Your Guide To The Galapagos
South America Trips & Tips

Your Guide To The Galapagos

More Info...

A luxury charter company designed for customized cruises to meet the need of each unique client.

galapagosluxurycharters.com
Deciding on where to spend your few precious weeks of vacation a year is a difficult choice. In my humble opinion forgo the Caribbean resorts, the exhausting European cities and opt for something a bit more unique – the Galapagos Islands. At first, the remote destination seems a little bit overwhelming but this guide is here to tell you everything you need to know about making the journey south.

 

How To Get There

Travelers can only access the Galapagos Islands from two Ecuadorian cities, Quito and Guayaquil. Quito is the one that you’ve probably heard of before because it’s the country’s capital located at the foothills of the Andes. The city has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site so you know there is a lot of history and a lot of pretty buildings to take pictures of.

Your other option is the lesser-known Guayaquil, a port city at the mouth of two rivers. It is often known as the “Gate To The Galapagos”. Although it’s only a small city, it has classic South American attractions including Las Penas, a 444-step hill lush with colorful favelas and bars leading up to the top of a lighthouse with incredible views of the surroundings. It also has the Parque Historico, a natural park full of indigenous wildlife and plants. Located inside the Parque Historico, sits a brand-new fully renovated retirement home turned luxury hotel called the Hotel Del Parque. Rooms are complete with king-sized beds, crown molding and the biggest marble shower I’ve ever seen.

Soaking in all the peace and quiet at the gorgeous Hotel Del Parque
Soaking in all the peace and quiet at the gorgeous Hotel Del Parque
The view from the top of Las Penas
The view from the top of Las Penas

From either of these two cities you can catch a short and relatively affordable flight for around $150 USD to the main Galapagos airport – Baltra.

The Tour With Galapagos Luxury Charters

The Majestic at sunset
The Majestic at sunset

Rather than taking the backpacker route and hopping from one major island to the next, I highly recommend a private charter or boat tour. When I went to the Galapagos, I went with Galapagos Luxury Charters. They have all different types of yacht options from high-end, celebrity excursions, to more affordable ships for family and friends. Plus, the owners of the company come with you on the cruise to ensure everything goes smoothly, which given the crew language barrier was sometimes helpful. The accommodation was spacious for a boat and the food was tasty and authentic! A mix of traditional Ecuadorian dishes like tres leches cake for dessert and classics like pasta for lunch. They also supply a naturalist, which is required for each tour so they can lead you through the different islands, explain the wildlife and enforce the strict laws of the park, basically don’t ever touch the animals!

Definitely don't touch this guy...
Definitely don’t touch this guy…

When To Go To The Galapagos

The weather in the Galapagos seems like some sort of anomaly, its pretty much never a bad time to go. Like with most South American countries you have your dry and wet seasons. From June- December you may have calmer waters, a little bit more heat and easier underwater visibility. However, there is a greater probability of seeing certain wildlife in some months rather than others. So if there is something you really want to see like penguins or baby turtles hatching, research accordingly.

You can see the Sally Lightfoot Crab all year longYou can see the Sally Lightfoot Crab all year long
You can see the Sally Lightfoot Crab all year long

What To Bring To The Islands

Pack for a tropical vacation but make sure to bring your active wear as well. Not only will you be sunbathing on the deck of your boat, but also you’ll be snorkeling, navigating your way through the brush to spot giant tortoises and walking on volcanoes. So don’t just bring your bathing suits, aloha shirt and sundresses. Pack your sneakers, yoga pants, and shorts. Oh yeah, also bring your biggest, most heavy-duty bottle of sunscreen and bug spray, bug spray and even more bug spray. Also, there is absolutely no Internet or WiFi in the Galapagos so make sure you bring a good book or two or three.

Helpful Tips

The no Internet thing threw me off at first, but once I learned to embrace the solitude it was nice. Also, be prepared to not see any other boats or people for hours, even days at a time. Early morning wake-ups are common, since those are the best times to catch rare wildlife. We got up at 5:30 to see a flamingo in the wild, but it was worth it. Most of all, as with any new experience, enjoy it and take lots of pictures!

A Galapagos Flamingo in the distance
A Galapagos Flamingo in the distance

 

What information do you look for before you travel?

Trips & Tips

Luxury

Recently Viewed

14 Comments

  1. Dash | Mode Lily

    I’ve actually always wanted to visit The Galapagos Islands purely for the nature and quiet but I had no idea about no wifi. Though I think it would be lovely to experience it once in a while! You have lovely pictures Xx

    March 5, 2017 Reply
    • Katie Lockhart

      Totally it’s very relaxing, but unnerving at first. The Galapagos is the perfect place to get away from it all and go off the grid.

      March 6, 2017 Reply
  2. Icy at Creative Living Abroad

    Wow! This will definitely go on my list of places to visit next year! I hope I’d be lucky enough to spot a flamingo when that happens.

    Thanks for the great tips and info! 🙂

    March 5, 2017 Reply
    • Katie Lockhart

      Yes, I highly recommend going and my tour was amazing! I hope you see a ton of flamingos!

      March 6, 2017 Reply
  3. Style & Life by Susana

    OMG how gorgeous is this place?!!!!! Looks like such a gorgeous place for relaxation. Love your photos xx

    http://www.susanalopessnarey.com/surfstitch-australia/

    March 6, 2017 Reply
    • Katie Lockhart

      I couldn’t believe the diversity of landscape and animals it was really amazing!

      March 8, 2017 Reply
  4. Ana

    Oh my! I would love to go! It’s been a dream of mine since it came on the Animal Planet when I was like 10.

    March 6, 2017 Reply
    • Katie Lockhart

      haha that is awesome, it’s definitely worth the trip and the money.

      March 8, 2017 Reply
  5. Emma

    Looks so exotic! I really wanna go there now x

    Emma | http://www.brooklynisburning.co

    March 6, 2017 Reply
  6. Lea

    Loved reading about your adventure and the pictures are great.
    Lea, xx
    asnippetoflife.com

    March 6, 2017 Reply
  7. Ash

    I love this post! I’ve been looking for where to travel to and this seems to be a great place to come and relax! I love that it’s close to nature and it seems less exhausting than the European cities as you mentioned. Thanks for sharing!
    Ash
    http://www.theashtreejournal.com

    March 7, 2017 Reply
    • Katie Lockhart

      Thanks so much Ash! Definitely agree with those sentiments, my tour company was amazing if you’re looking for one!

      March 8, 2017 Reply

LEAVE A COMMENT

Find Your Happy Plate

My name is Katie Lockhart and I launched Find Your Happy Plate in 2015 to offer adventurous wanderers the best advice for food and travel around the world. Find Your Happy Plate is a place for travel inspiration, food porn and tips on where to find the best of both. Whether you’re looking for luxury of budget, I write and photograph it all. Follow along!

INSTAGRAM