Whether or not you envision an expensive Galapagos cruise whose operator curates the highlights of those biodiverse jewels, or a ramshackle, rambling expedition at your personal tempo—and by yourself phrases—a visit to the Galapagos Islands may be no matter you need it to be. It’s solely nerve-racking when you make it so.
When to Go to the Galapagos Islands
The excellent news? Every season within the Galapagos Islands occupies roughly half the yr, with one (cool and dry) lasting from June to November, and the nice and cozy, moist season lasting from December by way of Might. The not-so-good information? Rain and warmth gained’t essentially spoil your journey, which implies that you may’t determine upon the perfect time to go to Galapagos solely primarily based on climate.
In fact, the cool and dry season does are usually busier, which implies that costs on lodging (from Galapagos Islands resorts all the way in which all the way down to hostels) shall be quite a bit greater throughout this era. Then again, the climate in mainland Ecuador is normally very totally different from no matter is occurring within the Galapagos, so when you plan to journey elsewhere in Ecuador, this has the potential to have an effect on the timing of your journey.
Prime Issues to Do on Your Galapagos Journey
Take a Tortoise Tour
It’s no secret that enormous tortoises (embrace dearly-departed Lonesome George) are essentially the most well-known Galapagos islands animals. Nonetheless, they’re not the one sport on the town, not to mention on Santa Cruz island, the place lots of them stay (at Darwin Turtle Station and El Chato Turtle Reserve, particularly). Right here, you too can anticipate finding sea lions, iguanas and shiny yellow Darwin’s finches, to call only a few members of the various neighborhood of fauna.
Go to Isla Santa Cruz’s Volcanoes
Nor are the Galapagos (or Isla Santa Cruz, particularly) solely about animal life. All kinds of vegetation that ranges from palms to cacti, and landscapes vary from the well-known Galapagos volcano Gemelos (which is definitely two volcanos) to Garrapatero Seaside, whose black-lava sands contrasts with the sugar-colored ones you discover at Tortuga Bay Seaside, the place you will get up-close and private with some lovely blue-footed boobies.
Immerse Your self in Isla Isabela
Isla Isabela is a spot many individuals go to throughout their Galapagos journey, however in some methods it’s essentially the most understated of the principle islands. Accessible through ferry from Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz, Isabela is residence to a number of notable sights, together with the Wall of Tears (and the three-hour hike there), in addition to a Flamingo Lagoon close to Puerto Villamil city. You probably have a couple of days to spend on Isabela, the biggest of the Galapagos Islands, you also needs to go to the Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Heart.
Scuba Dive With (Secure) Sharks
On the subject of Galapagos diving, there are few higher locations to go than Kicker Rock, which sits off the coast of Isla San Cristóbal. Across the base of this extinct volcanic cone, which is nearly as good for snorkeling as it’s for scuba, are reef sharks—don’t fear, they’re completely protected! You’ll additionally see stingrays, sea lions, sea turtles and dozens of species of reef fish, to say nothing of all the ocean birds that make their residence on the monolith itself.
Savor Isla San Cristóbal
The final place you’ll wish to cease in your Galapagos itinerary shall be on the dry-land portion of Isla San Cristóbal. Really, there’s likelihood it gained’t be the final cease, but it surely’s epic sufficient to meet this position. Whether or not you bike amid the ocean lion colonies of La Loberia seashore, or get pleasure from picturesque views out of your resort within the harbor city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, visiting San Cristóbal makes it arduous to say goodbye to the Galapagos.
Can You Go to the Galapagos Islands With no Tour?
Whether or not you’ve began boats or are merely searching flights to Galapagos Islands from Guayaquil or Quito, you’ll in a short time understand that sure, it’s potential to journey independently within the Galapagos Islands. There are some caveats, nonetheless—and never simply the generally unpredictable schedules of boats that journey between the islands.
Particularly, you’ll have to submit your baggage for inspection each on the mainland and upon arrival within the Galapagos Islands, to be sure you aren’t bringing in any factor that would endanger the fragile ecosystem. You’ll additionally want to purchase a “Transit Management Card” at your departure airport in mainland Ecuador, plus an entrance charge of $100 whenever you arrive (your Galapagos Islands cruise firm will doubtless handle these particulars for you, when you’re occurring a tour).
Different Locations to Go to in Ecuador
Planning the remainder of your Ecuador itinerary is way simpler by comparability than the Galapagos, whether or not you prioritize cities like coastal Guayaquil and the colonial-fabulous capital of Quito, spend time within the journey capital of Baños or enterprise into the jungles of the Amazon or underrated seashores on the mainland.
No matter the issues to do in Ecuador you favor, sequencing is as necessary as the place you find yourself going. Personally, I’d suggest visiting the Galapagos after you’ve traveled elsewhere in Ecuador in order that your journey isn’t anticlimactic. You probably have about two weeks in Ecuador, you can make your method from Quito all the way down to Guayaquil over the course of a couple of week, then fly from Guayaquil to Baltra and observe the plan I’ve set out right here.
Different FAQ About Visiting the Galapagos Islands
Is it price it to go to the Galapagos?
The Galapagos Islands are completely price a visit! Whether or not you come for wildlife like tortoises and blue-footed boobies, or for gorgeous geography like Kicker Rock, these notorious islands are positive to impress you and to exceed your biggest expectations.
How lengthy do you have to go to Galapagos?
Most vacationers go to the Galapagos islands for between 5-7 days, which permits them to go to 2-3 totally different islands within the Galapagos. Relying upon how lengthy you intend to spend in Ecuador and in South America as an entire, you could select to spend roughly time within the Galapagos Islands.
Do vacationers go to the Galapagos islands?
Roughly 150,000 vacationers visited the Galapagos islands in 2019. Whereas that is far lower than many different well-liked locations in South America, it’s spectacular contemplating how arduous it’s to achieve the islands, and the way spartan the lodging is when you get there.
The Backside Line
Are the Galapagos price visiting? I hope you’ve bought extra readability about this query now than you probably did whenever you clicked on this submit. Guide an organized cruise or tour and let one other group—and the cash you pay them—handle the main points, or journey independently by way of the Galapagos Islands, whether or not you tough it backpacker-style, or select extra luxurious transport and lodging. Whether or not you prioritize time with tortoises, uncover native tradition and scuba dive round Kicker Rock, there’s actually nowhere on the earth just like the Galapagos Islands.