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Galapagos Islands Vacation

Step into a realm where nature’s most extraordinary creations are not just seen but experienced. Every corner of the Galapagos offers you an unforgettable journey into the heart of our wild world

With beautiful scenery, different islands to visit and fascinating wildlife, there are few places like the Galapagos. And with most of the land mammals, reptiles and birds only found here on the islands, it’s a must visit destination for nature lovers.

Also home to beautiful beaches, warm temperature and crystal clear waters, the region offers something for everyone. The islands offer one of the most unique travel experiences available.

The best way to make the most of the region is to enjoy an all inclusive Galapagos Islands vacation to include accommodation, tours, meals and transfers.

You can reach the Galapagos Islands from Quito, Ecuador’s capital city. And from here, you will arrive on one of the two airports serving the islands. These are located on Baltra Island and San Cristobal Island.

You can choose to base yourself in a hotel with guided tours and island hopping or enjoy a Galapagos cruise.

Inclusive Luxury Galapagos Cruises

The best way to experience the Galapagos Islands is aboard a luxury cruise. And the inclusive options below include transfers from Galapagos airport, delicious meals and some of the best expertly guided tours and activities the islands have to offer.

Two of the best luxury Galapagos cruises are the Elite and Endemic (see below).

Click the quick intro video below for a summary of the experience.

The Elite and Endemic Luxury Cruises

The Elite and Endemic Cruises offers two of the newest and most luxurious cruises for the Galapagos Islands. Your friends will wish they were in your shoes when they see your photos and hear your Galapagos stories.

Elite Cruise, Galapagos Islands

Both of these vessels surpass the majority of Galapagos cruises in terms of stability and comfort. To complement your incredible guided experiences of these remarkable islands, you will return to the high-class comfort of the vessel. Relax in your expansive suite or the well appointed social areas where you can talk about your Galapagos adventures.

Elite Cruise, Galapagos Islands

Click the video below for a quick introduction to the Elite.

Elite Galapagos Cruise

Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 8 days

Your cabin features a private balcony with stunning views, air-conditioning, your choice of king-size or twin beds and a spacious bathroom.

The cruises offer:

  • Outdoor Balcony & Spacious Exterior Areas
  • Top Naturalist Guides and Crew
  • Kayaks and Snorkeling Gear
  • Al Fresco Dining and BBQ Areas
  • Open Sky Lounge & Outdoor Whirlpool
  • Sun Terrace and Observation Platform
  • Cruise Service Officer (Hotel Manager)
  • Spacious, Modern and Elegant Cabins and Social Areas
  • Long and Short Itineraries Available

Click the video below for a quick introduction to the Endemic.

Endemic Galapagos Cruise

Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 6, 8 days

You will enjoy captivating Galapagos excursions with your expert guide, unlocking a realm of fascinating natural discovery. Walk in the footsteps of Darwin and Galapagos explorers to find incredible wildlife.

Elite Cruise, Galapagos Islands

Find the legendary giant tortoises, graceful frigate birds, lively sea lions, and see the iconic marine iguanas that epitomize the Galapagos.

Check availability for your travel dates by sending the Elite or Endemic a request using the buttons below.

Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 8 days


Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 6, 8 days

Inclusive Galapagos Hotel Combination Tour

A recommended land-based Galapagos experience is the Island to Island tour, which combines the Scalesia Lodge and Finch Bay Hotel.

You will enjoy an extraordinary journey with the Isabela and Santa Cruz – Island to Island tour, a land-based expedition through the enchanting Galapagos. You will start at Isabela Island’s secluded Scalesia Lodge, nestled in verdant highlands, your gateway to diverse landscapes and wildlife wonders on guided tours.

Enjoy different activities to explore the largest island in the Galapagos archipelago. Depending on the days you visit, enjoy túneles snorkel tours, bikes tours, volcano trekking, cave visits and a trip to the Tortoise Breeding Station.

The adventure intensifies at Santa Cruz Island’s Finch Bay Hotel, blending comfort with the unrivaled nature. Highlights include a guided visit to the giant tortoise reserve and the Charles Darwin Research Station.

Your experience is enriched by a yacht day trip to another island, each with its unique Galapagos magic.

This tour isn’t just a trip; it’s an immersive dive into one of the world’s most pristine ecosystems, offering luxurious accommodations at Finch Bay, luxury safari glamping at Scalesia, and yacht exploration.

