How To Visit the Galapagos Islands

60,000 travelers visit the Galapagos Islands each year, drawn by the variety of fish, birds, and tortoises that are endemic to the Galapagos Islands. Located off the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands provide the perfect vacation destination for sightseers, snorkelers and adventurers of all ages.

Travelers should choose a season carefully when deciding when to visit the Galapagos Islands. The peak seasons for visiting the Galapagos Islands are June through November and mid-December through mid-January.

  • June through November on the Galapagos Islands is characterized by a fine, ever-present mist; cold water; chilly temperatures; and a rough, windy sea. Nature enthusiasts and serious divers may want to visit the Galapagos Islands during this period. Penguins, attracted by the cooler water and increased number of fish, visit the Galapagos Islands’ shores, as do seabirds such as albatrosses and blue-footed boobies. Divers who visit the Galapagos Islands during this season have to brave chilly water temperatures but are rewarded by an increased number and variety of fish to view.
  • The high season for visiting the Galapagos Islands is mid-December through January. The air and water are warmer, but it’s also the Galapagos Islands’ rainy season. Though fewer fish swim in the ocean around the Galapagos Islands at this time, the calmer, warmer water makes it ideal for travelers who visit the Galapagos Islands for snorkeling and swimming. Tourists who visit the Galapagos Islands for the wildlife can enjoy watching the mating rituals of land birds, sea turtles and sea lions.

Most travelers who visit the Galapagos Islands come via TAME, the government-run airline that provides daily flights to the Isla Baltra Airport. Visitors who prefer private airlines can travel to the Galapagos Islands via AeroGal, which offers three flights to the Galapagos Islands daily. Flights to the Galapagos Islands fill up fast, so travelers should book their seats well in advance.

One of the most popular ways to visit the Galapagos Islands is by boat. Organized tours allow Galapagos Island travelers to explore the Galapagos Islands from the comfort of a luxury ship. Tours of the Galapagos Islands are generally arranged around sightseeing, exploring, or scuba diving. As with flights to the Galapagos Islands, tours to the Galapagos Islands fill up fast, especially during the high season.

The laws that protect the wildlife on the Galapagos Islands also limit the number of tourists who can visit the Galapagos Islands each season. Travelers should be sure to book their visit to the Galapagos Islands early.

 

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