Few things are more moving to a parent than the look of delight in a child's eyes in a face-to-face encounter with wild creatures. That happens all the time in the Galapagos Islands, where friendly sea lions, marine iguanas, penguins and blue-footed boobies entertain visitors at close range, nonchalant about our presence. In this remote Pacific archipelago 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the magic of nature is palpable. Unique animals, little touched by the influence of time or distant lands, exist in splendid isolation. Herman Melville called this ancient chain of submerged volcanoes “Las Islas Encantadas,” or The Enchanted Isles, an apt name for a destination that is sure to create family memories that can truly
be found nowhere else in the world! Sail aboard our
snorkel with our naturalist Expedition Leaders, walk among wildlife ashore and spend a night with wild tortoises at our exclusive Tortoise Camp!
Choosing a Family Galapagos Trip is a Big Decision!
Children have a natural bond with nature. As parents or grandparents, you’ve likely seen this firsthand. And there's simply no more exciting nature adventure for the entire family than a trip to the Galapagos Islands. In this wildlife wonderland, you'll create memories that will forge bonds for a lifetime. When you're choosing a family trip, who you travel with matters.
Our family Galapagos adventures are designed with attention to every detail that makes a multi-generational trip special and successful. Other options do not provide all the elements that make your once-in-a-lifetime family Galapagos trip perfect—so take a moment to examine our key advantages:
- Small Groups Mean the Best Wildlife Encounters
Our family Galapagos trips accommodate just 20 guests (typically three to five families) who are cared for by our professional crew and two Natural Habitat Expedition Leaders. We divide the group into two smaller groups with a maximum of 10 guests each for hiking and snorkeling excursions. While other companies may offer families space on trips combined with non-family participants (though kids will be kids—do you really want to temper their behavior because some adult participants may be intolerant?), this is the most intimate family-based Galapagos experience out there. You'll share wondrous nature encounters with a few other families who share your passion for the natural world.
- We Maintain Control of Operations From Start to Finish
We operate our Galapagos adventures from the moment we meet you on arrival in Ecuador till we bid your family farewell at the end of the trip, with full control of all operations in between. This arrangement is absolutely vital in ensuring the quality and safety of your family's once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos experience.
- The Itinerary Does Make a Difference
Our exclusive Galapagos itinerary offers a more diverse array of sites than most trips do. In tandem with our partner WWF, we have constructed the most wildlife-intensive itinerary possible. Unlike most routes that travel only to the south or central islands, we also offer a chance to visit Genovesa in the far north (where we’ll see rare red-footed boobies) and Fernandina, an active volcano in the west that's home to flightless cormorants.
- A Nat Hab Exclusive: An Overnight Stay at Our Private "Safari" Camp
Also unique to our itinerary is an exciting optional night at our private Tortoise Camp—complete with canvas tents and tree houses! Located in the highlands of Santa Cruz, this is our base for exploring volcanic caves and observing wild tortoises roaming freely. Children love this excursion, and it is available only through Nat Hab. (Guests who may prefer not to camp can remain aboard the Letty.)
- Personalized Snorkeling Experiences
Kids love water, and there is no more exciting aquatic activity than snorkeling with the friendly creatures of the Galapagos. Aboard larger ships, dozens of travelers converge in the water at a single snorkeling site, compromising your experience and possibly even your safety. Our trip offers a very different context: with a maximum of just 10 travelers per snorkeling group (20 total), the marine life of the Galapagos is front and center, not other guests.
- Explore More of Ecuador with a Hacienda Stay in the Andean Highlands
Ecuador, though small in size, is one of the world's most geographically and culturally diverse countries. Yet most Galapagos trips focus only on the islands. As a complement to your Galapagos immersion, we include a visit to the Andean highlands, too, where you'll stay at an authentic colonial hacienda near the scenic market town of Otavalo. We'll explore the region together, perhaps hiking at the base of imposing volcanoes or making a visit to a traditional village. It's a rich introduction to a side of Ecuadorian culture that's distinctly different from what you'll encounter in the Galapagos. And for those who don't want to miss Quito's historic highlights, we can arrange an optional Quito city tour before or after your trip.
- Triple Cabins Available on the M/Y Letty
Very few tourist vessels in the Galapagos have cabins that can accommodate more than two persons. The M/Y Letty has two triple cabins that can accommodate three passengers each, a helpful option for families.
- Our Guides Truly Love Kids!
Natural Habitat Adventures is widely recognized for employing a peerless group of staff naturalists. What you may not know, though, is that their enthusiasm for sharing their in-depth knowledge of nature with kids is just as strong as with our adult guests, if not moreso! In fact, our professional Expedition Leaders are an integral key to the success of our Family Galapagos trip. Not only do they undergo rigorous guide training, including resources from WWF scientists, they are also chosen for their ease with children and ability to relate to younger travelers. Not everybody loves kids…but we sure do! See Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
- Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Special Galapagos Experience
With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee, stating clearly that we will meet the lofty expectations we set forth in our promotional materials. We think this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
- Feel Good About the Way You Travel
We all care about the planet, and you can embark upon this adventure knowing that the emissions from your trip are 100-percent carbon-offset—Natural Habitat Adventures is the world’s first carbon neutral-travel company.
- Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel, as well as the exceptional quality of our adventures, World Wildlife Fund—the world's leading environmental conservation organization—has named Natural Habitat as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!