The Galapagos Islands, located about 1,000 km off Ecuador’s coast, are paradise for wildlife lovers. These islands were created millions of years ago by volcanic eruptions and are now home to a variety of animals. In the 1800’s, humans discovered the archipelago, and began studying the ecosystems.
Must Read: tap 42
The diverse landscapes, animals and underwater adventures of the Galapagos Islands have made it a long-held goal. These islands were visited by Andando Tours who have over 40 years experience in cruising the Galapagos. This is everything you need about cruising the Galapagos Islands.
The Best Time to Visit Galapagos
The Galapagos Islands has both a wet and dry season. However, they are a year-round destination. Each season offers its own advantages, so it really comes down to what animals you want to see and what type of experience you are looking for.
The dry season is June to November. It brings with it mostly blue skies and very little wind. The dry season brings with it a lot of marine life, such as Hammerhead Sharks, but the seas can be quite rough and cold. The dry season is generally cooler than the wet. However, it can still be quite warm during the day so bear that in mind if hiking in the heat.
The wet season is from December through May. You can expect higher temperatures and more frequent rains, but they are usually brief and intense. The ocean is at its calmest and most pleasant during this period.
This calendar will give you more information on the types of animals that you can expect to observe in the various months. However, many animals are visible all year!
You will need to fly to Quito, Ecuador or Guayaquil to get to the Galapagos. I personally flew into Quito. These cities can be reached from many locations in the United States.
Never Miss: get sound and helpful advice about hotels
Depending on the location of your tour, you can fly to Baltra Island or San Cristobal Island from either one of these cities.
Andando Tours – Galapagos Experience
Andando Tours is a great choice if you are looking for a personalized, customized tour experience that has been curated by Galapagos specialists. Andando tours offer a low passenger-to crew ratio, well-maintained boats, and exceptional service.
Another thing I loved was the fact that Andando allows you to arrange your airport transfer and plan an overnight stay in Quito prior to and after the cruise. Quito is an amazing destination and a great Ecuadorian buffer for the Galapagos. I was thrilled to take advantage of this option! The hotel was located in Old Town Quito. They also provided transfers to and from the airport, which made it stress-free.
Most popular: get sound and helpful advice about hotels
Andando Tour Options
Andando Tours’ uniqueness is the ability to customize your trip according to your preferences. Andando offers luxury yachts, comfortable catamarans and sailing boats as well as tours. There are options available for families who wish to travel with their children or orient their trip towards diving.
You can choose from these boat options to take either an Eastern Island Tour or a Western Island Tour. Depending on how long your trip is, you can choose to experience Santa Cruz Island and Isabela, North Seymour and Fernandina or Mosquera. On the Eastern Tour, you have the opportunity to see Santa Cruz Island and Santa Fe, Santiago and South Plaza.
Andando also offers island hopping tours to those who wish to sleep on the ground, as well as day trips to Santa Cruz Island and San Cristobal Island.
You can choose where you go and the activities you do. Make sure you review all available tour options before you decide on the best tour for you.
Because each island in the Galapagos has its own uniqueness, it was difficult to choose between the Western Islands or the Eastern Islands. I chose the Eastern Islands tour aboard the M/Y Passion. I was able to tick off many of my bucket list wildlife experiences, including swimming with penguins or sea lions. I also had lots of interactions with blue-footed and boobies.
The luxury M/Y Passion is a great way to explore the Galapagos. It can accommodate up to 13 passengers and has numerous outdoor and indoor public spaces. There are sun decks, jacuzzis and sun decks. There are four staterooms and two suites available. All have private bathrooms.
You will receive your accommodation, meals, island visits and certified guide along with snorkeling gear, kayaks and airport transfers to the Galapagos.
Also Read: get off the beaten path
The price does not include the cost of your flight to Galapagos, National Park entrance fees, a Transit Control Card, personal costs and gratuity, as well as alcoholic beverages. For the Galapagos Transit Card (total $120 in fees), gratuities and any souvenirs, I recommend that you bring $600 or more cash per person.