Updated: Dec 12, 2023
With wildlife and landscapes found nowhere else on earth, azure seas spectacular views, and animals extremely tame, Galapagos is a natural Paradise for any nature lovers and a must-destination to add to your bucket list.
Wonderful landscapes that the Galapagos Islands offer you. The blue sea and the black volcanic rocks along the coast contrast gorgeously.
A 7-day cruise to Galapagos … is the best way to visit these Magical islands
Whether hiking along lava Tunnels (Los Tuneles de lava), spotting blue-footed boobies, snorkeling with sea lions, OR Swimming with a tortoise, It’s easy to fall in love with Galapagos.
If you’re ready to plan a trip to Galapagos, here’s the Experience Dolores Barciela, editor and publisher from Yachting Times Magazine, shared with us about her last visit to the Galapagos Islands on board M/Y Wildaid’s Passion cruise.
After reading about her 7-day cruise to Galapagos you will want to be NOW on your plane to this Paradise!
Thanks, Dolores, for sharing your journey with us 😉 and thanks M/Y WILDAID’S PASSION for the courtesy photos.
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One day in Dolores 7 days cruise Experience in Galapagos
We are snorkeling along the rugged coast of Isla Santiago in the protected waters facing a tiny island named Sombrero Chino or Chinese hat because it resembles a Chinese rice farmer’s hat. As I’m done watching colorful fish schools swim by, I remove my goggles and continue drifting with the current while observing how red crabs climb the black volcanic rocks along the coast.
Suddenly, I see my first Galápagos penguins swimming nearby,
Less than 2 feet long, they’re the only penguins in the world that live near the equator. This one is very cute and playful, and I enjoy swimming close to him while, some 15 feet away, the rest of the group continues snorkeling.
One of the most surprising aspects of Galapagos wildlife is how unafraid of people they are. Dolores is next to these sea lions on a beach; so Cute 😍
Chema signals me the number 5 with his hand, and I think, “Cool, they must be watching 5 other Galápagos penguins diving underneath them”.
He later tells me he was referring to 5 mid-sized Galapagos sharks close to the bottom, just a few feet away from me. The group is pleased to have seen them, but I’m quite relieved to hear this after the dive ends.
We all climb into our dinghy and get back aboard M/Y Wild Aid’s Passion, where we are greeted with warm chocolate by cheerful crew member Roberto, and are provided towels by other friendly crew members to use after we remove our wetsuits.
Roberto announces we now have snacks awaiting us on the top deck. Fernando, the marine biologist leading our expedition, tells us he’ll lecture Darwin after dinner in the main salon.
We’re now relaxing in the main deck, enjoying warm empanadas while watching a gorgeous sunset over Isla Santiago. It can’t get much better than this. Seagulls and petrels fly by. Their sound is the only one we hear, along with the soft caress of the water against our hull.
We’re alone in this virgin corner of the world
that, I imagine, looks as pure and authentic as it was hundreds of years ago when Europeans first sighted this archipelago.
It’s everyone’s responsibility now to help maintain it as pristine as it is, and protect its vast endemic wildlife.
The Galapagos National Park and the Ecuadorian Government are doing a great job, and so are a few conservation organizations and luxury travel companies like Wild Aid and Angermeyer Cruises/Andando Tours.
Thanks to them I’m here enjoying this pristine paradise, for which I’m truly thankful.
Wild Aid’s program, in the Galapagos, encompasses certain activities to protect its many diverse marine species and habitat like stopping illegal fishing in the Galapagos Marine Reserve and preventing the introduction of invasive species.
Angermeyer Cruises/Andando Tours is a high-end tourism operation that understands conservation is good for business, simultaneously maintaining high standards and environmental consciousness.
The M/Y WildAid’s Passion is the largest charter yacht in the Galapagos. At 159′ in length and with four decks, the yacht boasts generous space for up to 14 passengers.
There are ample interior and exterior social areas, a panoramic sky lounge with bar and sliding glass doors, a separate dining room, and wonderfully spacious decks with more than 200 square meters of fine teak decking and a further secluded sun deck with lounge chairs and Jacuzzi.
