Spectacular, isolated and home to the famed Galapagos giant tortoise, Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands really do feel like another world.

Inquisitive sea lions and spiky marine iguanas breach and bask between island and shore, while friendly hammerhead sharks patrol the depths and blue-footed boobies cut through the sky.

Nowadays, the islands host a steady stream of modern-day explorers. And for good reason - as far as face-to-face wildlife encounters go, the Galapagos wildlife experience rivals even the likes of Africa.

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Top Galapagos Islands travel deals

Departing Days From USD
3 Jan 2019
Galapagos Venture
9 $2,450
$2,218
View Trip
4 Jan 2019
Galapagos on a shoestring
7 $1,280
$1,165
View Trip
5 Jan 2019
Galapagos Family Holiday
8 $2,905
$2,489
View Trip
6 Jan 2019
Peru and Galapagos Explorer
30 $7,625
$6,876
View Trip
10 Jan 2019
Galapagos & Inca Trail Adventure
17 $5,150
$4,648
View Trip
22 Jan 2019
Ultimate Galapagos: Central Islands (Daphne)
10 $5,815
$4,107
View Trip
23 Jan 2019
Pure Galapagos (Daphne)
8 $4,960
$3,508
View Trip
26 Jan 2019
Best of Galapagos
10 $3,505
$2,999
View Trip
27 Jan 2019
Galapagos Island Hopping
8 $2,410
$2,068
View Trip
27 Jan 2019
Essential Galapagos
Ages 18 to 29
9 $2,280
$1,744
View Trip

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Travel lightly with Intrepid. We’ve offset the main sources of carbon emissions from this trip on your behalf, including transport, accommodation & waste. Read more

Galapagos Islands tour reviews

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Articles on Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands travel highlights

Transport in Galapagos Islands

Intrepid believes half the fun of experiencing a new country is getting there, and getting around once there! Where possible, Intrepid uses local transport options and traditional modes of transport - which usually carry less of an environmental impact, support small local operators and are heaps more fun.

Depending on which trip you're on while in Galapagos Islands, you may find yourself travelling on:

Daphne - The Intrepid Galapagos Boat

Daphne

  • Private rooms with-en suites and air-conditioning
  • Undercover outdoor terrace
  • Safe boarding area
  • Indoor lounge and dining area
  • Top-level sundeck
  • Bar on board
  • Fresh, chef-prepared meals three times a day
  • Tea, coffee and soft drinks available at all times
  • Friendly crew and naturalist guide on board
  • Maximum of 16 passengers

Learn more about Daphne

Grand Queen Beatriz

Currently under construction, the Grand Queen Beatriz will commence operation on 30th June 2018. Built to specification, the Grand Queen Beatriz will be one of the newest boats operating in the Galapagos. It will come equipped with the latest in safety, navigation systems and fuel efficiency.
 

  • A choice of 3 spacious cabin types with large picture windows, ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning & safety deposit boxes
  • Junior and Deluxe cabins come with private balconies
  • Spacious bar and dining room, interior lounge with large screen TV for daily briefings, exterior lounge & bar, sun deck and spa
  • 3 meals and refreshments prepared by our on board chef
  • Tea, coffee & drinking water available 24 hours a day
  • All snorkelling equipment, wetsuits and beach towels included
  • Experienced multi lingual guide
  • 5 star accommodation in Quito pre and post cruise
  • Complimentary arrival transfer

Learn more about Grand Queen Beatriz

Meet our leader: Oswaldo Noboa

Tips and advice

 

 

Galapagos Islands holiday information

About the Galapagos Islands

At a glance

Best time to visit Galapagos Islands

Culture and customs

Geography and environment

Top wildlife to spot in the Galapagos

Health and safety

Further reading

Galapagos Islands travel FAQs

Visas are the responsibility of the individual traveller. Entry requirements can change at any time, so it's important that you check for the latest information. Please visit the relevant consular website of the country or countries you’re visiting for detailed and up-to-date visa information specific to your nationality. Check the Essential Trip Information section of the itinerary for more information.

