With almost 1,000 km of water lying between them and the South American mainland, the islands of the Galapagos were able to evolve largely unfettered by the presence of humanity and its ambitions. Read of Charles Darwin’s voyage there in the early nineteenth century and he tells of hawks that would come to perch on his shoulder and sea lions waddling up to inspect him. Today, thankfully, much remains as it was then. So if close encounters with the winged, scaled and finned kind are what you’re after, you really can’t go past this sailing trip through the archipelago’s remote northern islands.

Highlights

Learn about the islands’ history at the San Cristobal Interpretation Center

Wander through Santa Fe’s Opuntia Forest

Visit the seabird rookeries on Genovesa

Snorkel among turtles and diamond sting rays off Darwin Beach

Inspect the unique flora of Bahia Sullivan

Stroll along Isla Rabida’s rust-coloured sands