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Galapagos Islands

 

A visit to the Galapagos Islands can be one of those genuinely life-changing and life-affirming experiences in travel.

The Galapagos Islands consist of a small volcanic island archipelago off the Pacific Coast of Ecuador, home to many unique species of wildlife and an outstanding destination for those interested in nature and wildlife.

Galapagos Cruises are a very popular way to tour the islands and a great way to get to the more remote islands in the Galapagos.

Land based tours are a a great option also for those looking for a more economical Galapagos tour.

 

Discover Galapagos Islands

Royal Palm Galapagos

Stylish boutique hotel with private villas in a quiet location, 15 minutes drive from Puerto Ayora.

Quiet Location
Boutique Villa Hotel
3 Nights from
£1395pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Hotel Albemarle

Mediterranean-style beachfront hotel in Puerto Villamil. Spacious rooms and garden area with private pool.

Isabela Island
Ideal for Snorkelling
3 Nights from
£1435pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Iguana Crossing Boutique Hotel

Iguana Crossing is a chic and stylish beachfront hotel in the Galápagos Islands surrounded by endemic vegetation.

Isabela Island
Chic Boutique Hotel
4 Nights from
£1620pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

La Casa de Marita

Boutique beachfront hotel located in Puerto Villamil, on Isabela Island. Enjoy breath-taking sea views from your hammock.

Isabela Island
Beachfront Boutique Hotel
3 Nights from
£1660pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Angermeyer Waterfront Inn

First class Galapagos hotel built around Gus Angermeyer’s legendary cave with spacious rooms.

Base for Exploring
Tranquil Surroundings
4 Nights from
£1895pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge

Red Mangrove Isabela Lodge is located right by the beach. It offers all-inclusive packages with meals and land and sea based activities.

Isabela Island
All-Inclusive Package
3 Nights from
£2225pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge

Enjoy 4 days exploring Santa Cruz and Isabela Island. You will be based at the Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge, in Santa Cruz Island.

Santa Cruz & Isabela Islands
All-Inclusive Package
3 Nights from
£2325pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Galapagos Safari Camp

Eco-luxury tented-camp in the Galapagos on a highland ridge in Santa Cruz, ideal for couple or families.

Breakfast & Dinner Included
Luxury Tented Camp
5 Nights from
£2435pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Finch Bay Eco Hotel

Eco-focused 27 room and suite hotel offering Fully Inclusive packages including set day-sailing departures and land tours.

All Inclusive Packages
True Eco-Hotel
4 Nights from
£2495pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Guantanamera Yacht

The Guantanamera is the ideal boat for travellers looking for a small and nice motor boat to visit the Galapagos Islands.

Affordable Galapagos Cruise
Bird Lovers Favourite
9 Nights from
£2685pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Sea Star Journey

Luxury Galapagos Cruise aboard a wonderful yacht combining privacy and comfort with superb Galapagos experiences.

Cruise in Style
Discover 5 Islands
4 Nights from
£2825pp
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Roundtrip Galapagos Flight

Galapagos Cruise - Tip Top II

This Luxury First Class Catamaran offers the highest level of comfort and the best experience in the Islands. 

First Class Galapagos Cruise
Luxury Motor Catamaran
9 Nights from
£3785pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Seaman Journey

The Seaman Journey is an expeditionary first class catamaran that began sailing the Galapagos Islands in January 2008.

Ideal for Adventurous Travellers
In-depth Galapagos Cruise
10 Nights from
£4480pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Sailing Ship Mary Anne

Elegant 66-metre Barquentine offering a superb and luxurious way of sailing the Galapagos Islands on a 9 night Galapagos Cruise holiday.

Romantic Galapagos Journey
Elegant Barquentine
9 Nights from
£4495pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Galapagos Cruise - Ocean Spray

The Ocean Spray is one of the finest catamarans navigating in the islands. It offers elegant cabins with private balcony.

Luxury Galapagos Cruise
Cabin with Private Balcony
9 Nights from
£5595pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Galapagos Land Based

Spend 3 nights on Santa Cruz and enjoy two full days sailing and a full day land excursion.

Meals, Guide, Sailing Excursions
Sailing & Land excursions
3 Nights from
£1835pp
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Flight Inclusive from mainland

Galapagos Cruise - Guantanamera

Affordable option to cruise the Galapagos on board the Guantanamera Yacht.

