Adventure Travel to the Galápagos Islands

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Curated By

Sandy Kirk

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  • Ecuador

  • Galápagos Islands

  • Active Travel

  • Adventure Travel

  • International Travel

  • Tropical Vacations

  • Bucket List Worthy

  • Island

  • Wildlife

Cactus tree next to a body of water during daytime
Curator’s statement

The Galapagos is a truly unique and off-the-grid destination. One where you can swim with and observe a huge variety of wildlife — from penguins to dolphins to sea lions and everything in between! Once viewed as a destination only for retired travelers, the Galapagos truly has something for everyone and is a great place for honeymoon, groups of friends and families. Plan on being off the grid with cell service only available on habituated islands.

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Insider knowledge

Expert advice from people who’ve actually been there

Where to stay on the Galápagos Islands

Pikaia Lodge

Galapagos' most exclusive lodgings with chic style, respect for nature, and the perfect anchor for exploration.

Fora Perks
  • Breakfast daily.

  • Complimentary 50 minute massage for two.

  • Upgrade & extended check-in/out whenever possible.

Angermeyer Waterfront Inn

A truly unique hotel in the Galapagos with organic-style architecture located directly on the waterfront.

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Unlock perks by contacting Sandy to book your trip.

Things to do on the Galápagos Islands

Tortoise swimming in the water

The overwhelming part of the Galapagos is that there are so many things to do! These are must see destinations but there are so many destinations depending on your interests. In the Galapagos, your days will be spent hiking, snorkeling and learning about the unique ecosystem you are visiting. 

Santa Cruz: Go to a giant tortious reserve and get up close with these ancient creatures. If you are adventurous, try squeezing into one of the tortious shells on display. 

Rabida Island: A stunningly beautiful island with a red sand beach. After saying hi to the sea lions on the beach, hike up to the top for a beautiful view. 

Bartholomew Island: The view from this island is infamous and is what you will see in most images of the Galapagos.

Sullivan Bay: A great place to try and swim with penguins if your itinerary doesn't allow you to go further north.

Kicker Rock: A rock formation that provides a beautiful view and area for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Notes on Traveling to the Galapagos

You will be participating in several water activities each day, should you choose to, and clothes do not dry quickly so this is your excuse to overpack the swimsuits!

Choosing a ship: Small ships offer a greater sense of community as there are normally about 16 passengers and 1 guide. This means you will get to know each passenger throughout the trip as all excursions are completed as a group. Large ships have around 100 passengers and numerous guides. This allows them to offer a more diverse range of activities. This is a great option for those looking to go on specific excursions or if mobility is a concern. 

If you want to a specific animal (i.e hammerhead sharks) make sure you disclose this to your travel agent. They can ensure the itinerary will take you to a location that gives you a high probability of seeing what you want since some animals are only found in specific islands.

Come prepared with sea sickness medicine as the waters can be rough and the ships are much smaller than typical cruise ships meaning you will feel the movement more.

Catamarans are more stable than single hull boats and may be a better choice if you are concerned about sea sickness.

If you are looking to scuba dive you either need to do a live-aboard cruise or spend a few extra days on land and go out for day trips. An advanced certification is required to participate.

Places to eat & drink on the Galápagos Islands

Adventure Travel to the Galápagos Islands - Places to eat & drink

Cruise ships and most resorts are all inclusive and your meals will be included in the trip price. However, if you have a few extra days to spend on Santa Cruz Island, these are the spots to know about:

Santa Cruz Brewery: If you have extra time before your flight this is a great place to hang out and try a local beer.

Finch Bay Restaurant: Any upscale eatery that is part of the Finch Bay Resort — another great reason to stay at the property!

Galapagos Deli: A great lunch spot for affordable and approachable food.

Need to Know

The Galapagos are location on the equator and the sun is STRONG. Bring plenty of sunscreen and a hat / other protective clothing with you as you may not have time to purchase upon arrival.

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Travel Advisor

Sandy Kirk

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