Click the book now button below to learn more and check availability for your travel dates.

Includes: all meals at Scalesia Lodge, half-board at Finch Bay Hotel, accommodation, all guided excursions, transfers from & to Galapagos airport.

Inclusive Galapagos & Amazon Hotel Combination Tour

Many visitors to Ecuador want to also experience the Amazon Rainforest. This section of Amazonia has one of the highest levels of wildlife in all the rainforest. And to combine the Galapagos with the Amazon Rainforest, you can enjoy the Darwin & Orellana Discovery Tour.

This is a land-based Galapagos itinerary (as the above Island to Island tour) with an island-hopping day trip and visit to the Amazon’s Sacha Lodge.

As the package combines the Amazon and Galapagos, it creates a more seamless experience including your flights from Quito. And you will visit Isabela Island, Santa Cruz and enjoy a day trip aboard the Finch Bay exclusive yacht to explore another nearby island.

You will then venture to the Amazon and the Sacha Lodge. This offers you a comfortable rainforest experience scouting for colorful birds, beautiful plants and several different monkeys.

Note that this includes accommodation, transfers, meals and guided tours as in the itinerary. However, it is half-board at Finch Bay Hotel (breakfast and lunch), so you can make the most of the excellent nearby restaurants. And then includes breakfast at Quito Airport hotel before your tour of the Amazon.

Over 11 days, the experience combines:

  • 3-nights at Scalesia Lodge – Isabela Island
  • 3-nights at Finch Bay Hotel – Santa Cruz Island
  • 1-night at Quito Airport Hotel – Quito
  • 3-nights at Sacha Lodge – Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest

Check availability for your travel dates using the tour bubble below.

Includes: all meals at Sacha Lodge & Scalesia Lodge, half-board at Finch Bay Hotel, accommodation, all guided excursions, transfers from & to Galapagos & Coca airports, Galapagos & Coca air tickets

The Petrel & Ocean Spray Luxury Galapagos Cruises

The Petrel and Ocean Spray offer an unforgettable journey of the Galapagos Islands.

These luxury catamarans were designed to offer you comfort and performance when hopping between islands. And with expert naturalist guides, you will enjoy fantastic wildlife watching of the famous Galapagos animals.

Ocean Spray - Luxury Cruise, Galapagos Islands

The cruise itineraries were meticulously crafted to prioritize your enjoyment so you make the most of the Galapagos. Explore the islands on expert-guided tours to encounter the famous and iconic wildlife that inhabits these enchanted lands. Explore the welcoming azure waters with exciting snorkeling and kayaking excursions to enjoy vibrant reefs and serene bays.

Click the video below for a quick introduction to the Petrel Cruise.

Petrel Galapagos Cruise

Both of the Ocean Spray and Petrel provide expansive and lavish accommodations, complemented by a sun-soaked sundeck and a relaxing Jacuzzi. You will also enjoy Ecuadorian and international cuisine in the elegantly designed dining room or alfresco dining area.

And depending on your time available, you can choose from 3, 4, 5 and 7-night cruises.

Uncover the wonders of San Cristobal Island, the mesmerizing Leon Dormido, and enchanting beaches teeming with playful sea lions. Delve into the thriving marine life of Santa Cruz and be captivated by the iconic Pinnacle Rock. Traverse the captivating Genovesa, be intrigued by its pirate tales, and encounter astounding wildlife amidst its famous black-sand beaches.

Embrace the magnificence of Darwin Bay, North Seymour Island, the lush highlands of Santa Cruz, and the serene Mosquera Island. And throughout your adventures, you will find giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and the other animals that call these islands home.

Unleash your wanderlust and embark on a voyage that combines opulence and adventure to create some incredible Galapagos memories.

Check availability for your travel dates by sending the cruises a request using the tour bubbles below.

Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 days


Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 days

Guide to the main Galapagos Islands

The three largest islands of the Galapagos are Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal. For information on all 19 islands, you can see our complete travel guide to the Galapagos Islands.

San Cristóbal
Like many islands in the Galapagos archipelago, San Cristóbal Island is home to some incredible animals and plants. Enjoy spotting the sea lions, giant tortoises and fascinating land formations.

Explore the highlands and coastal regions to enjoy different habitats and visit the beautiful Laguna El Junco, which is one of the favorite natural attractions of the island.

