To visit the Galapagos Islands is to experience a marvel of Mother Nature and one of the world’s great wonders. Largely untouched by human activity over the centuries, this volcanic archipelago is home to a fascinating array of land and marine species found nowhere else. 

The wildlife of the Galapagos, each adapting to its unique geography and climate, became the bedrock for Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution during his visit in 1835. And, in these islands, nature reigns. Crimson red Sally Lightfoot Crabs and Blue-footed Boobies contrast dramatically against dark lava rocks. Basking Sea Lions dot powder-white beaches while Pelicans and Frigatebirds soar effortlessly above. Plunge into the clear turquoise waters to join playful Sea Lions, jet-setting Penguins and a myriad of colorful fish; lock eyes with a Sea Turtle whose entrancing gaze seems to hold secrets of the deep. On land, the Giant Galapagos Tortoise, for which these islands were named, have a magical presence all their own. Visit the breeding centers to learn how researchers are working to protect these creatures weighing up to 500 lbs!

Whether exploring by land or sea, each day is as varied as the islands are different–from birdwatching and hiking to the world’s second largest caldera, to kayaking through mangroves and diving with sharks. This UNESCO World Heritage site is explored and loved by travellers of all ages, activity levels and interests. From the comfort of a luxury yacht to a safari-style tent–and everything in between–the possibilities for discovery are endless, but the experience is one-of-a-kind.

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each of our private Galapagos tours are a masterfully choreographed experience with exclusive local access and an impeccable standard of service sewn into every detail

This is our craft. Our commitment.

Eric Sheets

FOUNDER

With our extensive Galapagos knowledge and experience, Latin Excursions offers first-rate service and an award-winning travel portfolio that includes both private and small group adventures. Here are just a few reasons why travelers love working with us:

Personal travel concierge - We take the stress out of travel planning. We know the Galapagos intimately and the numerous options available both on land and ship-based. Offering both Pre-Designed and Custom Designed adventures, we work closely with you to create a program that best suits your interests and preferences–and no detail is ever too small!

First-hand experience - You can trust us when selecting the best Galapagos small ships, land-based tours, boutique hotels or eco-lodges, as Latin Excursions has tried and tested all of them

Objective service – As independent and innovative Travel Designers, we have no allegiance to any particular Galapagos tour operators. We simply represent and promote the experiences which we believe are the best!

Exclusive offers - Take advantage of special promotions available only through Latin Excursions

No consultation fee - Work with a dedicated Latin Excursions Travel Designer from the moment you decide to plan an adventure to the moment you return home

In-country operations and support - Our main office is located in Guayaquil, Ecuador, our staff is bi-lingual, and we are available 24/7 during your trip should you need anything

Latin Excursions has been recognized and honored with multiple awards for our travel innovation and expertise:

Condé Nast Traveler Top Travel Specialist for Galapagos and Ecuador, 2012–2017

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Travel+Leisure’s A-List Top 125 Travel Consultants for Galapagos, Ecuador and South America, 2005–2014

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Wendy Perrin WOW List – Trusted Travel Expert for Ecuador, 2016–2018

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Galapagos Islands & Origin of Latin Excursions

"Since I was a young boy, the Galapagos has been a continuous thread woven throughout my life story. A seed was first planted at age seven by my father, a natural history enthusiast and birder. He shared with me some amazing photographs from when he’d taken my mother on a scientific trip to the Islands in the early 1970s. My fascination was instantly ignited.

A few years later, we coincidentally moved to Guayaquil, Ecuador for my father’s job. And, within the first year, my parents took my brother and I on a Galapagos family holiday aboard the Ël Bucanero–the first leisure, natural history focused ship to explore the Galapagos. Little did I know that this trip would be the inspiration behind Latin Excursions, that I would become a Travel Designer and would some day visit the Galapagos with three children of my own! The day I embarked on that Galapagos cruise was transformational experience that defined the course of my life.

Now fifteen years in business, with offices in Ecuador and Florida, Latin Excursions sends hundreds of intrepid travelers to the Galapagos each year for a chance of a lifetime. My expert team and I work only with quality small ships and lodging we’ve personally experienced and vetted, and we make annual trips to the islands to stay abreast of news and changes. From couples and families to small groups, we work meticulously one-on-one with our clients to ensure the most inspiring, rewarding and educational experience possible." -Eric Sheets

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a bit about

Galapagos Islands

essential to crafting private Galapagos tours and cruises is knowing what experiences await

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GEOGRAPHY
OF
GALAPAGOS
ISLANDS

 
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IS THE
GALAPAGOS
RIGHT FOR ME?

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HOW TO
EXPLORE THE
GALAPAGOS

 
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WHEN TO
VISIT
GALAPAGOS

 
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MAP
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The Galapagos Archipelago is an infinitely intriguing collection of over 60 islands and islets, only four of which are inhabited. A unique, mini ecosystem in itself, roughly 600 miles off Ecuador’s Pacific coast, in the Galapagos biodiversity is evident not just in its wildlife populations, but also across many different plants, landscapes and environments.

