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Galapagos Tours

The Galapagos Islands
Nature like you’ve never seen before: this scattering of Pacific islands—where Darwin developed evolution theory—bursts with biodiversity. Many of the animals you’ll meet don’t exist anywhere else on earth, and they’re famously fearless, meaning unforgettably close encounters. Throw in jaw-dropping landscape (think volcanoes, dazzling white beaches, dramatic cliffs), and a wonderfully warm climate, and you’ll see why this is the ultimate bucket list adventure.

“The World’s Best Wildlife Experience”
As declared by AFAR’s Travelers Choice Awards. Our naturalist local guides know the perfect time and place for face-to-face encounters with Galapagos Island wildlife. Meet giant land tortoises and iguanas, paddle alongside sea lions and bottlenose dolphins, swim with rays and sea turtles, and spot blue-footed boobies, penguins, flamingos and more.

Land-based Galapagos Tours 
Almost all visitors come to the Galapagos by cruise, but we wanted to do things differently. We pioneered land-based trips to offer a round-the-clock Galapagos experience, with stays in luxury boutique hotels. Enjoy plenty of elbow room, a seaside pool, farm-to-table food and easy access to amazing lagoons for snorkeling and kayaking, great trails for hiking and mountain biking, and white-sand beaches for lounging. All activities and gear are included and arranged for you seamlessly.

Galapagos Family

Give all generations the Galapagos trip of a lifetime with our award-winning, land-based tour of the islands.

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Galapagos Multisport

You may be here for the wildlife, but the active life is worth the trip, too!
Kayak the cinematic and biodiverse coastline, hike and mountain bike across stunning volcanic trails.
Snorkel with sea lions, and much more.

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Galapagos + Machu Picchu

When one once-in-a-lifetime experience isn't enough, take two:
Mythical Machu Picchu meets the wildlife wonders of the Galapagos.
Fulfill two of your biggest travel dreams on one amazing vacation!

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Galapagos Private Tours

Pick your people, pick your dates and prepare for a bespoke Galapagos tour, totally tailored to your needs.

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Galapagos Adventures FAQ

Which airlines fly to the Galapagos?
TAME, Avianca and LATAM fly from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos islands. To get from the USA to Ecuador, fly to Quito or Guayaquil. Airlines to these airports include American, Emirates and JetBlue.

What is the best time of year to visit the Galapagos?
Thanks to their position on the equator, the Galapagos islands are a year-round destination where the temperature doesn’t dramatically change from season to season. The climate in the Galapagos is subtropical, with temperatures ranging from 65°-85°F. 

The warmest time of year is January – June. 
Dry season is July – September. 

What are the top activities in the Galapagos?
-    Kayaking with marine life
-    Swimming with marine life
-    Snorkeling with marine life
-    Boat rides along the coast and around islets 
-    Hiking volcano trails
-    Mountain biking volcano trails
-    Relaxing on white-sand beaches

When you explore the Galapagos islands with Classic Journeys, these activities and more are incorporated into your trip. 

What are the top things to do in the Galapagos?
-    Wildlife spotting
-    Birdwatching
-    Walking and hiking 
-    Kayaking 
-    Panga fishing boat rides
-    Mountain biking

Read our itineraries to see how these activities and more are incorporated into our tours!

What are the top things to see in The Galapagos?
-    Giant tortoises at the El Chato Reserve on Santa Cruz island
-    Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz island
-    Volcan Chico Caldera on Isabela island 
-    The rim of Volcan Sierra Negra on Isabela island
-    Las Tintoreras islets 
-    Iguanas of Santa Fe island 
-    Volcanic cliffs of Las Grietas 
-    The lava walls near Punta Estrada and Divine Bay
-    The white sand beach at Tortuga Bay
-    Our friend’s coffee plantation 

Which is the best Galapagos island to visit?
It’s best not to stick to one! On our tours, you island hop between Isabela island, Santa Cruz island and Santa Fe island, and visit some of the smaller islets on a boat trip too. Island hopping in the Galapagos is the best way to fully experience the culture, landscape and wildlife this archipelago has to offer. 

