Wildlife holidays in the Galapagos Islands
Tell me about The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago of volcanic islands distributed around the equator in the Pacific Ocean, 972 km west of continental Ecuador, of which they are a part. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The islands and their surrounding waters form an Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a biological marine reserve. Discovered in 1535, when the vessel carrying the fourth Bishop of Panama, Tomas Berlanga, from central American to Peru blew off course, the islands today have a population of around 23,000.
Documented by Charles Darwin during the second Voyage of the Beagle in September 1835, the endemic and fearless wildlife of the Galapagos Islands today provides a unique and captivating experience for visiting naturalists, eco-tourists and photographers.
Our Galapagos Islands specialist recommends...
"Our ‘Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands’ holiday incorporates a 2-week cruise around the ‘Enchanted Isles’ in search of the unique wildlife of this magical archipelago. You could also add a 4-day extension to the Amazon Jungle."
NATURETREK TOURS TO THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
Naturetrek charters its own vessel, the 16-berth sailing schooner Cachalote, for two weeks duration several times a year. This length of cruise allows us to visit many more of the visitor sites than is possible during a standard one-week cruise. Air-conditioned throughout, with an exceptional crew and guide, Cachalote is an ideal base as we make an in-depth exploration of the Galapagos Islands, from the Darwin story, to volcanology and geology, swimming, snorkelling, wildlife photography, birding and botanising.
WHAT YOU'VE BEEN SAYING ABOUT OUR Galapagos Islands HOLIDAYS
The holiday was fantastic - it was beyond my expectations and the two guides were both outstanding and contributed hugely to making it a very special trip. Xavier was extremely knowledgeable about Quito, Ecuador and South American history, birds and wildlife in general. Nothing was too much trouble form him, a very intelligent and supportive guide, very enthusiastic too - a treasure! Juan was wonderful, non-stop enthusiasm about all wildlife and extremely knowledgeable about everything. He made the whole trip fun and exciting. The hotel in Quito was excellent and a nice place to acclimatise. The museums in Quito were excellent. The snorkelling was brilliant. A wonderful trip and yes, we will be using you again!
The tour guide guide, Darwin, was exemplory and the crew, also excellent. We had our 40th Wedding Anniversary whilst on board and our fellow guests and crew gave us a surprise celebration, complete with decorated cake! The whole holiday exceeded expectations and will be unforgettable.
The team on board the Cachalote was exceptional. The food was magnificent throughout. Xavier, our tour leader was highly knowledgeable, cheerful and able to resolve minor problems without most people realising that they existed! He was always on hand with help and encouragement. Our National Park guide, Juan, was the star of the show...his evening briefings became eagerly awaited performances. His knowledge of plants and volcanic formations was encyclopaedic and his love of the islands and his respect for the wildlife was obvious. The expeditions to the various island sites were pitched at the right level for us and most of the group. The visit to the Santa Cruz highlands was one of the highlights, and the varying wildlife and landscapes of the islands provided an amazing experience which we will always remember. Both of us enjoyed the day in the Antisana region, and the Sacha extension provided another magical experience. The lodge was superb and the guides again excelled.