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    Steppes Travel is made by the people who work here. Incredible holidays are made possible because of their vast travel experience and the great enthusiasm they bring to their work.

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    We carefully select our experts based on their knowledge, companionship and influence, ensuring that you can travel with the most knowledgeable leaders in the field.

Blue Footed Booby, Galapagos, Ecuador

Galapagos Islands Holidays

Darwin’s playground; where a delicate collection of fearless wildlife and idyllic landscapes awaits. Choose from one of the many beautiful lodges or take to the sea with expert guides in tow.

From sitting on a beach face-to-face with non-flinching sea lion pups to wandering through lush fields of giant land tortoises, a trip to the Galapagos Islands is one of the most magical travel experiences no matter your age.

While sailing around the Galapagos archipelago is a unique experience in itself, there are a number of additional exclusive experiences that we can arrange for ocean-bound voyagers. Savour a private al fresco sunset dinner as the vessel navigates past silhouetted islands, partake in chocolate-tasting and ceviche-making classes with on-board chefs, or privately charter a romantic vessel to celebrate an anniversary.

Observe giant tortoises grazing in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island, marvel at comical blue-footed boobies during their courtship dances, photograph marine iguanas diving into the sea off Isabela Island and snorkel with playful sea lions from the beach on San Cristobal Island. We can also arrange an exclusive behind the scenes visit to the Galapagos Science Centre, where it is possible to interact with scientists and chat about their important projects and community awareness programmes.

Galapagos Sea Lions, Gardner Bay, Espanola, Galapagos Islands
Espanola , Galapagos Islands

Why visit the Galapagos

Since both the land and marine creatures that inhabit the Galapagos Islands are utterly fearless, a journey around the landmasses brings voyagers face-to-face with their thousands-strong population of curious bubble-blowing sea lions, salt-spitting iguanas, clumsy blue-footed boobies, elusive red-lipped batfish, skulking hammerhead sharks, monogamous waved albatrosses and boisterous Galapagos penguins. Set 600 miles off the mainland, this is the only place in the world where zoom lenses are definitely not required to capture stunning wildlife portraits, the archipelago is all at once awe-inspiring and other-worldly. Explore the archipelago by boat with an expert guide in tow or choose from one of the many beautiful lodges.

Viewing Daphne Major island from boat, Galapagos
Galapagos Islands, Galapagos Islands

Cruising in the Galapagos

Fly from Ecuador’s mainland to the famous Galapagos Islands. Your chosen yacht will be your floating home for the week – a place to sleep, eat, relax and learn about the fascinating Galapagos Archipelago during evening lectures. In the day visit the different islands that offer an eclectic mix of landscapes, from the white sandy low-lying island of Floreana to the stark, steep, volcanic black lava fields of Fernandina and Isabela – all brought to life by your specialist guide.

Learn more about our Galapagos Cruises

Child on North Seymour Island, Galapagos
Family Holiday, Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Family Holidays

A supremely family-friendly destination, the Galapagos Islands is the only place in the world where can you get so close to creatures that have no fear of humans! Watch the comical nose-snorting of marine iguanas, lie in awe on red sand beaches as flamingos fly overhead and swim with sea lions as they blow bubbles. Some vessels offer special family departures where activities, walks and games are personalised for children, and earlier meal times can be arranged to accommodate their routines. Whether exploring by boat or from a land base, your National Park guide will show you all the islands have to offer both above and below the water – from pirate caves and sandy beaches to volcanic lava tunnels and dancing blue-footed boobies.

Galapagos Giant Tortoise, Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Giant Tortoise, Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Conservation Trust

Preservation, conservation and research are imperative to the Galapagos Islands, so we consciously work closely with partners that safeguard the archipelago and conduct research projects that are geared towards the maintenance of the archipelago. We are a Gold Corporate Member of the Galapagos Conservation Trust, the only UK charity that is focused solely on conservation in the archipelago. We also recently donated to the development of a citizen’s science programme concerning single-use plastic pollution in the archipelago. When you book a trip to the Galapagos Islands with Steppes Travel, you will also benefit from a complimentary, six-month membership with the Galapagos Conservation Trust.

