What makes Galapagos (Ecuador) Unique

The Galapagos Islands offer an unmatched experience, blending breath-taking natural beauty and one-of-a-kind wildlife encounters. As a haven for diverse and rare endemic species, the archipelago is home to giant tortoises, marine iguanas, and more, providing a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness evolution in action. With crystal-clear waters and stunning white sand beaches, visitors can engage in a range of outdoor activities, including hiking, snorkelling, and scuba diving.

Beyond its stunning vistas and unique wildlife, the Galapagos Islands are a model for conservation efforts, with strict regulations in place to safeguard the delicate ecosystems that make the archipelago so special. The islands are designated as a national park and protected area, providing visitors with a rare opportunity to learn about the importance of preserving the area's exceptional flora and fauna.

Top Highlights in Galapagos (Ecuador)

Beaches and sunsets

A Galapagos cruise also provides opportunities to relax and enjoy the natural beauty of the islands.

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Island hopping

A Galapagos cruise allows you to visit many different islands, each with its own unique features and wildlife. Island hopping is a great way to see as much of the Galapagos as possible and experience the diversity of the archipelago.

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Charles Darwin Research Station

A Galapagos cruise may include a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, where you can learn about the fascinating history and research of the islands. You can also observe giant tortoises up close and learn about the conservation efforts in place to protect these amazing creatures.

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Volcano hiking

Many of the islands in the Galapagos are home to active volcanoes, which offer opportunities to hike and explore their dramatic landscapes. A Galapagos cruise may include hikes to the top of volcanoes, where you can take in stunning views of the archipelago.

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Snorkelling and scuba diving

The crystal-clear waters surrounding the Galapagos Islands provide some of the world's best snorkelling and scuba diving experiences. A Galapagos cruise will take you to some of the best spots to swim with sea turtles, sharks, and colourful fish.

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Wildlife watching

A Galapagos cruise allows you to visit many of the islands and observe a wide variety of unique and rare animals. With the help of knowledgeable local guides, you can get up close and personal with giant tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and many more.

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Top Animals in Galapagos

Blue footed boobie

The Blue-footed Booby is a seabird known for its bright blue feet. They are found only in the Galapagos and are a popular attraction for birdwatchers.

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Marine Iguana

The Marine Iguana is the only iguana in the world that can swim in the ocean. They are found only in the Galapagos and are known for their black color and distinctive appearance.

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Galapagos Giant Tortoise

The Galapagos Giant Tortoise is one of the most iconic species in the Galapagos. They are the largest tortoise species in the world, and can weigh up to 550 pounds. They are known for their long lifespan, with some individuals living for over 100 years.

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The Waved Albatross is one of the most unique and fascinating bird species in the Galapagos. It is the only albatross that nests in the tropics, and it has a distinctive courtship ritual that involves elaborate dances and displays.

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Sea Lion

The Galapagos Sea Lion is a popular attraction for visitors to the islands. They are a type of seal and are found only in the Galapagos. They are known for their playful nature and can often be seen sunbathing on the beaches.

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The Galapagos Fur Seal is endemic to the Galapagos and can be found basking on the beaches or playing in the water. These charismatic animals are a highlight of any visit to the islands.

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Finches are famous for their role in helping Darwin develop his theory of evolution.

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Frigate Bird

The Magnificent Frigate bird and the Great Frigate bird are both found in the Galapagos and are known for their distinctive inflated red throat pouches, which they use to attract mates. They are skilled flyers and can often be seen soaring over the islands.

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Galapagos Penguin

The Galapagos Penguin is the only penguin species found north of the equator. They are the second-smallest penguin species in the world and are able to survive in the warm waters of the Galapagos thanks to the cool currents that flow through the islands.

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Travel Ideas for Galapagos (Ecuador)

Sailing in the Galapagos

On the sailing catamarans like the Nemo fleets, you are bound for a sensational journey through the Galapagos archipelago. On the other hand, the rather nostalgic Mary Ann is a spacious vessel with six single cabins. It is important to note that, these sailing ships do not always sail especially during the first half of the year when the sea is too calm with little wind and breeze.  In a gist, the following ships are listed below for different reasons. The Mary Ann – for offering single cabins, something rare for Galapagos cruises. The Nemo fleets – which is more suitable for younger and active guests, the Beagle and Golondrina – for their affordability.

