Natural Habitat Adventures

Classic Galapagos: The Natural Habitat Experience

Our Exclusive Small-Group Nature Immersion Led by the Islands' Most Experienced Guides
8 or 10 Days
16
From $5495 (+internal air)

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Six hundred miles off the coast of Ecuador, surrounded by open ocean, a volcanic archipelago straddles the Equator. The Galapagos Islands, forged of black lava and named for the giant tortoises that are among their most noted inhabitants, are like no other place on Earth. Home to a profuse array of unique wildlife, the islands offer an immersion in nature that feels primeval. Iguanas and blue-footed boobies share the  beaches with us, unfazed by our presence. Friendly sea lions—and sometimes inquisitive porpoises—play with us in the clear turquoise water, as Galapagos penguins dart by and sea turtles glide past. Author Herman Melville, who visited the islands in 1841, shortly after Darwin's momentous visit, called them the "Enchanted Isles"—an apt moniker for a realm that remains otherworldly, even today.
  Click here to learn about our special photo departures.
    A traveler poses next to a giant tortoise at Natural Habitat's Tortoise Camp, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Blue-footed booby, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Travelers pose with guides on Genovesa Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador  A close-up of a Sally lightfoot crab on Fernandina Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador A tented room at Natural Habitat's Tortoise Camp, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador A Galapagos tortoise on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador A guide talks to a traveler on Santiago Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador A male great frigatebird shows off his red chest on North Seymour Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador  A red-footed booby perches on a tree on Genovesa Island, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador Two travelers pose in front of the tree houses at Natural Habitat's Tortoise Camp, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador A view from a boat of two bottle-nosed dolphins swimming underwater, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador The silhouette of a Galapagos sea lion and frigatebird on the beach at sunset, Rabida, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Trip Highlights

  • Explore a Diversity of Islands in DepthOur flagship itinerary is an immersive exploration of the Galapagos, with a full week aboard a privately chartered yacht carrying just 14–16 guests
  • Spend a Night with Giant TortoisesSnorkel with sea lions, swim with turtles, sunbathe with iguanas, scout for whales, and overnight in wild tortoise terrain at our private camp on Santa Cruz
  • You Won't Find a Smaller GroupEach trip is led by two Expedition Leaders—the Galapagos' most highly trained naturalist guides—for the best guide-to-guest ratio in the islands
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Galapagos Islands
The Natural Habitat Experience

All Galapagos Tours Are Not the Same! Why Choose Us?

The Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s premier nature travel destinations, and deservedly so: there may be no better place on Earth for close encounters with wildlife than this remote archipelago that’s home to an assortment of unique and gentle creatures. For nature photographers, capturing close-up images of wildlife is the ultimate travel photography experience. It’s thus essential to experience the islands in a way that affords intimate interactions with wildlife, with personalized interpretation by top naturalists—something you don’t get with larger cruise ships and formal lectures, or less-qualified guides. With Nat Hab, you’re assured a superior Galapagos nature adventure.

