Galapagos Islands

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The Galapagos Islands are one of the most unique travel destinations in the world, a once in a lifetime experience. Discover untouched nature, unique wildlife and the spectacular underwater world. During your trip to the Galapagos, experience the unique islands by cruise or by island hopping.

Why go on a round trip through the Galapagos Islands?

Groene Vink Ultimate eco-destination
Groene Vink Endemic animal species
Groene Vink Exclusive travel destination
Groene Vink Spectacular landscapes
Groene Vink Once in your lifetime experience

galapagos eilanden duikreis ricardo
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Photo impression of our round trips through the Galapagos Islands

General information about the Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean and belong to Ecuador. The archipelago consists of about 13 main islands and many more small islands and rock formations. Only a few islands are inhabited. The islands are of volcanic origin and are known for their unique ecosystems and plant and animal species. Some species are found nowhere else in the world. The archipelago is also on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Where are the Galapagos Islands?

The Galapagos Islands are located about 1,000 kilometers off the west coast of Ecuador, near the equator and in the Pacific Ocean. Its unique flora and fauna make it one of the most special places in the world.

Charles Darwin and the Galapagos Islands

Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in 1835 with the research vessel Beagle. He spent several weeks here studying the geology and biology of a number of islands. He was amazed at the species he saw here. Animals he saw showed similarities to mainland South American species, yet the animals looked slightly different. Partly because of his findings, the theory of evolution was born. In short, this theory means that humans, plants and animals originated from an ancestor and have adapted to their environment through natural selection. The Darwin’s finches are a well-known example.

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When is the best time to travel to the Galapagos Islands?

You can visit the archipelago throughout the whole round. The best period mainly depends on what you would like to see. There is a subtropical climate and the weather is influenced by the water currents that converge around the islands. Each season has its own pros and cons.

Warm and wet season

– January to June
– The temperature is between 26 and 33 degrees
– Water temperature can reach up to  25 degrees
– Clear visibility underwater
– Showers often fall in the late afternoon and evening

Cool and dry season

– July to December
– The temperature is around 25 degrees
– Water temperature can reach up to 21 degrees
– Breeding period for sea- and coastal birds

How to get to the Galapagos Islands

The islands can be reached by plane from Quito or Guayaquil. There are two airports on the Galapagos Islands, namely on the islands of Baltra and San Cristóbal. On the spot you travel by ferry or by domestic flight.

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What options are there to make a trip to the Galapagos Islands?

There are several options for a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Discover the inhabited islands through island hopping and take various tours to other islands. Or live the experience of staying overnight on a cruise and travel along the uninhabited islands, where other travellers don’t go.

Island hopping or cruise?

With island hopping you can spend the night on four islands and make various excursions from here. During a cruise, everything is arranged for you in terms of tours and meals and you often discover places that island hoppers cannot go.

Advantages of island hopping:

+ More freedom
+ Own choice of where, what and when you eat
+ You will experience local life on the islands
+ Lower price than a cruise

Disadvantages of island hopping:

– Travelling between the islands takes quite a lot of time
– Often limited to one or sometimes two tours per day
– Certain places cannot be visited from the inhabited islands

Advantages of cruising:

+ Often four tours per day
+ Exclusivity and luxury on board
+ You will reach places that island hoppers cannot
+Less travel time because you sail at night
+ Everything is included, no unexpected costs

Disadvantages of cruising:

– Fixed planning and time bound
– More expensive option than island hopping

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Nature on the Galapagos Islands

The islands are of volcanic origin. The oldest peaks are about four to five million years old. You will find ancient craters, pristine monthly landscapes, black lava flows, lava tunnels and lava fields. The coastal strips of the islands often have a desert or steppe-like appearance. Only high on the slopes can be found tropical forest.

The Galapagos Islands also have beautiful beaches. There are a number of white sand beaches, as well as beaches with black, green and even red sand. Discover all these landscapes during your trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Animals in the Galapagos Islands

Spotting unique wildlife is one of the main reasons to make a trip to the Galapagos Islands. Many animals are endemic and the unique thing is that the animals often live free and without fear of humans. This allows you to admire the animals up close.

The most famous animal of the Galapagos Islands is the giant tortoise. In addition, there are also sea lions, fur seals, iguanas, penguins and lava lizards. The bird species are also unique. Blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, albatrosses, cormorants and countless other bird species live here.

