Galapagos Islands Wildlife Tour
The Galapagos Islands have 2 main seasons, and while tours are available and suitable year round, December – June is the high season with warmer temperatures, calmer seas, and good underwater visibility. Temperatures will be in the 70’s & 80’s most months of the year.
December – June tend to be warm and wet, air and water temperatures are warmer, and although this is the rainy season, it’s also the sunniest time to year! Afternoon showers are short, so there’s still plenty of time to soak up the sun. Warm water temps make this the nicest time to swim and snorkel, but there aren’t as many fish in the water at this time. It is a good time for turtles, sea lion pups and wildflowers.
June – November are generally cool and dry, with the Humboldt current bringing cold water from the Southern end of South America. Weather is pleasant but you’ll see overcast skies and decreased underwater viability due to the plankton bloom. This brings abundant nutrients into the water, and you’ll be entertained by the activity of feeding whale sharks, and breeding birds, iguanas and seals! Even with the colder temps, rougher water, and decreased visibility, this is the best time to see the Galapagos’ diverse underwater marine life.
Be sure to plan ahead, boats book quickly even in the off-season!
The Galapagos Islands Wildlife Tour is one of our most popular tours for wildlife viewing ! You will be living aboard a comfortable yacht and cruising through the Galapagos archipelago from island to island. Daily walking and snorkeling journeys will bring you up close to an array of unique, indigenous animals – giant tortoises, blue footed boobies, curious marine iguanas and playful sea lions. Nature comes alive in the Galapagos Islands and you will be there to see it all. Put a Galapagos Islands Wildlife Tour on your bucket list and you will be glad you did!
We work with a number of different live-aboard yachts and with our many years of experience, we can help you choose the one that best suits your needs. All of the yachts have in-cabin bathrooms, a professional crew, all-inclusive meals and highly trained naturalist guides.
Our Galapagos Tour has it all – hiking, superb wildlife viewing, expert naturalist, live aboard yacht, great food!
Enchanting and mysterious, there is nowhere in the world quite like the Galapagos. Located in the Pacific Ocean 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos archipelago is made up of 19 islands, and it has the distinction of being Ecuador’s first National Park. To honor its unique and diverse qualities, it was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve. The Galapagos Islands have a vast array of easily observed wildlife, and each island has well maintained nature trails that allow you to peacefully walk among and photograph the animals. This is an animal lover’s dream come true!
2021 Price: From $3,500 per person Tour prices vary depending upon the level of luxury of the boat booked and the number of days
- 4 – 7 nights aboard yacht in a cabin with private bath
- All meals aboard the yacht
- English speaking naturalist
Price Does Not Include:
Airfare to Quito & airport transfers, airport departure taxes (currently $40.80 per person), round trip flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands (approx. $500 US), hotel in Quito before and after the trip (we can make these arrangements), National Park fee ($110 U.S. cash to be paid upon arrival in the Galapagos), gratuities for the staff on the yacht, restaurant meals in Quito, alcoholic beverages and soft drinks on the yacht.
Generally, a non-refundable deposit of 20% / person is required to book a Galapagos Islands Wildlife Tour, but the deposit amount may vary depending on the boat and the time of year you choose.
Your exploration of the “Land of Darwin” will be aboard a comfortable custom yacht with an experienced captain and crew. During the night your yacht cruises to a different island, sets anchor and you will awaken to a new adventure. Each island is unique. Some have moon-like volcanic landscapes while others are lined with perfect beaches. Once on land, your shipboard naturalist will lead a hike on the island’s nature trail and introduce you to the amazing animals, plants and geological features. During the week you will see blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, sea lions, marine and land iguanas, giant tortoises, penguins, flamingos and albatross. With mask and snorkel, the underwater world comes alive with sea turtles and colorful fish. The wildlife viewing is fabulous, and this will be a week of National Geographic images!
