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The Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands travel tips

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

Wanderlust tips for travel in the Galápagos

  • Consider taking/hiring a wetsuit so that you can snorkel for longer if the water is chilly.
    You can take three-night, four-night or seven-night cruises but try to stay for a full week: much of the first and last day is spent travelling, so on a four-day trip you will only get two full days within the islands.
    The best three visitor sites are Española, Genovesa and Fernandina – pick an itinerary that includes these islands.
    Specialist cruises – for divers, bird-watchers, anglers etc – are available.

When to go to the Galápagos

The Galápagos is exciting year round. If you like it hot, go between December and March, when average temperatures range from 25-33°C, and the sea is ideal for snorkelling and diving. Land-based creatures thrive at this time of year, as there is plenty of food for insects, seeds for birds and fruits for iguanas. At sea, marine turtles come to mate and lay their eggs along the sandy beaches.

From April onwards the weather is cooler; there is lots of activity on land and at sea, and the islands are still green with plenty of flowers and insects. It’s also the time when albatross come back to Española to start their courtship.

By June many trees have shed their foliage and the islands take on a more arid appearance with no rain but a morning mist. Tortoises and sea lions begin breeding, as do many seabirds such as boobies and frigates. The seas get quite choppy between July and September and temperatures drop to 18-23°C.

Health & safety in the Galápagos

No inoculations are required and there are no nasties to catch, except the usual stomach bugs.

Seasickness is an issue, so if you are prone take some remedies and consider a bigger boat if travelling during the cooler, rougher season.

For mainland Ecuador hepatitis A, typhoid and dengue are present so consult your doctor before you go. 

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