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Galapagos: a once-in-a-lifetime luxury journey to experience rare and unique wildlife

It is easy to imagine why the Galapagos Islands are one of the top places to visit of many experienced travelers. Online, you can see many articles, reviews and photos of this exotic paradise, but the truth is, that none of them will really do justice to what you see in reality. When researching online, you will find that some travelers decide to visit the Galapagos with a land-based itinerary and stay at hotels; whilst others make the correct choice and they decide to explore these lovely islands on board of a luxury cruise, yacht or catamaran. However, it is clear that nobody goes to the Galapagos only to sunbathe on the boat deck and dive all day long… travelers to Galapagos want to explore, and the best way to do this is on board of a cruise, taking you to all the possible sites and with an experienced guide that will take you to some of the most stunning places on planet Earth. The programs usually include hiking through ancient lava trails, where you will find prehistoric reptiles such as giant Galapagos tortoises, exotic birds such as the blue-footed booby, Galapagos penguins, endemic marine and terrestrial iguanas, cormorants and albatrosses… just to mention a few. While marveling at the diversity of the marine and terrestrial life of these paradise islands, you will be able to enjoy maximum comfort, style, service and safety, on board a luxury boat or cruise. I have personally selected the best five “floating luxury hotels” which will make your Galapagos adventure an out of the ordinary experience. La Pinta The most emblematic luxury cruise would be La Pinta, the result of five decades of experience in the Galapagos Islands, the experience will be oriented to your needs and based on suggestions made by captains, expedition leaders, leaders of large hotels and guests over the years. It is one of the most modern yachts, and has capacity for 48 people, large social areas, covered with gazebo, windows in the cabins, jacuzzi, gym, kayaks, glass floor in certain areas, solarium, chairs for sunbathing. Ideal for travelers looking for a sophisticated experience around the Islands. Silver Galapagos I would say, the best Galapagos experience, for those who have the time and the money is Silver Galapagos, it is Silver’s smallest boat and it combines incomparable shore excursions, high level talks and multiple zodiac landings with accommodation in luxurious suites, some of them with balconies and of course, high-end wine and food during the entire the cruise experience. Integrity Integrity is a 141-foot luxury yacht customized to carry 16 adventurers in comfort, safety and style. Integrity has been cruising the waters of Galapagos since April, 2005. Built in the US, conforming to the rigorous standards of cruises in the Galapagos. All systems, including motors, transmissions, electronics, stabilizers, water filtration and sterilization are new, as is interior decoration and furniture. Petrel Cruise The Petrel Cruise is a luxury catamaran that started operating in September 2015. It is designed as a catamaran to provide great stability and style. Fast, elegant and silent, this motor catamaran takes its name from the beautiful Galápagos bird. It has spacious cabins with private balcony and a spacious lounge and relaxation areas. The huge terrace has a jacuzzi, the ideal place for watching whales and dolphins, sunrise, sunset and unequal landscapes. What I like the most besides having a private balcony? The crew aboard the Petrel has been carefully trained to guarantee the best on board experience. A knowledgeable bilingual naturalist guide will accompany you during all land excursions. Stella Maris Stella Maris is the “only luxury boat based in the Galapagos Islands”. It has all the necessary facilities to serve the most diverse and demanding customers. With capacity for 14 guests and a modern and elegant style, the Stella Maris offers an itinerary of 8 days / 7 nights in the Galapagos Islands, taking you to impressive islands of volcanic environments, as I mentioned before, which exhibit impressive landscapes, as well as one of the largest and most diverse samples of wildlife on Earth. This cruise through the central and eastern islands of the archipelago will allow you to know the most memorable sites, both in the water and on land. And, of course, as in all the cruises, an expert naturalist certified by the National Park will accompany you on land excursions to explore the islands. In conclusion, Galapagos Islands are a top destination to include in any luxury globetrotters bucketlist, if not included yet, due to its singularity that cannot be found anywhere else in the world; unique wildlife and flora, unforgettable beaches and sunsets, the feeling of being in another world with “strange creatures”, and the luxurious experience on board of a yacht or luxury cruise make Galapagos Islands a trendy destination for luxury adventurers. Tip: for any of the yachts you choose or experience you choose, make sure that you get the most out of it with a good travel consultant to help you plan and experience the real Galapagos Islands; we suggest to reserve six or nine months in advance, especially for holiday periods such as Christmas and New Year. Carmen Caballero is Founder of Exotik Traveler. Exotik Traveler is a luxury travel design and consultancy firm which creates unique experiences for luxury travelers, tailored to their needs. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.

