Simply put, the Galápagos are extraordinary, and, in our opinion, they’re one of the world's best places to spend the December holidays. Our remarkable weeklong journey kicks off in vivacious Quito with a full day to tour colonial masterpieces with our ever-insightful guide. Then we fly to the fabled archipelago, where we base our explorations from Santa Cruz Island’s new Galápagos Safari Camp (modeled after Africa’s best permanent luxury tented camps), which we have all to ourselves.
With help from our expert naturalist, we get acquainted with some of Santa Cruz Island’s finest beaches, its geologic, floral, and faunal wonders, and with its famed tortoises, both at the conservation-focused Charles Darwin Research Station and up in the highlands (our camp is located next to a tortoise reserve and these intriguing creatures galumph around freely—we may have to make way for one on our way to breakfast). We also spend a couple days island hopping aboard the sleek 40-foot Narel, navigating neighboring isles which are peacefully populated by sea lions, blue-footed boobies, land and sea iguanas, frigate birds, and a healthy cast of other fascinating wildlife characters. Each night, after snorkeling, swimming, kayaking, and hiking, we return to the incredible comfort and hospitality of our cloud forest retreat.
Itinerary at a Glance
- Day 1: arrive Quito
- Day 2: guided tour of Quito
- Day 3: fly to Galápagos, settle in at Safari Camp
- Day 4: yachting, swimming, and island visiting
- Day 5: explore Santa Cruz Island and Charles Darwin Research Station
- Day 6: island visiting by yacht, swimming, snorkeling, and hiking
- Day 7: leisurely morning at camp, afternoon flight to Quito
- Day 8: depart Quito.