Cruise on the Angelito boat around the Galapagos Islands

The Angelito is one of the best value and friendliest boats in Galapagos.

It is always skippered by a family member and its wildlife guides have an excellent reputation, making Angelito one of the top in its superior tourist range.

All cabins are twin or double (no bunks) after its renovation.

Angelito boat, Galapagos

Add in two fantastic and wide ranging week-long itineraries, and it’s easy to see why the Angelito gets such great reviews.

One week can be spent in the remote north, central islands and southern gems, enjoying great snorkels and land visits.

Or choose the second week, sailing around the younger and larger western islands, seemingly barren yet teeming with wildlife.



Trip Highlights

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  • Two of the best itineraries in the Galapagos islands, maximising your experience.

  • Always skippered by a family member, giving personal and great service aboard, with ample external decks to enjoy sunny Galapagos days.

  • Choose a twin or double cabin, all with private bathroom, hot/cold shower and air conditioning.

  • Recently completely refurbished, making it once of the best yachts in its class for value and service.

  • Three meals served daily, after-excursion snacks and non-alcoholic beverages.

  • Named 'Angelito' in memory of Angel, grandfather of Galapagos-born brothers Hugo and Leonardo Andrade, who helped his two grandsons build their first fishing boat, to support their families.

We will definitely go back. So many highlights! Observing the courtship dance of the waved albatross on Española, then swimming with sharks and sea turtles.

Our guide was excellent, extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic.

J. Hately, Angelito

Full Itinerary

Itinerary A: North and South

Itinerary A (8 days) Sun-Sun

angelito itinerary a and b galapagos

Day 1: Arrive Baltra airport – transfer to yacht – North Seymour (L,D)

Baltra (Santa Cruz): After landing in Galapagos, you first pay the national park entry fee and then leave the arrivals hall to where your guide will be waiting for you.

After getting the group together, the guide then takes you to the boat to settle in. The island of Baltra is the only island in the entire Galapagos archipelago that is not completely included in the National Park Area. Parts of the island were used by the Americans during the Second World War as an air force base, from 1941-1948.

The airport and harbour are Ecuadorian military territory, but the military presence has left its mark on Baltra.

In the afternoon, we head to North Seymour, a flat uplifted island in the “rain shadow” of the island Santa Cruz. This gives it dry vegetation.

We walk a loop trail. It’s a dry landing on a peer which depending on the swell, can be a little tricky.

Upon arrival on the rocky coast we find sea lions, Swallow-tailed Gulls, sally lightfoot crabs and marine iguanas. The trail leads you through the nesting area of the Blue-footed Boobies and Frigate bird colonies.

We then snorkel along the rocky coast, to observe sea lions, large schools of fishes, some sharks, rays, and sea turtles.

Return to the yacht for a briefing and dinner.

Day 2: Chinese Hat – Bartolome (B,L,D)

Only a 200m wide channel separates the small island, known as Chinese Hat, from the bigger island of Santiago.

So called because of the shape of the island, Chinese Hat is a very attractive island, with fragile lava and very little vegetation.

We make a wet landing on a small white coral beach, often with sea lions lazing on the sands. The easy, short trail leads along the coast with lava and lots of lava tubes. Pillow lava can be found on the turning point of the trail.

Next we snorkel along the rocky coast, with sea lions, parrot fish, angel fish and perhaps a penguin – with luck!

In the afternoon, with the dinghy, we go along the coast of Bartolomé to look for Galapagos penguins. The penguins live and nest in the lava tubes of the rocky coast, where they also fish.

Next it’s a dry landing on a jetty. The summit trail goes first over sand and then leads to the top of Bartholomew on a wooden staircase. The view from the top across Bartholomew, Santiago with Sullivan Bay and the surrounding islands is wonderful. All the secondary cones, lava flows and lava tubes make it feel like a lunar landscape.

Our last activity for the day is to snorkel around Pinnacle Rock, the famous landmark of Bartholomew, where you have the chances to swim with colourful fish, sea lions and Galapagos Penguins.

Return to the yacht for a briefing and dinner.

