Visiting Galapagos is an unforgettable experience. As Charles Darwin wrote, “the natural history of these islands is very special – Galapagos is like a small world in itself”.
The islands are known for the fearless interaction of the animals with humans: you can snorkel here with penguins and sea lions, you can see 200 kilos of turtles wade through cactus forests and you can enjoy close-up blue-footed gannets and frigate birds.
The Ecuadorian governments always worked to preserve the fragile ecological balance of the islands. Galapagos has been recognized as a National Park since 1959. Since 1981, the islands have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the ocean around them has been declared a reserve.
Visiting Galapagos may or may not be consecutive to a visit to the mainland.
The Galapagos Islands are best visited with a small cruise ship. Almost all ships take a maximum of 16 passengers. You eat and sleep on board the ship during the cruise and usually sail at night. This way you also reach the more remote islands. All ships have one or more professional English speaking guides on board permanently.
At least two sites are visited during the day. You will get up early, have breakfast on board and then go ashore where you will be shown around by the guide. In the afternoon you will go back on board for lunch. The ship will sail to the next site where you will disembark for another visit. Sometimes there is swimming, snorkelling or kayaking, always according to the program.
Only about 80 ships are allowed to circumnavigate visitors to the Galapagos Islands. Their permit is reviewed every year.
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