No matter how many David Attenborough specials you have watched, your've seen nothing that can prepare you for the thrill of the Galápagos Islands, where the diverse range of curious wildlife will captivate you. The Galápagos is nature and evolution at its very best. Blue-footed boobies dance about your feet, penguins and seals swim at the equator and giant tortoises patrol ashore. Think of your small ship as a floating safari camp which will immerse you in a movable, panoramic island experience.
What's the best time of the year to visit the Galápagos?
This is the question prospective passengers ask us the most. Our answer is, "It doesn't matter when you go; what matters is how long you go for!" There's not much rain, and there's never been a tropical storm of any type in the Galápagos. While there are a couple of official "seasons," the differences are slight. Actually, Darwin said it all: Considering that these islands are placed directly under the equator, the climate is far from being excessively hot; this seems chiefly caused by the singularly low temperature of the surrounding water, brought here by the great southern polar current. Excepting during one short season, very little rain falls, and even then it is irregular.
How long should I spend in the Galápagos Islands?
Basically, each island is different, with its own unique ecosystem and wildlife distribution. Not only are many species endemic to the Galápagos Islands, they are often endemic to a specific island. In other words, each island has plants and animals that you're not going to see on any other island. So, the more islands you visit, the more unique wildlife you're going to see. If you want to see the red-footed booby, you have to go to either Tower (Genovesa) Island or Punta Pitt on San Cristóbal Island. If you want to see the flightless cormorant, you have to go to Fernandina or Isabela Island. If you want to see the waved albatross, you have to go to Hood (Española) Island. And the list goes on.
What is a typical daily schedule like?
Well, first off, there is no "typical" day in nature - the schedule is usually purposely loose to allow you to take advantage of unusual animal encounters or conditions - flexibility is one of the advantages of a small group size. Some landings might warrant a 2 hour visit, while others are more suited to 4 hours.
What are the trails like?
Trail conditions are mixed. Some visitor sites are a walk on the beach, literally - soft sandy beaches that happen to be populated by unique and wonderful creatures. Other trails can however be more challenging, with difficult terrain including rocks to step up, over or around or inclines. With only a couple of exceptions the longest trails in the islands are no more than 1.5 miles in total. You also walk at a leisurely pace allowing you to both watch where you are walking, and stop and take in your surroundings.
If you’re after a small ship cruise or an expedition ship cruise to Galapagos Islands Wild Earth Travel can help you find a trip of a lifetime. We are ready to guide you through our range of different options with impartial advice so you can experience the very best of this unique destination. Our team are all passionate expedition & small cruise ship travellers and our knowledge and stories come from our own personal experiences.