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Luxury Cruise in the Galapagos

There are up to 25 ships in the Galapagos archipelago which offers first-class and luxury services. On average, an 8-day cruise cost 6,000 $ per person in a double cabin. Every ship is different and of course, sometimes you may not have a balcony or only one window, but you can contact us and we will make sure that your cabin has what you need, to avoid any unpleasant surprise.  Our insider tip: Please note that cabins on the lower deck may be darker than the ones on the upper deck despite costing the same. Also, choosing a Galapagos cruise which offers a great nature guide as well as based on the type of guests the cruise is popular for are two main factors for a smooth and fulfilling trip in the Galapagos. Not sure if the guide is good? Unsure about the routes and itinerary? Simply speak to our Galapagos experts, and we can offer you our expertise and help you book a cruise with the best routes, guides, and the most comfortable cabins. We know the Galapagos Islands down to a tee, including if the cabin has carpets or if the windows can be opened! 

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Island Hopping in the Galapagos

Unforgettable experiences await you on this island hopping adventure to the enchanting Galapagos Islands. Explore the unique nature and wildlife of San Cristobal, Española, and Floreana islands, where you can hike to the active volcano of Sierra Negra, visit the El Junco lagoon - the largest freshwater lake in the Galapagos Archipelago - and snorkel among turtles, giant rays, and hammerhead sharks. The UNESCO-protected 1000-kilometer archipelago is home to an incredible variety of flora and fauna, including endemic land and marine iguanas, sea lions, penguins, flamingos, pelicans, frigate birds, tropical birds, blue-footed, red-footed, and masked boobies, marine turtles, and of course, the giant tortoises that gave the Galapagos their name. You will visit the most important inhabited islands, take day trips to uninhabited ones, and have plenty of time for your own activities, swimming, snorkelling, and relaxing on the many dreamy beaches. Don't miss out on this extraordinary adventure in a breath-taking, surreal landscape.

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Galapagos Cruise on the Grace

Motor yacht Grace has a historic past: she was built in the 1920s, owned by royalty and millionaire tycoons, had a stint in the British Navy during the War, and hosted Winston Churchill twice. She was a wedding gift from Aristotle Onassis to Prince Rainier and Princess Grace of Monaco, who spent their honeymoon on board. The 18-passenger vessel offers two eight-day cruises or a 15-day cruise, with unrivalled luxury on board: spacious cabins, including the Grace Kelly Suite featuring décor by award-winning designer Adrian Hoyos (book this one for your honeymoon!), 9 crew, including 2 expert local tour guides, fine dining, a bar lounge, natural history library, and jacuzzi. The Grace also offers exciting routes to explore the most amazing islands in the Galapagos. A once-in-a-lifetime holiday on what is, in our opinion, simply the best vessel on which to tour these magical islands.

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Pure Ecuador & Galapagos

Experience the Best of Ecuador and Galapagos Islands. From the stunning natural beauty of the Cotopaxi Volcano and the Amazon Rainforest to colourful markets in Otavalo and a visit to an Ecuadorian host family, this group tour has it all. And that's not all - snorkel with sea lions and sharks, bask in the sun with iguanas and rare bird species in Galapagos, and relax in natural hot springs. This unforgettable journey is perfect for adventurers looking for an authentic and diverse experience in one of the most stunning corners of the world. Don't miss out on this incredible adventure: join the Pure Ecuador & Galapagos group tour!

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7 Day Galapagos Diving Cruise (incl. Wolf)

Experience the ultimate adventure and explore the wonders of the Galapagos Islands on a unique diving expedition. From the moment you arrive at Baltra Airport, our experienced crew will take care of everything, ensuring a stress-free start to your journey. Settle into your comfortable cabin, and get ready for an unforgettable experience. Your first dive takes place in Punta Carrion, where you'll discover a beautiful reef with an array of marine life, including sea snails, tropical fish, and if you're lucky, even hammerhead sharks and penguins. The adventure continues with more dives around Baltra Island, followed by a walk along the stunning coastline of North Seymour to spot more wildlife. But the real highlight of your expedition is Wolf Island, where you'll enjoy four dives in the company of hundreds of hammerhead sharks, eagle rays, Galapagos sharks, tuna, and sea turtles. And as the sun sets, experience the magic of a night dive. Next, explore the waters around Darwin Island, home to El Arenal, one of the best dive spots in the Galapagos. With an abundance of marine creatures to discover, including whale sharks and dolphins, this is an experience you won't forget.

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Best Time to Visit

The Galapagos Islands, situated on the equator, experience a relatively tropical climate with two distinct seasons rather than the typical four. The unique geography of the archipelago means that some islands are located in the Northern Hemisphere, some in the Southern Hemisphere, and some even straddle the equator, such as Isla Isabela and Volcan Wolf. Regardless of the season, every month offers its own unique and captivating possibilities, making it a year-round destination for travellers. However, based on your travel goals, the following months may be the best time to visit.

