While the Rothschild Safaris heritage is steeped in the luxury safari experience, we also sell a few spectacular destinations beyond Africa. United by the ability to interact with majestic wildlife, explore different cultures, and generally have a fabulous adventure in style and comfort, we now operate in an ever-growing list of countries around the world!
The Galapagos Islands remains on of our most popular destinations after Africa. Why? This archipelago of the coast of Ecuador consists of about 19 islands (& tons of smaller islets), thus one of the most popular ways to see and experience the islands is via a cruise. The area is a double World Heritage site (both land and sea are protected) and is where Charles Darwin developed his Theory of Evolution. Thanks to very few natural predators in the area, the wildlife is very relaxed and offers a very intimate opportuity to interact.
If you’re thinking about booking a Galapagos Islands cruise, here’s what you need to know!
Best time of year to go to the Galapagos Islands
Peak season in the Galapagos is June, July and August, which are also the cooler months in the Galapagos thanks to a chilly ocean current. While the current brings cooler temperatures, it also brings a high concentration of marine life, such as big schools of hammerhead sharks and the massive whale sharks.
Mid-December to mid-January is also a peak time in the Galapagos, when air and water temperatures are warmest with temperatures are in the 80s. You can also expect a bit of rain during this time.
How to get to the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos islands are accessed via Ecuador. You’ll fly into either Quito, the capital, or Guayaquil, which is closer to the islands. From there, Santa Cruz Island is the most popular cruise hub in the Galapagos and where you’ll likely begin your Galapagos Island Cruise.
What are the most interesting animals to see in the Galapagos?
Each island boasts its own unique landscape, ranging from black, volcanic rock to white sandy beaches. You’ll love exploring a variety of islands and terrain on a Galapagos Islands cruise. As for wildlife, some of the highlights include.
Giant Tortoise. A great place to view these massive, old creatures is at the Charles Darwin Research Center on Santa Cruz island. A less crowded and more interesting giant tortoise breeding center is in Puerto Villamil on Isabela island.
Penguins. You’ll find the biggest population of Galapagos penguins around Tagus Cove (as well as about 35 percent of the archipelagos’ giant tortoises) on the western Isabela island.
Marine iguanas. Fernandina island (which is also volcanically active) has the largest colony of marine iguanas in the archipelago, in addition to a big sea lion colony at the visitor spot Punta Suarez and flightless cormorants.
Albatross. Punta Espinosa in Espanola is the place to go to spot the largest seabird with a wingspan of 2.5 meters. Albatross’s almost entire population nests on this island from April through November.
What is the best Galapagos Cruise to Book.
The MV Eclipse is one of our favorite ships in the Galapagos. But this ship books up well in advance so be sure to plan ahead! Also be sure to consider combining the Ecuadorian Amazon with a cruise in the Galapagos. Finally, if a cruise doesn’t interest you, consider a land-based way to experience the Galapagos. This can be discussed further with your travel designer.
Thinking about booking a trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos? Contact us today to get started planning!