Dawns top tips for the Galapagos

Ask the Experts: Dawn’s 10 top tips for making the most of your Galapagos holiday

Published by

The Galapagos Islands, located off the coast of Ecuador, are a unique and spectacular destination, offering the chance to experience the incredible natural beauty and diversity of the area. With its stunning landscapes, amazing wildlife, and fascinating history, it’s not hard to see why the Galapagos Islands attract visitors from all over the world.

Planning a trip to this remote and isolated archipelago can be a little daunting – with a whole host of options to choose from. And that’s where we come in! Dawn and Lou, our wonderful Galapagos experts, have a host of first-hand experience exploring these incredible Islands (and the befriending the local wildlife, too!)

Below, Dawn shares 10 of her top tips for your Galapagos holiday: Why you’ll love it, when to go, what to pack and things to bear in mind while you’re there!

Why you need to go to the Galapagos Islands

“Few things in life are as special as sharing an adventure you’ll never forget with the ones you love… Enter the Galapagos Islands!

One of my favourite places on earth, a Galapagos holiday is sure to be a journey of discovery for all ages. It’s the perfect adventure for families looking to enjoy exploring a whole new world of landscapes and wildlife together.

There are so many experiences on offer: Head off on a nature walk, try your hand at sea kayaking and explore the many hiking trails. The Galapagos also offers some of the best snorkelling opportunities in the whole world. Half of the islands’ wildlife is found the water line – so be sure to spend some time away from dry land! Swimming with playful young sea lions is one of my very favourite Galapagos memories. It’ll never leave me.

A huge part of visiting these special islands is knowing that you’re contributing to their future through the park fees. You’ll come to see its beauty, but you’ll leave with an understanding of just how fragile the Galapagos Islands are and a seriously strong desire to help protect them.”

Here are 10 top tips from our Dawn, to help make sure you get the very best out of your Galapagos holiday.

1. Choose the right time to visit

The Galapagos Islands have a unique climate, with two distinct seasons: the warm, rainy season from December to May, and the cool, dry season from June to November. The best time to visit depends on what you’re most hoping to see, really. If you’re interested in seeing the famous giant tortoises, visit between July and December. If you want to see sea turtles hatching, visit between December and March. And if you want to see whale sharks, visit between June and November.

2. Book your trip early

The Galapagos Islands are such a special place. To keep them protected, there are limits in place for how many tourists can visit in any season. So, we recommend that it’s best to book a Galapagos exploration between six months and one year in advance. If you have a specific itinerary, boat, lodge, hotel, or room category in mind though, the further in advance you book, the better. We’ll always do what we can to secure it for you!

3. Make your choice: Cruise or dry land?

One of the next decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want to head off on a cruise, stay on dry land, or a combination of both!  We can talk through the pros and cons of each option with you and help to come up with a Galapagos adventure that’ll be perfect for you.

4. Respect the wildlife

One of the most important Galapagos travel tips is to respect the animals and their natural habitat while visiting. Keep your distance, don’t use your camera’s flash, and do not touch or feed the wildlife.

5. Pack cleverly!

When packing for your trip to the Galapagos Islands, it’s important to remember that the climate can be unpredictable. Don’t forget to bring plenty of sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses to protect yourself from the strong equatorial sun. Also, make sure you pack comfortable walking shoes (break them in before your trip!), a waterproof jacket, and insect repellent.

6. Follow the official rules

The Galapagos National Park Directorate created a list of official park rules for all travellers to abide by. These are all written with the intention of protecting this unique place and the wildlife that calls it home. The most important of these guidelines are to always respect your environment, stay with your guide, walk only on the marked trails and to leave no trace of your visit on the islands. Also, always be sure to follow the instructions of your guide – their priority will always be to preserve this amazing natural wonder for future generations.

7. Watch your step

Even though there are designated paths, this generally does not stop the animals from passing through or sometimes resting along the trail. Also, keep an eye out for uneven terrain and be sure to hold on tight when stepping on or off the dinghy.

Galapagos sea lions bathing in the last sunlight at the beach of Espanola island

8. Be alert (and keep your camera handy!)

A Galapagos trip is all about the wildlife! Keep your eyes (and ears) open for your chance to spot some incredible and unique creatures. Have your cameras ready in case that perfect shot presents itself. You never know when a seal lion might strike a pose or a Blue-footed boobie might turn up.

Blue-footed Boobie

9. Explore the water

Take advantage of the water activities as underwater exploration presents unforgettable opportunities to swim with an abundance of marine wildlife, including whale sharks, the world’s biggest fish, as well as friendly sea lions!

10. Be prepared for the unexpected

Despite careful planning, unexpected events can still happen. In the event of bad weather, cancellations, or other unforeseen circumstances, it’s important to be flexible and prepared to adjust your itinerary.

In conclusion, a trip to the Galapagos Islands truly is an experience of a lifetime – it deserves a place on your holiday wishlist! By following these top tips for your Galapagos holiday, you’ll make sure that you make the most of your time in this unique and captivating destination. From selecting the right time of year to visit and planning where to stay, to choosing the best activities and respecting the local wildlife. These tips will help you have a safe, enjoyable, and unforgettable adventure in the Galapagos. So pack your bags, get ready to explore, and prepare to be amazed by the wonders of this extraordinary archipelago. Get in touch with Dawn or Lou, our Galapagos experts, on 01242 253 073 to start planning your getaway today.

Latest Posts