Here, you can find ancient lava fields and depleted volcanoes, picture-perfect white sand bays and some of the best snorkeling anywhere in the world, all within a day. There are grassy highlands, mangroves and forests of giant cacti to be seen, as well as rocky outcrops and barren tundra, depending on exactly which islands are included in your tour.

The main and most popular Galapagos Islands are Isabela (the largest of the group), Espanola, Fernandina, Floreana, San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Santiago, with lesser-known Genovesa, Marchena, Santa Fe, Baltra, Pinta and Pinzon making up the 13 recognized volcanic land masses. Certain species, such as Sea Lions, Iguanas and Sally Lightfoot Crabs, can be seen throughout the Galapagos. However, if visiting the northern islands including Santiago and Genovesa, look out for nesting seabirds, Turtles and Stingrays, native plant species and forest-covered islets. The western isles are known for their populations of Giant Tortoises, Flightless Cormorants and Dolphins found in and around the lava fields of Isabela and Fernandina, while the east is awash with Red-footed Boobies, Gulls and Waved Albatrosses. Finally, you could cruise south to the sandy beaches, White-tipped Reef Sharks and Frigate Birds of Espanola and Floreana, among many others.

Thankfully, the Galapagos Islands are a perfect travel destination for all types of experiential travelers: families with young children, small groups, retired couples and honeymooners alike. This is thanks to the versatility of trips, range of activities and choice of routes, all sewn together with predictable weather, endless wildlife and stunning landscapes to admire.

Active holidaymakers will love the open-water sea kayaking, volcano hikes and some of the best scuba diving in the world. Meanwhile, anyone looking for a more relaxing Latin American vacation can sit back and enjoy the view, aboard a luxury Galapagos cruise yacht in between gentle wildlife walks or afternoons spent strolling pristine beaches.

EThe Galapagos Archipelago, and each unique travel experience to be had here, has made this region a popular bucket-list destination. For wildlife enthusiasts, tracing the footsteps of Charles Darwin is a must, witnessing the same species and scenery that he did aboard the HMS Beagle, prompting the now famous Theory of Evolution and Natural Selection. That said, visitors don’t need an encyclopedic knowledge of the natural world to have an adventure of a lifetime. Former pirate hangouts, deserted beaches, luxury cruise vessels, mountain biking and trekking and eco-lodges...there really is something for everyone in the Galapagos.

Most flights into the Galapagos will travel via Quito or Guayaquil to airports on the islands of Baltra, San Cristobal or Isabela. We recommend staying in Quito at least two days, prior to your Galapagos flight, to recover from international flights, acclimate, and to explore this beautiful, historic Latin American city.

On arrival, you can either enjoy a pre-set cruise, taking in a handful of islands while aboard one of the many luxury vessels which operate throughout the archipelago, opt for a land-based itinerary staying at boutique Galapagos hotels and eco-lodges, or combine both. With so many itineraries to choose from, travelers can see plenty of wildlife and certain Galapagos highlights even with a shorter three or four-day tour. Longer trips, of course, allow for a greater immersion into the variety of landscapes, and give easier access to a wider range of species. Each island has its own habitats, animals and marine life, so we suggest five to seven days for a more comprehensive experience.

The beauty of a Galapagos cruise is that you can enjoy unforgettable sunsets at sea, travel further distances, and visit more islands with little effort on daily excursions.

Land-based programs of the Galapagos, on the other hand, allow you to explore at your own pace, choosing which days will be spent relaxing and which will be dedicated to wildlife walks, boat tours, activities and adventures (i.e. mountain biking, kayaking, diving, trekking, cooking classes..). The choice is yours!

Whichever option you select, the expert Latin Excursions team will help personalize your vacation perfectly, advising on when to go, where to stay, what to do, how to maximize your time and what to pack.

The Galapagos is a year-round holiday destination, with the seasons broadly split into two. It’s either dry and cool between June and November, or warmer and often wetter between December and June, with August and September seeing slightly choppier seas, which could affect your cruise itinerary.

The real question then, is which species can be seen during those two seasons. January and February are good if hoping to witness both Giant Tortoise hatchlings, and Green Sea Turtles laying their eggs, as well as penguin migrations to Isabela and Fernandina Islands. March and April see a lot of activity for Frigate Birds and Waved Albatrosses, while May and June marks the arrival of Humpback Whales and Whale Sharks, making for the most exciting boat tours. July is traditionally the mating season for Blue-footed and Nazca Boobies, coastal birds and Sea Lions, so expect a lot of fascinating rituals during this time, particularly if visiting Espanola or Fernandina.

Air temperatures are usually at their lowest during August and September, though wildlife-watching opportunities do not stop as both highland and lowland species are still active. October through to December is then a great time of year to spot newly born chicks, pups and calves, while throughout it all, the foliage changes and flowers blossom to create an ever-changing backdrop to this most beautiful of places.

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