The archipelago forms part of Ecuador and lays app. 1000km west of the Ecuadorian coast directly at the equator and consists of 13 islands bigger then 5 km, 6 smaller islands (1-5 km) and more then 40 islets. Your travel to the Galapagos Islands starts with a flight from the mainland from Quito or Guayaquil to the islands San Cristobal or Baltra, where your Galapagos exploration starts. The Galapagos Islands form a nature reserve with unique surroundings where most of the animal and plant species are endemic. Besides the bizarre landscapes blue footed boobies, the Galapagos turtles, the flightless cormorants, the Galapagos albatross, the marine iguanas, penguins and the playful sea lions are the main attractions of the Islands.
Galapagos has two seasons and there is a strong difference between the hot and dry coastal line of the islands to its cool and humid climate in the upper zones. From January to June it is mainly hot and day temperatures of 30ºC are common, there are often short but strong rains. In the dry season from July to December temperatures are lower. Water temperatures vary between the islands between 18 and 26ºC.
The Galapagos are one of the last pristine nature paradises of the world and form a quite exclusive travel destiny. As such travels and cruises at the Galapagos are more expensive then normal tours and travellers should not expect to get the same value for their money as at the mainland; e.g. the price for a 3 star hotel at the Galapagos Islands can be compared with the price of a 4 star hotel at the mainland. Please take into consideration that tourism is one of the main supporters of this nature paradise and the Charles Darwin Station and that the income of the national park fees is used within the islands only.