Carmen Caballero

Carmen Caballero is the founder and luxury travel consultant behind Exotik Traveler, a luxury travel design and consultancy firm which creates unique experiences for luxury travelers, tailored to their needs. Globally-based in Madrid, Spain, and about 7 years of hard work developing her company, Carmen has worldwide loyal clients and is grateful to have a growing clientele that proudly recommend her services and repeat. Carmen focuses on the design of luxury travel experiences around the world, maintaining high quality standards for demanding worldwide customers and servicing above their expectations. Carmen has traveled notably, and currently continues her way with over 315 luxury hotels and over 38 countries, and continues to follow her passion which is to travel, and curate luxury experiences for her clients. Moreover, with over 70.000 followers in Instagram, Carmen helps some businesses in the luxury travel industry enhance their social media exposure. Her personal experience has taught her how to grow clientele in social media, conscious of how important brand image and first impression are in social media channels. Carmen knows in depth the needs and demands of the luxury travel industry and of high-demand clients.

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  1. Once in a lifetime – I hope not! I’ve already been once. There’s so much to see and do that I just want to get back there as soon as possible.

  2. If it really is going to be a once in a lifetime event then I think that I would go for a complete luxury cruise.

    My husband and I have a succession of big birthdays and a big anniversary coming up fast on the horizon. I’d rather go for one ginormous event, like a Galapagos Cruise, rather than three smaller celebrations. You’ve got to make these things memorable.

  3. I agree that nobody goes to the Galápagos Islands to sun-bathe on deck or read a book but I do think that you need to have some downtime. I would probably read Darwin’s original book whilst on the trip so that I can try to understand what he saw and thought. I also think that there would be so much sensory overload from all these species that you need a bit of time to process it all. So please, let’s have a bit of relaxation.

    1. Imagine reading and relaxing while you navigate from one island to another! Darwin’s theories are always explained by the staff that will accompany you in this lovely journey to make sure you do not miss a thing:) Such a fascinating experience….

  4. It’s got to be a tough call choosing between these five floating luxury hotels. I expect there are quite a few more pushing for a place in that exalted top five too. I’m not great at making travel decisions, maybe I just research too much stuff and then get freaked out by information overload.

    1. Hi Ben, thank you for taking the time to read my article, if you need any help please contact me, Id be happy to help you choose, each boat has different itineraries and offers a different experience!

  5. I’ve watched documentaries about Galapagos, and I would love to visit! Your photos are fantastic, I felt that I was there for a couple of minutes. Thank you so much for sharing :)

  6. A luxury cruise sounds so much more adventurous than I would have imagined in the Galapagos, and it does seem like a brilliant way to explore and discover everything nature has to offer when you’ve got experienced guides to give you the tour. I’d never even heard of cormorants before. I wish I had the money for the Silver Galapagos, I quite like the sound of a small boat and a more intimate experience. Then again, Integrity sounds so appealing; that’s quite small with space for16 travellers on board, and it all looks so brand spanking new with the interiors. I wonder what the best time to go is in terms of seeing the wildlife and getting the most out of the experience? I’d imagine summer when it’s warmer but I can imagine cooler months being quite refreshing, and it would certainly be an unforgettable Christmas to spend it on one of these.

  7. How often have I heard that “once in a lifetime” line when people are talking about a holiday that they’ve just booked and are really looking forward too?

    Then, of course, it turned out to be the holiday of a lifetime. By coincidence this happened with some of my friends. It must have been about 7 or 8 years ago that they went on their “once in a lifetime holiday” to the Galapagos. Guess what? They saved hard for the next few years and have done another Galápagos cruise.

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