Dry Season: During the dry season, which runs from June to December, the Galapagos experience a cooler climate that creates an ideal breeding environment for wildlife. Between September and November, new born animals can be spotted on the islands, taking advantage of the wealth of food brought in by the strong seasonal currents. This makes it one of the best times for wildlife viewing, as the islands are teeming with life.

Rainy Season: The rainy season, which runs from December to June, provides a different experience for visitors. Between February and May, the weather is typically warm, and the waters are much calmer than during the dry season. This is also the sea turtle and sea lion mating season, providing an opportunity for travellers to witness these spectacular events. Beyond the animals, the weather brings a burst of colour to the islands as flowers bloom against the backdrop of the crystal-clear Pacific Ocean.

Important Information for Your Travel Plans

Special Travel Tips from our Experts

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Where to Stay

Getting Around

Travel Themes Most Common for Galapagos (Ecuador)

Local Cuisine

The Galapagos is a great place to experience unique and delicious local cuisine. One of the must-try dishes is ceviche, a seafood dish made with fresh fish, citrus juices, and spices. Another great seafood option is fresh lobster, which is often served grilled or in a savoury stew. In addition to seafood, visitors should also try the traditional Ecuadorian dish of locro de papas, a hearty potato soup often served with cheese and avocado. And for a sweet treat, try the local dessert of torta de choclo, a sweet corn cake that is sure to satisfy any sweet tooth.

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Festivals & Public Holidays

There are several local holidays in the Galapagos that tourists should be aware of, as they may impact travel plans and availability of services. Here are a few of the most important holidays:

  1. New Year's Day (January 1)
  2. Carnival (February/March)
  3. Good Friday (March or April)
  4. Labor Day (May 1)
  5. Independence Day (August 10)
  6. All Saints' Day (November 1)
  7. Christmas Day (December 25)

During these holidays, it's important to plan ahead and make sure that any necessary arrangements are made in advance, such as booking tours or accommodations. However, tourists may also have the opportunity to witness local celebrations and cultural events during their travels.

When to Start Planning your Trip

Currency & Payment

The US dollar ($) is the official currency of the Galapagos.

It is recommended to carry small bills when travelling around the islands, as many items such as meals, art, or souvenirs are reasonably priced and vendors may not have change for larger amounts. However, in larger towns, many vendors have electronic banking systems that make payments easy, and most establishments accept Visa and Mastercard. Nevertheless, it is advisable to carry small bills for tipping or in case of emergencies.


The Galapagos Islands are considered to be a safe destination for travellers of all ages. Many visitors to the islands are over the age of 60 and often travel with the assistance of a travel expert. The inhabited islands have a close-knit community feel and offer a sense of security for tourists.

While Quito is generally a safe city, it is important to exercise common sense and take basic precautions, especially when in the bustling capital. Petty theft can occur, so it's wise to be mindful of your belongings and surroundings while exploring the city.

Visa & Immigration Rules

To reach the Galapagos Islands, all visitors must transit through mainland Ecuador. If you are unsure about the entry and visa requirements for Ecuador, please check with your local Ecuadorian embassy for more information.  In general, your passport should have at least six months of validity from the date of entry into Ecuador.

As of July 1st, 2020, the Galapagos Provincial Council (Consejo de Gobierno de Régimen Especial de Galápagos, CGREG) has implemented stricter entry requirements for visitors to the Galapagos Islands. To ensure entry approval, visitors must register their travel program in advance through a local travel agency or hotel based in the Galapagos Islands and have it approved by the Ministry of Tourism. All services, including hotels, excursions, and transport, must be registered and certified by the health authorities and verifiably booked and paid for. Upon arrival, visitors must present their confirmation (Salvoconducto, SC) at the airport when purchasing the Transit Control Card (TCC) and only include registered providers in their itinerary. The outward and return flights to the islands should also be included in the itinerary. To simplify the entry process, visitors can complete the Transit Control Card registration online, just like their flight check-in. Your Tripedeo travel expert will take care of the registration process for you.

Health & Hygiene

While the tap water in the Galapagos is generally safe to drink, it is recommended that visitors drink bottled water or bring their own water filtration system to ensure safety.

As for vaccinations, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend that all travellers to Ecuador, including the Galapagos Islands, be up to date on routine vaccinations such as measles, mumps, rubella, and tetanus. The CDC also recommends that travellers consider vaccination against hepatitis A and typhoid.

Malaria and yellow fever are not present in the Galapagos Islands, so prophylaxis is not necessary for these diseases. However, if travellers are planning to spend time in other parts of Ecuador, they may need to take precautions against them.

  • Overall, with proper precautions and preparation, visitors can enjoy a safe and healthy trip to the Galapagos Islands.

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