A magnet for wildlife lovers and a region tied to the very roots of natural history, the Galapagos remains one of the world’s most inspiring destinations. Whilst the draws of the Galapagos are clear, the logistics of how to experience the archipelago may not be. Below we look at some of the questions you will need to ask yourself whilst considering a trip to the Galapagos.
The first thing to consider is whether you want to explore the Galapagos primarily by sea or by land. Cruising options allow visitors to explore the furthest and most remote corners of the archipelago whereas travelling by land and ‘island-hopping,’ will give greater focus to the beautiful landscapes whilst staying in comfortable hotels in the main towns. Both options have strong advantages so the choice should be purely based on preference, although some consideration should be afforded to combining the options with a short cruise followed by an add-on land-based itinerary.
With itineraries ranging anywhere from 4-nights to 15-nights, there are plenty of routing options to choose from depending on how in-depth you want to experience the Galapagos. The average itinerary is 7-nights which is a good time frame to observe a wide variety of wildlife and visit a handful of the key islands. However, if you are restricted with time then shorter cruises will absolutely give you a taste of the beauty of the islands, whilst longer itineraries are usually more gently paced – giving holidays an unrushed feel and being able to visit remote regions of the archipelago, away from the crowds.
If you decide to experience the Galapagos by cruise, you will be forgiven for feeling perplexed when it comes to choosing your vessel. There are a wide range of options available and whilst Latin Routes only work with the absolute best operators, specially designed and adapted for Galapagos cruising, there are still decisions to be made in terms of budget, vessel size and routing. The best place to start is to look at our selection of Galapagos ships and to discuss the options with one of our expert Travel Specialists, who will help you find your perfect vessel.
Whilst operators run cruises to the Galapagos year-round, there are several seasonal decisions to be made before you book. The seasons are roughly split in two – cool and dry (June to November) and warm and wet (December to May). In the dry season, you can expect cooler temperatures but choppier sea conditions and the wet season benefits from hot sunny days, albeit with regular showers. Whilst wildlife viewing will be spectacular at any time, you may want to make your decision based on the breeding timelines of the various species. For example, whilst sea lion pupping season and penguin nesting peaks from August – November, giant tortoises, iguanas and marine life flourish from February to May.
Check out our Galapagos Guide for more information on when is the best time to travel, depending on which animals you want to see.
So you have decided on the Galapagos. Excellent choice. But have you considered if you want to add any other destinations before or after your trip? Ecuador is the obvious choice as you will need to fly to the Galapagos from either Quito or Guayaquil, so an extended trip to explore Ecuador’s natural phenomena and colonial towns would make sense. However, this is likely to be a once in a lifetime holiday and any of the other destinations in Latin America you have ever dreamed about can become reality. Speak to your Travel Specialist on how to combine the Galapagos with any other region on the continent.