Guided hikes will give you amazing opportunities to get up close with nature during the island visits.
You can also search for Galapagos giant tortoises in moist highland forests, set foot on lunar-like lava fields, climb volcanic cones, stare into recently-erupted craters and even enter lava tunnels. Your knowledgeable National Park-certified guide will name all the species you see, and add intriguing stories about their behaviour, interesting geological formations or the conservation of the islands.
The encounters with unique and fearless animals at very short distances will definitely be one of the most fascinating and unforgettable parts of your visit to the Galapagos Archipelago. You will find yourself in the middle of an exciting nature documentary!
Even the young Charles Darwin was constantly astonished about the tameness and stoicism of various species, despite his experiments such as throwing stones at them, and shouting at or even riding apparently ‘deaf’ giant tortoises; experiments which fortunately are forbidden nowadays.
The Galapagos Islands are a birdwatcher’s dream; 29 of the 58 resident bird species are endemic (only found on the islands) such as the flightless cormorant, waved albatross, Galapagos penguin, lava and swallow-tailed gull, Galapagos hawk, four subspecies of mockingbird and of course about 14 species of Darwin’s finches, among others.
Photography & filming
Photography & filming
Follow in the footsteps of Sir David Attenborough, Tui de Roy and Pete Oxford. The Galapagos Islands are a paradise for image makers; probably every serious nature photographer or filmmaker – professional or amateur – aspires to visit the archipelago at least once in their lifetime.
And even for those who just want to keep a memory of their extraordinary trip, it will be difficult to select the best shots to do your photo album justice.
Visit a breeding project & visitor centre
Most of our routes also include a scheduled visit to one of the Galapagos’ giant tortoise breeding projects, an interpretive botanic trail or an interesting visitor centre.
These visits are a good introduction to the islands and they complement the briefings and field-explanations of your knowledgeable naturalist guide during the cruise. The visits are a way of showing and telling you the background stories from a different point of view, bringing the islands to life.
Dry & wet landings
Dry & wet landings
The island tours generally start and end with an inflatable dinghy transfer (also called ‘Zodiac’ or ‘panga’) from your yacht at the anchorage site to the island. Sometimes there is a sort of jetty or rocky shore where you can make a so-called ‘dry landing’.
Alternatively you will land on a beach where you will put on shorts and sandals or water shoes and step into shallow water (‘wet landing’). Dry landings can be slippery or somewhat bumpy when the sea is rough, but the crew is trained and always ready to help you in and out safely.
Besides the so-called terrestrial visitor sites, the Galapagos National Park also offers a host of marine visitor sites, where a variety of activities are permitted including snorkelling, scuba diving, sea-kayaking and inflatable dinghy rides (also called ‘Zodiac’ and ‘panga’).
Of course, the naturalist guide comes into play here again, to give these observation tours more significance. You generally won’t make a landing, but can observe the wildlife from the waterside, as well as the intertidal life, for example Galapagos penguins and flightless cormorants.
During your cruise there will be almost daily opportunities to immerse yourself in the amazing submarine world that surrounds you. Underwater, a giant aquarium with coral formations opens up to you. Find yourself in the middle of colourful tropical reef fish, graceful Pacific green marine turtles, huge rays and resting white-tip reef sharks (harmless to humans).
The most exciting highlights include encounters with young playful sea-lions or hunting Galapagos penguins. If you look carefully you might even spot starfish, octopuses and seahorses.
So that you can make the most of your once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos trip, we offer a well-filled daily programme. Longer hikes are usually scheduled in the morning, whilst snorkelling and swimming are in the afternoon when the sea is warmer.
The activities are interspersed with moments of rest. Don’t forget to relax during your stay and take the time to appreciate your beautiful surroundings!