• Man with Sea Lion in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador with AFAR logo

    Galápagos: The Best Wildlife Encounter

    On March 3, 2019, we&#39;ll be celebrating World Wildlife Day! And there&#39;s no better place to experience wildlife than in <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">The Galápagos Islands</a>.<br><br>When you go nature-watching with <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a> in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Galápagos</a>, nature watches right back. And you might as well accept right now that you will be powerless to resist the head-on, whisker-twitching stare of a baby sea lion. You and your sea kayak are reflected in those giant dark eyes. You’re on her turf — or should we say surf? — and she could slip under the surface and zip away in a flash. But your <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank">naturalist guide</a> will let you know that the pup and the rest of her extended family are actually happy to hang out with you. That’s what makes this the best wildlife encounter. Ever.<br><br>In many parts of the world, the creatures that attract nature-lovers are simply too rare or skittish or well-camouflaged or nocturnal to assure you a slam-dunk viewing experience. Not so in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Galápagos</a>. The blue-footed boobies and giant land tortoises and penguins you came to see are eminently see-able if you’re in the right spots with the right people. When you’re with <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys</a>, you can relax, knowing that you will get the bucket-list wildlife interactions you came for. That’s what earned us the recognition from<a href="https://www.afar.com/magazine/travelers-choice-awards-2018-the-top-trips-for-every-traveler" target="_blank"> AFAR Magazine</a>.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SE7&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BVc" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>When Darwin first arrived on the Beagle, that was the only way to see the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Galápagos</a>. Today, most tourists still arrive on cruise ships. They head to shore on their Zodiacs (twice a day) and back to the confines of the boat (twice a day). That barely gives them a total of four hours of exploration time each day. By contrast, your island-based group will settle into <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/hotels/" target="_blank">luxury boutique hotels</a> on the islands. <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/" target="_blank">On a Classic Journey</a>, you get more elbow room and more chances to spot wildlife all day long ... in fact, 24 hours a day!<br><br>Even better, you’ll be in the full-time company of amazingly knowledgeable and fun<a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank"> local</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/local-tour-guides/" target="_blank"> guides</a> who are highly trained and licensed naturalists.  This is their natural habitat, too, and they know the coves and lava tunnels and volcanic slopes where the iguanas and flamingos roam. In a  small, mobile group it’s easier to get to more remote, less-visited sites that the cruise ship flotilla can’t reach. For example, cruisers default to a conveniently located wildlife center to cluster around giant land tortoises. You, on the other hand,  get to go to the highland watering hole where the 500-pound beasts live,  and you’ll get close enough to hear them breathe and chomp on grass.  The face you capture in a ground-level photo could be 150 years old.  That’s history looking back at you, and it’s truly a humbling moment. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SE7&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012BVX" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Getting to these encounters is half the fun. (By the way, any and all gear that you need is supplied by us at no extra cost to you.) One day, you’ll climb into a flat-bottomed fishing boat called a panga to explore a cluster of small islets where Galápagos penguins live. The birds are unafraid and even curious. If you like, grab a mask and snorkel to go swimming with them in the super clear water. Of course, they will out-maneuver you,  and you will have the time of your life being in the middle of it all. Another morning, you’ll make the acquaintance of those sea lions. But at the same time, the waters also draw stingrays, green sea turtles, a kaleidoscope of reef fish and marine iguanas. Sometimes it’s hard to know where to look first because the abundance is unlike anything you’ve ever seen out in the wild. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="User-added image" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SE7&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CBT" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Like us, you may have ridden Land Rovers in search of a leopard. There’s a good chance you’ve tiptoed through cloud forests to catch a quick glimpse of a resplendent quetzal. In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaska/" target="_blank">Alaska</a>, you might have even spotted a mile-away grizzly bear through binoculars. But nowhere you’ve been can match the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Galápagos </a>for the sheer magnetic excitement of encountering all the wildlife you hoped to see... up close and very, very personally.