Day 3: Genovesa: Darwin Bay – Prince Phillips Steps (B,L,D)

Genovesa is considered to be one of the most spectacular islands in Galapagos for bird species and is home to the Red-footed Booby.

It’s a wet landing on Darwin Bay, a coral sand beach where Swallow-tailed Gulls and Lava Gulls gather near the tide pools. A trail leads us through red mangrove and salt bush, then we enter a forest of Opuntia cactus where colonies of Great Frigate nest. The males of this species inflate their red-throated pouches to attract females as they fly overhead.

A few Nazca Boobies nest on the ground, and the trail leads along small tide pools up to a cliff with a spectacular view over the caldera. At low tide there are thousands of Galapagos Fiddler Crabs to see on the sandy shore.

In the afternoon it’s a dry landing by a cliff to find Prince Philip’s Steps, which offer the only possibility to climb the steep basaltic cliff.

The following easy trail leads first through a small nesting colony of Masked Boobies and crosses a low and dense forest of palo santo trees where the Red-footed Boobies have their nests.

Arriving on the edge of the island there are thousands of the Small Petrels nesting in the crevices and tubes of the fragile lava. They are the favourite food of the Short-eared owls. On both sides of the trail there is a big Masked Booby nesting colony.

Return to the yacht for a briefing and dinner.

Day 4: Puerto Egas – Rabida (B,L,D)

After a wet landing on a black beach, we stroll along the shoreline at Puerto Egas, Santiago Island (James) looking for octopus, starfish and other sea life caught in the tide pools. At low tide, you can catch a glimpse of marine iguanas as they feed on exposed green algae. Watch for great Blue Herons, Lava Herons, American Oystercatchers and Yellow-crowned Night Herons.

Our walk ends at the grottos, deep pools of clear water where we encounter Galapagos fur seals once on the verge of extinction, and a great place to snorkel. Dolphins are often spotted here too.

We return to the boat for lunch.

Considered the geographic centre of Galapagos, nested between Santiago and Santa Cruz, Rabida (Jervis) sports the most diverse volcanic rocks.

We disembark near James Island. Rabida is quite a dramatic site, the oxides in the lava making it appear red, with a dark red sand beach attributed to the high iron content in the stones.

Strolling along the trail, you may find marine iguanas, Mockingbirds, Yellow Warblers and several species of Darwin Finches. Eventually, the trail leads to a saltwater lagoon where Greater Flamingos migrate to.

After the walk, there is not-to-miss snorkelling option with a large colony of sea lions.

Return to the yacht for a briefing and dinner.

Day 5: Darwin Station – Highlands of Santa Cruz (B,L,D)

The visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz gives you the opportunity to get to known the scientific work that’s currently taking place in the National Park, particularly projects raising the different subspecies of Galapagos tortoises.

Scientists from all over the globe work at the station and conduct biological research from anatomy to zoology. It is also a good opportunity to observe the Galapagos tortoises close up.

In the Van Straiten Exhibition Hall, there is plenty of great information about the Galapagos Islands, replete with with photos and diagrams. The vegetation on the hike is an exuberant green colour and it’s a great place to spot Darwin’s Finches – those famous wee birds. 

From the dry landing at Santa Cruz, we hop into a bus and drive up into the Highlands of Santa Cruz. The scenery gradually changes as we wind our way through all seven vegetation zones found in Galapagos.

Here more than anywhere, on the most populated islands on the Galapagos, the problems of introduced animals and plants are quite obvious and this part of the island is not National Park.

When we reach the highest point of the road, we are back in the National Park and we head to ‘El Chato’, a farm in the highlands where we can look out for the Galapagos Tortoises in their natural, and free, surroundings. There may be the chance to Los Gemelos, Spanish for ‘The Twins’, a pair of large pit craters where we find the bright red male Vermilion Flycatcher. 

Return to the yacht for a briefing and dinner.

Day 6: Española: Playa Gardner – Punta Suarez (B,L,D)

Sea lions will usually give a noisy greeting to us as we make a dry landing on a jetty at Punta Suarez, Española, and head to the beach. Curious Hood Mockingbirds may peck at our shoelaces.

