This group of isolated islands along the equator lie in the Pacific Ocean, west of mainland Ecuador. The Galápagos have a unique environment of stark lava formations, cactus forests and lush highlands and many endemic species found nowhere else on Earth, such as the giant tortoise, the Galapagos sea lion and the marine iguana. Birdlife is abundant and key sightings include the blue-footed, redfooted and Nazca boobies, great and magnificent frigatebirds, flightless cormorants, waved albatrosses and Darwin’s finches. Marine life is varied, including fur seals, whales, dolphins, sharks, rays, sally lightfoot crabs and tropical fish.
The birds and animals of the Galápagos are totally fearless and can be viewed at very close quarters while basking in the sun or swimming in the sea. Photo opportunities are endless and snorkelling provides further chances to explore the rich marine life.
The most popular way to explore the Galápagos islands is on an expedition cruise, ranging from 3 to 14 nights, stopping off at a selection of islands to see the wide variety of wildlife. Cox & Kings uses a selection of small boats, catamarans and medium-sized vessels that provide excellent service and expert guides. It is also possible to arrange visits from a number of land-based hotels or lodges, best suited for those who prefer to avoid long durations at sea.