The Galápagos Islands Holidays

If you want to see wildlife, then you came to the right place. Naturalist Charles Darwin used the Galapagos Islands to document his theory of evolution in his revolutionary 1859 book, On the Origin of Species, and it’s really no surprise why – some of the creatures you’ll see here you will never see again, like the iconic Marine Iguana. Tourism ... Read more
here is tightly controlled (you have to book your vacation through a registered cruise line), and rightly so. In the past few decades, over one thousand non-native species have been introduced and their effects have been borderline catastrophic, but the only way this ahs put a damper on tourism is by decreasing the number of tours allowed per year. All of these islands have their own special charm; on Isabela you’ll walk with Giant tortoises, on Genovesa the sky will fill with frigatebirds and boobies and snorkeling and diving are exceptional no matter what island you’re island. Sharks, turtles, whales and an abundance of other fish populate these tropical waters, so be sure to bring an underwater camera.
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The Galápagos Islands reviews

  • 9.8
    Adventure Travellers
  • 9.5
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 7.3
    Green Travellers
  • 5.8
    Luxury Travellers
  • 5.8
    History Buffs

Member Reviews(33)

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Bedford

There's a good reason the Galapagos are known as the Enchanted Isles! A visit is guaranteed to be one you'll always remember. The endemic animal life is the islands' biggest draw, but you'll also be dazzled by breathtaking landscapes and the unique oceanic ecosystem. Whether you stay land-based or opt for a cruise, you're in for a remarkable adventure!

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsGreen TravellersHistory BuffsAdventure Travellers
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Nairobi

This is an expensive proposition, but if you are a diver, or wildlife lover, certainly place it on your wish list. It is one of the most spectacular places I have ever been. The flight from Quito is not cheap, and then many people take a cruise throughout the islands, as many of the sights are far from Darwin Station, especially some of the most famous dive sights. The prices of these vary greatly, depending mainly on the amount of people on your boat.

The diving is the best I have ever done, huge 15 foot manta rays, schools of hammerhead sharks, penguins dive bombing schools of tropical fish --incredible. The wildlife on land is unique, and generally has no fear of humans so it can be approached, and viewed easily. There are also great beaches, and supposedly some great surf, but I did not paddle out. A wonderful trip!!!!

Recommended for:Outdoor EnthusiastsAdventure Travellers
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Moss Beach

If you can do a cruise and tour of the Galapagos jump at the chance. It's a stunningly beautiful place and the peaceful encounters with the protected wildlife may just change your life. A highlight for me was snorkeling with sea lions, turtles, and even penguins!

Recommended for:Adventure TravellersFamily TravellersGreen TravellersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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Palo Alto

If you're lucky enough to visit these untethered islands you will have an unforgetable experience. The wildlife is unlike any other place in the world. The blue/red footed boobies, the penguins, the piled up iguanas, the sea lions, everything is just amazing. Snorkeling and diving is great too. Take a penga from the cruise and see whales right next to you. By far the coolest place I've ever traveled. With protected wilderness few and far between, the galapagos is truly a gift. The boat experience was great because we made lots of new friends that we still keep in touch with. And if you're interested in evolution and the Darwin and Dawkins' theory, the Galapagos is a great place to learn.

Recommended for:Adventure TravellersLuxury TravellersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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Frederick

God's gift to the world. Although highly threatened in areas, this is one of the most pristine land-sea wilderness areas left on the planet - particularly in the tropics. Dozens of endemic species, wildlife as tame as house pets, and beaches appropriate for any island paradise make the Galapagos an A-list spot for anyone!

Recommended for:Adventure TravellersGreen TravellersOutdoor Enthusiasts
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Fremantle

There is no place else like it. I love the Galapagos. The wildlife lives up to expectations.

Recommended for:Adventure TravellersGreen TravellersOutdoor EnthusiastsStudents
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New York City

The payoff for traveling to this archipelago 600 miles off Ecuador’s coast? For starters, face time with prehistoric marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and red-pouched frigate birds. At Puerto Ayora’s Tortuga Bay, you can snorkel and sunbathe with indigenous tortoises, sea lions, and lava gulls.

Where to Stay: A stay on Quasar Expedition’s recently revamped 32-passenger M/V Evolution luxury yacht comes with expert naturalist guides and glass-bottomed kayaks for underwater sightseeing. galapagosexpeditions.com

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San Francisco

The Galapagos Islands, volcanic hotspots located about 600 miles west of Ecuador’s mainland, are sacred, natural habitats with diverse ecosystems and intriguing creatures. Straddling the equator, the thirteen islands are merely five million years old, meaning most are still relatively rugged and barren. Charles Darwin spent five weeks here and was inspired to write “The Origin of the Species”, introducing the theory of evolution and changing science forever. His work is highlighted in a research center near Puerto Ayora, the main town on Santa Cruz.

I decided to experience the islands first by land, staying at the exquisite and unique Galapagos Safari Camp on the main island of Santa Cruz, then by boat. The land experience was luxurious and relaxing while the boat packed in many excursions to ensure we made the most of our time. Three days on a boat was perfect for me, however for those more interested in science and nature there are several seven to ten day cruises offered.

As you might imagine, I indulged in a plethora of land and water activities. On land, guided hikes allowed me to observe and photograph incredible animals in their natural habitat. In the water, I had the chance to swim and see the best snorkeling I’ve ever experienced along the rocky coast. My favorite was the pig-like puffer fish that my guide gently handled. I also adored the good-natured sea lions that decided to jump in and play along with us. Though I was sure to keep plenty of distance from the white tip reef sharks I saw on the ocean floor.

The most unbelievable part of my Galapagos experience was the animals. While they are fiercely protected by the National Park, there are no natural predators so animals have no fear of humans being close. My favorite was the lovable sea lions that bark, waddle and play all along the waterfronts. The colorful iguanas are somehow charming and the extraordinary amounts of birds were mesmerizing, especially the blue footed boobies. I also learned the giant tortoises, which can live to be 200 years old, inspired the movie character E.T. All of these captivating creatures add so much personality to these islands. They are sure to leave a lasting impression on my memories of these influential islands.

For a more in-depth look at these fascinating islands, check out the “Galapagos” video by the BBC. Please also see my Ecuador hotel reviews for more information on where to stay during your visit.

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San Francisco

Best vacation of my life! Friendly people, beautiful islands, tons of wildlife.

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Mill Valley

I admit, I've been overly influenced by Richard Attenborough documentaries. I expected hordes of animals and sealife, and that wasn't what I saw (possibly because I chose to go to the westernmost islands instead of central Galapagos). What I DID see was a truly unique wild place made up of a series of geologically new volcanic islands. I fell in love with (yes, bountiful) marine iguanas, the fantastically fragrant palos santos trees, and the (bountiful again) puppy-like, playful sea lions. I'm glad I went. Visitors can fly into the islands, catch the bus to Puerto Ayora and do day trips, or stay on a boat for 4-8 days. I did the later, and it was an excellent opportunity to reach the outlying islands. Read more about Quito and the Galapagos at 1Woman1World1Year.blogspot.com.

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