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Las Islas Galápagos

One of the world’s greatest natural wonders, there’s a reason the Galapagos Islands are on the savviest travelers’ bucket-lists. Nothing can prepare you for a visit to this exotic natural masterpiece just 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador. Just as magical and miraculous as they were when explorers and pirates first landed on their volcanic shores 500 years ago, these “enchanted islands” feel supremely ancient, which means visiting them is like stepping on a newly born Earth.

The Galapagos archipelago is made up of 13 main islands, 6 smaller islands and more than 100 islets and tiny rock formations that support the tenacious creatures that cling to them. Dragon-like marine iguanas sneeze seawater after a dip beneath the waves, as rippling waves of long-cooled lava meet the sea. Meanwhile Giant Galapagos tortoises roam free, lumbering through the highlands at their own primeval pace. Nature’s incredible generosity has naturally selected a distinct species of these enormous tortoise for each and every volcano! And as coral-colored flamingos hover overhead, flightless cormorants dance their ancient tangos, and Blue-footed boobies stare undaunted as fascinated explorers step warily around their nests. Those travelers who are fortunate enough to visit these islands can delight in the chance to play tag with playful sea lions, or to snorkel through air-sculpted lava tunnels along with tiny penguins that are far removed from the Earth’s frozen South Pole.

This is an other-worldly sort of place, for sure, but enjoying its wild pleasures doesn’t mean sacrificing your creature comforts! The Galapagos Islands host to a wide variety of seagoing yachts vessels – from luxury motor yachts to catamarans and sailing ships – all giving you an idea of what Charles Darwin and his colleagues must have felt when sailed these very same waters so long ago.

Then too, for any “land lovers” in the crowd, or those who just like to kick back and relax, the Galapagos Islands are dotted with comfortable hotels and lodges, as well as bars, restaurants and some charming boutiques. Indeed, a land-based “island-hopping tour” can be as rewarding as a cruise. It all depends on your preferences.

Galapagos Cruises

As a cruise through the Galapagos Islands is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, it’s most likely that you will want to travel with an experienced, reliable and responsible Galapagos cruise company with high-quality vessels and top-notch guides. Serving as the tour operator for a fleet of expedition vessels sailing the Galapagos Islands, Surtrek’s “Galapagos Cruises” offer the following types of the most renowned yachts and ships:

  • Luxury class ships: These are the most comfortable boats sailing the waters of the Galapagos. These top-end yachts and vessels provide plush accommodations, restaurants serving the finest international and Ecuadorian cuisine, and relaxed recreational areas with pools, sun decks and everything you need to make your cruise a sheer delight.
  • First-class yachts/vessels: These ships have quite comfortable though with somewhat smaller cabins and social areas; however, their excursion guides are fully certified as Class II or III naturalists, meaning they’re thoroughly knowledgeable of the archipelago’s wildlife as well as the evolution of the islands.
  • Tourist-class ships: These offer a great value for those who care more about the itinerary and naturalist guide than luxury – an ideal choice for those willing to forego a bit of luxury to discover the enchanted Galapagos Islands.
  • Diving yachts: For diving enthusiasts who want to witness the incredible marine life of the Galapagos Islands, these live-aboard diving yachts offer a unique option. Special tours devoted almost exclusively on diving make it possible to observe the marine life of the Galapagos Islands to your heart's content.

Still, no one comes to the Galapagos just to lie out on a deck or dive all day. People come to explore, and on our Galapagos Cruises we do our best to provide excursions that get you off the ship as much as possible. Shore excursions onto the Galapagos Islands include hiking through ancient lava fields where you will encounter prehistoric reptiles such as the iconic giant Galapagos tortoise, endemic land and marine iguanas, and exotic birds such as Blue-footed boobies, Galapagos penguins, Flightless cormorants and the massive Waved albatross – just to name a few.

Galapagos Land-based “Island-Hopping” Tours

As an alternative to a cruise, Surtrek’s Galapagos land tours are a combination of boat trips, trekking and snorkeling tours, what we call "Galapagos Island-Hopping Tours." Rather than sleeping on a rocking ship, these Galapagos land-based tours include overnight stays in only the best Galapagos hotels on Santa Cruz, Isabela and San Cristobal islands – ones that are ideal for relaxing and enjoying the beach before or after your boat ride to a different island.

On most days you can leave your luggage in your hotel, so you’ll only have to carry a light day pack. All of these land-based tours are guided by experienced multilingual guides. You don’t have to be in a superb physical condition (though they still involve walking on rough volcanic ground).

Like on a cruise, our Galapagos island-hooping tours include excursion where you’ll be able to admire the striking landscape and scenery filled with varieties of Galapagos land and marine life. There’s hardly any other place on earth where you can trek while observing and photographing animals in their natural environment so well and so close up. Our Galapagos land-based tours will guide you to the most beautiful places in the Galapagos Islands, ones abundant with all types of wildlife. Indeed, you’ll find that many of the different species here are endemic, which of course means that they are found nowhere else on the planet – including a quarter of the species of shore fish, half of the plants and almost all the island´s reptiles.

Whether taking a cruise or island-hopping, a trip to the Galapagos Islands is an unforgettable experience. If this sounds interesting to you, then join us in this once-in-a-lifetime experience! At Surtrek, we’ve had an intimate relationship with the Galapagos Islands for years, therefore we can ensure that your island experience meets your expectations and hopefully exceeds them. We are committed to exceptional, detail-orientated service. So, fill us in on what you want, what you need, your budget and what your interests are ...then just relax and leave the rest to us. We will find the best Galapagos Islands tour for you.

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