The Galapagos Islands, the inspiration for Darwin’s Origin of Species, are a volcanic archipelago comprised of eighteen main islands approximately 600 miles from Ecuador’s western coast. Their relative isolation from the mainland of South America, proximity to the equator, and the confluence of four major ocean currents: Equatorial, Cromwell, Humboldt, and Panama, make the islands a literal incubator marine and terrestrial life.
As such, the Galapagos are home to some of the highest concentrations of endemic species anywhere in the world. Approximately 80% of the land birds, 97% of the reptiles and land mammals, and more than 30% of the plants are found nowhere else on Earth. Some of the most famous include the giant Galapagos Tortoise, Blue Footed Boobies, Marine Iguanas, the Galapagos Penguin, and Darwin’s finch. The Galapagos, along with Ecuador’s capital, Quito were among the first twelve UNESCO Heritage Sites established in 1978.
Expeditions to the Galapagos are typically cruise based, visiting one or more islands per day, with interspersed land excursions, although safari style, land-based itineraries are also growing in popularity. Galapagos cruises offer extraordinary access to this captivating wilderness area. Choose from one of our handpicked collection of luxury yachts and catamarans, like La Pinta, the 16 passenger Sea Star, or the lavish, state-of-the-art Alya. Whether you want to dive with whale sharks and hammerheads, snorkel with penguins and sea lions, or kayak along the coast, we have a boat that will cater to any traveler and top notch, multilingual guides and naturalists to show you the way.
Prefer terrestrial adventures like mountain biking, hiking, and birding? Let African Safari Company design a safari style, land-based itinerary from our curated selection of world-class tented lodges, eco-camps and exclusive properties like Galapagos Safari Camp, Isamar, Galapagos Magic, Casa Blanca, Red Mangrove, and Finch Bay. Land-based excursions offer an incredible opportunity to get an up-close look at the Galapagos’ land animals, bird life, and rugged terrain.
Our Adventure Architects can create a standalone itinerary or a program that is the perfect complement any cruise. Wildlife lovers, birders, and dendrophiles (forest enthusiasts) will find an extension to Ecuador’s Amazon, cloud forest, or cultural mainland the ideal juxtaposition to any Galapagos trip.
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