The Galapagos Islands – What you need to know before you book a tour
Tourist Information about Galapagos Islands
There are 20 islands of the Galapagos, each being at least one kilometre (0.6mi) across, with 7 small and 13 main islands. And then there are numerous islets; small and uninhabited, but perfect for visiting to see what creatures they host.
There are three main populated islands. The largest is Isabela, although it is only the third most populated. Santa Cruz is the second largest, but crucially the most populated and with the best infrastructure. San Cristobal island serves as the capital of the Galapagos Islands and it is here that you will find the government infrastructure. It is also has one of two airports servicing the Galapagose. The other is on Batra island. You will likely stay on Santa Cruz or San Cristobal, and look for a hotel near the port, to save transport time when heading for the boats each morning.
On the PIE Experiences Galapagos Islands tour, you will fly in to Batra island, and tour several islands of the Galapagos. You can learn about it here.
Galapagos Islands tourist attractions
Santa Cruz island
- Las Bachas – a white sand beach where nesting turtles can be seen.
- The highlands – here you can walk with giant turtles.
- Las Loberias – a picturesque little cove where you can see iguanas and sea lions.
- James Bay – an entry point to explore the flora and fauna of Isabela island.
- Urbina Bay – the wonder of swimming with sea lions!
- Punta Espinosa – an excellent spot for marine iguanas.
- Famous for its abundance of unique birdlife, including red-footed boobies, Nazca boobies and frigate birds.
Where are the Galapagos Islands?
The Galapagos Islands are a series of sparsely inhabited (at least by humans) islands 1,000km / 600mi off the coast of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. They are a naturalist’s dream, home to dozens of unique species that exist in a delicate eco-system and a microcosm of life on earth.
They can be approached either by air from Ecuador or by sea. If you fly to the Galapagos Islands, you must do it from Quito or Guayaquil. Both cities are in Ecuador.
For extensive and intensive and all-encompassing everything about the Galapagos Islands, please refer to our blog post here. It will answer all the questions you have and all the ones you don’t have.
When is the best time to go to Galapagos Islands?
There is no bad time to visit the Galapagos Islands. Every single day is the best time to visit. Each season brings with it its own charms. Some creatures are only present on the islands seasonally, in which case if you desire to see something specific it would be wise to check with your tour operator.
June through to December are the cooler, dryer months. The weather is generally a bit greyer and a light, misty rain is possible. January through to May and warmer and wetter, but these climate conditions are more dynamic and the wildlife often responds. March and April tend to be the hottest and wettest months, August the coolest.
The cool, dry months bring with them cooler ocean currents, which can require a wetsuit, but in turn they bring in plankton, and the marine life which feasts on it.
Spoil yourself with a bit of luxury – Galapagos Cruises
1-Danubio Azul Galapagos Diving Cruise | Tourist Class Diving
A Galapagos cruise on the Danubio Azul is one that alternates between a nature tour and a scuba diving tour. Those who want to discover what is on the islands will enjoy the nature tour, and those who want to discover what swims around the islands will relish the scuba diving. The Danubio Azul is motor yacht that can accommodate 10 passengers with excellent service and a reasonable price. All meals and diving equipment is included. With a small crew and guide, you will have an intimate and personal experience of the Galapagos.
2-Millennium – Catamaran First Class Galapagos Cruise
The Millenium is a 3-deck steel motor catamaran that can accommodate up to 25 passengers. It embarks on nature cruises of the Galapagos islands, with a variety of itineraries of varying lengths and islands. Great for seeing all those boobies and frigates.
3-Celebrity Xperience – Luxury Class – Galapagos Cruise
The Celebrity Xperience is a recently launched luxury cruise ship where the word ‘luxury’ should never be written without a capital ‘L’. Each room is a state room with sea view; there is a library, sun deck, dining room, reception area, lounge bar and more. This is really one of the finest ways to see the Galapagose Islands. There are a variety of itineraries of varying lengths and islands, depending on how long you want to extend the Luxury.
4-Galapagos cruise aboard the Beagle Yacht
Perhaps the most luxurious way to see the Galapagos Islands is with a charter yacht. HMS Beagle, named after the legendary ship that conveyed Charles Darwin to the islands in 1835, is a 32m / 105ft yacht that operates the Galapagos Islands. This boat will take you to all the most important islands, and guests will be guided to disembark and visit each one. Many islands offer opportunities of exploration, others of beach time, more with snorkelling and so forth. HMS Beagle is also equipped with four kayaks for ocean-going exploration.
More information can be discerned here.
Pie Experiences specialises in South America private tours and holiday packages in Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Bolivia.
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