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Galapagos Diving

Galapagos CruiseGalapagos Family CruiseGalapagos CruiseGalapagos Land Tours

The Galapagos Islands

The Galapagos Islands are a unique and unforgettable destination.  Over thousands of years, wildlife here evolved without being affected by humans.  The result? Get close to wild birds that just stare back, swim alongside sea turtles and get to know an aged giant tortoise.

Did You Know

  • The marine reserve surrounding Galapagos is second only in size to the Great Barrier Reef; making Galapagos a fantastic destination for snorkeling and scuba diving.
  • 97.5% of the Galapagos Islands are protected National Park, and many areas arecompletely out of bounds to visitors
  • The 19 volcanic islands developed in different ways, creating the natural diversity that inspired Charles Darwin´s Origin of Species
  • Most reptiles in the Galapagos Islands are endemic i.e. can only be found in the Galapagos Islands
  • The Galapagos Island tortoises can weight 880lb and live for 100 years
  • Park restrictions mean that only selected areas can be visited - and always with a qualified natualist guide.

How to Visit the Galapagos Islands


The Galapagos Islands lie 600 miles off the mainland of Ecuador.  Visitors fly from the Ecuadorian cities of Guayaquil or Quito.  There are two airports on the Galapagoss< one on San Cristobal Island and the otehr on Baltra Island, with an easy connection to the largest town of Puerto Ayoro.  Flights take 1 hour and 40 mins.

Cruise or Hotel?

Visiting the Galapagos Islands involves experiencing all the different wildlife and landscapes it has to offer.  This means, the more places you visit, the more you will get out of your Galapagos experience.  It is simply not worth travelling all the way to The Galapagos and then staying in one placa. The Galapagos is a place for exploration.

The easiest way to visit multiple islands, is on a cruise.  Small ships visit multiple Galapagos islands on routes designated by thwe park authorities to cause minimum impact. Cruises last from 4-15 days and invlove visitis to different islands each day.

For those who prefer to be based on land, there are some excellent hotel-basedalternatives - offering multi-island packages and day trips to different islands.

Cruise Galapagos

At Ideal we only work with the best ships offering comfortable accommodations and small groups.  Boats range from more economic First class to our Luxury Cruises.  Smaller vessels hold just 16 passengers and the largest less than 100.  These are not large liner cruises, but the emphasis is on exploration and adventure.  A typical day on a Galapagos Cruise.  There are a whole range of galapagos Cruise ships and cruises to suit everyone:  Galapagos family cruise, Galapagos 8 day cruise, Galapagos diving, Galapagos 4 day cruise.


Hotel Based Galapagos Tours

Stay in one hotel and take day trips to different islands, or choose a multi-island package.  Hotel based options are very flexible.  You can enjoy a multitude of activities such as wildlife excursions to nearby islands, hiking, mountain biking, snorkelling, scuba diving or simply relaxing.  Hotel Based Galapagos Tour

Cruise and Hotel Tours

One option is to take a cruise around the islands and then finish it off with a few days  in a hotel.  This gives a nice combination of structured tours and more relaxed activities.

When to Visit Galapagos

The fabulous news is that the Galapagos is great all year round.  Because of its position near the Equator the climate in the Galapagos Islands is generally mild.  From December to May, teh warm currents from Panama mean warmer waters for swimming and snorkelling.  The rainy season starts in January, turning the islands green and lush.  June to November is very dry but the sea currents mean it is also the colder time of year. This is the time to use a short wetsuit for snorkelling.  The official ´low seasons´ are April-May and September-October when it might be possible to get a reduced price tour.

The Galapagos Year is marked by the cycle of life of the wildlife so if you want to see Galapagos Penguins, September is the best time.  June to November bring cooler waters and more fish life so this is a good time for scuba diving.  Galapagos wildlife Calendar.

Related programs:

Peru Tour and Galapagos Cruise
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8 spectacular days cruising the Galapagos
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Colonial cities of Ecuador and Galapagos Cruise
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Hotel Based Galapagos and Machu Picchu
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Hotel Based Galapagos Tour
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Family friendly tour of Galapagos and Peru with 5 Day Galapagos Cruise.
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6 Day Vacation including 5 Day family-friendly Galapagos Cruise
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Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and Galapagos Cruise
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Cruise the Galapagos and see Machu Picchu in 9 unforgettable days

The Galapagos Islands and The Amazon Jungle
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First, we had a wonderful time and the trip was fun and interesting. We managed not to get sick and did not have any altitude

