01 Dec 2013 - 31 Dec 2013
The rainy season begins in December, and all the plants of the dry zone produce leaves. In general, this is the perfect climate, as most of the days are sunny and the sea continues getting warmer and calmer. Once again, you will have incredible accessibility to the amazing flora and fauna of this unique archipelago.
Welcome to the Galapagos Islands!
Land of giant tortoises (after which the islands are named), blue-footed boobies and other exotic wildlife, the Galapagos Islands are a dream destination that attract nature lovers and adventure seekers. An archipelago of volcanic islands and atolls, Galapagos is a province of Ecuador, but is located deep in the Pacific Ocean, some 1000 km to the west of the continental coast. Its geographic isolation, as well as a good deal of commendable conservation efforts, has ensured that Galapagos is not too different from what it was almost two hundred years ago, when it served as inspiration for Charles Darwin's seminal work on the theory of natural selection.
The Galapagos Islands are definitely one of a kind and make for an unforgettable holiday!
While the islands offer great swimming, diving, hiking, cruising and other activities, the most popular things to see and do on Galapagos undoubtedly center on the animals and birds. Many are endemic to the region and live in untouched natural settings; about 97% of Galapagos is protected as a national park and the waters surrounding it are designated as a biological marine reserve.
To protect Galapagos' fragile ecosystem, strict controls are maintained on tourist access and visitors have to be accompanied by a certified Galapagos tour guide in many places. On the flip side, it does make independent travel very difficult. However, nearly everyone books organised Galapagos tours, where the operators provide guides and take care of fees, permits and travel arrangements.
Of the 13 main islands (there are also six smaller islands and many atolls) only five - Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela, Floreana and Baltra - are inhabited and have tourist infrastructure and Galapagos hotels. Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island is the main settlement, and with a range of Galapagos Islands hotels it is the ideal base for a tour itinerary. A land-based tour in Galapagos is a good choice for travellers prone to seasicknes; otherwise, a Galapagos Island cruise is another good way to experience the region. You can use our Galapagos map to choose your Galapagos accommodation based on its location.
The islands straddle the equator, but are blessed with a moderate climate and can be visited any time of the year. Wildlife spotting is good throughout the year, though the climate varies a lot. December to May is peak season for naturalist tours; but for divers and marine life enthusiasts, the ideal time is July to November. The waters tend to be very cold and the seas rough during the latter period as a result of the cold Humboldt Current that makes its way up from Antarctica.
A Galapagos tour is not a budget tour by any means, and everything including travel, Galapagos accommodation, fees and food is expensive. This is seen as one way to limit the number of visitors, as tourism does take a toll on the unique ecosystem of the islands. But whatever the price you pay, the islands are more than worth it!
Check out our Galapagos hotel listings for a range of accommodation in the Galapagos Islands. We also offer a range of exciting tours in Galapagos Islands for travellers to explore this unique destination. The Galapagos Islands are the ideal place for a magical vacation and the chance to get up close and personal with some spectacular wildlife!
Cruising aboard the first class M/Y Galapagos Odyssey is a wonderfully comfortable and relaxing way to explore the rich natural heritage of the Galapagos National Park.[more info]
(assuming 2 travellers)
A full week exploring the Galapagos islands aboard the spacious first class catamaran M/C Anahi provides travellers with an rewarding overview of the unique wildlife in this remote archipelago.[more info]
(assuming 2 travellers)
Enjoy a memorable introduction to the extraordinary wildlife and wild places of the Galapagos archipelago on a 5 day / 4 night cruise aboard the comfortable motor catamaran Seaman Journey.[more info]
(assuming 2 travellers)
Enjoy a memorable introduction to the extraordinary wildlife and wild places of the Galapagos archipelago on a 8 day / 7 night cruise aboard the comfortable motor catamaran Seaman Journey.[more info]
From: USD 94
Jean´s Home is a nice, eco-friendly guesthouse surrounded by mangroves and marine iguanas that sometimes show up on the main road to the house. The famous Darwin finches can be spotted on the premises, as well as many other birds. While staying here and admiring the walls made of lava rock, you will feel that the house is well-integrated into the natural environment of Galapagos.[more info]
From: USD 55
Pimampiro is a group of pristine white cabins about 800 m from downtown. The hotel opened in 2007 and the proprietors are a husband and wife team. The owner has spent the last two years helping to build the hotel from the ground up, by hand. This lovely couple will greet you and make you feel right at home.[more info]
Located on Punta Estrada, the Angermeyer Waterfront Inn is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the laid back pace of life in the Galapagos islands. Spacious rooms and a restaurant and bar overlooking the water are highly rated by guests, while the shops and eateries of the town of Puerto Ayora are just 5 minutes away by water taxi.[more info]
From: USD 469.70
The Galapagos Safari Camp is a luxury hotel with special touches that the owners, Stephanie and Michael Mesdag, have added. Located in the highlands of Santa Cruz island, its nine luxurious safari-style tents have views over the Pacific and Galapagos Islands in various directions.[more info]
Hola from Ecuador!
Hola from the Galapagos Islands and Yacu Amu Experiences...your local connection! Our staff is comprised of Ecuadorians who know this fascinating archipelago and who grew up exploring their country. Locally based in Ecuador, we are able to give you all the tips on where to stay, the finest restaurants, the most exciting tours and where to buy souvenirs for the loved ones you left back home. Don't hesitate to drop us a line and pick our brains as you begin to organize your travel itinerary with any questions or concerns. We hope to see you soon in the islands![more]
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Ms Penny G. - United States