From April to December, the Waved Albatross, found only on Española, perform their wild mating ritual. Watching one take off is a spectacle, too.

Colonies of Blue-footed Boobies show off for potential mates, Nazca Boobies care for their young while at night the stunning Swallow-tailed Gull – the only nocturnal gulls in the world that fish at night – take to the air.

There’s more: Darwin’s Finches, Galapagos Doves and Galapagos Hawks, plus a unique species of marine iguana with traces of red and green colourings.

A real highlight is the blowhole. Here, the seawater is pushed through a fissure in the cliff under great pressure. Depending on the waves and tide levels, the blowhole can force water up to 80ft (24m) into the air.

In the afternoon there is a wet landing on a wonderful, long, white beach made of coral sand – Gardner beach (Española).

For this visit you won’t even need shoes, it’s so soft underfoot, and there is no trail to follow so you can take a long walk and explore a bit.

Playa Gardner is a very good place to observe Finches and Mockingbirds in the saltbush vegetation, and there is some great swimming and snorkelling from the beach, where curious sea lions are never far off.

Some will even launch with you from the beach and into the water. Gardner Islet is a great site for snorkelling.

Return to the yacht for the evening briefing and dinner.

Day 7: Santa Fe – South Plaza (B,L,D)

Wet landing at Santa Fe, with two possibilities of trails, depending on the time and the group’s preferences.

1: Short trail: the trail leads from the sea lion colony on the beach through dry vegetation to a wonderful, forested cliff with high prickly pear cactus. Turn and head to a second beach.

2. Long trail: the trail is, at the beginning, a dry stony creek and you have a steep climb up onto a plateau (difficult trail). The ascent leads to a plateau where there are high trees of palo santo and high prickly pear cactus trees. The view down to the bay is wonderful.

Only the very attentive visitors can detect up there the endemic land iguana of Santa Fe, because it is perfectly camouflaged in the same colours of the vegetation and their territories are quite big.

After lunch aboard, we head for a dry landing on South Plaza, and easy, loop trail.

This is a small, uplifted island with a 25m high cliff on the southern side of the island. The whole flat, rocky northern coastal part of South Plaza has a great colony of Galapagos sea lions.

On the East point is a bachelor sea lion colony. Very attractive are the beautiful prickly pear cactus trees and, of course, the big colony of land iguanas. Depending on the season, the sesuvium ground vegetation changes its colour from intense green in the rainy season to orange and purple in the dry season.

Back to the boat for a farewell dinner!

Day 8: Black Turtle Cove – Baltra airport, fly out (B)

Up early for our last trip in Galapagos, to Black Turtle Cove. 

With the dinghy we go into the big protected mangrove cove. In the far away small corners we turn off the motor of the dinghy, rowing then noiselessly so we can observe the marine turtles.

There are a lot of them in the cove during mating and nesting season (December to February), but even out of season there are always some turtles staying back in the mangrove cove to rest.

Spotted eagle rays, golden rays, white-tipped reef sharks and young Galapagos sharks can often be spotted.

Then, travel to Baltra to the port, and your guide will accompany you all back to the airport ready for your flight back to the mainland.


Angelito Itinerary B

Itinerary B: Western Islands

Itinerary B (8 days) Sun-Sun

angelito itinerary a and b galapagos

Day 1: Arrive Baltra airport – transfer to yacht – Las Bachas (L,D)

Baltra (Santa Cruz): After landing in Galapagos, you first pay the national park entry fee and then leave the arrivals hall to where your guide will be waiting for you.

After getting the group together, the guide then takes you to the boat to settle in. The island of Baltra is the only island in the entire Galapagos archipelago that is not completely included in the National Park Area. Parts of the island were used by the Americans during the Second World War as an air force base, from 1941-1948. The airport and harbour are Ecuadorian military territory, and the military presence has left its mark on Baltra.

