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Why the Galapagos?

"There is nothing quite like the first time I stepped onto the enchanted islands.

I remember standing on Bartolome Island,  surrounded by red throated frigates, blue footed boobies, sea turtles and sea lions at the same time.

It is truly an incredible natural experience." 

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Blue-footed Booby - Galapagos Islands

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GARRETT KORN TRAVEL CONSULTANT

When Charles Darwin first came to the Galápagos in 1835, he discovered animal species so untouched by humans, they came right up to him, fearlessly.

Today Darwin is long gone, but the Galápagos’ astonishment persists, as the iguanas, tortoises, flightless cormorants, and Sally Lightfoot crabs that inhabit this enchanted biosphere blithely strut past their appreciative human visitors.

They can do so, because the Galápagos still manage to keep humans’ footprint to a minimum. Their delicate ecosystem is preserved by extensive environmental controls, meaning that even with yachts cruising the bays and tourist hotels dotting the beaches, these volcanic islands are a place apart, free from mankind’s encroachments.

The upshot is that the fauna you’ll encounter here are astonishingly varied—more endemic species than anywhere else on earth. They include blue-footed boobies, Galápagos penguins, finches, and frigate birds. Offshore, five species of dolphin frolic and chirp, while sea lions sun themselves lackadaisically on the rocks.

Here are other highlights awaiting you on this once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list experience:

  •  The islands can be explored via cruise ship or from a hotel on shore. Whichever you choose, you’ll enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, kayaking, and wildlife-spotting during lengthy afternoon walks.
  •  Isabela, the largest island in the archipelago, is the Galápagos’ crown jewel. It features active volcanoes towering over mangrove swamps, as well as a tortoise center where you can watch the giant reptiles growing from hatchlings to adults.
  •  Looking for a marine adventure? Go on a shark dive—if you dare. These underwater odysseys take you face-to-face with a host of fascinating predators, including hammerheads and the massive but gentle whale shark.
  •  When you’re longing for a bit of civilization, Santa Cruz has all the amenities you need. Here you’ll relax in comfortable restaurants and hotels, set amidst a stunning landscape of lava tubes, volcanic craters, and a fully repopulated colony of marine iguanas.

 Visit our Ecuador and Galapagos Planning Pages.

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"Truly fantastic trip"

Thank you. What a truly fantastic trip: the hotels, the guides, the transfers, the service level -- all perfect. We had an absolutely wonderful time. Every detail was well planned and thought through -- yet we had enough autonomy and free time to feel independent. We loved our cruise. The staff and service levels were extraordinary.


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