Visits to the Islands
There are two visits per day to the islands, one in the morning and another in the afternoon. Our naturalist guides will take you directly to the most fantastic and emblematic locations on each island and introduce you o the mysterious and wonderful secrets of its flora, fauna and geology, either walking, hiking or snorkeling.
Depending on the itinerary, you will also alternate these activities with swimming on colorful sand beaches, watching sea lions on a rocky shore, taking a tour of the Darwin Research Station, and souvenir shopping.
To get to the various sites, there are two types of landing:
Dry Landings: Passengers step directly from a dinghy onto rocks or a dock. We recommend walking shoes, sunblock, hat, drinking water, insect repellent, and a light jacket. Special care is highly recommended when walkin on wet rock.
Wet Landings: The dinghy edges toward the beach, where you step into kee-deep water assisted by crew members and guides. We recommend swimming suit or shorts, walking shoes or strap sandals, towel, sunblock, hat, insect, repellent, plastic bag, well-insulated cameras and a windbreaker for windy or rainy days.
Unlike the usual cruise, your visit to the Galapagos Islands offers a variety of activities, so you must come prepared. The main leisure interest is admiring the wildlife and the amazing topographic features. Various hikes along well-marked paths have been chosen to offer you the best views and sites. Hiking may involve various degrees of difficulty (easy, moderate or hard).
While hiking, you will be able to bird-watch, take pictures, stroll on the beach, take walks, visit museums and naturalist parks, as well as trek up mountainsides. Other activities include snorkeling and swimming, so for each activity you wish to participate in, you must take appropriate clothing and gear with you.
Level of Difficulty in Hiking
The degree of difficulty gives a general idea about what to expect. Most hikes are all right for the majority of people and the degree of difficulty should not be a deterrent to take part in them. Only if you have some major handicap should you consider staying aboard for the hardest hikes. Sometimes, even going ashore without taking part in the hike can be an interesting experience. You can always ask your guide if you have any questions. The levels of difficulty are divided in three categories:
Easy: Flat terrain without any climbing. The surface can be rocky, though usually it means sand or dirt. The hike doesn’t last more than one hour.
Moderate: Flat terrain or with some slope. The surface is mostly rocky and/or slippery. The hike lasts about one and a half hours.
Hard: A hike on steep surfaces, mostly comprised of rocks and broken up lava flows. The hike lasts between two and three hours.
Water: On-board desalination plants enable our vessels to produce water directly from the ocean. Ultraviolet purification systems, strategically located allow us to provide you with clean drinking water. Producing fresh water in this way reduces the enviromental impact of our journey and allows us to tap into the vast natural resource surrounding us. You will find bottled water in your cabin (1 bottle per person). Please reuse your bottles by refilling them. Please take the bottles with you back to the mainland. This will help reduce waste and preserves the ecological treasure that is The Galapagos Archipelago. We recommend you drink water at regular intervals even while on board your vessel.
Tipping & Gratuities
This is a very sensitive matter. Over the years, we often have been asked what amount of gratuity is appropriate for the crew and guides. The quality of service should determine the amount of any tip.
Based on common practice, our suggestion is: $