Skip to content

Galapagos Islands

Target Travel, heading out to the Galapagos Islands in the Pacific, off the Ecuador Coast in South America. Patrick O’Brien’s historical Aubrey/Maturin novel had the Galapagos Islands described as The Far Side of the World. Quito is an 11-hour flight from Europe, but that is still only the same sort of flying time as it is to Disneyland in California, which would you prefer? This is another once-in-a-lifetime trip, we have lots of experience taking our clients here and have visited the islands. If Target Travel heading out to the Galapagos Islands sounds interesting to you then we would be delighted to advise you and help plan this extraordinary trip.

The Galapagos Islands are a short flight from the mainland. They are usually experienced on a small cruise visiting different islands. Part of the reason is their government limits the number of building on the islands to preserve the unique ecosystems, but just as importantly each island is quite different with its own peculiar flora, and wildlife, both on land and in the seawater. Even if you are not an avid fan of Sir Richard Attenborough, we guarantee you will be impressed with what you see, it’s quite amazing just how close the animals will let you get to them. This is a smashing place to bring your children. The other point which surprised me on arrival was just how wonderful what you can see in the water. Having snorkeled in the Red Sea and Great Barrier Reef before, they now seemed small beer compared with the seas around the Galapagos.

The cruises are balanced with experiences both on the land to view the scenery; animals and birds, plus the sea for the coral and its inhabitants. Most visitors are not aware until they arrive, quite what you can also see in the rich waters, such as snorkeling with rays; turtles; seals, etc, further afield both whale sharks and hammerhead sharks are to be found. A typical cruise will have a morning excursion in small groups to one of the islands guided by a naturalist, before heading back to the ship and a couple of hours lunch and relaxation. Then in the afternoon, it’s water-based, with usually the option of a stay on the beach; snorkeling off the beach, or snorkeling off one of the ship’s Zodiacs in deeper water, thankfully that has a ladder to assist in re-entering. On these deep drop offs, you will see considerably more. Among the highlights while in the water, I saw a huge school of rays cruising the seabed, I unsuccessfully tried keeping up with a massive manta ray and a big turtle, I was buzzed by a small seal that span around me and zipped off, probably unimpressed. One drop-off from a zodiac was into a current race between two islands, the water contained millions of small fish that kept a six-foot circle around each of us, it was like we swam in our own clear water bubble floor. Making memories to last a lifetime

If a seven-night cruise doesn’t appeal, then we have other shorter cruises; land-based alternatives or ideally a combination of both. Most of our clients settle on a four-night cruise and 2-3 nights on the Eco Hotel, however- many who have not cruised before said in hindsight they wish they booked the seven-night trip and seen more islands and animals. If you are interested in Target Travel heading out to the Galapagos Islands, then it’s worth discussing with us in some detail the alternatives, so you end up with the most suitable for you.

Seasons. There is no best time to travel, there are advantages for both seasons

Hot, January to July

  • Warmer more humid climate
  • Best water temperature for snorkeling
  • Most wildlife activity
  • More plentiful flora
  • Intermittent but fresh showers

Dry, June to December

  • Cooler overall temperatures
  • Colder water, but the Humbolt Current brings up nutrient-rich water, meaning there is considerably more marine activity

Add on

  1. While in this part of the world, many of our clients make this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tag on a visit back to the mainland. Adding Peru and Bolivia with the lost city of Machu Picchu; Cuzco and Lake Titicaca, or to an Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest lodge. Or even head to the eastern side to see the amazing Iguassu Falls


Iguassu; Peru and Bolivia
The lost city of Machu Picchu, Cuzco and Lake Titicaca

Metropolitan Touring- Galapagos Cruise options

  1. Now with the airline services by LAN, a trip out to see the mystical stone heads on Easter Island way out in the South Pacific is also reasonably easy to include. We suggest three days, the first with a private escorted tour and a picnic. Plenty of accommodation, including the uber-luxury Explora Hotel.

Our local agents are long-term associates and will ensure the arrangements are with English-speaking guides and on a private basis. This is a rough framework to expand and contract into the best fit, please call to discuss.

Target Travel heading out to the Galapagos Islands, as you can see, we know what we are talking about, so trust us to help plan a memorable trip to these unique islands. How cool would that be?

Galapagos Islands