The Ultimate Guide to Galapagos: Tips and Insights from Columbus Travel Experts
The Ultimate Guide to Galapagos: Tips and Insights from Columbus Travel Experts
Nestled in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, the Galapagos Islands beckon with unparalleled beauty. These remote islands offer a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness nature in its most pristine form. You will find otherworldly landscapes here, from lava fields to enchanting, unspoiled islands. Visitors can encounter the unique wildlife, promising an unforgettable journey of exploration and discovery in this ecological paradise.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands is a unique experience for every visitor. The island chain remains relatively untouched since 97% of the archipelago is part of the Galapagos Islands National Park and Marine Reserve. In 1987, the Galapagos islands were named as the world’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Your Columbus Travel team has provided premiere Galapagos tours catering to thousands of delighted clients since 1997. We are a group of seasoned destination specialists who are local experts, offering professional guided tours and insider information. Join us on a captivating island adventure and immerse yourself in the pristine wonder of the Galapagos Islands.
We Offer Expert Tips and Advice for Visitors
Our specialists at Columbus Travel can provide valuable insights so you can plan your trip and turn it into a completely memorable experience. We can offer information about Ecuador to Galapagos flights, health and safety advice, must-see places, things to do, and when to go to Galapagos sites.
Here are some insights you can get when you contact our team:
Best Time to Visit
When to go to Galapagos tourist sites? The island chain is located near the equator, which means the weather is usually favorable all year round. However, if you’re after warmer days with more sun, the best month to adventure is December to May.
Remember the 20 kg (44 pounds) luggage limit for a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Pack lightweight, moisture-wicking clothes, sturdy walking shoes, a hat, sunglasses, a refillable water bottle, a camera or binoculars, and reef-safe, water-resistant sunscreen. Bring cash since ATMs here are rare. You don’t need snorkeling gear since equipment is available for rent, but bring appropriate swimwear.
Respect the Wildlife
Always maintain a respectful distance to ensure the safety of the animals inhabiting the Galapagos. Refrain from touching them and adhere to park regulations. By doing so, you contribute to an ethical and harmonious wildlife encounter.
Hire a Guide
A qualified guide is an essential resource, ensuring a comprehensive Galapagos experience. Their expertise enhances your understanding of the islands’ rich ecosystem and ensures you follow conservation protocols. Nearly all of our guides in Columbus Travel are Naturalist level III, meaning they speak multiple languages and are biologists.
At Columbus Travel, we recommend using eco-friendly accommodations, allowing you to support local businesses. Make sure to minimize your environmental footprint and reduce waste. By practicing sustainable tourism, you help protect the fragile ecosystem on the Galapagos Islands.
Health and Safety
It is crucial to prioritize your health and safety, safeguarding your well-being. Pack all essential medications, stay hydrated, and use sunscreen. It’s also advisable to be cautious while exploring various sites to avoid accidents. Follow local health guidelines, such as vaccination requirements.
Ecuador to Galapagos Flights
The flights to the Galapagos vary depending on the time of the year and your preferred carrier. The three major carriers are Avianca, LATAM Airlines, and Equair. Airfare rates range from $400 to over $600 per adult. It is best to contact these carriers to inquire about current ticket rates.
Must See Places in the Galapagos
The archipelago comprises 19 islands located at a junction of three tectonic plates. For this reason, most islands are volcanic, which is one of the highlights of any tour. Experts say that the oldest in the island chain is Espanola, which is believed to be 3.5 million years old, and the latest major island, Fernandina, is only around one million years old.
When you book a Galapagos cruise with our team, we can arrange trips with various destinations, vessels, and activities. Here are some of the places you can visit when you explore Galapagos destinations.
Santa Cruz Island
Galapagos cruise packages often include a stop at Santa Cruz Island. A hub for research and conservation, visitors can observe giant tortoises in their natural habitat.
- Charles Darwin Research Station: This research center focuses on conserving Galapagos tortoises. Visitors can observe various tortoise species and learn about ongoing conservation efforts.
- Los Gemelos: A unique geological landscape, Los Gemelos comprises twin sinkholes surrounded by lush vegetation. It is the result of collapsed magma chambers, creating stunning geological features.
- Tortuga Bay: This site offers a stunning white sand beach, perfect for swimming and sunbathing. Keep an eye out for marine iguanas basking in the sun.
Galapagos tours won’t be complete without a stop on this island. It offers stunning views and outdoor adventures. It is home to the massive Sierra Negra Volcano, Tintoreras Islets for snorkeling, and the historic Wall of Tears.
- Sierra Negra Volcano: Hike to the edge of this massive caldera, which offers panoramic views and a chance to witness recent volcanic activity.
- Tintoreras Islets: Snorkel in the clear waters and observe sharks, sea lions, and penguins in their natural habitat.
- Wall of Tears: Explore the haunting ruins of a former penal colony, where prisoners constructed a massive wall of lava rocks.
San Cristobal Island
Also known as Chatham Island, it is one of the oldest geological islands in the archipelago. San Cristobal offers beautiful beaches like Playa Mann and Playa Baquerizo, which are excellent spots for relaxation and snorkeling.
- Galapaguera de Cerro Colorado: Visitors can observe giant tortoises in their semi-natural habitat. You’ll also learn about their conservation journey.
- Punta Pitt: Your group can hike to a viewpoint where you can observe blue-footed boobies, frigatebirds, and other seabirds nesting and flying.
This volcanic islet offers breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views, including vivid red and black lava formations, golden sand, and green vegetation, creating beautiful contrasts nestled by the colors of the deep blue sea.
- Pinnacle Rock: Visitors can climb this iconic rock formation and get incredible panoramic views of the islands and clear waters. Capture share-worthy snaps with your family and friends.
- Snorkeling: The island is also an excellent spot for snorkeling. Dive into the sea to explore underwater lava formations and swim with Galapagos penguins, various colorful fish species, and rays.
This island is a historically rich destination with many tales from its early settlers. It offers a glimpse into the past when you explore Galapagos sites and natural wonders.
- Post Office Bay: Here, you will discover the historical barrel where sailors once left and picked up mail. Visitors can also continue the tradition by sending postcards.
- Devil’s Crown: This spot is a submerged volcanic crater where you can view diverse marine life, including sharks and rays.
Also known as Tower Island, it is another paradise for bird enthusiasts, with various species of boobies, frigatebirds, and other seabirds. Darwin Bay is a natural bay surrounded by cliffs that offers excellent snorkeling opportunities.
- Darwin Bay: Explore various bird species, including the ever-elusive red-footed and Nazca boobies. You can also enjoy the sight of frigatebirds and swallow-tailed gulls.
- Prince Philip’s Steps: Climb the cliffs to observe Nazca boobies nesting in the porous lava rock and snorkel in nearby waters.
Book a Luxury Cruise with Columbus Travel
A trip to the Galapagos Islands is a one-of-a-kind adventure. Columbus Travel provides that authentic experience through bespoke itineraries provided by locals who know the place inside and out. Contact us today to learn more and to book a luxury cruise.