While tipping isn’t mandatory, tips are very much appreciated by service workers and guides. Leaving a 10% tip is customary in restaurants. Some automatically add a 10% service charge to your bill, in which case an extra tip isn’t required.

There are reliable internet cafes in Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island) and Puerto Baquerizo (San Cristobal Island). Some hotels and restaurants on other islands will have a Wi-Fi connection, but it is best not to rely on it.

There is good mobile phone reception on the larger islands, but don’t expect it when at sea. The best local telephone companies are Porta and Movistar. Ensure you have global roaming activated before leaving home if you wish to use your mobile phone.

Most towns have Western-style flushable toilets, though you will likely encounter squat toilets as well. Regardless, it’s a good idea to carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as they are not always provided.

Juice = USD 1
Street food snack = USD 1.50
Simple lunch at a local restaurant = USD 3-5 
Sit-down dinner at a cafe or restaurant = USD 10–20

Tap water isn’t considered safe to drink in the Galapagos Islands. Avoid drinks with ice and make sure to peel fruit before eating it. Help the environment and try to avoid buying bottled water. Instead, fill a reusable water bottle with filtered water. Your leader or hotel can tell you where to find filtered water.

No, credit cards are not widely accepted. There are a handful of shops on Santa Cruz that may accept major credit cards, but it’s preferable to pay in cash.

The banks in Puerto Ayora and Puerto Baquerizo have ATMs. The Banco del Pacifico in both towns is open from 8 am to 3:30 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am to 12.30 pm on Saturdays. It's best to withdraw your money on the mainland, however, in case these are out of order. Check each bank’s website for up to date opening hours.

Absolutely. All passengers travelling with Intrepid are required to purchase travel insurance before the start of their trip. Your travel insurance details will be recorded by your leader on the first day of the trip. Due to the varying nature, availability and cost of health care around the world, travel insurance is very much an essential and necessary part of every journey. 

For more information on insurance, please go to: Travel Insurance

  • 1 Jan: New Year’s Day
  • 6 Jan: Epiphany
  • 1 May: Labour Day
  • 24 May: Battle of Pichincha
  • 10 Aug: Independence Day
  • 9 Oct: Guayaquil Independence Day
  • 2 Nov: All Soul’s Day
  • 3 Nov: Cuenca Independence Day
  • 25 Dec: Christmas

For a current list of public holidays in the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador go to: https://www.worldtravelguide.net/guides/south-america/ecuador/public-holidays/
 

The Galapagos Islands are a relatively hassle-free destination for LGBTQI-travellers. Same-sex marriage was legalised in Ecuador in 2008 and the country hosts several fiestas where it’s acceptable for men to cross-dress as women. That being said, homophobic attitudes do exist and travellers are advised to avoid public displays of affection.

For more detailed and up-to-date advice, we recommend visiting Equaldex or ILGA before you travel.

Responsible Travel

Intrepid is committed to travelling in a way that is respectful of local people, their culture, local economies and the environment. It's important to remember that what may be acceptable behaviour, dress and language in your own country, may not be appropriate in another. Please keep this in mind while travelling.

Responsible travel in the Galapagos Islands

Top responsible travel tips for the Galapagos Islands

  1. Do not touch the animals.
  2. Stay further than 2 meters from the animals at all times, both for your own safety and theirs.
  3. Do not feed the animals, as it can be detrimental to their health.
  4. Do not take ‘souvenirs’ of rocks or flora off the island.
  5. For environmental reasons, try to avoid buying bottled water. Fill a reusable water bottle or canteen with filtered water or use water purification tablets.
  6. Always dispose of litter thoughtfully, including cigarette butts.
  7. Smoking in the national park areas is prohibited.
  8. Stay within the designated walking trails, both for your own safety and that of the flora and fauna.
  9. Refrain from supporting businesses that exploit or abuse animals, or that sell endangered animal products.