The Galapagos Islands are renowned as the inspiration for Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, and require little introduction.  It is more than 170 years since the voyage of HMS Beagle, yet the diverse ocean and island ecosystems of the Galapagos remain foremost on the nature lovers' list of destinations to explore. Since December 2001 both the islands and the Marine Park have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The 13 volcanic islands, born out of ongoing tectonic activity, sit in the Pacific Ocean more than 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador.  Each has a landscape unique from its neighbour and an awe inspiring host of endemic flora and fauna.

The environment beneath the ocean surface is similarly extraordinary. Whale sharks, dolphins and whales are frequent visitors to the archipelago, whilst familiar residents include penguins, marine iguanas and the ever playful and almost ubiquitous sealions. Birdlife is abundant, diverse and fearless. Even if you are not an avid birdwatcher you will be fascinated by the range and numbers of birds around you including the graceful albatross, the blue and the red footed booby and the flightless cormorant to name but a few.

For over twenty years Aqua-Firma has been actively involved with habitat conservation, wildlife research, scuba diving and expeditions to Ecuador and the Galapagos. This experience not only helps us to know this area in great depth, but enables us to tailor your experience in ways that suit your special interests and activities, the time you have and budget. Whether you are travelling alone or pulling together a family or special group, we will be able to assist.

We have created 5 inspiring ways in which to appreciate the Galapagos to the full:

Wildlife Yacht Safaris are a great way to approach nature, sailing gently between the islands, stopping at calm anchorages and having the freedom to discover the unique wildlife both above and below the waves by snorkeling and freediving. We use the best small sail and motor yachts, usually taking just 16 guests, so that your contact with wildlife is intimate and unobtrusive.

Active Galapagos: We also offer very special adventure travel journeys through the archipelago by means of kayaks, walking, mountain bikes and horses, whilst using land based accommodation throughout at island hotels. This provides for a more active but very personal experience, designed to bring you in close contact with the island landscapes, ecology and natural history. Group sizes are anything from two to ten.

Dive Liveaboards: The Galapagos is judged by many to be the World's best dive location. Aqua-Firma offers Dive Liveaboard trips to Wolf Rock and Darwin which provide some of the best opportunities in the world to experience large pelagics such as whale sharks and hammerheads. Amongst these trips is our Shark Insights & Photography Dive Liveaboards led by Whale Shark Researcher & Photographer, Dr Simon Pierce.

Galapagos Yacht & Lodge Safaris: For those whose ultimate experience of the Galapagos would involve a combination yacht based and land based experiences, activity and natural history, then our Galapagos Yacht & Lodge Safaris are ideal. These can be tailored to integrate all of your interests, or neatly balance those of a diverse group or family or varying ages.

Land based diving: For divers who don't want to compromise what they see of Galapagos's on land nature, we can either extend a dive liveaboard trip with a wildlife or adventure extension on land; or we can arrange any number of days diving from a land base, either in combination with one of our Yacht Safaris and active explorations of the Galapagos, or as a means in its own right to explore the marine life of the Galapagos.

To get to the Galapagos you will necessarily need to stop over in Quito or Guayaquil in Ecuador.  We are specialists in wilderness and wildlife travel throughout Latin America, so with as little as an extra day we can take you by 4WD vehicle, mountain bike, on foot or on horseback to Ecuador's highest active volcano: Cotopaxi.  We can also take you to see the stunning birdlife and scenery of the Andean cloud forests, or deep into the Amazon, lodge-based, or on one of our Dugout Canoe & Lodge Safaris in the Amazon Flooded Forest.  We can also easily combine the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and rainforests of Peru; or extend your exploration further to Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Panama and Antarctica.

  • Blue Footed Booby Galapagos - photo by Dr Simon Pierce
  • Whale Shark Galapagos Dr Simon Pierce MMF / Aqua-Firma
  • Sea lion on a Scuba Dive in the Galapagos
  • Galapagos Hawk - photo by Dr Simon Pierce MMF / Aqua-Firma
  • Flamingo on Isabela Island in the Galapagos
  • Galapagos Penguin Las Tintoreras Islets - Dr Simon Pierce MMF / Aqua-Firma
  • Waved Albatrosses on Espanola Island in the Galapagos
  • Kayak holidays in the Galapagos Islands with Aqua-Firma
  • Frigatebird with inflated Gula in the Galapagos

Galapagos Island Guide


Trip Reviews from the Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Motor Yachts

Galapagos Sailing Yachts

  • Marine Iguana San Cristobal Island Galapagos - wildlife photography by Ralph Pannell AQUA-FIRMA
  • Aqua-Firma Wildlife & Marine Life Sailing Yacht Safaris
  • Snorkeling with a Green Turtle in the Galapagos
  • Sea Lion mother & calf in the Galapagos Islands
  • Trekking in the Galapagos - Sierra Negra Volcano
  • Sally Lightfoot Crab Bachas Beach Santa Cruz Iasland, Galapagos - Ralph Pannell Aqua-Firma
View all trips to Galapagos
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