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Unique destination for underwater enthusiasts

Not only on land you will find unique animal species, but also underwater. During a trip to the Galapagos Islands, snorkeling or diving tours should not be missed. For example, swim with stingrays, marine iguanas, hammerhead sharks, reef sharks, sea turtles, whale sharks and colorful fish species. Also snorkel with sea lions and penguins. The underwater world is beautiful.

Diving in the Galapagos Islands

The convergence of warm and cold water currents allows you to dive in a pristine underwater world. Dive with manta rays, dolphins, marine iguanas, penguins, eagle rays, reef sharks, hammerhead sharks, colorful fish species, whale sharks, seahorses and Galapagos sharks. The best places to dive are Wolf and Darwin Island.

Snorkeling at the Galapagos Islands

In addition to diving, there are also many places suitable for snorkeling. Snorkel with sea turtles, marine iguanas, penguins, sea lions, rays, sharks and colorful fish. There are many beautiful places for snorkeling on the islands.

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Important information and expectiations

– Do not wait too long with booking the trip.

The Galapagos Islands are a protected area, which means that a maximum number of visitors per year is allowed. It is important to book your trip to the Galapagos Islands well in advance, as hotels and cruises are fully booked months in advance.

Additional costs

The domestic flight from Quito or Guayaquil costs around USD 400-600 per person (round trip). In addition, you also pay about USD 120 per person in entrance fees.


The islands are of volcanic origin, which makes for rugged landscapes. It is reminiscent of a moonscape. There are also a number of green plains, but otherwise there are mainly craters, lava fields, lava flows and volcanic beaches. Of course there are also a number of white sand beaches, but most beaches are volcanic and have black, red or even green sand.

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Inhabited Islands

Santa Cruz

Almost every trip to the Galapagos Islands starts at Santa Cruz. This is the second largest island and the most centrally located. The port town of Puerto Ayora is located in the south of the island and consists of several hotels, restaurants and souvenir shops. It’s a great place to explore the island or take day trips to nearby islands (such as Bartolomé, Santa Fe, and North Seymour).

Activities and tours:

– Charles Darwin Research Station
– Santa Cruz Highlands
– Tortuga Bay
– Snorkelling at Las Grietas

San Cristóbal

While travelling through the Galapagos Islands, don’t miss San Cristóbal Island. San Cristóbal was in fact the first island where Charles Darwin arrived and perhaps also your first introduction to the archipelago. There is also an airport on the island. Various excursions to nearby islands such as Española depart from the port town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (also the capital of the Galapagos Islands). There is also plenty to do on the island itself.

Activities and tours:

– Freshwater lake El Junco
– La Loberia
– Snorkelling at Tijeretas

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Isabela is the largest island of the archipelago. To the south is the harbor town of Puerto Villamil. The island looks rougher and more authentic than the other islands.

Activities and tours:

– Snorkelling at Las Tintoreras
– Sierra Negra volcano
– Concha de Perla


Floreana is the southernmost island of the archipelago and has an impressive history. Over the centuries pirates, whalers, prisoners and settlers lived here. The island is inhabited by only a small number of inhabitants. Puerto Velasco Ibarra is located in the north of the island. Would you like to spend the night on this quiet and authentic island? Book well in advance as there are only a few accommodations. It is one of the highlights of a trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Activities and tours:

 – Punta Cormorant
– Bahía Post Office
– La Lobería

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Uninhabited Islands

The archipelago has many uninhabited islands. Many of these islands can be reached from the inhabited islands, but some can only be reached by cruise. Examples of uninhabited islands include Española and Bartolomé.


Española is one of the most beautiful islands of your trip to the Galapagos Islands. It is the only place in the archipelago where the Galapagos albatross nest. The island can be visited with a cruise or day trip from San Cristóbal.


Bartolomé is a beautiful island and is known for the unprecedented views and unique snorkeling spots. The island can be visited with a cruise or day trip from Santa Cruz. Enjoy views of Pinnacle Rock, James Island and also the many volcanic craters. It is one of the most beautiful places during your trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Why travel through the Galapagos Islands with Unico Travel?

We are happy to put together your dream trip. At Unico Travel you always stay in unique places and in luxurious, atmospheric and small-scale accommodations. Before you receive a tailor-made trip from us, we like to speak to each other personally. We then know exactly which places and accommodations suit you. Are you interested in a trip to the Galapagos Islands? Please contact us! We are happy to put together the perfect trip for you, so that all you have to do is enjoy!

Curious? Request a round trip through the Galapagos Islands!