top of page

Galapagos Endemics Cruise

Tour Overview:

The Galapagos Islands lie 1000km/625m off of the coast of Ecuador in South America. The destination had become one of the quintessential bucket list places to visit, and it is easy to see why. The wildlife of the islands is famously tame, and so appeals to people from all walks of life and allows anyone to walk away with more than merely decent photographs of them. To a birder, these islands have greater appeal still. In addition to the lure that they have for others, the islands are home to a discrete set of endemic bird species (more than twenty by current taxonomy, but ever increasing), many of which are easily found by taking a very comfortable cruise of this nature around some of the key islands. If ever there was a birding trip that you could feel totally comfortable inviting a non-birding partner on, this is it. Simply put, everybody likes the Galapagos, as it is a totally unique nature experience that is satiating to people from all walks of life. This tour also links with Ecuador: The Andes Introtour, which is based in the Andes of mainland Ecuador. 

Among the specialties we shall be seeking include Galapagos Penguin, Galapagos Shearwater, Waved Albatross, Galapagos Rail, Lava Gull, Espanola and Galapagos Mockingbirds, and a host of finches, including the tool-using Woodpecker Finch. Aside from these so-called specialties, there are other birds that arguably are as high on the list of priorities like seeing frigatebirds displaying spectacularly at close range, tropicbirds effortlessly hanging in the wind offshore, and Blue-footed Boobies dancing mere inches away onshore. Of course, even the most focused birders are likely to find other distractions for their binoculars and cameras, like enormous Giant Tortoises, unique aquatic Marine Iguanas, and the absurdly confiding Galapagos Sea-Lions. We will be traveling around the islands on a 16-passenger Yacht, with experienced crew to look after our every need.

This cruise works well for both birders and photographers, and family groups too, as the relaxed pace of Galapagos cruises can address all of these varied needs. While we do try to see all the endemics possible based on this itinerary (and this one covers most of these), we also have plenty of time with each species (be it birds, iguanas or tortoises!) and the pace is quite relaxed. Most of the wildlife has little or no fear of people and can be observed and photographed at close range, even without expensive gear. Along with the birds, we will also devote some time watching and photographing other wildlife including reptiles and fish. Giant Tortoises, Marine Iguanas, Land Iguanas, frigatebirds, penguins, finches, boobies, cormorants, albatrosses, and storm-petrels are all usually readily photographed on this itinerary. There are several opportunities to snorkel on the cruise.