Cruise the Galapagos Islands with Steppes Travel

A cruise is hard to beat if you want to see as much as possible on your Galapagos holiday. It is a great way for you to fully experience the huge variety of terrain and the richness of flora and fauna of the many different islands. There’s the added advantage that you travel whilst you sleep, making the most of every moment. The standard Galapagos cruise lasts for eight days, but there are options to stay longer.

Evolution Boat, Galapagos Islands
Evolution Boat, Galapagos Islands

What to expect on your Galapagos Islands cruise

Begin your Galapagos cruise by flying from mainland Ecuador to the Galapagos Islands. Here you will meet the crew and board your chosen boat. Most of the travelling will be done overnight, so straight after breakfast, you are ready to start exploring the islands. There will be twice daily excursions with expert Galapagos National Park guides that consist of either trail walks, kayaking or snorkelling adventures. In the evening the guides will give lectures about the wildlife, history and volcanic geography of the Galapagos archipelago, leaving you reeling with knowledge and trivia.

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Our favourite boats in the Galapagos Islands

Our Galapagos specialist team have first-hand experience of these vessels, having been aboard all of them during their travels around the archipelago. We can help you choose the right boat for you.

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Island-based Galapagos holidays

Whilst our Galapagos holiday experts often recommend a cruise, a growing number of visitors never set foot on a live-aboard boat as the choice of lodges and camps in the Galapagos is now at an all-time high. To quote Spike Milligan, ‘a sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree’ so if you want to explore the Galapagos but don’t have the sea legs for a cruise, speak to our experts. They know the best ‘trees’ under which to sit in the Galapagos or, for the more active, can arrange walking tours on volcanic islands or birding excursions into the islands’ interiors.

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Accommodation in the Galapagos

While we are advocates of cruising around the archipelago, we also know that many travellers are choosing to stay in lodges and camps in the Galapagos Islands. We can help you pick the perfect property, as we have visited or spent the night in all of them. Whether travelling with a young family or seeking a luxurious honeymoon, we have the perfect place for you.

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Experiences

Charles Darwin Research Centre

Visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre to learn about the biology, ecology and conservation of the archipelago.

Dine on Deck

Indulge in fresh and tasty meals served al fresco, perhaps washed down with a chilled glass of white wine, while the boat sails past dramatic coastlines.

Wildlife Spotting

Travel around the islands, totting up the impressive list of species spotted during a single day, from land iguanas and sea lions to blue footed boobies and sunfish.

Live the Island Life

Instead of (or in addition to) cruising, stay on one of the archipelago’s four inhabited islands for a slower paced experience and more interaction with the locals.

Charter a Boat

In the company of an expert naturalist guide and a professional crew, privately charter a vessel to explore the islands with family or friends for a feeling of complete exclusivity.

Walk Barefoot on Sandy Beaches

Stroll down red or white sand beaches, stopping to sit next to slumbering sea lions and watch penguins frolick in the turquoise surf.

Puerto Fish Market

Visit Puerto Ayora’s little fish market to watch as cheeky pelicans and sea lions wait for scraps.

Kayak in the Ocean

Move around the bays, stopping to watch sea lions and turtles, while kayaking over the tranquil water.

Snorkel with Marine Life

Don flippers and jump in the water to swim with playful sea lions, curious penguins and resting whitetip reef shark.

Volcanic Tunnel Adventure

Walk (and crawl) through giant hollow lava tunnels, long tubes left behind by the liquid magma that formed these islands.

Meet our experts

A passion for travel runs right through every one of our experts - meaning they're always ready with first-hand insight about their specialist countries.

