Whether or not you envision an opulent 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 disturbing for those who make it so.
When to Go to the Galapagos Islands
The excellent news? Every season within the Galapagos Islands occupies roughly half the 12 months, with one (cool and dry) lasting from June to November, and the nice and cozy, moist season lasting from December by way of Could. The not-so-good information? Rain and warmth gained’t essentially spoil your journey, which suggests which you could’t resolve upon the most effective 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) will likely be loads greater throughout this era. However, the climate in mainland Ecuador is normally very completely different from no matter is occurring within the Galapagos, so for those who plan to journey elsewhere in Ecuador, this has the potential to have an effect on the timing of your journey.
High Issues to Do on Your Galapagos Journey
Take a Tortoise Tour
It’s no secret that big tortoises (embrace dearly-departed Lonesome George) are essentially the most well-known Galapagos islands animals. Nonetheless, they’re not the one recreation on the town, not to mention on Santa Cruz island, the place lots of them dwell (at Darwin Turtle Station and El Chato Turtle Reserve, particularly). Right here, you can even look forward to finding sea lions, iguanas and vibrant yellow Darwin’s finches, to call just some members of the varied 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 Seashore, whose black-lava sands contrasts with the sugar-colored ones you discover at Tortuga Bay Seashore, the place you will get up-close and private with some stunning 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 by way of ferry from Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz, Isabela is residence to a number of notable points of interest, together with the Wall of Tears (and the three-hour hike there), in addition to a Flamingo Lagoon close to Puerto Villamil city. When you’ve got a number of days to spend on Isabela, the most important of the Galapagos Islands, you must also go to the Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Heart.
Scuba Dive With (Protected) Sharks
In the case 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 secure! 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 will likely be on the dry-land portion of Isla San Cristóbal. Really, there’s a very good 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 seaside, or get pleasure from picturesque views out of your lodge within the harbor city of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, visiting San Cristóbal makes it exhausting to say goodbye to the Galapagos.
Can You Go to the Galapagos Islands With no Tour?
Whether or not you’ve began taking a look at boats or are merely shopping flights to Galapagos Islands from Guayaquil or Quito, you’ll in a short time understand that sure, it’s doable to journey independently within the Galapagos Islands. There are some caveats, nevertheless—and never simply the generally unpredictable schedules of boats that journey between the islands.
Particularly, you’ll must submit your baggage for inspection each on the mainland and upon arrival within the Galapagos Islands, to ensure you aren’t bringing in any factor that might endanger the fragile ecosystem. You’ll additionally want to purchase a “Transit Management Card” at your departure airport in mainland Ecuador, plus an entrance price of $100 if you arrive (your Galapagos Islands cruise firm will probably deal with these particulars for you, for those who’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.
Regardless of the issues to do in Ecuador you favor, sequencing is as vital 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. When you’ve got about two weeks in Ecuador, you would make your approach from Quito all the way down to Guayaquil over the course of a few 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 value it to go to the Galapagos?
The Galapagos Islands are completely value 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 certain to impress you and to exceed your biggest expectations.
How lengthy must you go to Galapagos?
Most vacationers go to the Galapagos islands for between 5-7 days, which permits them to go to 2-3 completely different islands within the Galapagos. Relying upon how lengthy you propose to spend in Ecuador and in South America as an entire, it’s possible you’ll select to spend kind of 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 in style locations in South America, it’s spectacular contemplating how exhausting it’s to achieve the islands, and the way spartan the lodging is when you get there.
The Backside Line
Are the Galapagos value visiting? I hope you’ve obtained extra readability about this query now than you probably did if you clicked on this publish. Ebook an organized cruise or tour and let one other group—and the cash you pay them—deal with 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 planet just like the Galapagos Islands.