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 EUR
29 Dec 2019
Essential Galapagos
Ages 18 to 29
9 1910
1641
View Trip
29 Dec 2019
Peru and Galapagos Explorer
30 6150
5547
View Trip
30 Dec 2019
One Week in the Galapagos Islands
Ages 18 to 29
7 950
825
View Trip
2 Jan 2020
Galapagos Discovery
9 2000
1718
View Trip
3 Jan 2020
Galapagos Experience
7 1035
897
View Trip
3 Jan 2020
Galapagos Adventure: Northern Islands (Daphne)
7 3032
2154
View Trip
4 Jan 2020
Galapagos Family Holiday
8 2225
2014
View Trip
7 Jan 2020
Ultimate Galapagos: Central Islands (Daphne)
10 4732
3344
View Trip
8 Jan 2020
Pure Galapagos (Daphne)
8 3887
2753
View Trip
11 Jan 2020
Best of Galapagos
10 2830
2695
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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

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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

Le Grande Daphne

Le Grande Daphne is a brand new ship that will hit the water mid-2020, making it one of the newest boats on the market. With indoor and outdoor dining areas and bars, plus a sundeck with lounges, there will be plenty of places to relax and enjoy time with your fellow travellers. All meals are included in the Le Grande Daphne. The lower deck cabins have portholes, while the main deck and upper deck cabins have large windows. Please note, all images are artist impressions

  • A choice of 4 spacious cabin types with large picture windows, ensuite bathrooms & air conditioning
  • Spacious indoor and outdoor bar
  • You will be transported to the islands or sites by zodiac. A high level of agility & flexibility will be required to exit the zodiac during wet landings and sometimes basic piers/wharf.
  • All snorkelling equipment and beach towels included
  • Wetsuits are available for hire

Learn more about Le Grande Daphne

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.

Sea turtle swims in turquoise waters

How we're giving back

In Galapagos Islands, we stay in locally run accommodation including guesthouses, smaller-scale hotels and homestays in an effort to support the local economies. We also visit locally-run restaurants and markets where travellers will have opportunities to support local businesses and purchase handicrafts created by local artisans.