Affordable Galapagos Cruise
Bird Lovers Favourite
9 Nights from
£2685pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Galapagos Cruise - Sea Star Journey

Cruise the breath-taking Galapagos. Spend 4 nights and 5 days discovering amazing wildlife and birdlife on this beautiful archipelago.

Luxury Galapagos Cruise
Discover 5 Islands
4 Nights from
£2825pp
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Package from Quito

Galapagos Cruise - Tip Top II

This Luxury First Class Catamaran offers the highest level of comfort and one of the very best cruises in the Galapagos. 

First Class Galapagos Cruise
Luxury Motor Catamaran
9 Nights from
£3785pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Galapagos Island Hopping

A week-long program in the Galapagos including day trips at sea, luxury tents up in the highlands of Isabela Island and remote places with rare wildlife.

Best Island Hopping Package
Isabela & Santa Cruz Islands
9 Nights from
£3890pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Galapagos Honeymoon

Luxury Galapagos Honeymoon cruise.

Explore 8 different islands and discover the Galapagos with Seaman Cruises.

Galapagos Luxury Honeymoon
In-depth Galapagos Cruise
7 Nights from
£3995pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Galapagos Cruise - Mary Anne

Elegant 66-metre Barquentine offering a superb and luxurious way of sailing the Galapagos Islands on a 7 night Galapagos Cruise.

Elegant Sailing Vessel
Galapagos Sailing Holiday
9 Nights from
£4395pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Galapagos Cruise - Seaman Journey

Explore 8 different islands and discover the Galapagos with Seaman Cruises, one of the best boutique cruises in the Galapagos.

Ideal for Adventurous Travellers
In-depth Galapagos Cruise
10 Nights from
£4525pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Machu Picchu & Galapagos Cruise

Iconic journey into the heart of the Inca Empire combined with a Galapagos cruise - the adventure of a lifetime.

Inca Empire & Amazing Wildlife
Incas & Galapagos Islands
12 Nights from
£5072pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Galapagos Cruise - Ocean Spray

The Ocean Spray is one of the finest catamarans cruising the Galapagos, with elegant cabins all with private balconies.

Luxury Galapagos Cruise
Cabin with Private Balcony
9 Nights from
£5595pp
View
Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Galapagos & Amazon Cruise

Enjoy pristine nature and amazing wildlife. 20 days exploring the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon River on board 2 luxury cruises. 

Luxury Galapagos & Amazon Cruise
Nature & Wildlife
19 Nights from
£6525pp
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Flight Inclusive Price from UK

Cruising the Galapagos is the optimal way to discover the best of the archipelago in the shortest amount of time.

Cruising in the Galapagos between the islands is almost always done at night, allowing guests more time to experience land or sea based activities during the day – it really is the best way for most visitors to see the Galapagos.

Numerous Galapagos cruises run a set route with itineraries of 4, 5, 6, 8,11 or 15-days. Sailing routes are set by the local authorities, with no deviations permitted, so choosing an itinerary is really a matter of choice of vessel and the duration.

Cruises normally include two daily excursions guided by a Galapagos National Park Guide.

Depending on the chosen vessel, kayaking, snorkelling and even occasional diving may be part of the daily activities.

Luxury Galapagos cruises include the terrific Ocean Spray or yachts such as the Seaman Journey.

More affordable options include the Guantanamera or sailing boats such as the Mary Anne. 

Most ships sailing the Galapagos are smaller in nature, and for a more intimate experience, the 12 to 16 passengers yachts are perfect.

Cruise ships (with 50 to 100 passengers) offer more space and activities for families and are still a great way of getting close to the amazing wildlife of Galapagos.

Sailing the Galapagos is a truly unique experience and being aboard a fully rigged elegant barquentine such as the Mary Anne is one of the best ways to cruise the Galapagos.

Last but not least, island-hopping and land-based tours are great options for those who prefer to interact with the local communities and stay overnight in hotels.

A land-based Galapagos tour is certainly more economical than a Galapagos cruise but can be equally as rewarding if carefully planned.

Another great option in the Galapagos of course is diving, and the Galapagos Ecological marine reserve is simply a paradise for divers.

At Jasmine Holidays we offer a great selection of boutique Galapagos cruises and we can combine these with whatever mainland itinerary you are interested in.

If you are looking for a particular yacht or would like some advice on which Galapagos cruise is best for you, just let us know and a Galapagos Expert will get in touch with you.

