Follow in the footsteps of Charles Darwin with an adventure-filled trip to the inimitable Galápagos Islands
There may be nowhere else on Earth as wild as the Galápagos Islands — comprised almost entirely of national park territory, around 9,000 species thrive across its 19 islands and surrounding seas. Embarking on an action-packed, seven-day adventure with Rebecca Adventure Travel, visitors will encounter sea lions pirouetting around snorkellers in the Pacific Ocean, giant tortoises meandering along volcanic trails and prehistoric land iguanas basking in the blazing heat.
This seven-day itinerary takes travellers across four islands, each one offering a distinct landscape and unique wildlife, all curated by experts, guided by seasoned pros, and paired with luxury accommodation options.
Settling in by the ultramarine seas of San Cristóbal island on day one, relax for an evening before an action-packed day two. The day begins on the water, travelling out to Kicker Rock. Marbled by the remnants of a millennia of nesting sea birds, the lone, jutting volcanic rock has become a hub for flocks of exotic fish.
Leap into the water with snorkel in-mouth to see colourful angel fish, floating sea turtles and maybe even spot swirling schools of hammerhead sharks. On the short journey back, keep an eye out for soaring marine birds, swan diving into the depths to snap up unsuspecting fish.
Isla Isabela, the largest of all the Galápagos Islands, is the next stop on the trip. Venturing from the white sands of Puerto Villamil, a sea-kayak tour with an expert guide can reveal waddling Galápagos penguins and swarming shoals of fish, the fins of nearby breaching sharks and baby sea lions splayed out on the shore.
The next day will be spent amid the black crag remnants of an ancient volcanic eruption — a wave of lava carved apart this islet, sculpting the cavernous rock formations now known as Los Tuneles. Step around the tangerine crabs scuttling over the black rocks and watch the bright blue feet of the boobie birds traverse the volcanic terrain, before diving back into the sea.
Here, blacktip and whitetip sharks roost to build nurseries, often spotted along the rocky shore. The usual cast of characters are around, too: massive sea turtles, swooping rays and curious sea lions.
In Santa Cruz, the highlands will draw you away from the seas. Densely forested from the misted mangroves to the volcanic mountainside, the green interior of the island is spotted with the bright fuchsia of flamingos and the stark white silhouette of resting herons. Keep an eye out for them while journeying to the highlands’ main highlight, the giant tortoises in the Charles Darwin Research Station. Some of the biggest residents have been roaming the reserve for more than 100 years and are now joined by clusters of newly bred baby tortoises.
Since nearly going extinct after Darwin’s famous first recording of the enormous animals, they’re now strictly conserved and protected from the rats, dogs and pigs that ravaged the infant population in the past. Visit the on-site museum to learn about the conservation process and how scientists have succeeded in tugging the species back from the brink of extinction.
On day five, it’s time to get immersed in the absolute isolation of the islands. Venturing out to one of the uninhabited islands — such as Bartolome or North Seymour — you can swim amid undisturbed shoals of exotic fish and observe how wildlife develops in these remote areas.
Each island is home to rare and endangered marine birds, flourishing in the solitude of the outer archipelago. After a final day resting up in luxury accommodation, take a quick glimpse down at the abundant islands on your flight back to the mainland.