Don't miss out on a visit the Darwin Research Centre at Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz island.
Neill, Original Diver
The Galapagos Archipelago, often the main reason to visit Ecuador, consists of 18 volcanic islands which have never been connected to the mainland, meaning that many species have evolved completely independently.
Why we think you’ll love it
- Head to Darwin and Wolf on a liveaboard for stunning encounters with whale sharks, mantas, hammerheads...if you like big fish then the Galapagos is hard to beat.
- You'll find a unique combination of sun, sea, sand and the opportunity to interact with incredible wildlife (think: snorkelling with baby sea lions!) - what's not to love?
- One of the incredible things about the wildlife both on land and sea is that they remain largely oblivious to the presence of man making encounters all the more close.
From the gallery
Our Guide to Galapagos Archipelago Diving Holidays
Home to a rich variety of marine and land creatures - some of them found nowhere else in the world - the Galapagos Islands were the inspiration for Charles Darwin's groundbreaking 'On the Origin of Species', in which he articulated his theory of evolution.
Six hundred miles from the Ecuadorian mainland in the Pacific Ocean, these islands need little introduction - a group of volcanic, harsh and isolated islands where species have evolved independently from the rest of the planet. Marine iguanas and giant galapago, or tortoises, capture the limelight but there are many other animals, birds and flora unique to the islands.
Nearly a quarter of all species found here are endemic and due to their historic isolation have no instinctive fear of man. As a result, travellers to the islands come into close contact with an impressive array of animal life including fur seals, marine iguanas, blue and red footed boobies, flightless cormorants, manta rays, penguins, turtles, and giant tortoises.
Whenever on land, you are - by law - accompanied by a multilingual and highly-trained guide who should be a fountain of knowledge on all things related to not only the ecology of the Galapagos but the islands' history and culture as well.
Ask a supremely knowledgeable Original Travel Latin America team member for more information, because while all expeditions to the islands are conducted by boat with landfalls made under the strict supervision of professional guides, from personal experience there are operators we would particularly recommend. Pick the right boat and this should be a fascinating experience that will see you get close up to some amazing wildlife and possibly even snorkelling or diving with sealions and penguins.
While the vast majority of visitors to the Galapagos spend their time aboard a cruise on one of the excellent boats available, there is also the possibility to stay in a very comfortable hotel on the main island of Santa Cruz.