagos Family Vacation
Galapagos Family Vacation
Galapagos Family Vacation
Galapagos Family Vacation
Galapagos Family Vacation
Galapagos Family Vacation
Galapagos Family Vacation
7 Days/6 Nights program
Regular price: $ 4,257 pp
Package price: $ 3,833 pp
Home on the Equator
Home on the Equator
Home on the Equator
Home on the Equator
Home on the Equator
Home on the Equator
8 Days / 7 Nights program
Regular price: $ 4,551 pp
Package price: $ 3,864 pp
Luxurious Modern Exploration

Luxurious Modern Exploration
Luxurious Modern Exploration
Luxurious Modern Exploration
Luxurious Modern Exploration
Luxurious Modern Exploration
9 Days / 8 Nights program
Regular price: $ 6,127 pp
Package price: $ 4,450 pp

Galapagos Cruises – Yachts & Cruise Ships

Santa Cruz II


  • Small groups – average just 11 guests per guide
  • Medical doctor on board for free consultations
  • 99% of visitor sites are not shared with other vessels
  • Glass-bottom boat, kayaks, snorkelling, swimming, panga coastal exploration (all aquatic activities authorised by the National Park)
  • A Le Cordon-Bleu Gastronomy Director

Yacht La Pinta


  • Upscale design throughout, ideal for travelers who are looking for a luxury experience
  • Features some of the largest cabins of any Galapagos cruise vessel
  • Floor-to-ceiling windows in all cabins and panoramic windows in common areas
  • Medical doctor on board for free consultations

Yacht Isabela II


  • Small groups – average just 13 guests or less per guide
  • Medical doctor on board for free consultations
  • Gourmet meals created by a Cordon-Bleu gastronomy director
  • Best itinerary for sensitive guests: The 4-night central islands cruise shows the best of the islands while avoiding long open water travel (less than 20 nautical miles per day, and still showing up to 12 BIG15)

Galapagos Hotels & Island Hopping Tours

Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel + Yacht Exploration


  • Perfect land & sea holiday: Combination of yacht exploration with a land-based hotel stay
  • Puerto Ayora’s sole beachfront property, located in a pedestrian-only zone
  • A perfect combination for families and groups of all ages thanks to numerous activities including hiking, mountain biking, snorkelling, and surfing
  • The best way to explore Galapagos for guests concerned about seasickness
  • Gourmet meals created by a Cordon-Bleu gastronomy director

Galapagos Island Hopping Tours


  • Daily Yacht Tours: Take a trip to the nearby Islands of Santa Cruz
  • Finch Bay Gastronomy: a Le Cordon Bleu trained gastronomic director oversees all operations to offer the best-of-the-best culinary experiences in Galapagos.
  • Isabela Island: One of the biggest and most incredible islands, replete with beautiful beaches and one of the world’s biggest craters.
  • A Luxurious Safari “Glamping” Experience
  • Take to the skies and experience Galapagos from a bird-eye perspective

Galapagos Cruise vs. Galapagos Hotel-Based Tour

Should you stay at a hotel or choose a Galapagos Cruise? It’s important to know that both options will give you a great experience, but they will provide you with different ways to go about it. It will depend on whether you’re more oriented towards land-based, sea-based or, through a combination of the two, both types of experiences. How can you know which option is the best for you? Well, it just so happens that we’ve prepared a list of things you should know about prior to making your decision.

Galapagos Itineraries

Click Here to View Your Itinerary

Yacht La Pinta

Yacht Isabela II

Santa Cruz II


Tips You Should Consider Before Your Galapagos Tour

  • Choose a multi-guided vessel, as this will allow you to choose from a greater number of different activities.
  • Does your vessel have a doctor on board? This is very important considering that you’re travelling in a remote region.
  • What is the guest-space-ratio of your vessel? It should be more than 26 in order to have plenty of space in public areas.

When Is The Best Time To Travel to Galapagos?

The good thing about the Galapagos Islands is that they can be visited all year long. During both hot and dry season, the Galapagos wildlife is always on display. Choosing a time to go really depends on your interests.

  • Warm Season: December through May. Temperatures are hot and humid, and range anywhere from 26ºC-30ºC (79ºF-85ºF), while the water temperature averages 26ºC (79ºF). An average day is primarily sunny, but may experience a short, sharp tropical storm similar to those that dictate Florida summers. At the height of the warm season (March), the islands begin to develop a lush, tropical look. During this season, the waters that surround the islands are much warmer and clearer, with visibility reaching over 30 feet, and; benefitting those who enjoy a more relaxed swim. This season is also marked by increased numbers of tropical fish, as well as the occasional manta ray.
  • Dry Season: June through November. Sea temperatures drop to 20ºC-23ºC (70ºF-72ºF), cooling the air temperatures to 23ºC-26ºC (72ºF-79ºF). This season is particularly popular among professional divers as the cool waters are also extremely rich in nutrients and attract an astonishing assortment of marine life. The rich waters also provide more food for terrestrial life that depends on the ocean for food, such as sea birds and sea lions, providing an excellent time for breeding and reproduction. Mating rituals are commonly seen among several bird species, not to mention the adorable fluffy chicks that begin appearing in the islands.

Galapagos FAQS


Where is it located?

