Unrivalled Wildlife in the Galapagos

Lying 1,000 kilometres off mainland Ecuador in true isolation, the Galapagos Islands are world-renowned for their vibrant species of flora and fauna, many of which are exclusive to the islands. With only five of its thirteen islands inhabited, travelling by yacht gives you the flexibility and freedom to fully experience the more remote islands

When to go

Dec - June

Arrive at Baltra where you will transfer to Aeolian Cove to meet your yacht. This area of astounding beauty comes with fantastic opportunities for surfing the waves that often reach overhead. Accompanied by a world-class Pelorus surf guide, you may end up riding waves alongside sea lions as they play in the breaks. Later, head to the tortoise reserve in the highlands of Santa Cruz, where you can spend the afternoon observing these prehistoric creatures.

Spend the day learning or refreshing your diving skills around the island of Mosquera, where you will discover abundant marine life. Dive alongside hammerhead, black-tip, and white-tip sharks for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Watch for garden eels, turtles, barracudas, sting rays, and reef fish. Take part in a conservation programme designed by the National Park, following and tagging newborn hammerhead sharks with leading marine biologists.

Cruise by the White Sand Bar to see one of the world’s largest populations of sea lions. With any luck, you may also spot sharks and mobula rays leaping out of the water. Mobula and manta rays are largely mysterious to the scientific community. You will have the opportunity to take part in a project to identify and track these enigmatic animals on their worldwide migrations.


Take a paddleboard or kayak to explore the waters surrounding Tower Island, a tip of a volcano that sits right above sea level. Steep underwater terrain and rugged cliff faces make it an interesting habitat for marine and bird life. Alternatively, head towards Darwin Bay on Isla Genovesa, observing sea lions, sea turtles, and perhaps a manta ray along the way. Reach the shore and find the steep stairway that marks the entrance to Prince Philip’s Steps. Hike along this trail and encounter the world’s largest colony of red-footed boobies. Spot wedge-rumped storm petrels and, if fortunate, see the short-eared owl stalking its prey along the island’s cliffs.

Enjoy a sunrise hike through the famous lava formations of Bartolome Island. Later dive or snorkel with the Galapagos penguins and try your hand at underwater photography guided by your Pelorus host. Here, you will also find the endemic black eel coral, colourful clams, sharks, sea horses, and floating bullseye pufferfish.

Anchor off Punta Vicente Roca in Isabela Island, the largest island in the archipelago. Spend the morning slowly cruising around the island by tender, occasionally stopping to admire cormorants, pelicans, and sally lightfoot crabs on land. While in the crystal-clear waters, watch the rays, tropical fish, and marine iguanas swimming around you. Take this opportunity to explore Punta Espinosa with a local guide, where you will get the chance to feed hundreds of marine iguanas that inhabit the bay and walk through the world’s only tropical colony of albatross.


Cruise to Bahia Urbina, a shallow bay located at the foot of two volcanoes, Alcedo and Darwin. Snorkel around this area as you try to spot blue and red lobster and sea turtles. From here, swim to shore and trek inland where you will find the giant tortoises. Observing these rare animals in the wild promises to be a truly unforgettable experience.

Drift dive at Punta Cormorant on the lookout for white tip reef sharks, rays, octopus, turtles, and the very unique Galapagos sea robin. Spend the afternoon hiking through the volcanic cinders on the islet. Start at the brackish lagoon where you will find white-cheeked pintails and flamingos. You will then head towards a white sand beach composed of the finest coral to see the Pacific green turtles that nest here in March. Join conservation efforts and stay for the evening to assist the baby turtles in hatching and reaching the water.

Explore Puerto Egas, one of the most popular sites in the Galapagos due to its flat, black lava shoreline where a colony of fur sea lions reside. From here, hike towards Sugarloaf Volcano where you will encounter lava lizards, Darwin’s finches, and Galapagos doves, before reaching the summit to admire the spectacular views. Next visit the volcanic red sand beaches of Rabida Island where you can snorkel a cliff wall that descends into the water allowing you to spot marine life within the cracks.

Looking for more Wildlife Inspiration in South America?

Learn more about our luxury yacht charters and unique wildlife adventures in South America or speak to one of our Expedition Designers on +44 203 848 5424