The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago located off the coast of Ecuador. You can enjoy some incredible wildlife experiences aboard luxury cruises or on package tours from Galapagos hotels on the top Galapagos Islands tours.
Protected by the UNESCO listed Galapagos National Park, the islands offer beautiful scenery, warm, welcoming water, and are home to iconic and unique animals. See the famous giant tortoises, large frigatebirds, blue-footed boobies, sea lions, penguins, marine iguanas, and sea turtles.
You will also learn about the fascinating history of the Galapagos and their importance for pirates, whalers, explorers, and naturalists. The most famous visitor to the Galapagos Islands was Charles Darwin who visited in 1835 and eventually would use his discoveries to help form the theory of evolution by natural selection.
There are 21 islands in total and many of these have visitor sites and trails, which you can enjoy to explore some incredible wildlife and beautiful scenery. Some of the islands are off limits for visitors unless you have a special permit, but even these often provide some fantastic snorkeling and diving opportunities.
Temperature on the islands ranges from around 76°F (25°C) during the warmer months from December to May to around 73°F (23°C) between June and November.
To make the most of your time on the Galapagos islands, here are our recommended top 10 Galapagos tours.
The Petrel Galapagos Islands Cruise
The Petrel Luxury Cruise is a deluxe vessel to explore the Galapagos Islands. Enjoy traveling in comfort around the archipelago on a choice of itineraries for fantastic tours. Enjoy qualified naturalist guides to explore different islands from the cruise vessel, on island walks, kayaking, and snorkeling.
Designed for comfort, stability and performance, the Petrel Cruise itself is a modern luxury catamaran to provide more comfort and stability than most Galapagos cruises. Enjoy large, comfortable suites with modern bathrooms and your private balcony, a comfortable lounge and jacuzzi.
On Galapagos tours, the Petrel’s guides will focus on the incredible natural history of the islands and provide excellent wildlife opportunities. Enjoy spotting sea turtles, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, red-footed boobies, Darwin’s finches, whales, sea lions and more.
As an example of the itineraries, here is a summary of the Petrel Cruise 8-Day Galapagos Itinerary ‘B’. This starts from San Cristobal Island with an introduction to the island and the giant tortoises. The following day, explore Gardner Bay, Osborn Islet, and Suárez Point on Española Island to see beautiful scenery and the resident sea lions, lava lizards, and blue-footed boobies.
The next day, you will explore Floreana Island to see beautiful colored beaches, flamingos, many different birds, and enjoy incredible snorkeling opportunities. At one of the best Galapagos snorkeling sites, see colorful fish, sharks and different rays.
On Santa Cruz Island, you will visit the Charles Darwin Research Center to learn what the organization is doing to protect the islands and also to see different giant tortoises.
After this, you will explore Bartholomew Island for fascinating lava formations and learn about the island’s origins. You will also visit Genovesa Island, Santiago Island, and Mosquera Island to see marine iguanas, red-footed boobies, sea lions, sally lightfoot crabs and the beautiful beaches.
The Ocean Spray Galapagos Islands Cruise
The Ocean Spray Galapagos Cruise offers one of the top luxury cruises for the Galapagos Islands. Enjoy comfort and stability as you cruise from island to island enjoying incredible Galapagos islands tours.
Offering high performance, comfort and stability, the Ocean Spray Galapagos Cruise is an excellent choice for exploring the archipelago. Enjoy the large sundeck, jacuzzi and very spacious suites. Your suite also offers a private balcony so you don’t miss any of the spectacular views from the vessel.
Enjoy guided excursions led by expert naturalist guides as you explore the Galapagos Islands on guided trail walks, kayaking excursions, and snorkeling opportunities. You will see some incredible wildlife, including the giant tortoises, sea lions, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, whales and many colorful fish.
The itineraries you can choose range from 4-day options to a 15-day mega cruise for the most in depth exploration of the Galapagos.
As an example, here is a summary of the Ocean Spray 6 day cruise ‘B’ itinerary.