The archipelago sits 926 km (575 mi) off the coast of Ecuador and covers an area of almost 8,000 km2 (3,030 mi2). It consists of 19 islands spread out along the equator, 13 of which are major visitor sites and 4 of which are inhabited. Flights to Galapagos from Guayaquil on mainland Ecuador take under 2 hours. Fun fact: As a result of its equatorial location, days in the archipelago are 12-hours long no matter when you go!

What’s the weather like?

No seasons exist in the Galapagos Islands due to fact that they’re along the equator. However, there are two weather patterns that are recognizable every year:
  • The hot season from December to June when humidity is high and average temperatures are in the 80s F (26°-30° C). There may be occasional showers (downpours), but days are generally hot and sunny.
  • From June to November, you can expect cool winds, occasionally bringing with them a light misty-type drizzle called “garúa.” Temperatures average in the 70s F (20°-24° C) during the day and lower at night. The islands may resemble a subtropical weather pattern.

Which country does it belong to?

It belongs to Ecuador since 1831 and before that it was unclaimed.

What languages are spoken in Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands?

Eleven languages are spoken in Ecuador but Spanish and Kichwa are the official languages of the country. Kichwa is mostly spoken by indigenous groups in the Andes region and, to a lesser extent, in the Amazon region. Most tourism-related services/providers have multi-lingual staff, particularly in English with some German, French, and Italian speakers.

Which currency is used?

The United States Dollar is the official currency of Ecuador.

What is the time zone?

Galapagos Time is 6 hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC): this is 7 hours behind time in the UK, 2 hours behind standard time in New York, and 14 hours behind time in Canberra. The mainland of Ecuador is 5 hours behind UTC.

Who lives in the Galapagos?

Locals of the islands are known as galapagueños and the last census, which was carried out in 2010, estimated their population to be at around 25,000. Most of them have come from mainland Ecuador to live on the islands within recent years. The majority of them are part of the Mestizo ethnic group, and as such are descendants of Spanish and indigenous ancestors. A small minority consists of purely European families.

Are there any indigenous groups in the Galapagos?

Near the end of the century, members of the ethnic group called the Salasacas started migrating from the mainland to the most populated islands of the archipelago and formed small colonies. They keep mostly to themselves in closed communities, in which they have their own schools and speak only Kichwa. However there are no indigenous groups autochthonous to the Galapagos Islands.

Where does the name Galapagos come from?

The name Galapagos is said to come from the Galapagos giant tortoises that are endemic to the archipelago. It turns out the Spanish word for a type of saddle is galapago, and it was often used by the Spanish explorers to refer to the giant tortoises that populated the islands with their iconic saddle-like shell.

Travel Tips

Packing tips?

  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Sandals
  • Sneakers
  • Swimsuit
  • Umbrella (for sun protection during island hikes)
  • Waterproof Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
  • Binoculars
  • Flashlight/head lamp
  • Water bottle
  • Dry bags (to keep things from getting wet)
  • Snorkel and mask (if you wish to use your own instead of the boats’)
  • Windbreaker jacket
  • Light sweater
  • Extra memory cards
  • Extra batteries

Will I need binoculars? What kind of binoculars is best for Galapagos wildlife viewing?

Our naturalist guides always have a pair of binoculars that they will pass around when there is something interesting to see. Do feel free to bring your own if you are really into wildlife viewing.

What shoes do I need to bring?

A good pair of walking shoes, ideally with a good level of traction and grip on the bottom.

What additional photographic equipment should I bring on my trip?

Batteries, weatherproof camera bags, and extra memory cards will come in handy. Waterproof housings will be necessary if you wish to take your camera underwater. Tripods are handy too if you want to take pictures of the night sky.

Are there any restrictions on photographing or filming the islands?

Flash photography is not permitted when taking photos of wildlife. Professional photography and videos recorded for commercial purposes must be authorized by the Galapagos National Park. Drones can only be used with a special permit.

Will I need my own snorkelling gear?

Snorkelling gear will be provided to you on board all of our cruises so that you can enjoy the aquatic beauty throughout the Galapagos. If you have your own snorkelling gear however, definitely feel free to bring it along.

Can I fish in the Galapagos?

No. Sports fishing is prohibited inside the Marine Reserve. Local fishermen are allowed to fish, however.

Can you recommend at least three-four good books for reading prior to this trip?

Of course! Check out this blog on our Top 7 Galapagos Books.

Is it easy to purchase media thumb drives/digital memory?

Yes. We sell these on our ships and you can find them on the inhabited islands.

Why Travel with Metropolitan Touring?

  • More than six decades of operations in Ecuador and Galapagos Islands
  • Pioneers of Galapagos Islands cruises and the industry
  • Environmental and Community Responsibility are an important component of our operations
  • Team of experts who know the area like the back of their hand
  • Owners of 3 vessels and 1 hotel in the Galapagos Islands
  • Owners of Mashpi Lodge, a natural reserve in the Andean Rainforest of the Choco
  • Owners of the most luxurious hotel in Quito: Casa Gangotena
  • Regional offices in Colombia, Peru and Ecuador allow visitors to combine all three experiences into a seamless South American adventure

Need help planning your trip? Get in touch with our experts

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