  1. Small Groups Ensure Intimate Nature Encounters
    With just 14–16 guests aboard our private chartered yachts, and each departure led by two highly trained, park-certified Natural Habitat Expedition Leaders, you'll explore the Galapagos in a small group with no more than 7–8 other travelers.
  2. The Best Guide-to-Guest Ratio in the Galapagos
    The typical ratio is 16 or 20 guests to one naturalist guide—that’s what most boat tours in the Galapagos provide. Our ratio is 7 to 8 guests per guide—with even smaller groups on our photography departures. This makes a big difference! It not only allows us to explore in a more intimate context, but we can also offer different activities at the same time: for instance, one group can snorkel while the other opts for a panga ride. And with two Expedition Leaders, you get a full interpretive experience: a naturalist guide accompanies each panga when we go out with two smaller boats for close-up exploring. Our photo tours are accompanied by two Galapagos Expedition Leaders plus one Photo Expedition Leader, for a total of three naturalist guides.
  3. Private Chartered Yachts Keep Operations Within Our Control
    Rather than sending you through a local ship-owner who takes bookings from many sources, we run every element of our Galapagos trips—from meeting you on arrival in Quito through the chartering of our small ships to escorting you to the Quito airport for your homeward flight. Only by managing each step of our operations can we ensure that your trip is superlative—and we don’t settle for less!
  4. An Exclusive Stay at Our Private Tortoise Camp on Santa Cruz
    Exclusive to Nat Hab alone is an optional overnight at our private Tortoise Camp in the highlands of Santa Cruz, where wild tortoises roam freely over this remote parcel of private land overlooking the Pacific Ocean far below. Unique accommodations, rustic but comfortable, are in raised safari-style canvas tents and elevated treehouses (all with en suite facilities), surrounded by nature, with a communal dining room and lounge space warmed by a log fireplace.
  5. The World's Finest Naturalist Guides
    Natural Habitat Adventures is known worldwide for employing the highest-quality guides in the industry. Our group of elite Galapagos Expedition Leaders averages more than 15 years’ guiding experience each. Additionally, they receive training and resources from WWF’s world-renowned scientists. Our philosophy on this is pretty simple: A nature adventure is only as good as the guide, so we simply must provide the best! See Expedition Leader bios and traveler comments regarding the quality of our leaders.
  6. Secluded Snorkeling Experiences
    Snorkeling is the highlight for many Galapagos visitors. Inquisitive sea lions, sea turtles, penguins and schools of vividly colored fish provide endless excitement in the islands’ clear waters. But it can be disappointing if you’re traveling aboard a larger ship to find dozens of fellow snorkelers surrounding you, interfering with your experience. In our small groups accompanied by two Expedition Leaders, marine life is front and center, and you’re the sole audience. 
  7. The Itinerary Makes a Difference
    As WWF’s conservation travel partner, we're privileged to have some of the world’s top wildlife biologists helping us develop our nature adventures. WWF is especially active in the Galapagos, and our itineraries are specifically designed to provide our small groups with the best close-up wildlife viewing experiences in the most personalized manner possible.
  8. See & Photograph More of Ecuador with a Stay in Quito
    Ecuador, though small in size, is one of the world's most geographically and culturally diverse countries. As a complement to your Galapagos immersion, we include a guided visit to Quito—a richer cultural experience than just flying in and out of Guayaquil, as many trips do. Experience a slice of Ecuador that is distinctly different from what you'll encounter in the Galapagos as you explore Quito's complex colonial history, reflected in extravagant churches and European, Moorish and indigenous influences that have made the well-preserved 16th-century Old Town a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
  9. Our Quality-Value Guarantee Ensures Your Outstanding Galapagos Experience
    With Natural Habitat Adventures, you receive our exclusive guarantee, clearly stating that we will meet the lofty expectations we set in our promotional materials. To our knowledge, this is the most ambitious guarantee made by any adventure travel company. Read our important promise.
  10. Feel Good About Your Carbon-Neutral Journey
    We care deeply about our planet, as we know you do. When you travel with us, the carbon emissions from your trip are 100% offset—including your round-trip flights from home. Natural Habitat Adventures has been the world’s first carbon-neutral travel company since 2007.
  11. Natural Habitat Adventures is WWF's Travel Partner
    Because of our commitment to environmentally friendly travel as well as the exceptional quality of our worldwide adventures, World Wildlife Fund, the world's leading environmental conservation organization, has named Natural Habitat Adventures as its worldwide travel partner, a designation that makes us exceedingly proud!

Read what travelers are saying about our Classic Galapagos Islands tour:

5.0 average rating out of 78 reviews
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Earn rewards for referring your friends! We'd like to thank our loyal travelers for spreading the word. Share your friend's address so we can send a catalog, and if your friend takes a trip as a first-time Nat Hab traveler, you'll receive a $250 Nat Hab gift card you can use toward a future trip or the purchase of Nat Hab gear. To refer a friend, just complete the form below or call us at 800-543-8917. It's that easy! See rules and fine print here.

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