Holidays & Sabbaticals to Galapagos – In a Nutshell
The Galapagos form a stunning archipelago of volcanic islands off the coast of Ecuador, with a unique climate and ecosystem where Charles Darwin studied. From the endemic giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies to visiting whale sharks and marine iguanas, the wildlife here is incomparable.
Often combined with mainland Ecuador, which provides a wonderful starting point to explore South America with remote cloud-forest, active volcanoes, golden beaches, tropical jungle and the snow-capped Andes.
How to Get to Galapagos
Due to its remote location, you’ll fly from either Quito or Guayaquil on Ecuador’s mainland. The flight time is 2 – 3.5 hours.
There are no- direct flights to Galapagos from the UK, US or other European cities.
Once in the Galapagos, visitors tour by expedition boat or stay on land and explore the main islands with boat trips to nearby islands.
When & Weather – Galapagos
Galapagos is a year-round destination but visitors with a specific wildlife viewing list will be restricted to certain months of the year, depending on their interests.
The climate changes between a cool and dry season from June to November and a warmer and wetter season between December and May. The temperature change and rains however are not extreme hence travellers visit throughout the year. For visitors concerned about seasickness, August and September are when the waters are more lively and so for some a land-based exploration may be more suitable.
High Season (Dec, Jan, June-August) is the most popular time to visit. We’d recommend going in late spring (April and May) and late autumn (late-Aug and Sept) when temperatures are warm and the humidity is lower in the tropics.
Temperatures range between 25°C (77°F) and 32°C (89°F).
Who will Galapagos Appeal To?
The islands’ breathtaking natural landscape and superb wildlife are best suited to:
- Wildlife enthusiasts
- Active travellers
- Solo travellers
- Adventure seekers
- Families (over 7 years old is generally recommended)
From luxurious glamping to boutique expedition ships, private villas and small eco-hotels, the choice in Galapagos is excellent.
Off The Beaten Path
- Discover ancient, underground lava tubes and learn about the islands’ volcanic history.
- Scuba dive with whale sharks, hammerheads and manta rays in the waters around Darwin and Wolf islands in the Galapagos. September is one of the best months for diving with clearer waters.
- Island hop and stay in remote settings on the four inhabited islands of Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela and Floreana.
- Take a longer expedition cruise to the remote islands of Española, Pinta and Genovesa.
- On land, you’ll walk past prowling iguanas, scuttling Sally Lightfoot crabs and nesting frigate birds.
- You can dive with turtles, and boat past colonies of noisy sea lions and endemic Galapagos penguins.
- Most famous of all are the blue-footed boobies and giant tortoises.
Galapagos Experiences you shouldn’t miss:
- Sailing around the Galapagos islands, Charles Darwin’s outdoor laboratory.
- Bike from Cerro Mesa the 8-mile route to Garrapatero Beach. Cerro mesa is a private reserve, rich in endemic flora and bird life with six subspecies of finches, mockingbirds, and short-ear owls.
- Glamping in the highlands of Santa Cruz, a truly rewarding and experiential way to see Galapagos.
- Spend a day with a local fisherman exploring the waters around Santa Cruz.
Galapagos is a hub for conservation and wildlife study and numerous opportunities exist on the islands to get involved with the work to protect and conserve this fragile habitat.
Our experienced team will guide you through a number of ideas based on how you would like to experience Galapagos.
Consider visiting Galapagos in combination with touring mainland Ecuador or visiting Ecuador’s neighbouring countries, Peru and Colombia.
Browse our gallery for inspiration and read the sample itinerary below to whet your appetite.
No matter how long you wish to travel, we’ll guide you through the planning process to ensure a trip is carefully pieced together to suit your interests, pace of travel and budget. Contact us to start planning a holiday or sabbatical to Galapagos.