Our first trip is to a white coral beach called Las Bachas to the north of the Santa Cruz island, requiring a wet landing then an easy walk along the beach. There are small brackish water lagoons behind the sand dune where occasionally it’s possible to see Flamingos and other coastal birds like Black-necked Stilts, Whimbrels and White-cheeked Pintail Ducks. There is also a wonderful chance to snorkel here from the beach.

Important: don’t walk on top of the sand dunes – they are a favourite nesting site for sea turtles and need to be preserved.

Return to the yacht for the evening briefing and dinner.

Day 2: Mosquera – Cerro Dragon (B,L,D)

Mosquera is a small sandy island located between North Seymour and Baltra. The wet landing is sometimes a little bit difficult, depending on the tide. Once there, Mosquera offers one of the biggest sea lion colonies in Galapagos. There are different harems and it is a wonderful visiting point to observe their behaviour. Often we have the possibility to see the endemic Lava Gulls and other coastal birds. On the lava rocks we find marine iguanas and sally lightfoot crabs and under the rocks, sometimes scorpions.

We return to the Angelito for lunch.

Afternoon! Located on the northern tip of Santa Cruz is Cerro Dragón aka Dragon Hill, offering great views over the Galapagos.

As we walk towards the viewpoint, the trail passes a saltwater lagoon replete with Pink Flamingos as well as other lagoon birds; Stilts, Pintail Ducks, Sandpipers and more. We’ll most likely see Darwin Finches, Galapagos, Flycatchers, Yellow Warblers, Audubon Shearwater and the endemic land iguanas en route too. From the top of the hill, we enjoy a majestic view of the bay island covered in Opuntia cactus, Palo Santo and Cordia Lutea (muyuyu).

Return to the yacht for a briefing and dinner.

Day 3: Tagus Cove (Isabela) – Punta Espinoza (Fernandina) (B,L,D)

Protected Caleta Tagus is a cove on the western side of Isabela and was a favourite anchorage site for the early pirates and whalers who, over the centuries, carved and painted their names in the high cliffs of the cove.

In the zodiac, we can explore the coves here and look for Galapagos Penguins, Boobies, Pelicans and other seabirds. There is a hike here too, and it’s a dry landing, then heading uphill and the scenic hike to a salt-water lagoon with a spectacular view of the ocean, lava fields and volcanic formations. At the end of the trail there is a wonderful view over the lava fields of the Darwin volcano. If the water is clear, Tagus Cove is a very interesting snorkelling spot – look out for marine invertebrates on the walls – as well as turtles and puffer fish.

Return to the boat for lunch.

The afternoon visit is one of the highlights of a cruise in Galapagos, Punta Espinoza (Fernandina). The dry landing is, depending on the tide, on lava or on the landing platform in the mangrove forest – and can also be a wet landing if the water is lively!

Fernandina is the youngest and most pristine of the Galapagos Islands, with no introduced animals. Recent lava flows formed by an active volcano stretch their way around the coast. We head off on a hike that showcases huge marine iguanas in big groups. Take care to stay on the pathway because the sand dunes are nesting areas for the marine iguanas. There are also nesting sites of the Flightless Cormorant, and lava lizards, the Galapagos hawk, marine turtles and Galapagos penguins are often seen.

Return to the boat for briefing and dinner.

Day 4: Urbina Bay – Elizabeth Bay (B,L,D)

We disembark at Urbina Bay on Isabela Island, where four miles of coastal seabed were exposed due to a dramatic uplift during a volcanic eruption in 1954.

See the remnants of coral skeletons, some of them waist-high, and keep an eye out for the very large and colourful Galapagos land iguanas, as well as marine iguanas, Darwin’s Finches, Brown Pelicans, Flightless Cormorants, and the occasional giant tortoise.If the water is calm, we can snorkel here, before returning to the boat for lunch.

Bahía Elizabeth (Isabela) – This bay is visited in the panga (zodiac) and the boat takes us right up to the tallest red mangrove trees in Galapagos. The entrance is through a very narrow channel, and once through, we’ll turn the motor off and drift/paddle towards “Las Marielas”, where a colony of nesting Penguins, Flightless Cormorants and giant marine iguanas are found.

As we bob noiselessly in the water, keep an eye out for marine turtles and more marine life.

