The Galapagos Islands are one of the world’s most fragile ecosystems, and for traveler’s, a highly sought-after vacation destination. AdventureSmith Explorations keeps the fragile eco-system in mind when planning their adventures to the region. As an international leader in small ship cruising, Smith seeks to position his company and clients to be part of the solution, “We want to help make a once-in-a-lifetime journey to the Galapagos the best trip possible when it comes to fulfilling travel dreams and to securing the future health of the islands,” , said Todd Smith, founder and president of AdventureSmith Explorations.
Plan ahead, and do it right once. Travel to a place as fragile as the Galapagos should ideally be done once, so make the selection process fun for this once-in-a-lifetime trip. “Shop for the best experience and seek advice from an expert who has traveled to the Galapagos Islands,” Smith advised. Booking early provides more date and ship choices, plus special offers like early-bird discounts. AdventureSmith Explorations have trips planned with Origin Galapagos Cruises that have August-December departures, and departures aboard National Geographic Islander Galapagos Cruises or National Geographic Endeavour Galapagos Cruises.
Snorkel! “If you don’t get in the water, you are missing half of the wildlife in Galapagos,” exclaimed Smith. “There is no shortage of colorful fish, but encounters with charismatic megafauna (playful sea lions, sharks, rays, turtles), prehistoric-looking marine iguanas and the only penguin that lives north of the equator are what really sets Galapagos snorkeling apart.” Snorkeling options range from deep-water to beginner-friendly shoreline snorkels. For those who really don’t want to snorkel, you may opt for a ship with a glass-bottom boat. “Interacting with the Galapagos wildlife and seeing them in such close proximity fosters a conservation mind as you bond with the fearless animals,” Smith added.
Remember you’re in South America. Don’t rush the journey and miss out on exploring a bit of what else Ecuador or other nearby regions, like the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu, Peru, have to offer. Smith cautions against trying to combine Galapagos and Peru in just one week, thereby shortchanging two of the world’s most spectacular destinations.
“Machu Picchu is our most popular extension,” Smith pointed out. “Our team offers an array of ways to experience this world-renowned Incan site, from lodge-to-lodge treks to boutique lodges in the Sacred Valley. In Ecuador, our crew can recommend unique lodges in the cloud forest, complementary small ship cruises down the Amazon River or haciendas in the highlands to horseback ride and seek out the Andean condor.”
Even if pressed for time, you have to include a stopover. To access the Galapagos Islands some 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador, you must fly. “As there are no direct international flights to the archipelago, you must route through either Quito in the Andean foothills or Guayaquil along the coast,” said Smith. AdventureSmith’s Galapagos Cruise Package takes care of the essentials of getting to the Galapagos and lets travelers explore these gateways efficiently with a knowledgeable guide.
Plan Your Trip With AdventureSmith Explorations
For more information, descriptive itinerary, departure dates and news on this and other trips call 800-728-2875 toll-free or go to the AdventureSmith website..
Photo Credits: AdventureSmith Explorations