The Galapagos Islands is a stunning oasis that boasts some of the most unique flora and fauna in the world. Beaches, snorkeling and scientific history are all attractions in the islands. You can begin your trip by deciding when to visit, booking your flight and making hotel reservations to ensure availability.
When To Visit
Tourist season runs from June through September, with a second peak season running from December through January. The weather is sunniest during December and January, but occasional rains are expected each day until the end of the season. From June until November, the water is colder and the waves are slightly rougher, but the local marine life is far more active.
Arriving in Galapagos Islands
Most people travel to the Galapagos Islands by plane. Four airports are available on the islands, but Baltra airport is recommended for tourists, as the airport is located near cities that offer hotels and other attractions. If you have booked a boat tour or cruise of the islands, you can expect a guide to assist you upon your arrival at the airport.
Otherwise, you should plan on staying at Puerto Ayora, where you can find guided boat tours of the island easily. Puerto Ayroa is located on the island of Santa Cruz. Make hotel reservations early if you plan on visiting the Galapagos Islands during peak toursit seasons.
Three luxury hotels are available in Puerto Ayora, and several hostels available for those seeking a budget-friendly alternative to hotels. Camping is also allowed in some locations on the island for those who prefer to spend their time enjoying nature while on the islands. Other islands also offer a range of accommodations to choose from.
Fees For Guests
Upon arrival, visitors must pay a national park fee. The fee is valid for the duration of your vacation, and children’s pricing is available for kids under 12. The fee must be paid in cash, so check pricing before leaving home to ensure you are prepared to pay. You should also be prepared to pay the local transit tax. The transit tax is a flat rate, per-person fee.
What to See
To get a glimpse of the Galapagos Islands unique beauty, you should plan on visiting the nearby beaches. The most popular sites allow you to see ancient tortoises, sea lions and the ever-popular iguanas that are native to the islands. Galapagos Beach at Tortuga Bay, Las Grietas and North Seymour Island are all natural attractions in the islands.
You can also visit the Charles Darwin Research Center to learn more about the flora and fauna of the region. With some basic planning, you can be sure to see all the unique sights in the Galapagos Islands even if you plan on visiting during the busiest tourist season.