The physical beauty of the Galapagos Islands, their world-class wildlife, and the quality of the best yachts that cruise the archipelago, combine to make a well planned trip to the Galapagos a truly memorable experience that ranks near the top of many travellers' lifetime lists.
Beautiful and remote, the Galapagos was visited so little in history and settled so recently that its animals have not developed a fear of man. Walking on the islands will bring you right up close to courting or nesting sea birds, sun bathing iguanas, relaxing sea lions or perhaps even a rare giant tortoise ambling to its lunch. More often than not it will be you, not the wildlife, that decides how close you approach.
Snorkelling is wonderful, with the thrill of swimming with penguins, turtles and curious young sea lions - who seem to like nothing better than to show off their underwater acrobatics around you.
97% of the area of the Galapagos is a national park. Controls on access are strict. The only practicable way to see the islands is by boat visiting the sites approved by the park authorities. They control the number of boats and the standards they have to meet.
There are a few small settlements on the islands outside the national park where it is possible to stay onshore, but where you can go and what you will see is very limited. Day excursions by boat tend to be on small vessels and can be bouncy even in the light seas that are typical of most areas around the islands.