The Galapagos Archipelago is a wonderland of extraordinary wildlife species, colourful snorkeling, bright sunshine and picture-perfect beaches. With so many options, how does one go about selecting a Galapagos Islands tour that’s just right for you? Often travellers have been reading about and dreaming of visiting these enchanted islands for many years. Expert Galapagos travel agent, Christine Boecker will ensure you have the very best experience.
When to Travel to the Galapagos Islands
Because the Galapagos Islands are equatorial, any time is good to visit these lava-formed islands.
If you prefer warmer temperatures, you may consider visiting between January and May. The water is more temperate for snorkeling at this time of year, yet you might also encounter some light rain. This rain is warm and over in minutes so your exploration of the islands is never interrupted.
From June onwards the water temperature falls, so you may consider bringing a snorkel shirt and/or snorkel pants (available at sporting goods stores) to wear under the shortie wetsuit (available for rent aboard your ship, or from the hotel).
The temperatures listed below are in Fahrenheit.
Temperatures: Daytime Nighttime Water
January – May 85 – 89 70 – 75 75 – 82
June – December 75 – 80 65 – 70 62 – 68
The animal species exhibit different behaviors at certain times of year, for example blue-footed boobies do their famous mating dance between April to July and then again in October/November. Marine iguanas exhibit bright colors from January to March. Black frigate birds inflate their red throat pouches during their breeding season which is from March to June.
Something wonderful is always happening in the Galapagos and if you have particular animal interests, we will certainly help you select a time frame and itinerary that will give you the best hope of experiencing them for yourself.
There are three sizes of ships in the Galapagos: small at 16-20 passengers, mid-size at 30-50 passengers, and large at 80-100 passengers, and they range in style from luxury to superior tourist class.
A smaller ship will allow you to anchor close to the islands with easy access to the shore. You’ll get to know your fellow passengers, while the larger vessels offer more anonymity and perhaps a more diverse set of passengers.
The higher the ship category, the better the quality of cabins and meals but also guides – which enhanced your experience tenfold.
Whether you are celebration a special occasion like a honeymoon or anniversary, or travelling with your children, our first-hand knowledge will match you with just the right cruise, be it a luxury catamaran, a mono-hulled yacht or a larger cruise ship.
Many ships offer sea kayaking, and all cruises offer access to the remarkable undersea world of the Galapagos by snorkeling. Some ships include a glass-bottom boat for those who prefer to stay dry while viewing the colorful and diverse marine life.
If the education program is a main focus of your trip, we will search out a ship with guides who have gone through additional training programs via the Galapagos National Park.
For landlubbers we offer our very popular land-based programs on the islands with a choice of hotel accommodations, an excellent option for those sensitive to ship travel or for families with small children who might not be comfortable aboard ships. Some land-based trips also offer high-energy activities such as mountain biking, kayaking or rigorous hikes.
TRΛVELBOECKER ΛDVENTURES can also arrange scuba diving in the Galapagos, a cold water destination for the more experienced divers.
Ask yourself how many days you would like to spend in the islands whilst considering these options:
- Galapagos Classic
Our classic Galapagos trips take 7-8 days and allow you to explore the islands and experience the diversity of wildlife species that captivated Charles Darwin.
- Encounter completely different species from island to island, snorkel 1-2 times daily, and hear stories of the rough and ready adventurers that settled in the Galapagos. With travel time from North America, these trips are 10-11 days total.
- Galapagos In-Depth
Birdwatchers, biologists, and others fascinated by Galapagos flora and fauna should consider a longer trip up to 15 days, which will allow you to visit all of the islands.
- Galapagos In-Brief
We recommend a minimum of 5 or 6 days in the islands, which might suit families with younger children and people on a tight schedule. Any less than that seems very short after travelling such a long distance, and is not recommended unless combined with a land program.
Since we work with the owners of most of the vessels and hotels, we can give you unbiased expert opinions based on our experience and your individual travel preferences, when choosing your Galapagos Islands Tour. Our itineraries include wildlife sightings such as:
Green Sea Turtle
Magnificent Frigate Bird
Sally Lightfoot Crab
So whether your kids are excited about swimming with sea lions or you’re determined to add the Humboldt penguin to your birder’s life list, we can help you select a ship and itinerary that’s just right for you.
Having recently explored this archipelago ourselves, Christine at TRΛVELBOECKER ΛDVENTURES will consider all of these factors when selecting the perfect Galapagos Islands tour experience to suit your travel budget and desired style of travel.