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  • Group of Sea Lions on a Beach in the Galapagos Islands

    7 Best Things to do in the Galápagos

    You may go the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Galápagos Islands</a> for the wildlife, but the active life is worth the trip, too! Even if you weren’t bumping into giant tortoises, sea lions or strutting flamingos at every turn, this would still be a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">fantastic multisport vacation</a>. The landscapes are like nothing you’ve ever seen, and the climate is great. Too bad for most visitors that they tour the islands by cruise ship. Everybody can get stir-crazy in the limited space. That’s why Classic Journeys pioneered trips on the islands with stays in luxury boutique hotels where you’ll have plenty of elbow room, a seaside pool, and maybe some blue-footed boobies right out the back door. We have easy access to amazing lagoons for snorkeling and kayaking, great trails for hiking and mountain-biking, and white beaches for lounging. All activities and gear are included and arranged for you seamlessly.<br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">#1 Isabela Island</a></b><br>Take to the water to kayak with sea lions, green sea turtles, and marine iguanas while keeping your eyes sharp for blue-footed boobies in the trees along the shores as well as watching how they hover over the sea and dive for fish.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Kayakers in the Galapagos Islands" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SOv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CLn" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">#2 Volcan Sierra Negra</a></b><br>The islands are some of the most volcanically active spots on earth. You won’t forget this walk along the rim of 500,000-year old <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Volcan Sierra Negra</a>. Up here, along the six-mile-wide crater, you get one of the most spectacular views in the islands.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Volcan Sierra Negra crater" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SOv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CLs" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">#3 Las Tintoreras</a></b><br>Board a panga (a comfortable, flat bottom fishing boat) to explore <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Las Tintoreras</a>, a cluster of small islets that are one of the few spots where Galápagos penguins live. Take the opportunity to go snorkeling with the penguins in the clear blue waters of the lagoon. These waters also draw green sea turtles, vivid reef fish and fearsome-looking but utterly harmless marine iguanas.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Snorkeling with sea turtles in the Galapagos" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SOv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CMH" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">#4 Santa Cruz Island</a></b><br>The island is home to giant tortoises that can grow up to 500 pounds and live for 175 years or more. Follow your guides along a scenic trail to the tortoises’ natural habitat in the highlands at <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">El Chato Reserve</a>. The same rich volcanic soil that the animals love is perfect for growing coffee, sugar cane, and fruit, as you’ll discover afterward on a visit to a family-owned plantation.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Giant land tortoise on Santa Cruz Island" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SOv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CLx" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">#5 Santa Fe Island</a></b><br>Boat to Santa Fe Island for a day of snorkeling and barbeque, the island is a non-stop photo op with plenty of chances to spot an incredibly wide variety of wildlife, from sea lions and sea turtles to <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Galápagos</a> hawks, Nazca boobies and so much more.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="dancing blue footed boobies " src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SOv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CM2" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">#6 Punta Estrada</a></b><br>Hop into a sea kayak and paddle through towering lava channels towards <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Punta Estrada and Divine Bay</a>. The water is so clear that you can see the manta rays and white-tipped reef sharks gliding below.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Kayaking in Punta Estrada" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SOv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T0000012CM7" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">#7 Tortuga Bay</a></b><br>Tortuga Bay is widely regarded as one of the best beaches in the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Galápagos</a>. The snow-white sand is football-field wide and the waters are great for a swim or even a little wave-riding. And as you know by now, there’s always a good chance of spotting marine iguanas, light-footed crabs, herons, and other incredible wildlife.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Marine Iguana in the Galapagos" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T0000026SOv&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f7fY" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br> 

