Things to do during your Galapagos Islands Travel Vacation
With its unique ecology, rugged landscape and wealth of wildlife, there are endless things to do while on vacation in the Galápagos Islands. And with Hurtigruten Expeditions, it’s more than just a sightseeing tour, it’s a journey of discovery.
Our expedition boats are ideal for seeking out marine life, from dolphins and sharks to sea turtles and whales. And if you’d like to try something a little different, you can also hop aboard our glass-bottom boat to get underwater views of coral reefs and tropical fish without even getting wet.
One of our favourite nature walks is through the lush highlands of Santa Cruz, where giant tortoises lumber around undisturbed. On a Galápagos Islands trip with Hurtigruten Expeditions, you’ll not only see these remarkable animals, you’ll learn about how you can help preserve their habitat and protect their species. You can even help collect important data and contribute to global research projects.
SUP boarding is great fun too. If you’ve never tried it before, SUP boards are easy to master and manoeuvre, allowing you to explore every bay and inlet. And the calm, warm sea of the Galápagos is the perfect place to practice this new skill. Whenever you need a break, simply sit down and relax.
All equipment is provided onboard, you just need to bring your sense of adventure.
Our top snorkelling spots while touring the Galápagos Islands include Eden Islet off the coast of Santa Cruz. As a simple sliver of volcanic rock amongst the turquoise waters, the shallows around Eden are teeming with life – be on the lookout for rays and turtles. Playa Mansa is also a great place to go snorkelling. The secluded mangrove cove creates a calm, sheltered bay perfect for subaquatic exploration.
You can enjoy snorkelling all year round, but one of the best times for it in the Galápagos Islands is from January to May when the weather is at its warmest and the sea is calmer.
On land, you can get even closer to the action. Because of the isolated nature of the Galápagos Islands, species have evolved without many predators, making them mostly indifferent to the presence of humans. This allows you admire the animals at a close but respectable distance. From snow-white beaches to rocky shores and green forests, you can photograph iconic wildlife like giant tortoises, lizards and iguanas in their natural habitat.
Our itineraries are carefully designed to ensure we visit the best wildlife viewing locations across the islands, giving you the most photo opportunities. Our complete tours include visits to the giant tortoises of Santa Cruz, the boobies of San Cristobal, the Waved Albatrosses of Española and the sea lions of North Seymour.
We’ll also visit Española Island, which is the main breeding ground for Waved Albatrosses. Although they live here in large numbers, this is their almost exclusive breeding ground and so, they’re classed as critically endangered. At Punto Pitt on San Cristobal Island, you can also see up to three different species of booby: the colourful Blue-footed Booby, the determined Red-footed Booby, and the large Nazca Booby.
Other interesting birds to keep watch for while cruising the islands are Galápagos Penguins – the only species to live north of the Equator –, the formidable Galápagos Hawk, and the Greater Frigatebird with its characteristic red throat.
On San Cristobal Island, we also visit the Cerro Colorado Tortoise Reserve where giant tortoises roam freely around the six-hectare open forest. At the reserve, you can also see other endemic species like San Cristobal Mockingbirds and San Cristobal lava lizards.
Throughout your trip, you’ll learn about the ecosystems of the Galápagos Islands. You can even participate in global research as part of Citizen Science projects and analyse samples in our onboard Science Corner.