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The Llama Travel Blog

The Galapagos Islands: Sail or Settle?

Written by  Tsehai
  • 29 April 2019

Visiting the Galapagos Islands is an item on the bucket list for many people – and for good reason. Consisting of 19 islands and located 926km off the coast of Ecuador, this magical archipelago is home to an abundance of endemic species and the human footprint has been kept to a minimum. While a Galapagos adventure can be rather costly, this unique destination makes for a trip of a lifetime and is well worth the cost. Take a Galapagos cruise, or stay in a Galapagos hotel – which option is best for you?

I was lucky enough to do the Colonial Quito excursion twice during my six months living in the Ecuadorian capital – once on my first day and then a few months later when my family came to visit. Having spent a lot of my weekends wandering around and getting to know the ins and outs of the historic centre, I can safely say that this excursion encompasses all the best bits and is a great starting point for a first visit to Quito.

Feeling slightly jetlagged and somewhat apprehensive about what the next six months in this strange new city would bring, I was more than happy to spend my first day in the safe hands of a tour guide. I was picked up promptly at 8:30am, ready to begin the tour at 9am. Here are a few of the highlights... 

Charles Darwin & The Galapagos Islands

Written by  Hannah

In light of Charles Darwin being born 210 years ago today, you might be interested to find out a little bit more about how the Galapagos Islands contributed to the theory of evolution. Here you can find a simple guide to the science behind this theory, as well as what to expect on a holiday to the Galapagos.

From the lava landscapes and cactus forests to the abundant sea lions, iguanas, tortoises and boobies that call the Galapagos home, these islands are an iconic destination. The cost of visiting the Galapagos Islands depends on a range of factors such as the time of year and whether you choose to stay in hotels or embark on a cruise. With this in mind, we’ve created a list of FAQs to facilitate your research and help you to decide which option suits your budget and needs.

Ecuador is world famous for the Galapagos Islands – an archipelago which more-than-deserves its reputation. Not only is the wildlife there abundant and easy to spot, but Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution was formed here, and to this day the islands are an important destination for scientists.

However, while Galapagos is undoubtedly special, there is more to Ecuador than these offshore islands.

Here are some of the features of mainland Ecuador which make it worth visiting.

You've been dreaming about visiting the Galapagos and now your flights are finally booked. Your departure date is looming and packing remains on your to do list. What exactly do you need for a trip to the Galapagos? This is a common question we receive, and although each traveller's needs may be slightly different, there are a few staple items which will make anyone's Galapagos visit more pleasant and convenient. Here's what you should pack for a trip to the Galapagos. 

A hotel-based stay is an increasingly popular option for Galapagos trips, thanks to its affordability and comfort. The islands are explored on a series of day trips and here Jordan discovers the island of North Seymour.

“Food is a central activity of mankind and one of the single most significant trademarks of a culture.” - Mark Kurlansky

Hacienda Zuleta is a stunning and luxurious farmstay in the Ecuadorian paramo of the Imbabura province, outside Quito. It is a very special destination, as Catherine, our marketing executive discovered recently.

All You Need is Ecuador

Written by  Catherine

Catherine! Un gusto conocerte! This was a phrase I heard over and over again in Ecuador, always with the emphasis on gusto – it was a genuine pleasure to meet me. Contrary to how this might be construed, it says more about the Ecuadorian people than it does about my likeability as a person (although I am charming).

I crossed the border into Ecuador at 5am on a dark, but already warm and sticky morning. Going through immigration was a shock to the system, ejected from the dark morning into the harsh fluorescent lighting, to stand in line for a passport stamp while babies cried and a group of teenagers on a school trip shouted excitedly over one another. It was not a particularly pleasant experience, but it was soon forgotten. Back on the bus, I could not bring myself to doze, overcome as I was by the sensation of being in a new country.

Llama Travel’s Travel Consultant Matt has travelled all over South America, from the dense jungles of the Peruvian Amazon rainforest to the colonial cities of Colombia, but for him, a certain volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean will always be a particularly special place. Read on to see why Matt thinks that the Galapagos Islands are as extraordinary today as they were when Darwin first set foot on them almost 180 years ago.