Roxy Dukes

Wildlife is Roxy’s passion, so where better to immerse than in Darwin’s land? Having stepped on all but one of the islands in the archipelago and having personally visited our hand-picked selection of hotels and boats, there is little she does not know about the Galapagos Islands.
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James Armitage

James first visited the Galapagos Islands in 1981 and has subsequently returned another four times. With every visit, the wildlife both above and below the water is enchanting.
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Paul Bird

The moment a blue footed booby makes its dive and plunges like a dart into the water is special, but to see hundreds do this at once was a breath-taking experience that Paul was not prepared for.
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John Faithfull

Half of the appeal of the Galapagos Islands is underwater, and a few minutes in the company of a five-metre manta ray off the coast of Isabela Island remains one of John’s most vivid memories of this incredible archipelago.
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Frequently asked questions about Galapagos Islands

Where are the Islands in relation to Ecuador?

The Islands are located on the equator approximately 600 miles from the coast of mainland Ecuador. It’s a three-hour flight from Quito or 2 hours from Guayaquil and all flights go via Guayaquil.

Can I walk anywhere on the Islands?

All walking trails are clearly signed at each visitor site and designated to avoid disturbing the wildlife or vegetation. You must be accompanied by a naturalist guide at all times.

How long should I spend in the Galapagos?

There are many islands to visit therefore seven-night/eight-day cruise is usually a reasonable length of time to explore the islands. If time is not restricted, then stay as long as you can as there is
plenty to see.

How many islands make up the Galapagos Islands?

The reserve consists of 19 large islands and has a land area of approximately 5,000 square miles and the marine reserve covers approximately 50,000 square miles.

How many of the Islands are inhabited?

A total of four islands are inhabited in the Galapagos National Park: Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isla Isabela, Floreana with approximately 28,000 people living there.

Is it possible to visit the Islands independently?

You can choose to visit four of the Islands however you will require a guide to explore outside the towns and will miss out on wildlife inhabiting the smaller islands.

What are wet and dry landings?

Dry landings are when you disembark the panga straight onto dry land. Wet landings are when you get out into the surf on a beach – generally about ankle depth.

When is the peak season?

Peak season is during the festive period Christmas and New Year and school holidays with the low season being in the months of late August, September and October where the majority of the boats go into dry-dock for maintenance. Generally, the Galapagos is a year-round destination and the seasons are not defined by the weather.

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Explore Galapagos Islands

  • Isabela Island
  • Santa Cruz
  • South Plaza
  • Santa Fe
  • Bartolome
  • San Salvador
  • Fernandina
  • San Cristobal

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We would recommend Steppes for anyone travelling to the Galapagos Islands- they are lovely company to deal with from start to finish, and James not only listened but went out of his way to accommodate our requests. Thank you!

Destination: Galapagos Islands
Travel Expert: James

Roxy recommended that we should add on a trip to the Amazon ahead of our Galapagos Islands journey, and what a brilliant addition it was. We loved every moment of our time in both places, and were impressed with Roxy's advice.

Destination: Amazon & Galapagos Islands
Travel Expert: Roxy

John at Steppes has been excellent, brilliantly helpful, so knowledgeable and always happy to answer questions. He was brilliant at really listening to us in our first conversations, and tailored a trip that suited us perfectly.

Destination: Galapagos Islands
Travel Expert: John

What a wonderful trip. I especially enjoyed snorkelling with playful sea lions, swimming with penguins, seeing a huge manta ray and spotting the occasional shark.

Destination: Galapagos Islands
Travel Expert: Roxy

Roxy was excellent at knowing what we needed from our family trip to the Galapagos Islands. Despite booking it with little time to spare, everything was seamlessly arranged with very little effort from us.

Destination: Galapagos Islands
Travel Expert: Roxy

Why Choose Steppes?

Our knowledge and expertise sets us apart. So too our curiosity. A curiosity of the world and of you, and your passions. It is this that drives us to create a journey that is really bespoke to you.

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Why Steppes