Return to the boat for briefing and dinner.

Day 5: Punta Moreno – sail to Villamil with whale watching (B,L,D)

Punta Moreno, part of Isabela, offers a hike on a rough lava field and is place where we can see all three species of cactus of Galapagos: candelabra cactus, prickly pear cactus and lava cactus.In middle of the lava field some brackish water pools with Flamingos, Common Gallinules, White-cheeked Pintail Ducks and Paint-billed Crakes.Return to the yacht for lunch and the say to Puerto Villamil.

At around 10:30 in the morning we start a long (about 6 hours) and beautiful navigation along the shore line around the Volcano Cerro Azul to Puerto Villamil. Depending on the season this navigation can be a little bit rough.

We look out for dolphins and whales and stop to observe them if we see some.

Just before the dark we arrive in the small harbour Puerto Villamil, where we enjoy dinner aboard.

Day 6: Sierra Negra: hike to the Crater – Tortoise Breeding Station (B,L,D)

This morning we see a completely different side to the Galapagos. We take a bus, climbing up close to the caldera of volcano Sierra Negra (about 17 miles’ driving) and see the different vegetation zones of the volcano.

Often it rains a bit, or it’s misty and foggy in the verdant climes. It takes is about and hour to hike to the the rim of the volcano and see the huge caldera. It measures 10km/6.2 miles from north to south and 9km/5.6 miles from east to west. We can also see the huge new lava field from the last eruption in 2005, then descend the same route as we climbed.

In the afternoon, we visit the Tortoise Breeding Centre (Puerto Villamil). Here we can see different subspecies of the Galapagos Land Tortoises and the work in progress that aims to restore the population of endangered tortoise populations.

On the walk back from the centre to town of Puerto Villamil, we take a beautiful trail from lagoon to lagoon and look out for Flamingos, Common Gallinules, White-cheeked Pintail Ducks and Black-necked Stilts as well as a forest of button mangroves.

Return to the boat for dinner and briefing.

Day 7: Floreana: Punta Cormorant – Corona del Diablo – Post Office Bay – Puerto Ayora (B,L,D)

Floreana is the least populated island in Galapagos and has a rich and mysterious anthropological history.

The mood is set at the wet landing at Punta Cormorant, as your toes touchdown on seemingly green sand with the backdrop of barking sea lions. We’ll leave out the history of the island for your guide to explain, but we can tell you that you will follow a trail to a brackish lagoon, home of the Pintail Ducks, Common Stilts, and the Greater Flamingos – the pinkest in the world.

The colour theme continues as we come to the “White Flour Sand Beach” made of white corals. It’s a famous nesting beach for marine turtles and for this it is important to not walk on the sand dunes. Often we see a lot of stingrays in the shallow water.

Devil’s Crown, one of the most famous snorkelling sites in the Galapagos, awaits us. This is a real highlight. The Devil’s Crown is the remains of a volcano some of which has been subsumed by the sea, but with the crater horns still exposed, it looks like a black crown emerging out of the sea. Once in the water, expect to see a brilliant array of colourful fish and corals.

Important: There is often a current here, for experienced snorkelers.

After lunch we head to Post Office Bay one of Galapagos’ most famous sites. Here resides a post barrel, erected and put into use in the late 18th century by British whaling vessels. Following a wet landing we head to the barrel and you can leave a postcard of your own for some other traveller to pick up and help towards its final destination, and pick up any mail from your area for you to distribute once back home. It’s a great tradition to keep up.Return to the boat  as we set sail for Puerto Ayora, the start of our return journey, arriving around 17.00. You have a little bit of time to walk in town, unguided, to get souvenirs etc.

Return for a farewell dinner aboard.

Day 8: Daphne Panoramic, transfer to Baltra airport, fly out (B)

Our final trip and highlight and it’s Daphne.

Daphne is a tuff cone with little vegetation. This island is famous for the studies by Peter and Rosemary Grant about the Darwin Finches.

We make a panoramic navigation around the small tuff cone, but not too close to avoid introduction of insects.

It’s time to say goodbye and leave the Angelito  in the harbour of Baltra.