Alan and Judy, Peru & Ecuador

Hi Max, I can't tell you pleased we were with what you arranged for us. We, I had a great time and the fact that

Dave, Peru & Galapagos

Hey Donovan - the overall trip exceeded our expectations.  We would definitely recommend the trip, even though it was a bit expensive for our friends,

Brian S, Peru & Galapagos

HI Max and Donovan,I would like to thank you for a lovely Trip.  The Coral staff did an awesome job making our vacation spectacular.The DietrichsEcuador &

The Dietrichs, Ecuador & Galapagos

Max,Just wanted to touch base and you let know how great our trip went.  Other than AA losing Jill’s bag (which caused a bit of

Darin, Peru & Galapagos

Hi Donovan the trip through Costa Rica was fabulous. Once again you did an outstanding job giving us a trip to remember. Our guide, Charlie

Linda, Costa Rica

We had the best time ever, just an exceedingly wonderful whirlwind tour of Peru and the Galapagos. Your tour guides were so careful and aware

Jane and Sue, Peru

I had contracted with Ideal South America (ISA), after checking with eleven other travel agencies.  If you plan on a trip to South America I

Col. Ed Scholl, Peru

Max, The trip was fantastic and you put together a very nice itinerary.  The guides were very knowledgeable and the lodging was great, the flights

Ralstons & Pruesses, Peru

As promised, a while back, I am sending you some pictures from our trip to Peru. As I mentioned previously, we had an amazing time!

Peru, Eid-Heberle Family

I wanted to take a moment and thank you and your staff for planning and delivering an incredible trip! Alyssa and I had an amazing

Jake and Alyssa

We are back we had a great time. Thanks for your careful planning. The Andes were spectacular, the yacht was terrific … the Galapagos amazing.

Schreibers, Florida

"We had a wonderful time on our trip. Everything went really smoothly and we enjoyed all of our excursions. It was the trip of a

Ralston Family, California

Our trip was wonderful! Everything was well organized, hotels were great, and the weather was close to perfect.

Lewis Family, Pennsylvania

Jan 2013

...the places we saw exceeded our expectations. Machu Picchu is way better than the pictures show. The Galapagos trip is also great. I guess the

Sonny & Amanda Punzalan, California

Dec 2012

The trip to Ecuador and Peru were great! We felt that all of the guides, drivers, and transfers were excellent. Everything went well

Sue Clark & Family, Washington

Peru & Ecuador, Dec 2012

We had the best time and wanted to let you know that every hotel, transfer, guide, connection, tour, mode of transportation, and cruise were perfect.

Mark Stout & Family, Pennsylvania

Machu Picchu & Galapagos, Dec 2012

Thanks for the ideal trip. Everything worked out perfectly. Loved having somebody with name card at every airport to pick us up and give

Bruce Thaler, Philadelphia

Machu Picchu & Galapagos, November 2012

It was marvelous and the trip of a lifetime. If I searched for a fault in the trip I could not find one to complain

Howard Silberstein, Miami

Galapagos & Ecuador, November 2012

Thank you guys for planning our Galapagos and Machu Picchu trip. We had a great time! The transfers were punctual, and the guides

Yau Ru Chen, Los Angeles

Machu Picchu Galapagos, October 2012

Thanks for arranging such an awesome trip for the Whiteside family when in Peru this week. The guides were absolutely superb

Janet Whiteside, Florida

Peru, July 2012

The experience from beginning to end was excellent. The combination of Sacred Valley, Iguazu ending in Rio is great

Paul Jones

Machu Picchu, Iguazu & Rio, March 2012

We just returned from our South American trip with fond memories and no hitches. Thanks to your planning and foresight.

Victor Limlingan, Travel Agent – The Philippines

Ecuador, Galapagos & Panama, June 2012

...we were so pleased with your services and will be booking with you again for our South American travel in the future!

Jennafer Bonello – Washington DC

Peru, June 2012

We had a wonderful trip. everything went well and all the guides were super nice and helpful.

Hamila Atefi – Washington DC

Peru and Galapagos, May 2012

I just wanted to say thank you for all of your hard work planning my trip. It was all appreciated, and provided us with

Chris Leggat – New York

Galapagos & Machu Picchu, June 2012

Just back from one of the most enjoyable and well put together vacation trips we have ever experienced! Thanks for putting it all together for

Rick Velategui – USA

Peru, Galapagos, Oct 2011

The hotels, guides & drivers were first class & we could not have expected anything more than what was delivered. Thank you again

Mike & Carol Lipischak

Peru, November 2011