Santa Cruz
Santa Cruz is another main island in the archipelago. Visitors who arrive to the Galapagos at Baltra Island airport will first cross over to Santa Cruz. This is where many visitors will join their Galapagos Islands cruises.

Santa Cruz offers some of the best hotels, restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops on the Galapagos. However, there are also fantastic natural attractions as well.

Santa Cruz is where you find the Charles Darwin Research center where you can learn a little about the islands and have an introduction to the history, geography and nature of the region.

Enjoy walking trails in the highlands to see wild giant tortoises, visit beautiful lagoons, see the famous lava formations and visit the wharf and fish market to spot some regular island visitors enjoying the daily catch.

Fisherman’s Wharf, Galapagos Islands

Isabela
The largest island in the Galapagos archipelago, Isabela is home to many examples of iconic animals. Enjoy spotting the marine iguanas, giant tortoises, cormorants, sea lions and penguins.

The island has a fantastic geography, as it was created by five volcanoes joining together. The volcanoes are still active and eruptions have been recorded every decade or so. As Isabela is a relatively new island compared to the others, the plants look a little different with thick lowland vegetation. There are also beautiful beaches to enjoy.

For information on the other Galapagos Islands, you can have a look at our complete guide for the Galapagos Islands.

When to Visit the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a fantastic places to visit at all times of year. Because of the tropical climate, there is a pleasant temperature no matter the month. However, there are some differences and times when it’s easier to see certain animals.

Let’s have a look at some of the differences for when to visit.

Most people visit the Galapagos Islands with images of fantastic wildlife in their minds. Most of the animals don’t migrate and remain on the islands at all times of year. However, there are a few marine animals and birds that do migrate, so if you have some specific animals to see in mind it’s best to make sure you’re visiting when they’re around the islands.

The following times are the best months to see popular migrating marine mammals:

  • Manta Ray Season: December – May
  • Whale Shark Season: June – November
  • Hammerheads: December – May

As for the climate, the daily temperature of the Galapagos Islands is about 84°F (30°C) with a nightly temperature of 69°F (20°C).

There are two main seasons, which are produced from the changing ocean currents. The Humboldt Current is when the islands are cooler with less rain, which is between June – November. Warmer weather and more rainfall is then brought by the El Niño Current from December to June, which has a temperature between 80ºF (27ºC) and 90ºF (32ºC)

When to visit the Galapagos Islands • in/°F | mm/°C

Recommended Galapagos cruises & hotels offering package tours

Here are some ideas to help plan your Galapagos Islands vacation:

Inclusive Galapagos Islands Vacations – Summary

Here is our selection for an inclusive Galapagos Islands vacation, including other Ecuador destinations. In addition to the Galapagos, these includes a visit to the Amazon on the Darwin & Orellana Discovery tour.

And you can combine all three of Ecuador’s top destinations for the Galapagos, Andes and Amazon Rainforest on the Ecuador Diverse Tour.

We also mention the fantastic luxury catamarans of the Elite, Endemic, Petrel and Ocean Spray catamarans if you would prefer a very comfortable and in-depth cruise of the Galapagos Islands.

  1. Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 8 days

  2. Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 6, 8 days

  3. Includes: all meals at Scalesia Lodge, half-board at Finch Bay Hotel, accommodation, all guided excursions, transfers from & to Galapagos airport.

  4. Includes: all meals at Sacha Lodge & Scalesia Lodge, half-board at Finch Bay Hotel, accommodation, all guided excursions, transfers from & to Galapagos & Coca airports, Galapagos & Coca air tickets

  5. Includes: all meals at Sacha Lodge, Scalesia Lodge & Hacienda Piman, half-board at Finch Bay Hotel, accommodation, all guided excursions, transfers from & to Galapagos & Coca airports, Galapagos & Coca air tickets

  6. Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 days

  7. Includes: all meals, accommodation, all guided excursions, captain’s welcome and farewell cocktail, transfers from & to Galapagos airport. | 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 12, 14 days

Ash - Author & Travel Advisor About the Author: Ash Card is a frequent visitor to the Tropics and has a passion for helping visitors get the best experiences from tropical locations. Ash is a contributor to both TourTheTropics.com and ThinkJungle.com writing about tropical destinations, rainforests and wildlife. Feel free to contact Ash for tour help in the tropics. When not helping tourists with tours and info, Ash can be found salsa-ing the night away or posing near waterfalls.
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