Aboard the yacht, your comfort and well being are the first concerns of the captain and crew. The tidy staterooms are made-up each day and each has a private bathroom with shower. There are lounging areas onboard to relax. Meals are plentiful and are prepared on the yacht from fresh ingredients. Most dietary requirements can be accommodated with advanced notice.
Our Galapagos cruises accommodate a wide variety of tastes and budgets. We offer a variety of boats to choose from ranging from luxury yachts to economy class boats. Besides the services of a trained naturalist, some yachts have options for sea kayaking and SCUBA diving. This is truly a once in a lifetime natural history adventure done in relaxed elegance and style!
Depart from your home city and fly to Quito, Ecuador. Transfer from airport to hotel in Quito.
Transfer from hotel to Quito airport for flight to the Galapagos Island of Baltra. Arrival time will be at 11:00am Galapagos time. You will be met at the airport and taken by bus for a 10-minute ride to the harbor to board our yacht. After lunch you will visit North Seymour Island where the largest colony of Magnificent Frigate Birds is found. Also inhabiting this island are the famous Blue Footed Boobies and Swallow Tailed Gulls.
On this day you will venture onto Plazas and Santa Fe islands. Formed by uplifted lava and covered with Opuntia cacti, it is here we will find Land Iguanas, Sea Lions, Swallow Tailed Gulls, Red Billed Tropic Birds and Audubon’s Shearwaters.
You will explore one of the most famous islands in the Galapagos, the island of Hood, also known as Espanola. The visitor is offered quite a display of wildlife including Marine Iguanas with copper red patches, Swallow Tailed Gulls, the endemic Long Billed Mocking Bird, Masked and Blue Footed Boobies, Finches, Oyster Catchers, Sea Lions, Lava Lizards and the fascinating Waved Albatross with a 7 1/2 foot wingspan.
Snorkeling is on the agenda when you set foot on the island of Floreana. You’ll swim and snorkel at Devil’s Crown, a submerged volcanic cone. Later you will also snorkel at Post Office Bay where you may leave a letter like the whalers did in the 18th century in the old wooden barrel mailbox. Flamingos and other species of shore birds call Floreana Island home.
The Charles Darwin Research Station and the Visitor Center of the Galapagos Islands National Park are our destinations in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. At the research station you can walk among several species of Galapagos Tortoises. You’ll also take time to visit the highlands of Santa Cruz where Miconia bushes, Scalesia and inactive volcanic cones are found. There are more endemic plants on Santa Cruz than on any other island in the Galapagos.
On the island of Rabida, you will explore volcanic rocks covered by Opuntia cacti and Palo Santo trees. Sea Lions abound here on the red sand beaches. Several species of Darwin’s Finches may be seen here as well as Flamingos. At Puerto Egas on Santiago Island you will see Galapagos Fur Seals in tide pools cut into lava cliffs. There are opportunities to spot the Galapagos Hawk, the Galapagos Dove and the Vermilion Flycatcher. Behind what is known as Espumilla Beach are salt-water lagoons where Flamingos and White Cheeked Pintail Ducks are found.
Today you will venture onto Bartolome Island and Sullivan Bay. It is here that the geological history of the archipelago is best portrayed. The most impressive volcanic, moon-like scenery may be viewed from the top of Bartolome.
In the early morning you will explore Turtle Cove before departing from the island of Baltra. Flights leave Baltra at 11:30 a.m. to Quito, Ecuador. The afternoon is on your own to further explore Quito.
Depart Ecuador for flight home, OR EXTEND YOUR STAY WITH AN ADDITIONAL ADVENTURE IN SOUTH AMERICA!
South America Extensions
Ecuador has a wonderful region only 90 minutes north of Quito called Otavalo. This area is famous for its spectacular Indian market, and comfortable overnight or multi-day stays can be arranged in beautiful haciendas.
Peru is a great addition to any South American itinerary for hiking, cycling and site seeing in destinations like Cuzco, Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca, the Amazon, the Inca Trail and the colorful markets in the Sacred Valley. You will experience history and culture together in the heart of the stunning Andes Mountains.