Call us now on 0333 7000 747

Click to enquire by email

We're open from 9 until 9 daily and our 0333 number is a local rate number included in most call packages.

 

 

Every one of the Galapagos' official visitor sites has something unique to offer.

You will be able to experience the best wildlife in the Galapagos - sea lions, marine iguanas, lava lizards, endemic birds - on the majority of islands, so don't worry about missing a particular island or other.

Here are a few of the most popular spots.

Bartolome (Bartholomew)

Bartolome Island is situated across Sullivan Bay. It has a high point of 114 metres, with stunning views of volcanic cones, lunar-like craters, lava fields, and the famous Toba formed pinnacle eroded by the sea.

There is very little vegetation on this island, but the island has two breath-taking beaches where marine turtles live as well as a very small colony of Galapagos penguins.

Champion Islet

Champion Islet's waters transform into an aquarium teeming with life during September and October, when the water temperatures drop.

Sea plants thrive here, which brings the marine creatures and in turn the sea birds.

Sea lions, especially the curious juveniles often zip past and around the awkward humans in fins and masks - it's a great snorkelling spot.

Española (Hood)

Española is the southernmost island of the archipelago, home to the famed waved albatross, a child-sized bird with an eight-foot wingspan.

According to the Galapagos Conservancy, every year the entire world's population of adult Waved Albatrosses returns to Española during the nesting season from April to December. 

Fernandina

Fernandina is the Galapagos' youngest and westernmost island, best known for its not-infrequent volcanic eruptions, the most recent of which was in 2009.

Fernandina is situated at the locus of the "hot spot" that created, and is still creating and shaping, the Galapagos.

Step across lava flows and around the huge population of land iguanas here and you will gain a great understanding of the geological origins of the Galapagos.

Floreana (Charles)

Floreana is home to the Galapagos' famous barrel-cum-mailbox at Post Office Bay.

For centuries, those visiting the famous Ecuadorian isles relied on the unspoken duty of fellow pirates and whalers to get letters to an intended destination.

A mariner would leave a dispatch, then pick through the stack for missives he could personally deliver (travel schedule allowing).

The tradition continues today; cruise passengers visiting the site can leave and take postcards from a (modern) barrel.

Genovesa

This is a favourite island for birdwatchers: red footed-boobies, masked boobies, wandering tattlers, lava gulls, whimbrels, yellow-crowned and black-crowned lava herons and yellow warblers can all be seen in the area.

Isabela Island (Albemarle)

Named after Queen Isabela, this island is the largest of all of the Galapagos Islands, with 4,640 square kilometres of land area.

Shaped like a seahorse, Isabela Island was formed out of six large volcanoes.

Isabela also houses Puerto Villamil, one of the largest settlements in the Galapagos.

Isabela is also home to many endemic species, including the Galapagos tortoise.

North Seymour

North Seymour is an uplifted (as opposed to volcanic) island and so is generally flat and strewn with boulders.

There are good nesting sites here for a large population of magnificent frigate birds.

Blue-footed boobies perform their courtship dance in the more open areas and swallow-tailed gulls perch on the cliff edges.

Despite the tremendous surf that can pound the outer shore, sea lions haul out onto the beach and can be found bodysurfing. 

Rabida Island (Jervis)

Rabida makes a bold statement when you arrive at its iron-rich red beach.

Just inland is a brackish lagoon where visitors frequently see flamingos, heads plunged underwater to spoon up crustaceans and algae with their bowl-like beaks.

San Cristobal (Chatham)

San Cristobal is named after St. Christopher, the patron saint of sea voyagers, but its other name, Chatham Island, comes from the name of an English earl.

This island’s area is 558 square kilometres, and was the first island Charles Darwin visited in 1835.

San Cristobal is rich not only in wildlife but also abundant in vegetation and trees and is also where Laguna El Junco (the largest lake of the Galapagos) is located.

The capital of the province, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, can also be found here.

As one of the main islands of Galapagos, San Cristobal is the only other island which has an airport, along with Baltra

Santa Cruz Island (Indefatigable)

This island features the Galapagos' most populous "city," Puerto Ayora, and is the island chain's main tourism hub.

The island offers visitors the only chance to experience the Galapagos' interior highlands, one of a few places to spot giant tortoises in their natural habitat.

The Charles Darwin Research Center, a visit to which is included on every cruise, is also located there.

