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Galapagos Islands

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TRAVELLING TO Galapagos Islands

Why visit? Full of renowned natural wonders and distinctive wildlife, this spectacular archipelago of islands is a must for every traveller’s bucket list.

 

Set against the backdrops of spectacular landscapes that range from volcanic peaks to ancient lava fields, from lava tubes and lagoons to coral reef-lined bays and from mangrove forests to white and red sandy beaches, the Galapagos Islands are undoubtedly one of nature’s most impressive wonders that is best to be explored by cruise. 

 

Sail between the picturesque islands of the archipelago and discover the many unique species evolved here and found nowhere else in the world.

 

More information: Below we have shown you just a fraction of the options available for Galapagos and multi-country travel. Browse to get an idea of where you want to travel.

 

Still wondering? Contact us: You are definitely better off giving us a call or dropping us a line and letting us do the hard work for you.

 

#Livefortoday and book your Galapagos tour today. Chimu Adventures can put together an itinerary to suit you. 

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Why visit? Full of renowned natural wonders and distinctive wildlife, this spectacular archipelago of islands is a must for every traveller’s bucket list.

 

Set against the backdrops of spectacular landscapes that range from volcanic peaks to ancient lava fields, from lava tubes and lagoons to coral reef-lined bays and from mangrove forests to white and red sandy beaches, the Galapagos Islands are undoubtedly one of nature’s most impressive wonders that is best to be explored by cruise. 

 

Sail between the picturesque islands of the archipelago and discover the many unique species evolved here and found nowhere else in the world.

 

More information: Below we have shown you just a fraction of the options available for Galapagos and multi-country travel. Browse to get an idea of where you want to travel.

 

Still wondering? Contact us: You are definitely better off giving us a call or dropping us a line and letting us do the hard work for you.

 

#Livefortoday and book your Galapagos tour today. Chimu Adventures can put together an itinerary to suit you. 

[ Read Less ]

FEATURED Galapagos Islands TRIPS & DEALS

ABOARD THE SEA STAR GALAPAGOS CRUISE

4 NIGHTS From FROM AUD 5,925

Sea Star Journey

See the Galapagos in style aboard the luxury M/Y Galapagos Sea Star Journey on this 5 day tour of th...

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Footsteps Back in Time

7 NIGHTS From FROM AUD 9,254

Evolution

Set along the equator, some 600 miles off the South American coast of Ecuador is a crown jewel of th...

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Galapagos Legend - 8 Day Cruise

7 NIGHTS From FROM AUD 5,789

Galapagos Legend

Discover the breathtaking scenery of the Galapagos, cruise the deep blue sea to various islands, cle...

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Galapagos Islands CRUISES

BLOGS ON Galapagos Islands

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Galapagos Islands REVIEWS

All Chimu Adventures' clients are given the opportunity to review their trip once they return home. These reviews are administered by a third party and as such are unfiltered by Chimu Adventures.

