Member experiences
Forum Posts
Members who've been
previous next
The Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands travel guide

The Galápagos Islands is remote, wild and utterly unique – a cruise here is possibly the world's ultimate wildlife experience

The remote Galápagos archipelago is top of the list for many wildlife fanatics – and with good reason.

Hiding in the Pacific Ocean, far-flung 1,000km off the coast of mainland Ecuador, the wildlife of the Galápagos has evolved with little fear of humans (to its detriment in some cases, as hungry passing mariners developed quite a taste for east-to-catch giant tortoise…).

This fearlessness means you can get unbelievably close to the creatures. In fact, even if you try to maintain a polite distance (you are not permitted to leave the marked trails), the wildlife often comes to you. Even the most macho traveller will be reduced to mush when a sea lion pup comes and lays its head on their sandal. Or when a mockingbird makes a pecking lunge for their waterbottle.

You can really only explore by boat. There are a range of cruises on offer, varying in length and degree of luxury. You need to do some research before booking, as all the boats follow set itineraries (which will not be altered), visiting different islands and landing sites – is the wildlife you want to see present at those sites? And does your preferred boat have an expert naturalist? Kayaks on board? Or snorkel equipment? (The latter is a must – the snorkeling here is incredible.)

So what might you see? Well, sea lions everywhere: lazing on white-sand beaches, welcoming you on jetties, playing around you as you snorkel. There are land iguanas and marine iguanas (which cluster in big, black, snorting piles), giant tortoises and gloriously bright Sally Lightfoot crabs.

As for birds, not trip is complete without witnessing the comical courtship of the blue-footed booby or the mating joust of the massive waved albatross. Also look out for penguins, deep-diving flightless cormorants and majestic frigatebirds, unmistakable with their red inflated throat pouches.

The Galápagos is like nowhere else on earth. It inspired a whole evolutionary theory, and will not fail to inspire you. 

Latest Member Galleries



Articles on The Galápagos Islands

Read more




  • Caption Competition

    All set for the weekend? Before it gets here, allow yourself a bit of monkey business and let us know your most hilarious caption for this pic for a chance to win prizes

  • Winners of Thailand's Green Excellence Awards UK announced

    From turtle projects to elephant sanctuaries, we celebrate the great work being done in sustainable and green travel in Thailand. Here are the winners of 2016's Winners of Thailand's Green Excellence Awards UK

  • More News
Departure date:
Open the calendar popup.
Return date:
Open the calendar popup.
Date flexibility:
Spin UpSpin Down

Need some travel planning inspiration?

Simply select the destination you’re interested in or the activities you’re looking for and we’ll send your request to a select panel of tour operators.

Each operator will respond to your request individually. Your details remain private and are not disclosed to any partners unless you decide to proceed with a booking. Enjoy!


Wanderlust in your inbox

Wanderlust sends out regular email newsletters – be the first to know about web exclusives, competitions, hot offers and travel jobs. Register today!

I have read and agree to the Terms & Conditions