Best for: Nature lovers! A journey to the Galapagos is the ultimate wildlife experience. Some 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, this far-flung archipelago of lush highlands, volcanic landmasses, tropical beaches and azure waters is home to the richest, most diverse ecosystem on the planet.
Get there quick: With no direct international flights to the Galapagos Islands, the best way to reach the archipelago is to fly from Quito (two and a half hours) or Guayaquil (hour and a half) in Ecuador. Daily flights are available.
All aboard! The best way to explore these Enchanted Isles is aboard a luxury yacht. We prefer smaller boats and compact groups, which benefit from better service and more experienced guides. The newly built 9-cabin motorised catamaran, Petrel, leads the field.
Sail in style: Offering spacious cabins, each with a private balcony, Petrel provides an authentic Galapagos experience without sacrificing luxury or comfort.
The Natural World: The 19 different islands are a living sanctuary of land and marine species. Spot sea lions and blue-footed boobies on North Seymour Island and snorkel among reef sharks and stingrays on Buccaneer Cove, before cruising to Bartholomew for stunning views of the volcanic highlands.
Listen and learn: On the guide side, there is a clear emphasis on the natural history of the islands, with a first rate team of bilingual biologists and ecologists, each of them knowledgeable and engaging.
Cruise around: Cruises typically last 4 or 7 nights, with longer itineraries incorporating the less visited Black Turtle Cove, Albemarle Point and Espinoza Point.
Dive in: Snorkelling gear, wetsuits and kayaks are provided, so you can get up close and personal with all types of marine wildlife.
Best time to visit: The Islands can be visited at any time of year, with each month boasting an array of activities and natural delights. Seasons are split into cool and dry (June-November) and warm and wet (December-June); the warmer season is best calmer seas and good underwater visibility. Showers tend to be short, so you won’t be kept from discovering the beaches or sun-bathing on the deck.