Rated 4 out of 5 by from 15 day Galapagos luxury catamaran cruise. The crew on the boat were exceptional even if they didn't all speak English. Our every need was met and more. I wish that as a 15 day tour it just had one guide and fellow passengers not two separate guides, new crew and passengers over the 15 days. Ernesto our guide for the first week was amazing and inclusive of all passengers whereas Geoff our guide on the second week was more interested in chasing skirt and didn't mix with passengers except when we had excursions, didn't even snorkel with us so I felt let down a bit and as I had spent the first week with a naturalist that loved everything it was hard to have a naturalist that didn't show us much at all - I ended up showing some of the fellow passengers things he didn't point out. He was quite arrogant too. But on a brighter note the wildlife was amazing and diverse and the landscape was unique. Well worth doing the 15 days to see all islands as they are all different.
Date published: 2015-03-10
Rated 1 out of 5 by from very disappointing not enough time spent looking at animals, too much time on lectures, too much snorkelling, vegetarians not well catered for.
Date published: 2017-09-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful FinchBay was a great choice for accommodations. Food was well prepared and served. Room was clean and air conditioned. The guide was educated, informed and warm to clients. We only had 1 full day on cruise and in retrospect I should have scheduled one or two more. I had packed insect repellent but didn't think it would be needed on the cruise activities. I was wrong, biting flies. North Seymour island was an incomparable experience. Birds, iguanas, all without fear of man.
Date published: 2015-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Galapagos Islands & Tour of the Andes in Ecuador GI was amazing with a jaw dropping experiences on each of the 7 day cruise. G Adventures ran a well paced itinerary with excellent guides and a fantastic crew. We swam with sea lions, penguins, sharks, turtles ...... and saw fantastic wildlife not forgetting the Blue Footed Boobies, Giant Tortoises, iguanas ...... Absolutely Amazing! The tour of Ecuador from Quito through the Andes to Guyaquil was also outstanding with breath taking scenery and fascinating itinerary. Our private tour with Latin Trails was excellent and the Ecuadorians are so friendly. Most of the time was spent at between 3,000m and 4,000m! The volcanoes, train and mule rides together with the wide ranging eco climates are a must do if you plan a trip to GI. Fantastic Holiday!
Date published: 2015-02-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful trip, fantastic organization! Starting from the pick up to the selection of a wonderful very personal hotel, the daily trips on various islands and the farewell at the airport everything was perfectly organized and assured perfect and recreative holidays.
Date published: 2018-05-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Experience We recently completed the Amazon River Adventure on board MV Amatista. We booked the trip through CHIMU, the tour provider was G-Adventures and the Naturalist and boat staff were from Jungle Experiences. This was an amazing experience which exceeded our expectations. Amatista, even though an older vessel, was clean and comfortable and the staff were all 10*. Our CEO Hulber and our Naturalist Daniel were both highly knowledgeable and experienced and spoke excellent English. The boat staff turned into entertainers once the evening settled and we enjoyed dancing and music on the top deck each evening. Our experiences included swimming in the Amazon, catching and eating piranha, visiting local villages including a school and butterfly farm, being 'treated' by the local Sharman, walking through the rainforest via aerial tree top swing bridges and seeing a large range of wildlife. A truly once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Date published: 2016-12-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Unforgettable Wonderful part of the world. If you are into nature. Enjoy wild life and fresh air. This is the place for you.
Date published: 2016-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from We loved our Galapagos island trip-fantastic We joined the 5 day, four night trip on Coral 2. the guides were excellent and extremely informative. The itinerary was well paced and we saw all the living creatures we wished for. We loved all of the snorkelling opportunities.The food was amazing and the boat well appointed, would highly encourage anyone to do the boat trip around the islands.
Date published: 2019-05-14
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Spanish is the official language of the Galapagos Islands, but English is widely spoken.

Not all Galapagos tour itineraries offer diving as an option. If you are a keen diver then you may want to consider choosing a dedicated diving boat for your Galapagos cruise. These boats tend to have better equipment and dive masters and the itineraries are designed around visiting the best dive sites in the Galapagos Islands, in particular around Darwin and Wolf Islands. Alternatively you could add on a couple of days in Puerto Ayora at the end of a Galapagos cruise enabling you to include diving excursions, or it may be possible to arrange a diving excursion from your boat.

Some Galapagos cruise passengers do suffer from sea sickness as the waters around the islands can be a little rough at times, in particular during August and September. If you are concerned about getting sea sick, please ensure that you bring motion-sickness remedies with you. You should also consider choosing a Galapagos cruise that is aboard a more stable vessel such as a catamaran or selecting a land-based island-hopping Galapagos tour. The waters tend to be calmer between January and April.

Most ships have snorkelling equipment and wetsuits on board - either for rent or included in the cruise price. If you have your own equipment (mask, fins, snorkel, wetsuit), you may wish to consider taking it with you as this will ensure you have well-fitting gear.

Land-based Galapagos tours give you the opportunity to stay on selected islands including Isabela, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Floreana Islands. Galapagos Island-Hopping Tours are a great alternative to Galapagos cruises, giving you the opportunity to explore the archipelago’s wildlife and natural wonders by day and staying overnight in island hotels. This allows non-seagoing travellers to enjoy the highlights of the Galapagos Islands without compromising on their comfort and need to be on firm land. Speed boats or public transportation take island-hoppers from island to island, with accommodation in clean, comfortable boutique hotels.

Apart from marvelling at the spectacular landscapes and impressive array of wildlife, there are opportunities to hike across volcanic beaches and to the crater of volcanoes, to explore lava tubes and to swim and snorkel amongst the marine life. There are tours to see giant tortoises in the wild and visits to the Charles Darwin Research Centre and the Interpretive Centre.

The Galapagos Islands are renowned for their wildlife with vast numbers and varieties found on the islands and in the waters surrounding the islands. There are whales, sharks, dolphins, sea lions and fur seals, bird species too numerous to mention ranging from blue-footed boobies and frigatebirds to penguins and hummingbirds, giant tortoises, turtles, iguanas and lava lizards. Some species are seen only at certain times of the year.