Sombrero Chino (Chinese Hat)

This is a small islet (1 sq. km) located just off the south-eastern tip of Santiago Island.

It is a recent volcanic cone, shaped like a Chinese hat when seen from north side.

On the west you can see lava formations, formed under the sea and raised upward, which is why coral heads are found on the lava.

This is an excellent place to visit for the interpretation of geological features such as lava tubes and lava flows.

This is a great place to see sea lion colonies, marine iguanas, and Galapagos penguins.

South Plaza Island

South Plaza encompasses less than one-tenth of a mile in area and is one of the Galapagos' smallest visitor sites.

But the tiny island, which was formed by volcanic uplift, makes a powerful impression with its colour-changing ground vegetation, sea birds and colony of Galapagos land iguanas.

A comical sight here are the male iguanas which can often be seen standing guard in front of a cactus tree, waiting patiently to provide a hungry female with a piece of prickly fruit. 

High Season in the Galapagos is generally between mid June to early September and from mid December to mid January, when the Humboldt Current brings nutrient rich cooler water to the Galapagos.

Things can be busy at this time of year, especially over Christmas and New Year, where it pays to book many months in advance to ensure availability for hotels or cruises in the Galapagos.

Temperatures between June and early December tend to reach a maximum of 26ºC. Although days can often be overcast rain is rare.

Water temperatures are usually cooler, making snorkelling without a wetsuit a little uncomfortable for most.

The diving is great at this time of year however, with the nutrient rich water.

Winds can be stronger at this time of year and consequently, sea crossings may be a little bit choppier.

Between December and May things are a little bit warmer, with temperatures heading up to the mid or high 20's and sea temperatures are usually comfortable for snorkelling without a wetsuit.

A little rain may be expected during this time of year, usually in the form of a light shower.

Winds and seas are usually calm during this season.

February and March are usually the hottest months in the Galapagos, which is a season when the vegetation can be at its lushest.

It is also mating time for many bird species and nesting season for turtles.

Once you arrive in the Islands you will have plenty of opportunity to participate in activities including swimming, snorkelling and sea kayaking.

It’s really up to you how much or little you want to participate in activities as opposed to relaxing, but don't be afraid to get into the water - the snorkelling can be magnificent.

Photography is a highlight of any trip to the Galapagos. The best advice is to bring a camera and a format that you are familiar with and know will give you the results you are looking for.

A GoPro of course is a great addition to your photographic armoury particularly for underwater scenes.

If you want to try something new, take time to become familiar with your gear before you head out on the trip.

Keep in mind that the facility for recharging when on cruise is sometimes limited, so itss a good idea to invest in some long life batteries.

Sand and seawater are the enemies of any optical or electronic instrument. Keep this in mind when considering what to bring.

A good practice to take any photographic equipment is to bring large high quality zip lock bags with a zipper locks to keep your camera in, especially when crossing to shore. (Bring a few, as they are hard to dry out or clean once wet).

When photographing wildlife in the Galapagos it's important to be respectful and considerate to the wildlife.

What should I bring?   

  • Comfortable walking or hiking shoes with good traction
  • Sandals are good for hiking the island beaches and you don't have to worry if you get your feet wet
  • Flip-flops are acceptable but are not good for hiking though they are good on deck
  • Windshield (ideal for the islands) and/or light rain jacket or poncho with hood
  • Hiking shorts
  • Sun hat or cap
  • Bandana
  • Sun glasses with security strap
  • Lightweight full length pants either synthetic or cotton are fine and great for cooler nights in the highlands or islands
  • Medium to light fleece jacket or fleece sweater (wool is fine too)
  • Cotton sweat shirt
  • T-Shirts / Polo shirts / Light blouses
  • A long sleeve shirt or blouse for cooler evenings and sun protection.
  • Bringing a couple of swimsuits is a good idea
  • Lightweight neoprene wetsuit for snorkellers or divers: This is for times when the water is colder and allows you to spend more time in the water.

A less expensive substitute to a wetsuit is long underwear made from a water resistant fibre such as capilene. You can also enquire about renting a wetsuit or body glove.

For casual snorkelling, vessels carry enough snorkels, masks and fins on-board. Divers should bring their own equipment to ensure performance during deep dives.

Seasickness

While Galapagos waters tend toward calm, there are at least two crossings during the typical cruise. 

In case you are susceptible to sea sickness or if currents get higher than usual, we recommend bringing along medication for seasickness, just in case.