The 6-day cruise ‘B’ itinerary is a tour of the Central and Southern Islands including Santa Fe, Española, San Cristobal, and Floreana Island. Enjoy visiting the top visitor sites of the islands to see beautiful beaches, fascinating wildlife, and some of the most famous views.
Enjoy spotting an abundance of Galapagos wildlife on the trail walks, such as marine iguanas, sea lions, waved albatross, lava lizards, blue-footed boobies, and flamingoes.
As well as land visits, you can also enjoy some of the best snorkeling opportunities of the islands. Swim with sea turtles, marine iguanas, rays, tropical fish, and sea lions.
The Galapagos Habitat Hotel Package Tours
As a luxury hotel with some of the best wildlife viewing on the Galapagos Islands, the Galapagos Habitat Hotel is an excellent place to stay on Santa Cruz.
From the hotel, enjoy some beautiful views of the mangroves, Academy Bay and Puerto Ayora. You can even spot sea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas, pelicans, and frigatebirds from the Galapagos Habitat deck.
The Galapagos Habitat Hotel offers a choice of room categories. These include the superior suites and regular suites. From your room, enjoy views of the ocean or mangrove ecosystem.
Enjoy delicious cuisine in the Galapagos Habitat Hotel restaurant, which is operated in partnership with one of the best restaurants in the region. In addition to your included breakfast at Almar Restaurant, you can also choose to enjoy lunch or dinner on the hotel grounds.
Offering a range of dishes with an Ecuadorian and Argentinian influence, choose to dine-in some nights while enjoying the resident sea lions, marine iguanas, and exceptional views. Not just for hotel guests, Almar is available for all Santa Cruise visitors as one of the island’s top restaurants.
In addition to enjoying the Galapagos Habitat Hotel, you can choose some different package itineraries to explore the Galapagos Islands. Enjoy guided tours of some top attractions on Santa Cruz Island itself then venture farther out to different islands. Enjoy spotting a range of wildlife on guided tours, including the blue-footed boobies, flamingos, giant tortoises, sea lions, and marine iguanas in addition to beautiful bays and scenery.
The Camila Galapagos Islands Cruise
Another excellent choice for a luxury cruise of the Galapagos Islands, the Camila offers a luxury-class catamaran for guided tours of the islands.
Aboard the Camila Cruise, you can choose from four, five, and eight day itineraries for fantastic exploration of the islands.
As an example of the cruise and tour, here is a summary of the 4-day itinerary.
The Camila Galapagos 4-day cruise is focused on San Cristobal Island, Española, and Santa Cruz. You will begin on San Cristobal, the largest of the Galapagos Islands, to see the fantastic amount of sea birds and sea lions.
Visit some of the top wildlife destinations of the Galapagos Islands to see iconic birds, including red-footed boobies, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, sea lions and marine iguanas.
Enjoy seeing Kicker Rock, a beautiful white sand beaches, and Osborn Islet where you can snorkel with the wildlife. In the water, stand a chance of spotting sea lions, surgeonfish, sea horses, and sea turtles.
As there are variations of itineraries, such as ‘A’ and ‘B’ versions, make sure you mention any specific interests directly to the cruise using the below link and contact bubble.
The Galapagos Islands & Amazon Combination Tour
For one of the best nature experiences in Ecuador, you can combine a luxury cruise of the Galapagos Islands with a stay at the luxurious La Selva Lodge in Ecuador’s Amazon Rainforest.
You will first enjoy a 3-day cruise of the Galapagos Islands to see the iconic wildlife. Enjoy a choice from the Ocean Spray or Cormorant mentioned above, which both feature very comfortable living and relaxation areas. Both vessels are equipped with spacious suites, jacuzzi, and private balconies. Each also has kayaking and snorkeling equipment to explore both the land and marine areas.
Enjoy spotting rays, tropical fish, hammerheads, reef sharks, sea lions, and sea turtles in the water then turn to the land to enjoy beautiful beaches, scenery and land-living animals and plants. Enjoy spotting marine iguanas, sea lions, giant tortoises at the research station, and a diversity of birds.