Yes, the Galapagos Islands is a wonderful family friendly destination, although the minimum age is usually 6.

All of the islands offer something different and often unique. The western islands of Isabela and Fernandina offer great wildlife viewing opportunities with vast colonies of birds and marine iguanas and the opportunity to hike to the caldera of Sierra Negra on Isabela. The central islands include Santa Cruz, Santiago and Bartolome with its barren volcanic landscape, dramatic vistas and spectacular views from Pinnacle Rock. To the south, Espanola and Floreana offer white sand beaches and great snorkelling opportunities and of course the chance to visit Post Office Bay on Floreana, probably the most famous man-made site on the Galapagos, where mail can be left for another traveller to collect and hand-deliver. In the north, Genovesa is home to the largest nesting colonies of frigatebirds and red-footed boobies with a hiking trail to El Barranco.

The main considerations are type of ship, class of ship, duration of cruise and itinerary. The different ship types are:

  • Motor sailboats
  • Catamarans
  • Yachts
  • Cruise ships

The classes of boats are:

  • Standard
  • Superior
  • First Class
  • Luxury

The main differences between the classes are space (cabins and common areas), private or shared facilities, experience of the guides, quality and quantity of food, availability of facilities such as air-conditioning, hot water, swimming pools and Jacuzzis, which will all affect the cost.

Galapagos tours generally range from 4 to 15 days allowing for different budgets and time constraints. 4, 5 and 8 day Galapagos cruises are the most common options and will include different islands, some of which may hold more interest to you than others.

Although the larger vessels are often more luxurious and stable and offer more facilities, the smaller boats offer a much more intimate experience with greater flexibility and more time on the islands.

In general, crime is not a problem on the Galapagos Islands although petty crime may occur in the towns. We advise you to keep personal items and valuables locked away in bags in your cabins. Most animal life on the islands is docile with the exception of the larger sea lions and in particular the bulls, who will vigorously protect their females, and can inflict dangerous and potentially lethal bites. Do not snorkel close to sea lion colonies. There is a minimal danger from sharks but in general sharks will not attack unless provoked.

Galapagos National Park rules state that no food is allowed to be taken onto the islands.

A pre-arranged visa is not required to enter Ecuador or the Galapagos for citizens of the following countries:

Australia

United Kingdom

The United States

Ireland

Canada

New Zealand

European Union

South Africa

For other nationalities please visit the website of the relevant consulate. In regard to local taxes, a charge of US$100 is currently in place for ALL tourists travelling to the Galapagos Islands. This is payable in cash on arrival and subject to change.

The majority of Galapagos tours and Galapagos cruises are between 4 and 15 days. The longer the tour, the more of the archipelago you will visit.

Galapagos tours, whether land-based or a cruise, include all accommodation, meals and transfers and so you will only need to budget for drinks, souvenirs and tipping. On board the boats, bottled water, coffee, tea and hot chocolate are included. Soft drinks, juices, wine, beer and a basic selection of spirits are available for purchase. A budget of USD25-35 per person per day is a rough guideline for additional spending money.

The majority of ships accept credit cards (Visa, MasterCard and American Express) but we recommend that you carry some USD cash with you for tips to your guides and crew.

Some Galapagos cruises do offer internet facilities via satellite but please be warned that it is expensive.

We recommend that you visit your doctor or a traveller’s medical centre for current information specific to those places that you will be travelling through. As a general guide we recommend the following:

  • Yellow Fever - Especially for jungle areas
  • Hepatitis - Both A and B (twinrix)
  • Typhoid
  • Diphtheria
  • Cholera
  • Rabies
  • Tetanus

Most of the newer boats have both 110 volt (USA) and 220 volt (Europe/ Australia) outlets on board, although some of the older boats will only have 110 volt outlets.

The Galapagos Islands currently use USD as their main currency.

Casual, light quick-drying clothing is recommended on board the ships.

• Cotton long sleeved shirts

• T-shirts

• Lightweight pair of trousers

• Shorts

• Good walking shoes

• Thongs/flip flops or tevas

• Wide brimmed hat (with strap)

• Swimwear

• Sunglasses (with strap)

• Windproof and waterproof jacket and maybe an umbrella

• Light sweatshirt or fleece

• Sunscreen (30+ & waterproof)

• Camera with spare memory cards and batteries

• Dry bags for cameras and other electronic equipment

• Binoculars

• Refillable water bottle to reduce plastic waste

• Motion-sickness medication for boat tours

• US$ cash to cover the National Park fee and tips