Your guide accompanies you to the airport and you fly back to the continent, or stay on for more Galapagos exploration.


Prices From $4,295 / £3,642 per person

Enquire about booking

What's Included?

Transfers from/to yacht/ Baltra airport, accommodation aboard in double or twin cabin, daily briefing, guided visits to the islands, naturalist-English/Spanish speaking guide level II/III, all meals, free use of snorkelling equipment for adults (mask, tube and fins with sizes 34- 45 included in cruise price), fuel surcharge, treated water, tea and coffee

What's Not Included?

International flights, Galapagos flights, Galapagos entrance fee (park tax), Galapagos transit control card, alcoholic beverages, gratuities to guides and crew, purchases on board, travel insurance, personal items, Ecuador services, wet suit hire


Accommodation

The Angelito was totally refurbished in the summer of 2013. The high quality of craftsmanship was maintained while the amount of space and comfort level was increased.

There are 4 Decks: sun deck, upper deck, main deck and lower deck.

The 8 double cabins are now on the main deck and include large picture windows, private bathrooms, individual air conditioning, twin beds or a double bed, safety box and hair dryer in each bathroom.

There is an on board library with a good selection of books about the flora, fauna and history of Galapagos.

Tour Staff

Angelito was the nickname of the family’s grandfather Angel, who in 1960 helped his two grandsons Leonardo and Hugo Andrade to build their first fishing boat. This boat enabled the Galapagos born brothers to earn a living and support their families.

As pioneers in the Galapagos, they gave up fishing and converted their boat to be able to tour visitors. By leaving fishing, they took the important first step to actively promoting the protection and conservation of the Galapagos Islands.

After more than a decade of working in tourism, the brothers used their experience that they learned from that first small boat to build a new Yacht, the Angelito I, which was launched in 1992.

Today, the boat is always skippered by one of the family.

The crews are “Galapagueños”,  guides, captains and crew members were born and raised in the Galapagos Islands.

They know the area well and are prepared to show you the islands only like a native can do it.

The Naturalist, English-speaking guides have studied and been trained at Charles Darwin Scientific Station, and have long years of experience guiding at the Galapagos Islands.


Meals

The boat uses as much locally sourced produce as possible, including fish, coffee, eggs, fruits and meat farmed in Galapagos, to reduce carbon footprints and make sure the best ingredients are used.

The chef prepares three main meals a day, with snacks and drinks available after activities.

All dietary requirements can be catered for, vegetarians, vegans, lactose etc and more.

Breakfast usually features a juice, tea and coffee, toast, jams, eggs and pastries.

Lunch will include soups, then a main meal of rices, pastas, fish, omelettes and many more options, and often a small pudding.

Dinner will again be a hearty affair, with a starter, main meal and pudding, with water, teas and coffees available.

There is a bar with beers and cocktails available at extra cost.

Activity Level

Walks

Every visit to each island involves an easy or moderate walk, which can last between 2 to 3 hours, and are not considered strenuous. On these walks you will be led by an expert naturalist guides in a small group along clearly marked trails. They will explain in great detail all the wonders of each of our carefully selected itineraries. Most days there are two guided walks on a specific island where you will be able to walk and hike on beaches, lava fields, alongside cliffs and around mangrove estuaries.

 

Snorkelling

Snorkelling in the Islands is the highlight of the Galapagos cruise for many of our guests. You have the opportunity to go snorkelling almost every day – snorkelling with marine iguanas and with playful sea-lions are some of the highlights, as well as with green sea turtles, penguins and an incredible variety of colourful reef fish. On the western islands the water is a little colder but teaming with life. There are beach snorkels for beginners and deeper waters.

 

Zodiac rides

Dinghies, or “Pangas” as they are known in Galapagos, are inflatable zodiacs that serve as the main transportation method from our Galapagos yachts to the visitor sites. At several times during your week-long Galapagos travel adventure, you will have the chance to enjoy dinghy (or panga) rides in shores, mangrove estuaries, coves and caves.

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Practical Information

Is this the cruise for me?

