Adventures in
Galapagos

Galapagos Tours

A cruise to the Galápagos Islands, is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and one of the best ways to see wildlife up close. Many of the animal and bird species found here are unique to the islands, and have adapted themselves to suit the environment. The animals are fearless, roaming free which is perfect for photography. During your cruise you can also snorkel and swim, for a chance to see marine life like sharks, rays and marine iguanas in their natural habitat. Many choose to combine a cruise to the Galápagos Islands with a tour in Ecuador. 

Featured Tours

All Tours of Galapagos

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Route: Quito/Baltra to Baltra/Quito
Code:
CGK25
Days:
7
Style: Expedition Cruises
From:
US$2,559
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Added to
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Route: Quito/Baltra to Baltra/Quito
Code:
CGK09
Days:
7
Style: Expedition Cruises
From:
US$2,559
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Route: Quito/Baltra to San Cristóbal Island/Quito
Code:
CGK27
Days:
7
Style: Expedition Cruises
From:
US$2,559
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Route: Quito/Baltra to San Cristóbal Island/Quito
Code:
CGK11
Days:
7
Style: Expedition Cruises
From:
US$2,559
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Route: Quito/San Cristóbal Island to Baltra/Quito
Code:
CGK12
Days:
8
Style: Expedition Cruises
From:
US$3,109
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Added to
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Route: Quito/Baltra to Baltra/Quito
Code:
CGK26
Days:
8
Style: Expedition Cruises
From:
US$3,109
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Added to
Shortlist
Route: Quito/San Cristóbal Island to Baltra/Quito
Code:
CGK28
Days:
8
Style: Expedition Cruises
From:
US$3,109
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Added to
Shortlist
Route: Quito/Baltra to Baltra/Quito
Code:
CGK10
Days:
8
Style: Expedition Cruises
From:
US$3,109
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Route: Quito/Baltra to Baltra/Quito
Code:
CGK31
Days:
11
Style: Expedition Cruises
From:
US$4,499
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Route: Quito/Baltra to Baltra/Quito
Code:
CGK13
Days:
11
Style: Expedition Cruises
From:
US$4,499
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Route: Quito/San Cristóbal Island to Baltra/Quito
Code:
CGK16
Days:
11
Style: Expedition Cruises
From:
US$4,499
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Route: Quito/Baltra to Baltra/Quito
Code:
CGK29
Days:
11
Style: Expedition Cruises
From:
US$4,499
View Tour

Galapagos Travel Articles, Inspiration & Information

The best places for amazing nature

We have put together a collection of the best places for spotting nature at her finest with some incredible destinations for flora and fauna. You will be overwhelmed with the amount of spectacular wildlife available to see whilst cruising in the Galápagos Islands.. Read more

Getting wet in the Galapagos

The Galapagos became famous when Charles Darwin visited in 1835 to conduct his landmark research that led to his revolutionary theories on evolution by natural selection.  Nowadays it is one of the most remarkable wildlife adventure travel destinations you will ever visit,... Read more

Independently Verified Travel Reviews From Past Clients

Galapagos Travel Guide

Galapagos Islands Travel Guide

Brief History

European discovery of the islands was by the Spaniard Fray Tomas de Berlanga who got lost on his voyage to Peru from Panama. He reached the islands on 10 March 1535. The islands were annexed by Ecuador in 1832 and a few years later, in 1835, the HMS Beagle isited the islands, on board was Charles Darwin. Darwin studied several of the islands geology and biology and it is here that he developed his theory on natural selection and evolution, published in The Origin of Species. Today Ecuador has a small Ecuadorian military base but as of 1959 the islands have been one National Park.

Geography & Weather

Although the Galapagos islands sit on the equator, the Humboldt Current brings cold air to the islands and there are frequent showers. The temperature remains in the mid 20's celsius for the majority of the year. On the larger islands the weather decreases with altitude as does the likelihood of rain. 

Check the weather chart on our website or visit www.worldclimate.com to get an idea of what the weather will be like on your trip.

Visas

While you do not need a visa to enter the Galapagos, you might need one to enter Ecuador. Most nationals, including citizens of the EU, North American and Australasia do not need a visa to enter Ecuador. Entry is granted on production of a passport valid for more than six months, a return air/bus ticket and proof of funds to support yourself for the duration of the stay. You'll be issued with a T-3 tourist card on arrival, which you should keep safely with your passport as it will be collected when you leave the country. The tourist card can allow up to 90 days stay, although it's up to the immigration official to decide whether you're allocated 30, 60 or 90 days on arrival. Visa requirements do change periodically so you should check for the latest information on your specific visa requirements with your local Equadorian embassy or consulate well in advance of your planned date of travel.

