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, huge schools of hammerhead sharks 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, blue and the red footed boobies and the flightless cormorant to name but a few.

For over thirty 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.

Red Footed Booby in the Galapagos Islands

In addition yacht-based and land-based journeys available at any time of the year, we also have several expert-led trips. Our trip leaders include two of the world's leading shark scientists and photographers, Dr Simon Pierce and Dr Chris Rohner, leading the way in marine research and conservation in the Galapagos.

Schooling Hammerhead Sharks in the Galapagos Islands

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 throughout the Ecuadorian Andes.  We can also take you amongst the stunning scenery and wildlife of Ecuador's Andean cloud forests, which our team has been actively involved in conserving; or deep into the Amazon, be that lodge-based, by river cruise or hosted by Aqua-Firma director & photographer, Ralph Pannell, who used to work for our partner charity, Rainforest Concern.

Beyond Ecuador, we can combine your trip to the Galapagos with the Inca Trail, Machu Picchu and rainforests of Peru; or extend your exploration further to Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica and Antarctica.

Galapagos Conservation Trust Photography Competition winning pictureWinning photograph of the Galapagos Conservation Trust 2021/2 Photography Competition, sponsored exclusively by Aqua-Firma. Photo by Leighton Lum

Galapagos Wildlife & Marine Life Gallery

AQUA-FIRMA Trip Photo on BBC News - Expanding Galapagos Marine Reserve

Galapagos - Perfect Exposure

  • 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
  • Waved Albatrosses on Espanola Island 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 & pup 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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