Top in the superior tourist range and recently refurbished offering twin and double cabins – rare in this bracket.

Always captained by one of its owners ensuring attention to details and vastly experienced guides.

Introduction to Galapagos

These magical islands comprise of 50 volcanic islands of varying shapes and sizes, which lie 1,000 kilometres off the coast of Ecuador.

Here, unlike anywhere else on Earth, you can enjoy a thousand close encounters with a weird and wonderful variety of ‘friendly locals’, including giant tortoises, fur seals, sea iguanas, frigate birds and blue-footed boobies.

Read our Galapagos Islands Guide and more about diving.

In 1535, Tomás de Berlanga, Bishop of Panama, floated into this archipelago and named it Galapagos after the giant tortoises he encountered. Pirates used the islands for refuge and to bury their stolen treasure after that.

The islands’ most celebrated visitor was Charles Darwin, who arrived aboard the HMS Beagle in 1835. The rare life forms he encountered helped him formulate his theory of evolution, which he published in The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection.

It wasn’t until 1959 when it became part of Ecuador’s national park system that this fragile ecosystem with its rare and endemic species came under protection.

In 1979 the Galapagos archipelago was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Weather in Galapagos

 

When to visit Galapagos Islands: weather and wildlife

There is no real ‘best’ time to visit Galapagos on holiday as there is always wonderful wildlife and weather to enjoy. Read our blog for more.

Most animals – tortoises, sharks, sea lions and boobies – are found year round and many of the species here are non-migratory.

The Galapagos Islands are located right on the equator so air and water temperatures do not vary by much.

Having said that, there are two recognised seasons, and each months brings natural marvels for the visitor to enjoy.

Below is our quick guide to the weather and wildlife you can find on the Galapagos Islands.

 

General weather information

 

The warm season (Jan-Jun)

  • Calm, clear warm waters, great for snorkelling, often without a wetsuit.
  • Great weather, with February and March being the hottest and sunniest months with blue skies and sunshine.
  • Occasional heavy bursts of rain in the afternoons.

Sea temperatures:  22-25°C / 72-77°F

Land temperatures:  21-32°C / 72-90°F

 

The dry ‘garua’ season (Jun-Dec)

  • It’s a great time for marine life in the cooler seas. Snorkellers may want a wetsuit.
  • August and September the coolest when you may need a jacket in the evenings and the sea can be choppy.
  • There can be mist on the islands in the mornings (garua) which usually burns off by midday leaving overcast skies or a sunny afternoon.

Sea temperatures:  15-22°C / 60-72°F

Land temperatures:  18-24°C / 65-75°F

 

Galapagos sea and air temperatures and rainfall month by month

Air and sea temperatures in Galapagos, month-by-month

Galapagos flights

You have to arrive in Quito or Guayaquil at least the night before your flight to the Galapagos.

Flights to Galapagos leave from from Quito or Guayaquil early in the morning on the first day of your tour, landing Galapagos around midday.

There are two intercontinental airports on the Galapagos one is on Baltra Island and the other is on San Cristobal Island and is also known as the Baquerizo Moreno Port.

Flights are usually included in your package to ensure all passengers are arriving at the same time on the same flight and into the correct airport.

On Isabela Island there is a landing area available only to inter-island flights for small planes.

Flights from the Galapagos back to Quito or Guayaquil usually leave around midday or later (depends on the vessel).

You can sometimes connect in Guayaquil with a flight home on the same day you leave Galapagos.

Please check times with us before booking any flights – you need to make sure that the Guayaquil departure is in the late evening / night. If you miss the connection in Guayaquil, your international airline may or may not switch you to the next available flight.

Galapagos park fees

Before you fly from Quito or Guayaquil airport, you need to pay USD 20pp for a transit control card. Some cruises pre-pay this and include it in your trip cost.

On arrival in the Galapagos, you will be asked by a representative of the Galapagos National Park to pay the Park fee in cash (currently US$ 100 per person, USD 50 per person for under 12s).

The dock tax is US$5 on Isabela Island, and the airport tax is US$15 for flights between islands.

All National Park fees subject to change without prior notice.

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