Money

Important: In Latin America you will have problems changing the US$100 CB B2 2001 series notes and it is important you do not to bring them. In some countries banks won't even take them. The serial number is located in the top left hand corner and bottom right hand corner on the side with the President’s face. This serial number starts with CB and then a few more numbers and then directly under that B2. At the bottom of the note near the signature of the Treasurer it says which series of notes it is and it is there that it says 2001 series.

In April 2000, the government in Ecuador decided to ‘dollarise’ the economy due to the instability of their own currency, the sucre. The country now uses the US dollar as its own currency, which means that you do not need to change money on arrival (if you bring sufficient US dollars with you). If you do need to change money into dollars, you can do it at the bank after exiting the luggage hall or use one of the ATMs outside the terminal. Remember that if you are travelling through to other countries in South America, Ecuador is the best place to load up on US dollars cash without paying high charges. Having said that we do recommend that you bring as much US dollars cash as you feel comfortable carrying as it is not always easy to get money out on credit and debit cards. You should carry your US dollars in small denominations (US$1, US$5, US$10 and US$20 are best) as there is always a shortage of change.

Although bank cards are often the easiest way to go, there are times where they will not work for you even if your bank at home tells you it will! Do not rely on your card as your only source of money. Always have a few back-ups with you.

Voltage

110 volts. Sockets are a mixture of the European, two-pronged round variety and US flat-pin.

Best time to travel to the Galapagos Islands

When to travel

The Galapagos is a year-round destination, with different wildlife activity happening throughout the year. Expedition Cruises are available throughout the year, so you have the option of seeing the Galapagos in different seasons for a very different experience of the islands.

The climate in the Galapagos Islands is subtropical, and regulated by the warm El Niño current and the cold Humboldt Current. The weather on the islands varies according to their size, location in relation to other islands, and the altitude. At higher altitudes, the temperature is cooler while there is also more rain due to the condensation of moisture in clouds on the slopes. Lower coastal areas tend to be warmer and drier.

During the high season, which is generally around mid June to early September and mid December to mid January, many expedition vessels are booked far in advance, so it’s best to make reservations months before you plan to travel. If you are making last minute reservations, you may not be able to take your first choice of ship.

For many cruise operators, the low season months are generally around April / May and September / October. Check individual tour pages for specific low and high season departure dates. During these months tourism in the Galapagos decreases and some operators lower their prices to attract more passengers on board.

While the Galapagos National Park limits the number of visitors to each island and coordinates each ship’s itinerary, it is likely that you notice more people around during the summer months.

Dry Season

The dry season of June to November is a great time to see marine life in the Galapagos Islands. During the dry season of June to November period the southern trade winds bring the colder Humbolt Current north to the Galapagos, bringing colder water and cooler land temperatures. The meeting of this current with warm air can cause mists over the islands, known as ‘garuas’, with overcast skies but little rainfall. Daily temperatures range from 19ºC to 28ºC.

The sea temperature drops to between 19˚C and 23˚C. The water is surprisingly cold for snorkelling and seas can be rough at times so those suffering from severe sea sickness may like to consider coming at an alternative time of year.

Clouds of moisture support the thick vegetation in the higher altitude areas of the islands. These areas will be lush and green, while lower areas will not receive much rain and will appear drier and browner. Only plants that can survive long periods of time without water, such as lichens and cacti, thrive in coastal areas.

The Humbolt Current brings nutrient-rich water that attracts plankton and whales, fish and sea birds. Albatrosses arrive on Española Island and penguins are easier to encounter. This is the mating season for the blue-footed boobies and it’s a great chance to observe birds’ dramatic courtship displays. This is also a great time of year for diving, though the strong currents in the Galapagos can be tricky so diving is for for experienced divers only.

Wet Season

The wet season of December to May is the best time to see sea turtles nesting in the Galapagos Islands with Tucan Travel. The warmest, wettest part of the wet season happens during the period from January to April. Average daily temperatures range from 22ºC to 35ºC and there can be occasional heavy showers or thunderstorms, especially in the afternoon. For the rest of the season, light rain falls for a short period of time each day, but the remainder of the day tends to be very sunny. The wet season usually means warm air, calm seas, clear skies and warm water. March is usually the hottest month of the year. This is a great time of year for swimming and snorkelling, due to the warmer sea temperature and calmer waters which offer very good underwater visability (particularly in January to March).

On the islands, heavy rains at higher altitudes send streams of water down the slopes to even the lowest elevations, resulting in a green and lush landscape. Flowers come into bloom and vegetation is more colourful. This is a very good time to observe land animals as they are very active during this period with plenty of food available to them. This is a good time to observe birds mating and this is also the time when sea turtles nest on the beaches.