The Galapagos Islands are located in the Pacific approximately 600 miles west of the Ecuadorian mainland. When Charles Darwin first visited the islands, he noticed that the animals were similar, yet uniquely adapted from island to island, leading to him to develop the theory of natural selection. The isolation of the islands led to many endemic species still thriving today. Due to its incredible diversity and being home to some of the rarest species on the planet, the islands are considered a living museum. Image yourself surrounded by breathtaking sites, getting up close and personal with Mother Nature, and feeling like you are in a wildlife documentary!
See & Do
Explore Sierra Negra Volcano on Isabela Island with the largest crater in the Galapagos.
Visit the Charles Darwin Station.
Hike - Walk across dry lava, scalesia forests, craters, cliffs, brackish lagoons, and different-colored beaches. See the Giant tortoises that can weigh up to 595 lb, Galápagos land iguanas, birds and more.
Bird Watch - Look out for Blue-footed boobies, Red-footed booby colony, Nazca boobies, Flightless Cormorants, Frigatebirds, Darwin finches, and Greater flamingos.
Snorkel - Experience the majestic underwater marine life, swim with sea turtles, Galápagos sea lions and fur seals, Galapagos penguins, and sharks. Visit the Devil's Crown, an almost completely submerged volcano offering dramatic siteswith underwater lava tunnels to explore.
Scuba Dive - The Islands have about 30 diving sites. Dive with Whale Sharks, Manta Rays, Schools of Hammerhead Sharks, Sea Turtles, Galapagos Fur Seals and many species of fish.
WHEN TO VISIT
The Galapagos can be visited all year long. During the dry season (June through December) marine life is abundant while bird courtship displays occur during the dry season. If you are interested in seeing a specific species, we can recommend the best time to visit.
HOW LONG DO I NEED
A minimum of a week is needed to experience the Galapagos. We also highly recommend extending your stay before or after the Galapagos to experience Quito, Ecuador or Peru.
You can fly to the Galápagos from Guayaquil's José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (GYE), located in mainland Ecuador. If you would prefer to fly to the Galápagos from Quito's Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO), plan to stopover in Guayaquil.
Though land tours do exist, we highly recommend experiencing the Galapagos by boat. There are a variety of vessels from large 100 passenger boats to small expedition vessels and even sail boats. Larger boats are likely to provide more onboard services like lectures while smaller boats are more intimate and faster transfer times to shore excursions.
The U.S. dollar is the official currency in Ecuador. You can purchase souvenirs in Galápagos in dollars while some shops also accept credit cards.
PASSPORT & VISA
A valid passport is needed to visit Ecuador. A visa is not required for U.S. passport holders, unless you plan on staying for longer than 90 days. Always carry proof of identification and a photocopy of your passport with you.