The Galapagos Islands are one of the most incredible wildlife watching venues in the world. It is a haven for nature enthusiasts, a place of sublime lava formations, forests of cacti, green highlands and tropical beaches where you can get up close to fearless iconic, endemic species such as lumbering giant tortoises and marine iguanas, swim with playful sea lions and lose count of the bird species you’ve spotted.

While the classic way to discover the archipelago is by yacht cruise, land-based explorations of the Galapagos are a relaxing, luxurious and increasingly popular alternative. It’s also a fabulous way to chill out before or after a few days at sea, and ideal for families.

There are a selection of lavish lodges and even African safari style camps to be found on the two main islands of Santa Cruz and Isabela. Our favourites have excellent eco-credentials and offer range of excursions such as hiking, snorkelling and day trips to neighbouring islands. So, while you may not be able to visit the remoter islands, staying on land doesn’t mean missing out on the Galapagos experience.

Our expert Travel Designers have visited them all and can give you first-hand advice on the best option for your bespoke Galapagos tour.

My first visit to the Galapagos was better than I could have ever imagined and these beautiful islands quickly became my favourite destination in South America. The extreme isolation of the archipelago means it is home to unique wildlife you won’t find anywhere else in the world. You’ll have the chance to snorkel with sea lions, turtles and penguins, hike through the highlands next to giant tortoises and climb up to the craters of dormant volcanoes. Staying in one of our carefully selected luxury lodges is a fantastic way to explore the islands. Whether you choose to stay by the beach or up in the highlands – or both – this is a great option for families or groups who are looking for a little more flexibility.

Lily Bunker
Senior Travel Designer

What to do

  • Nature walks
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkelling
  • Boat trips to neighbouring islands
  • Diving (only on special dive programs)

When to go

All year round is good for the Galapagos as different seasons present different opportunities for wildlife spotting.


Luxury Galapagos Hotels

Here are some of our travel designers' favourite options