The Galapagos Islands is a magnificent destination, and a staple of many of the best cruise deals. But when you think about a Galapagos adventure, the idea of a luxury vacation probably doesn’t spring to mind. You’ll think of amazing wildlife and rugged landscapes, remote destinations and unique experiences, but not fine dining, five-star accommodation, and deluxe service. But let’s be clear - a luxury vacation in the Galapagos Islands is not just possible, it could be one of the best experiences of your life!
If chic summer vacations usually mean taking advantage of your Panama investment citizenship with two weeks in Bocas del Toro, or sailing lazily around the warm waters of the Caribbean, why not try something a little different this year? Pack your bags and head off on a luxury Galapagos adventure, for a genuinely once-in-a-lifetime trip. Here is a guide to the perfect luxury vacation in the Galapagos Islands.
The best way to see the Galapagos is from the water, and there are plenty of luxury cruise options to bring you face-to-face with the amazing wildlife of this unique archipelago in comfort, style, and elegance. You can make the islands a stop on a longer itinerary, or go a step up in luxury with a bespoke trip on an expedition ship.
Luxury catamaran or yacht
Whether you choose an ultra-private sailing yacht or a more spacious catamaran, a private boat tour is the ultimate way to see and do exactly what you want while visiting the islands. Relax in the chic, sophisticated surrounds of your boat in the mornings and evenings, and spend your days drinking in the remarkable flora and fauna that the Galapagos has to offer, on the islands themselves or in the surrounding seas.
In the mood for something a little more adventurous? Scuba diving liveaboard boats might not be quite as luxurious as their cruise or yacht brethren, but for luxury experiences it is hard to beat exploring the world beneath the ocean waves around the Galapagos. Swim with sharks and sea turtles, see clouds of otherworldly mantas and mobulas, and catch a glimpse of the marine iguana, one of the Galapagos Islands’ most exciting (and rarest) species.
Luxury lodges and camps
If life on the sea isn’t quite to your taste, there are a few wonderful alternatives for luxury vacations in the Galapagos. With various deluxe lodges, and even a few glamorous African-style safari camps on Santa Cruz and Isabela, you can take a break from sailing and explore the joys of dry land for a few days. While the classic way to explore the islands is by boat, and staying ashore does mean island-hopping becomes a little harder, all the luxury accommodation offers hiking tours, snorkeling tours, and day trips around the archipelago, meaning you won’t miss out on a single experience.
No luxury vacation would be complete without some fantastic culinary experiences, and while the majority of eateries on the islands are relatively basic (albeit delicious!), there are a few choice options for foodies looking for the finer things in life.
Located in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz, Finch Bay is probably the best fine dining restaurant on the Galapagos Islands. With innovative seafood-based menus and fascinating twists on traditional Ecuadorian cuisine, this is a must-visit spot for gourmet travelers.
Another superb seafood spot, Garrapata is high quality but casual, with a menu that belies its laid-back atmosphere.
Set right on the central square in Puerto Villamil, El Cafetal offers excellent modern international cuisine, with its daily changing menu a refreshing and delightful option.
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