There are four spacious staterooms, each with a private bathroom and tub, and two suites (Master and VIP) with two bathrooms each. All cabins are air-conditioned. With a service ratio of one crew member per guest, WildAid’s Passion ensures service second to none, while the galley produces gourmet cuisine of international standards.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are often served al fresco in the exterior dining area, allowing guests to enjoy the amazing views and stunning sunsets
Galapagos. The name alone resonates on so many levels, and it’s undoubtedly a destination on any naturalist’s bucket list and a place where basic evolutionary principles can be observed firsthand.
The archipelago is located some 600 nm off the coast of Ecuador, formed from the emergent tips of huge submarine volcanoes. Its nutrient-rich waters support migratory marine species’ concentration and reproduction, ranging from humpback whales and sea turtles to giant manta rays and hammerhead sharks.
The islands offer an eclectic mix of species that, coupled with high levels of endemism, make them very special.
Here we may see penguins living side by side with sea lions and iguanas, prehistoric giant tortoises, the only nocturnal seagull, the only truly marine lizard, and the only flightless cormorant in the world.
The islands are a rich mix of active volcanoes, stunning beaches, and abundant, tame wildlife that’s not afraid of humans.
I found it a unique experience to be able to closely watch mother sea lions breastfeeding their newborn babies. Some of them even approached us with curiosity. It was a lovely experience to also swim close to sea turtles, colorful fish, and penguins.
Galapagos is an isolated charming corner of the world well worth discovering ✨
Some Tips to Consider for your 7-days cruise to Galagos Islands
If like me, you are dreaming about visiting this pristine corner of the world, here I have sum up some tips to consider for planing your perfect 7 days cruise to Galapagos.
When is the Best Time to visit The Galapagos Islands?
Though it is one of the smallest countries in South America, Ecuador offers locals and visitors the chance to admire a variety of landscapes and experience different climates, having something to satisfy every type of traveler.
Before you decide which is the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands, you should know that The Galapagos Islands are on the equator, and the climate does not vary dramatically over the year.
You can visit The Galapagos Islands any time of the year
You will see an amazing amount of wildlife any time of the year.
There is, however, some variations in the climate, driven mainly by ocean currents.
Considering this, Galapagos has two seasons: The cool and dry and the warm and wet seasons.
The cold Season & Dry Season
The cold and dry season begins in July and ends in December. The Humboldt Current’s influence brings cold waters during this time of the year to the Galapagos.
Temperature varies from 27°C to 32°C (80°F to 90°F), and Water temperature from 21°C to 26°C (70°F to 80°F). During this season, keep your eyes open for humpback whales, blue-footed boobies, American oystercatchers, flightless cormorants, Galapagos Hawks, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca Boobies, dolphins, sea lions, and certain species of jellyfish.
This is considered the Galapagos busy season.
The peak season runs from mid-June to the end of August. You will need to book your trip to Galapagos well in advance during these periods!
The Warm & Wet Season
The warm and wet season hosts another experience entirely.
From January to June “El Niño” current may bring warm waters to the Galapagos and will make the surface warmer and rainfall increase.
Temperature varies from 21°C to 27°C (70°F to 80°F), and Water temperature from 18°C to 24°C (65°F to 75°F). Although you can expect sporadic daily rain showers, they won’t detract from your experience.
The warmer air and water temperatures are attractive to snorkelers and divers, who can also enjoy the year’s most incredible underwater visibility. If you want to see green sea turtles, greater flamingoes, the Galapagos Dove, or nesting marine and land iguanas, then the wet season is the best time to visit.
The warmer & wet season are attractive to snorkelers and divers in Galapagos. ☀️
So, When should you Visit Galapagos?
My suggestion here: If you can, Travel during the shoulder season
You can visit The Galapagos Islands any time of the year; there is always a fantastic amount of wildlife to be seen. Certain animals can be found year-round on the islands, like penguins, Giant Tortoises, iguanas, and the thousands of fish species that can be seen on snorkeling adventures.
That being said, as in many other destinations, I always suggest traveling during The “shoulder season,” and as you will find, fewer tourists and cruises tend to offer discounted prices.
The Shoulder season runs during April & May and September & October.
But please, please 🙏 Book in Advance.
Galápagos islands are a significant tourist destination, so book well in advance. Dive boats, in particular, tend to fill up fast because there are so few and they are small boat with few travelers capacity onboard.
How to Get to the Galápagos Islands: Land or Sea?
The first decision you must make about visiting the Galápagos Islands is also one that many find the most difficult. Do you want to stay in a hotel on one of the three inhabited islands, exploring other islands and areas via day-trip boat rides? Or do you want to be based on a live-aboard boat, which provides accommodations and transportation from island to island?