What are the best wildlife experiences in the Galapagos? 
-    Snorkeling and kayaking with sea lion pups, green sea turtles, marine iguanas, manta rays and white-tipped reef sharks 
-    Kayaking past blue footed boobies 
-    Meet 500-pound giant land tortoises at the El Chato Reserve
-    Bird watching for blue footed boobies, Darwin’s finches, hawks, fly catchers, flamingos and more on walks with your naturalist guide
-    Taking a panga fishing boat ride to see friendly Galapagos penguins 
-    Snorkeling with green sea turtles, reef fish and marine iguanas in an Isabela island lagoon 
-    Spotting marine iguanas, light-footed crabs and herons at Tortuga Bay

Most travelers visit the Galapagos by cruise ship, is a cruise the best way to see the Galapagos?
We prefer island-based trave un the Galapagos, which allows you to see the islands in far greater depth. Rather than commuting to see the animals, they’re around you 24/7, so you can see sea lions while having breakfast, watch the birdlife silhouetted in the sunset, and much more. It better supports the local economy, and marine life too. 

On a cruise I get the luxury of only having to unpack once. Is staying in multiple hotels a hassle in the Galapagos?
No. With Classic Journeys invisible check in, moving between hotels is a breeze. Plus, you have the added perk of staying right on the coast for amazing wildlife sightings 24/7, easy access to activities from walks to kayaking, and plenty of opportunity to soak up the local culture.

On cruises, I like having the ability to take time off, do island-based tours allow that too?
Yes. You can participate as much as you like—all activities are included in Classic Journeys itineraries—and there’s plenty of time put aside to relax in your boutique hotel and explore the islands at your own pace. 

I like cruises for the different dining options that passengers can enjoy, can I still enjoy a great dining experience on a land-based Galapagos tour?
Yes! Having an islander guide means you have the best local foodie recommendations, whether you’re looking for the best ceviche or the most stunning sunset view. While cruise ships tend to be fully provisioned before departure, island-based tours give you fresh, farm-to-table, local cuisine. You can sample a different restaurant each day, and you’re supporting the local economy along the way.

What is the food like in the Galapagos?
Galapagos food is a lot like the food you’ll find in other Central and South American destinations: simple, fresh and packed with flavor. The seafood here is amazing, from lobster to shrimp, and even sea cucumber. Ceviche is a must-try, and encebollado is the national dish, a seafood soup you’ll find in plenty of restaurants. Plantain is everywhere and a terrific snack after kayaking or a bike ride. Look out for exotic fruit juices, and don’t forget the local coffee—you’ll get to see how it’s made on our friend’s plantation. 

What wildlife is there to see in the Galapagos?

Wildlife in the Galapagos includes:

-    Giant Land Tortoise
-    Galapagos sea lion
-    Galapagos fur seal
-    Galapagos green sea turtle
-    Lava lizard
-    Galapagos land snails

Iguanas in the Galapagos:

-    Galapagos land iguana
-    Galapagos pink land iguana 
-    Marine iguana

Sharks in the Galapagos:

-    Scalloped hammerhead shark 
-    Galapagos shark
-    Whale shark
-    Blacktip shark 

Dolphins in the Galapagos:

-    Bottlenose dolphin
-    Spinner dolphin
-    Common dolphin

Rays in the Galapagos:
-    Spotted rays
-    Eagle rays
-    Golden rays
-    Manta rays

Whales in the Galapagos:
-    Sperm whale
-    Blue whale
-    Humpback whale 

Birds in the Galapagos:
-    Galapagos penguins
-    Blue footed boobies
-    Red footed booby
-    Mangrove finch
-    Florena mockingbird
-    Galapagos hawk
-    Magnificent frigatebird
-    Waved albatross 
-    Flightless cormorant 
-    Short eared owl 
-    Lava heron
-    Vermillion flycatcher
-    Galapagos petrel
-    Galapagos barn owl
-    Nazca booby
-    American flamingo 

What is the Galapagos Big 5?
The Galapagos ‘Big Five’ is the must-see wildlife travelers come here to see: 

-    Giant tortoise
-    Galapagos penguin
-    Galapagos sea lion
-    Galapagos fur seal
-    Marine iguana

You’ll have many sightings of these, and dozens more creatures on your Classic Journeys tour.


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