Islands seemingly forgotten by time, the Galápagos have fascinated nature lovers for nearly two centuries, ever since Charles Darwin’s Galápagos-based research on the theory of evolution catapulted the islands to world fame. These challenging islands are no easy vacation, but those who are looking to immerse themselves in the outdoors will enjoy an idyllic wildlife escape that can be found nowhere else on Earth.
Important Note: Any travelers visiting Ecuador on or after February 1, 2018, must have health insurance for the period of their stay in the country. All visitors should carry a document as a proof of having the insurance.
Perfect forAdventurers | Trailblazers | Soul Searchers | Families
When to goYear-Round
Ideal length of stay1 Week
Designing Your Journey
Work with Indagare to design the perfect itinerary for an immersive journey. Our travel experts know the destination inside and out, and they can make recommendations based on your travel needs and preferences.
7 Days: Essential Galapagos
Because of the diversity of the landscape and ability to move between the islands, the Galápagos have something new to offer every day, and trips can extend well beyond a week. Here are examples of the different types of Galapagos experiences our destination experts can create for you.
Most travelers opt to spend the majority of your time in the Galapagos on a yacht or sailboat (cruise ships contribute more pollution and are discouraged). One of the great advantages is that a boat is the ultimate way to watch for wales or take to the upper deck at night to stargaze. You’ll also spend more time at the sites instead of in transit and you are with the same naturalists every day. However, anyone prone to sea sickness should consider that small yachts can rock noticeably when the seas get choppy. And many sea-based itineraries require at least a five-day minimum.
Land accommodations are often more spacious than a yacht or sailboat, and the touring pace tends to be more relaxed. (Land-based tours are also often more ecofriendly.) However, you will lose valuable time in transit on day trips. For example, it can take four hours round trip from Puerto Ayora to Isabela Island. And land-based tours cannot reach some of the more remote islands, such as Genovesa (the so-called Bird Island) and isolated Española, home to such endemic species as the Española mockingbird and the waved albatross.
Visiting the Galapagos requires a fair amount of rigorous physical activities and the terrain and temperatures can be brutal. Getting in and out of a Zodiac during the island landings can be challenging for older visitors and kids; while the uneven terrain and steep volcanic islands can also present challenges. Those who want to scuba dive should plan to spend a few days before or after touring in Puerto Ayora or San Cristobal. Be aware that some of the best sites have additional certification requirements, and some sites have currents and surge that require more experience.
Where To Stay
We only feature hotels that we can vouch for first-hand. At many of them, Indagare members receive special amenities, including upgrades, early check-in, breakfast, spa credits and more. Look for the Indagare Plus logo in the reviews.
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With an Aman-like design, the lava-built Pikaia Lodge offers unparalleled comfort with a conservationist focus.
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While the Safari Camp’s rustic experience will not charm everybody, the hotel’s dedication to the wild nature of the islands provides an unparalleled experience for adventurous travelers.
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