The Galapagos Archipelago Islands
The Galapagos archipelago is made up of 19 main islands, which includes the largest Isabela and most populated Santa Cruz, three small…
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 what your age.
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.
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.
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.
Our Galapagos specialist team have first-hand experience of all the boats available and will find the right one for you.
Our Galapagos specialist team have first-hand experience of these having been aboard all during their travels around the Galapagos Islands and they can help you choose the right boat for you.
A stylish 138-foot-long motor yacht that features eight…
An 100-foot-long live-aboard advanced diving yacht, Galapagos Sky…
A 115-foot-long high-end catamaran designed for comfort and…
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.
Our experts often recommend cruising, but a growing number of visitors are choosing lodges and camps in the Galapagos Islands. To quote Spike Milligan, “a sure cure for seasickness is to sit under a tree”, so if you want to explore the archipelago but don’t have sea legs we can help you pick the perfect property.
Consisting of just three superbly constructed eco villas…
A uniquely intimate concept in the Galapagos Islands,…
An oceanfront residence overlooking Pelican Bay on Santa…
Visit the Charles Darwin Research Centre to learn about the biology, ecology and conservation of the archipelago.
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.
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.
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.
Stroll down red or white sand beaches, stopping to sit next to slumbering sea lions and watch penguins frolick in the turquoise surf.
Visit Puerto Ayora’s little fish market to watch as cheeky pelicans and sea lions wait for scraps.
Move around the bays, stopping to watch sea lions and turtles, while kayaking over the tranquil water.
Don flippers and jump in the water to swim with playful sea lions, curious penguins and resting whitetip reef shark.
Walk (and crawl) through giant hollow lava tunnels, long tubes left behind by the liquid magma that formed these islands.
Our experts have created and curated these tailor-made holiday ideas to get you started. Take the time to search through them and find something that is the spark for your unique adventure.
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.
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.
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 a honeymoon, anniversary or birthday party.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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