After the Galapagos, enjoy a visit to the fantastic La Selva Lodge & Spa for an unforgettable experience of the Amazon Rainforest.
Enjoy your very comfortable suite, canopy tower, and guided tours in the surrounding rainforest. Enjoy spotting several different monkeys, have canoe tours in the waterways, and see a diversity of colorful birds. To fully enjoy the rainforest, you can also choose a massage as the perfect way to relax after some incredible excursions.
The Amazon Galapagos Combo TourQuito, Ecuador
Currently, TourTheTropics.com cannot help you book this experience. However, you can visit the tour operator's website for more information.
The Eco Galaxy Cruise
The Eco Galaxy Cruise offers a first-class catamaran for exploring the Galapagos Islands. Explore the islands with expert guides to find some of the favorite Galapagos sights and wildlife.
As a small cruise vessel, there are eight cabins split between the upper and main deck. Your cabin contains your choice of comfortable twin or double bed, as well as a private bathroom with hot water, air-conditioning and both telephone and internet services.
The Eco Galaxy then provides social areas and a sundeck to relax when not on excursions. The sundeck is a great place to enjoy beautiful views with a cocktail or drink from the bar. You will then enjoy delicious meals in the elegantly styled dining room.
Enjoy exploring the Galapagos Islands with skilled guides to find the fascinating wildlife and land formations of the islands. Learn a little about Galapagos history, while enjoying beautiful beaches and scenery.
The Galaxy Cruise
The Galaxy Cruise is another first-class vessel for exploring the Galapagos. There are nine cabins split between the lower deck, main deck and upper deck.
In addition to your cabin, enjoy delicious meals in the dining room, a drink at the bar, the comfortable lounge and relax on the sundeck.
Your meals aboard the Galaxy Cruise will be a mix of Galapagos dishes, Ecuadorian recipes and international favorites.
On the cruise itineraries, explore the Galapagos Islands to find the many iconic animals, landforms and to enjoy the beautiful beaches and scenery. Enjoy different activities, including island walks, kayaking, wildlife watching, and snorkeling tours to explore the marine world.
The Nemo II Cruise
Offering a different type of cruise, the Nemo II is a motor-sail catamaran providing a fun and adventurous island-hopping cruise of the Galapagos. Note that this is a smaller cruise vessel than the Nemo III mentioned below.
Your accommodation aboard the Nemo II is your choice of a double or twin cabin. You can then enjoy relaxing social areas and delicious meals in the Nemo II dining room. Meals are freshly prepared with influences from the Galapagos Islands.
Your itineraries are then focused on the northern or southern islands where certified Galapagos guides will take you out on excursions to enjoy some fantastic wildlife and sights, including giant tortoises, blue-footed boobies, marine iguanas and more.
You can also enjoy snorkeling experiences to explore the marine areas to find colorful fish, sharks, rays and turtles.
The Nemo III Cruise
The Nemo III Cruise is a motor-sail catamaran offering a comfortable and adventurous experience of the Galapagos Islands.
The Nemo III can accommodate 15 passengers for a tour focusing on the northern or southern islands. Enjoy exploring the islands with skilled guides to find the famous animals, scenery and landforms of the Galapagos.
The cruise offers two 8-day itineraries focusing on the northern or southern islands. You can also join the cruise for a 4 or 5-days if you have less time available.
Your cabin aboard the Nemo III then offers double or twin cabins, private bathrooms with hot water, social areas, a sundeck and the jacuzzi. You will then enjoy freshly prepared meals in the dining room.
Summary of Top Galapagos Islands Tours
On the above Galapagos tours, you will enjoy many of the fantastic things to do on the Galapagos Islands. These include visiting the different islands, exploring areas famous for certain animals and plants, relaxing on beautiful beaches, learning about the fascinating history, and even shopping for quality souvenirs.
The Amazon Galapagos Combo TourQuito, Ecuador
Currently, TourTheTropics.com cannot help you book this experience. However, you can visit the tour operator's website for more information.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.