Set nearly 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador lie the amazing Galápagos Islands. For centuries, this archipelago has enticed sailors and pirates—and later marine biologists, naturalists, and conservationists— with its mix of austere landscapes and incredible wildlife found nowhere else on earth. We’ve been exploring the islands for more than the 35 years and want to share the top five reasons why we keep coming back again and again.

1. Get up close with unique species found nowhere else on Earth (and they have no fear of humans!)


Spot a penguin swimming next to a turtle and then see a resting giant tortoise, a lounging marine iguana, and a dancing blue-footed booby—all in the same hour! You can come within feet of colorful birds nesting and playful sea lions sun bathing on white-sand beaches, and you’ll be snapping photos close enough to see every feather and whisker. Even the landscapes change, from lush highland forest on some islands to lunar-like settings on other islands. All of this adds up to an absolutely unforgettable adventure!

2. Find something new to enjoy any time of year, no matter what season you go


Even during an El Niño year, the water and air temperatures are generally mild and vary slightly from season to season, making any time of year the perfect time to visit. What’s more, each season brings a different set of nesting and mating time for various wildlife, so you’re guaranteed to see some exciting behaviors from these unique creatures.

3. Explore by boat as Charles Darwin did

Cuisine on board is inventive, fresh, and delicious. Many of the ingredients are locally sourced in the islands: our bread comes from a women’s co-op bakery, vegetables are grown on an organic farm, juices are from locally grown fruits—even the ice cream comes from the Galápagos Cooking School! Savor menu items like fresh ceviche and crispy, golden llapingachos, a renowned Ecuadorean dish.

Traveling by boat is an adventure in itself, and experiencing the magic of the Galápagos by boat like Darwin did is quite surreal. Our 16-guest ship, the Mary Anne, is the perfect way to navigate these islands. This small ship can anchor in small coves and bays where big ships can’t go, offering wonderful amenities and delicious cuisine, and the ship travels at night so you wake up in a new spot each day!

4. It’s the perfect combination of active days and relaxing evenings


We make sure our itineraries combine water and on-shore activities, with daily naturalist-led hikes and optional snorkeling and sea kayaking excursions. Back on board, kick back in the evening with a glass of wine on deck and watch a Galápagos sunset as you talk over sightings of the day with your leader and fellow guests.

5. Our leaders (and the crew!) are absolute experts in their fields


All our leaders have university degrees in a biological science as well as all required licensing to guide in the Galápagos, but beyond that, they exude a deep passion and enthusiasm that really bring the islands to life. Whether you’re 8 or 80, you’re bound to come away with a better understanding of this enchanting place.

If you need any more reasons to visit the Galápagos, check out our entire Galápagos program by clicking here and get in touch with us at 800-368-2794, or email

Write A Comment