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travel galapagos

The Galápagos Islands

Travel Guide

Snorkel with the sea lions or lie in the sun with the iguanas, it’s up to you. The Galapagos Islands are a haven for some of the world’s most interesting and unique creatures. The isolation of these islands has created a wildlife playground where birds, sea and land animals are more curious and approachable than anywhere else on earth. From the stark, lava fields of Rabida to the rich vegetation and white sand beaches of Santa Cruz - the islands are yours to explore...

Galapagos Fast Facts

language in Galapagos

Languages Spoken

The official language spoken in The Galápagos Islands is Spanish.

Galapagos currency


Name: United States Dollar

Code: USD

Symbol: $

$20 is approx £15.49

time zone Galapagos

Time Zone

Time Zone: Galápagos Time is (UTC-06:00)

The best islands in the Galápagos

Tortoises on Santa Cruz Island
Santa Cruz Island
The economic centre of the Galápagos and the most populated island of the archipelago. The Charles Darwin Research Station is a 10 minute walk from Puerto Ayora. Visit the adult and baby Galápagos Tortoises, which are raised at the station. Check out Turtle Bay Beach, a 45 minute walk from Puerto Ayora along a lovely trail. The pristine white sand beach is absolutely stunning!
Birds at Isabela
Isabela is the largest and most volcanically active island in the archipelago. Mellow out in Puerto Villamil, hang out in a hammock and watch the boobies fly by. 
Underwater at Floreana Island
Floreana Island
Site of the famous ‘post office barrel’, which was placed there by whalers in the 18th century and is still in use today. Visit Pt. Cormorant, which has a jade green volcanic beach, a lagoon and occasional shore birds and flamingos. Snorkel at Devil’s Crown, a submerged volcanic cone.
Iguana in San Cristobal
San Cristobal
The easternmost island and one of the oldest. The principal town is Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, which is the capital of the Galápagos. Keep an eye out for bathing sea lions and the land iguanas brought back from the brink of extinction that the island is known for!

Why choose sailing in the Galápagos?

  • Meet the fleet
    Our sailing trips charter and maintain their own vessels to ensure you have a quality experience. From affordable boats to the more comfortable and luxurious options. Choose an option right for you.
  • Small group sailing
    The maximum group size on most vessels is 16. Our small group philosophy ensures you get the most out of the expertise of the fully-trained naturalist guide on board.
  • Quito flight included
    All of our Galapagos sailing trips include return flights between Quito and the islands so you don't need to think about that extra cost. Happy days!
  • Naturalist guides
    An expert naturalist guide is employed on each boat and hosts nightly seminars to discuss the local wildlife. They have a wealth of knowledge of all things Galápagos.
  • All meals on board included
    All of your meals on board (breakfast, lunch and dinner) are included, which will be freshly-prepared Ecuadorian and international cuisine such as seafood, salads, soups, desserts and more!
  • Make the most of your time
    Much of the sailing takes part at night to allow two on-shore excursions a day, typically spending up to four hours at each landing stop so you can really maximise your exploration time.

Sailing The Galápagos

A typical day of Galápagos sailing will see you snorkelling with sea lions, soaking up the sun next to a marine iguana and watching tropical penguins play around in the water. As a national park (and #1 on the UNESCO Heritage list), many parts are only accessible by boat and in the company of a guide. Hence the popularity of guided cruises! We have an amazing range of Galápagos sailing holidays, suitable for all budgets.
Estrella del Mar on the ocean
Aboard the Estrella del Mar | 7 Days or 10 days
Service Level: Standard

Crew: 7 crew + 1 naturalist guide

Boat Layout: Two-level deck, outdoor bar & area, interior dining room and lounge

Inside of the Xavier III boat
Aboard the Xavier III | 7 or 10 Days
Service Level: Standard

Crew: 7 crew + 1 naturalist guide

Boat Layout: Spacious main deck, bar & dining room, back deck has beautiful views

Naturalist guide
Aboard the Yolita | 7 or 10 Days
Service Level: Upgraded

Crew: 7 crew + 1 naturalist guide

Boat Layout: Large porch with lounge chairs, elegant dining room, lounge & bar and sunbeds

Galapagos travel costs

cost of beer in brazil


The typical cost of the local beer, Pilesner is $3 (approx £2.32). All beer has to pe imported from Ecuador so expect to pay a little more than you would on the mainland.

cost of food in brazil


You cannot visit The Galápagos Islands and not make the most of the fresh fish on offer. Tuck into a lobster dinner for just $10 (approx £7.73), chicken for $6 (approx £4.64) and grilled fish for $8 (approx £6.19).

taxi prices in brazil

Taxi Ride

There is a fixed tariff on the islands, so all taxis are $1 per ride within the towns. They all white pick up trucks, so there is plenty of room for your backpack or surfboard.

transport in brazil

Water Taxis

To reach secluded beaches and the more remote parts of the islands, you can pay $3 (approx £2.32) per person for a water taxi.

hostels in brazil


The key to a cheap stay in the Galápagos is to book ahead of time, to make sure you get a good room if you are looking to save the pennies. A room in a decent hostel or homestay costs around $25 (approx £19.33).

hotels in brazil


You can stay in a range of hotels in The Galápagos Islands from rustic to high end - you can get a midrange hotel room from $50 (approx £38.67).

When to visit The Galápagos Islands

Temperatures in the Galápagos vary very little, with highs of 31°C & lows of just 26°C. The more wet and humid months are December - April, however during this time you can catch the Green Sea Turtles laying their eggs and the penguins migrating between islands. From April onwards, it is far less humid and much drier. Catch the penguins courting in September & ogle at the Whale Sharks in November.
Cheap flights to Ecuador

Adventures in the Galápagos

For many people, the Galápagos will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, but you don't need to rush around all the islands - the wildlife is so extensive that you can gain a full appreciation simply by visiting two or three. Choose a land-based tour, where you stay on the main islands and meet the locals, explore the towns and rural hinterlands.
Galapagos Camping Adventure
Galápagos Adventure | 9 Days
It's not all about cruises in the Galápagos, so why not try this camping adventure on for size? There’ll be no lack of activities to keep you moving, with everything from snorkelling to a volcano hike of Sierra Negra to exploring lava tunnels. At the end of the day, you’ll camp out surrounded by the sounds of island wildlife, giving new meaning to the word “paradise.”
Snorkelling underwater in The Galápagos
Galápagos Island Hopping with Quito | 9 Days
This nifty little tour includes flights to the Galápagos from Quito and visits to three stunning islands; Santa Cruz, Floreana and Isabela. Snorkel the crystal waters, discover the Charles Darwin Station, stay with a local family and get up and close to the incredible wildlife.
Scenic view of The Galápagos Islands
Galápagos Multisport | 10 Days
This adventure is perfect for those who want to experience the incredible wildlife and scenery of the Galápagos Islands but prefer to sleep on shore. Spend your days with playful sea lions, snorkelling with eagle rays, and see the Galápagos giant tortoise. This adventure offers a great balance of guided excursions and free time and optional activities.

How to get to The Galápagos Islands

You can fly from two airports in mainland Ecuador (Quito or Guayaquil) to The Galápagos Islands. You can either fly into San Cristobal airport or Isla Baltra airport. It is often easier to fly into San Cristobal & out of Baltra (or vice versa), due to tours often starting & ending on these islands. 
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Need a little more inspiration? Check out the STA Travel blog!

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