Swim with sea lions and turtles, admire the rugged beautiful nature and enjoy a cruise around the world’s most special archipelago!
Located in the Pacific Ocean about a thousand kilometers off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a dream destination for many travelers. Especially for nature and active tourists, a trip to the Galapagos is guaranteed to be a unique experience that cannot be experienced anywhere else.
GALAPAGOS AS A DESTINATION
The Galapagos Islands have never been caught on the mainland, so their nature and fauna have become completely unique. The Galapagos is home to a huge number of species not found anywhere else on Earth. Many species, such as sea lions, are also not afraid of humans, so you can get very close with them.
The Galapagos Islands are made up of countless islands, the most important of which are Santa Cruz, Isabela, Floriana, Española and San Cristóbal. The whole area of the Galapagos Islands is a national park and only some of the islands are organized for excursions. The capital is Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz.
Due to the particularly delicate and unique nature of the Galapagos, no food, seeds or other organisms that could affect the ecosystem may be brought into the islands. Also, nothing should be collected from the island and animals should not go closer than a couple of meters. They themselves may come to make acquaintances.
Cruising around the archipelago
The Galapagos Islands are ideal for those interested in nature and active holidays. Typically, the islands are toured by boat and made trips to the beach. Most buy a trip that lasts from a few days to just over a week from a tour operator. Overnight stays are often on board and food and activities are included in the price. Overnight stays on land are also possible. The program usually includes excursions to the islands, getting to know their nature and animals with a guide, and snorkeling in clear waters along with sea lions, turtles and sharks.
The Galapagos is located on the equator, so the weather is always warm. January to May is the hot and humid rainy season and June to December the cooler dry season. However, the temperature always stays on the right side of 20 degrees. You can travel to the Galapagos all year round, but in September many ships are serviced and towards the end of the year the sea can be capricious. In this case, however, the trip can be obtained at a much lower price than during the high season.
Price and quality go hand in hand
The Galapagos is a fairly expensive destination, making it difficult to travel to the islands on a small budget. An organized trip with flights with full maintenance easily costs well over a thousand euros a week. The price level varies depending on the condition of the ships and the level of the excursions, but if you go that far, it may be worthwhile to invest in a ship in good condition, experienced crew and high-quality excursions.
You can also travel to the Galapagos on your own, but in that case everything has to be arranged on the spot and this can take several days to a week.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN THE GALAPAGOS
Flying through Quito
The Galapagos is flown via Quito and Guayaqil from the mainland of Ecuador. You can fly to Quito from Finland with one change, for example via Madrid. The flight to Quito takes just over 11 hours and the flight from Quito to the Galapagos takes about 3 hours.
Flights to the Galapagos Islands are quite expensive. A flight to Quito costs from about a thousand euros upwards and a connecting flight to the Galapagos averages 300-400 euros.
Upon arrival in the Galapagos, you will have to pay one hundred dollars to be used to maintain the national park. Galapagos Airports are located on the island of Baltra, a short ferry ride from Santa Cruz Island and San Cristóbal Island.
Accommodation usually on ships
In the Galapagos, I usually stay overnight on ships, but there are also hotels and hostels on the mainland of Puerto Ayora and the island of San Cristóbal. It is also possible to stay overnight on the islands of Floreana and Isabela. The price level in Galapagos is quite high compared to the rest of Ecuador, but affordable accommodation can also be found.
The islands are reached by boats, which make trips to the islands in inflatable boats. There is a local bus from Puerto Ayora Airport. The islands are naturally walked along marked trails. Touring the islands does not require particularly good condition, but the terrain is often rocky and boats need to be able to get on and off themselves, making it nearly impossible for people with reduced mobility to explore the islands properly.
ATTRACTIONS OF THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
You come to the islands for nature
The main and really only attraction in the Galapagos is nature. But nothing else is needed. Sea lions, iguanas, turtles and many bird species offer unforgettable experiences for many days. Walks around the islands as well as snorkeling in the clear waters together with sea lions, turtles and sharks are guaranteed to be remembered for a long time.
The islands differ in nature, so to see even some of the wonders of the Galapagos, you have to visit several islands. The best way to get to the islands is on an organized trip led by a professional guide.
Lonesome George and Charles Darwin Research Center
On the island of Santa Cruz, just outside the city of Puerto Ayorta, is the Charles Darwin Research Center, which is definitely worth a visit. From the city you can easily walk to the center in ten minutes.
At the center, you can see, among other things, the famous Lonesame George turtle, which is over 100 years old, apparently the last of its kind, and a turtle farm where the turtles grow for five years, after which they are moved to their own home islands. The center also offers a wealth of information on the history, species and conservation of the islands.