About the Galapagos Islands

Top 5 Reasons to Take a Galapagos Vacation

A Distinctive Sense of Place

The Galapagos is a rare destination where you become accustomed to being surprised. Nothing quite compares to the joy of observing animals in the wild here, or the sense of wonder and privilege felt while spending time with animals who don't run or fly away when humans approach, and are truly unique treasures of our earth.

Composed almost exclusively of volcanic rock, the Galapagos Islands thrust their bleak profiles from the Pacific Ocean 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador. It was here that Darwin found the perfect conditions to formulate his evolutionary theory: that far from the ravages of the continents, life evolved into a strange sub-world of specialized creatures who adapted to their harsh environment in an amazing variety of ways.

Setting foot on barren coasts of fresh black lava frozen in its descent to the shoreline, you'll see why early explorers, whalers, and pirates likened the islands to an inferno on earth. But you'll quickly come to appreciate each island as a little "world unto itself" with its own distinctive character, terrain, climate, and wildlife. You'll come to see it as a comfortable place for its odd inhabitants to lay eggs, raise young, and feed on the abundant marine life swept here by cool Humboldt Currents. From the world's only seagoing lizards to flightless cormorants and penguins, inflatable frigate birds, clownish boobies, patriarchal tortoises and 13 species of Darwin finches, you'll enjoy thrilling encounters with animals, up-close and in large numbers, who are completely at ease among human visitors. And you're sure to come away inspired to protect them and their environment, one of the last great wild places.

Active Adventures with a Focus on Nature

The best way to experience a Galapagos vacation is by cruising between the enchanted islands. A limited number of small ships and yachts take tourists from island to island in the Galapagos. Unlike traditional luxury cruises in other parts of the world, our luxury Galapagos cruises lack crowds, assigned seats, lavish entertainment, and sailing for long periods at sea. Instead, we offer cruises for active individuals interested in the nature and animals of the islands, for those seeking wild places and soft adventure, with time to relax on the beach or swim and snorkel or dive.

Nature & Wildlife like Nowhere Else

Evolutionary wonders such as Darwin's finches, land and marine iguanas, and flightless cormorants, with Naturalist-guides illuminating their special features.

An incredible mix of polar and tropical species, from penguins and fur seals to flamingos and tropical fish.

Giant tortoises, waved albatrosses and sea turtles in some of their last habitats on earth.

Face-to-face encounters with animals and scientists at Darwin Research Station.

Masses of fearless seals, iguanas, and even birds who allowed us to snap photos up close.

Volcano summits, tortured lava flows, and impossibly blue sky and sea.

Snorkel with sea lions over coral reefs and submerged craters teeming with marine life.

Remote mangroves, pirate hideouts, cliffs and coasts, explored on tranquil panga excursions.

Inland lagoons and highlands with an astounding array of rare bird life.

Dramatic rock towers with diving boobies, acrobatic frigates and sea birds sweeping overhead.

Dolphins, whales, and rays seen while lunching and sunbathing up on deck.

...and so much more.

A New & Exciting Family Destination

For parents and grandparents eager to share their love of the natural world with children, our luxury Galapagos tours are designed to offer a safe and rewarding experience for all generations. We ensure families' comfort and safety in even the most remote places by our use of only the best cruise ships of their type, as well the most modern and well-equipped ground transport. With the wide range of cruise vessels now offered in the region, and the varied choices of itineraries, the Galapagos can be enjoyed by all ages as never before.

A Great "Week Away" Escape

The Galapagos are easy to visit, even as a quick week away-depart today and you can step onto your first Galapagos beach by tomorrow. While advance bookings are encouraged, we also welcome last-minute travelers whose schedules necessitate planning on short notice, if you're flexible as to ship choice. The only requirements are that visitors must be physically capable of going ashore in small craft (assisted by cruise staff) and wading through shallow water. And all visitors should genuinely love nature, for the main reason to visit the Galapagos is to experience the wildlife. With its focus on learning and active exploration, the Galapagos vacations are not for everyone. But for active people who genuinely love nature, the Galapagos are not to be missed.