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  • Group kayaking, Alaska

    10 Best Places to Kayak Around the World

    Kayaking is a fantastic experience for all ages and skill sets, especially when you&#39;re in a faraway land! Imagine yourself gliding through the towering limestone islands of Halong Bay; floating under the Punt-du-Gard in France; or drifting on the crystal clear waters of Belize, teeming with wildlife underneath. Grab your paddle and brace yourself for a good time, here are 10 of the best places to kayak around the world. <br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">#1 GAL</a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank">Á</a></b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><b>PAGOS ISLANDS</b></a><br>The Galápagos Islands are one of the best places in the world to visit for anyone who wants to see wildlife. Here you&#39;ll be able to kayak with sea lions, green sea turtles and marine iguanas while keeping your eyes sharp for blue-footed boobies in the trees along the shores or as they hover over the sea and dive for fish.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/galapagos-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Man and Woman kayaking with seals" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wM" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#2 VIETNAM</b></a><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank">Halong Bay</a>, considered Vietnam&#39;s eighth wonder of the world, is where 3,000 limestone islands pepper the waters. Exploring the bay in a kayak is an incredible way to easily navigate between and admire the islands.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/indochina-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Woman kayaking near islands in Halong Bay" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9w2" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#3 NORWAY</b></a><br>Head into the Jostedalen valley, where you&#39;ll kayak and explore the glacier-fed lake – which is tinted a very vivid blue.  <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/norway-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Woman kayaking near a glacier" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wW" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><b><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provencefamily/" target="_blank">#4 PROVENCE</a></b><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provencefamily/" target="_blank">The Pont-du-Gard</a> was built over 2,000 years ago and was both a bridge and an aqueduct. Today it is one of the remaining Roman wonders of Provence. It stands over 150 feet tall, and paddling right up alongside it is one of the most incredible sites you&#39;ll ever see. <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/provencefamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Kayakers in front of the Pont du Gard Aqueduct" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wH" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#5 COSTA RICA</b></a><br>Slip into a kayak for a guided paddle through the lagoons and creeks of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank">Tortuguero River</a>. Along the way keep an eye out for white-faced capuchin monkeys, black river turtles, crocodiles, macaws, and the long-legged anhinga birds.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/costa-rica-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group kayaking in a forest" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wl" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank"><b>#6 AMALFI</b></a><br>Explore the cobalt blue waters and coastal architecture of the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank">Amalfi Coast</a>. From your kayak<a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank">,</a> admire the gorgeous views of the cliffside village of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank">Positano</a>.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/amalfifamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Amalfi Kayak" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fB72" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#7 BELIZE</b></a><br>Hop into a kayak and head out into the <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank">Ambergris Caye</a>, which sits adjacent to the world&#39;s second largest barrier reef. While exploring the waters you can see the incredible wildlife and reefs beneath you and even jump out of your kayak for some snorkeling in the crystal clear warm waters.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/belize-guatemala-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Young boy kayaking in clear waters" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wg" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/puget-sound-tours/" target="_blank"><b>#8 PUGET SOUND</b></a><br>Go sea kayaking, off the west coast of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/puget-sound-tours/" target="_blank">San Juan Island</a>. This is prime Orca whale territory and if you’ve ever dreamed of seeing the great mammals up close, you are in for an incredible experience.<br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/puget-sound-tours/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group kayaking on calm waters" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9wv" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank"><b>#9 ALASKA</b></a><br>In <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank">Thumb Cove</a> three glaciers spill right into the waters. Here, you can find yourself gliding alongside sea otters and sea lions. If you&#39;re lucky, you might even spot mountain goats or a black bear on shore! For a special treat, beach your kayaks in Emerald Green Cove for a short hike to a hidden waterfall.<br><br><a href="http://www.classicjourneys.com/alaskafamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Kayaking in Alaska" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000fB7H" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatiafamily/" target="_blank"><b>#10 CROATIA</b></a><br>Kayak in the uninhabited waters of <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatiafamily/" target="_blank">Lokrum island</a>. This place is magical! You can explore caves and remote beaches... oh, and did we mention the water visibility is 30 feet deep! <br><br><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/croatiafamily/" target="_blank"><img alt="Group kayaking off coast of Croatia" src="/servlet/rtaImage?eid=a2Y1T000002ATbi&amp;feoid=00N50000008QRzC&amp;refid=0EM1T000000f9zG" style="height: 355px; width: 500px;"></img></a><br><br>Join us for one of these adventures! On a <a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com/dates/" target="_blank">Classic Journeys </a><a href="https://www.classicjourneys.com" target="_blank">trip</a>, kayaking is just one of many unforgettable experiences.  

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