My suggestion here: Unless you’re afraid of sailing, suffer from seasickness, or hate the idea of being on a boat for a week, book a cruise.
The Galapagos archipelago consists of 13 major islands, five medium-sized islands, and 215 islets. So, you’ll get to see a lot more of it by cruise. Cruises travel by night, so you’ll reach more remote areas that cannot be reached by day tour and also get to see more wildlife.
How many days do I need?
Visiting Galapagos is a once in a lifetime trip. So, even thought there are short cruises that last 4, 5, 6 days… To see everything take a 7-day cruise or even a cruise that lasts 14 or 15 days.
Spending a 7 day Galapagos cruise will let you reach more remote areas and get to see plenty of wildlife in their natural habitat.
What Islands to visit in Galapagos
Galapagos has six large islands, twelve smaller ones, and over forty small islets.
Beyond visiting the Charles Darwin research station (the first point of contact with giant tortoises), it is essential to see some of the furthest islands from the populated centers.
My suggestion here: visit the uninhabited island
Your 7 day Galapagos cruise choose one that includes visiting some ( or all of these!) islands: Genovesa Island, Bartolome Island, Santiago Island, Santa Fe Island, Española Island, and Seymour Island.
Sea Lions taking a nap on the beautiful beach of Española Island
Why visit these islands? Easy, it is because here you will find the most spectacular landscapes and unique species in the world.
4- What activities can I do in Galapagos?
The luxury 7 day Galapagos cruise experience is not about spa treatment, pampering, and relaxation on the beach; it’s about immersing yourself in the rare natural beauty of the Galapagos.
Activities include hiking surrounded by volcanic landscapes, snorkeling, kayaking, and wildlife viewing.
Swimming with Galapagos tortoises is one of my life experiences on my bucket list; is it on yours?
Then you have to go to Galapagos.
Galapagos is the only place in the world you can swim with the unique subspecies Galapagos green sea turtle, one of the giant turtles in the world🌎
These turtles can be seen while snorkeling and diving in the Galapagos all year. The leading nesting site is Quinta Playa on Isabela Island.
When Can you see turtles in Galapagos Islands?
✔️ Best time: December to March⠀
✔️ Nesting season: December to March⠀
✔️ Hatching season: February to May⠀
5- Top Galapagos Islands Animals
One of the most surprising aspects of Galapagos wildlife is how unafraid of people they are. Because of the lack of natural predators, the animals fear little and see no threat from humans in modern times.
You can sit next to a sea lion on a beach or pose for a photo next to an iguana, and the animals will not budge….
These are some of the wildlife you will be seeing on your 7 day Galapagos cruise:
✔️Sally Lightfoot Crabs
✔️Galapagos Green Turtles
✔️ White-tipped reef sharks
One of the animals I dream of seeing on my next trip to Galapagos, are the blue-footed booby.
They are a seabird named for its very distinctive bright blue feet and is undoubtedly one of the species that attract the most attention in the Galapagos Islands…
They are masters of seduction.
I heard a lot about these Blue-Footed Booby birds. The want to see them has grown even greater after learning about their unique courting ritual, which includes rocking side-to-side while lifting their eye-catching baby blue feet. A Booby mating dance.
To see this dance, the greatest chances are to travel from May to October, but no guarantee. Their courtship can be intense for one or two weeks and then is followed by egg-laying, incubation and chick-rearing were display is no longer happening…
This is real Big Wild Love 💙
Our Suggested custom Trips to the Galapagos Islands.
If you are thinking of visiting the The Galapagos Islands, just do it.
You are going to understand why it is so important for the planet and you will be helping to preserve it.
if it feels super to know that when you travel you are contributing to the wellbeing of the planet.
These are two trips we have desiged to visit this pristine Paradise and comine it with other destination in SA.
If you want start planning your trip, we can customize one of this trips for your or design one from scratch. Book your Consultation Call with us.
Let’s travel with a positive impact 💛 Then surely we will be helping for a better world for people to live in.
Talk Soon! ❤️
Clara ✨ Co-founder at Across South America
P.S. If you still are, be sure to book your trip. Join our Facebook group and ask us whatever you need to help you start your planning now…we are here to help you!
P.S. 💬 What do our travelers have to say about our trips? You can read testimonials from our travelers here.