A Galapagos honeymoon is a unique and adventurous way to start a life together with your beloved. The natural beauty and native animal species found nowhere else in the world make the archipelago a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. They are remote, and the exhilarating activities, such as hiking and snorkeling, are perfect for adventurous lovebirds. Yet, it is easy to combine the adventure with a high level of luxury. Bewitching scenery and lavish accommodations make this destination the perfect romantic getaway.
*Cover photo by Maciej in Flickr.
Why honeymoon in the Galapagos Islands?
The Galapagos Islands are renowned for their beautiful natural landscapes and unique endemic species. In fact, many of us know the equatorial archipelago as the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and the theory of evolution. This makes the Galapagos an extraordinary honeymoon destination for newlyweds seeking once-in-a-lifetime adventure.
You will marvel at how both the islands and the surrounding waters are teeming with wildlife. Sunbathing iguanas and sea lions will hardly pay attention to you as you walk along the white sandy beaches and hiking trails. You may also spot blue-footed boobies performing mating dances to attract their lifetime mate or tending to their down-covered chicks. Dive into the surrounding seas to discover gently floating sea turtles and a wide array of brightly colored fish.
Despite the Galapagos Islands’ remote location and wild fame, Galapagos vacations are incredibly comfortable. Better yet, traveling to the Galapagos can be as luxurious as any other island getaway. You can find everything from high-end beachfront hotels to exclusive catamaran cruises. After an invigorating excursion, enjoy a relaxing dip in the pool, a couple’s massage, or an exquisitely prepared meal.
How to plan your Galapagos honeymoon
When to visit the Galapagos
Since they are located along the equator, the Galapagos Islands are one of the best examples of a year-round destination. Temperatures consistently range from the mid-70s to high 80s (25°-30°C). However, the archipelago experiences two seasons: the warm, wet season and the cool, dry season. There are also many different animal events that happen throughout the year. Ultimately, the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands depends on the experience you and your sweetheart wish to have.
For the best chance of bright sunshine illuminating coastal reefs during the day and breathtaking sunsets in the evening, visit the islands during the warm season from December to May. On the other hand, the cool season from June to November sees some amazing animal behaviors, such as mating displays and whale migrations.
Choosing the type of tour package
There are two ways to visit the Galapagos: by land or by sea. Many say that a cruise is the best way to visit the Galapagos Islands. However, there are pros and cons to both types of Galapagos tour packages that you and your beloved should consider in order to decide which is best for your most special getaway.
The obvious benefit of cruises is their ability to visit many islands. Being able to travel overnight means that you have the privilege to visit some of the most remote islands in the archipelago. On top of that, they offer exceptional luxury. You and your sweetheart can enjoy time in the onboard jacuzzi or pool, lounge on the sundeck in between excursions, and enjoy a sunset over the Pacific every night.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that cruise itineraries have set departure dates. This means that you may have to compromise your vacation days to match your preferred cruise and itinerary. Also, those highly susceptible to seasickness may find spending a week on a vessel uncomfortable. In particular, Galapagos cruises are relatively small compared to international liners because of the strict regulations for the Natural Reserve.
On the other hand, staying in a hotel for a land-based package would allow you and your darling to stay on solid ground in between excursions. Moreover, a lavish hotel room will allow you to spread out much more than you could in a cruise cabin. Like cruises, hotels offer relaxing facilities, such as pool and spa services. You also have the option to leave the hotel to explore the shops and restaurants in town. Contrary to cruises, land-based packages can start on any day, so you wouldn’t have to compromise on your travel dates.
Of course, the downside to a land-based package is that you are limited to exploring nearby islands. Depending on what you want to see, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Before making your final decision, you and your partner should decide what you would most like to see while in the Galapagos—such as particular animals or islands—and then find the land or cruise itinerary that best meets your desires.
When to start planning your trip
It is recommended to start planning your honeymoon to the Galapagos well in advance. Because of restrictions limiting the number of visitors in order to protect the local environment, cruises and hotels can sell out quickly. After researching what Galapagos experiences you want to have, you can jump right into the planning process.
The high season in the Galapagos Islands is from June to August. There is also a peak in tourism during the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Both cruises and hotels will sell out 1.5-2 years in advance for these dates. Even during the low season, it is best to book your Galapagos trip at least 6 months in advance if not over a year in advance.
With wedding arrangements to take care of, this may be a lot to handle for you and your fiancé. Should you need assistance getting everything organized, you can contact our expert Travel Advisors to do the time-consuming work of planning and booking for you.
Our top 3 most romantic getaways in the Galapagos
1. High-end Galapagos cruise honeymoon
The best way to spend this special occasion is with a cruise. Cruises here are relatively small vessels, no more than 100 passengers. However, for a more intimate experience visiting the islands, we recommend choosing a small catamaran or yacht. These vessels usually carry no more than 16 passengers. This allows for much smaller group sizes and thus more personalized attention while exploring the islands with your naturalist guide.
For an extra sumptuous experience, opt to upgrade your cabin to a matrimonial suite. Depending on the vessel, this can give you more space to enjoy some private time on board and even a private balcony. For example, the Sea Star cruise’s eponymous Sea Star Suite is 377 ft2 (35 m2) and has a king-sized bed, sitting area, and panoramic windows. It is located on the vessel’s upper deck. The other suites on this deck may not have as much space, but they do have private balconies.
If you prefer a larger ship, we recommend the Galapagos Legend. This vessel carries up to 100 passengers and has many amenities. These include a restaurant and bar, top deck dining in lifeboats, several observation decks, a swimming pool, a sun terrace, jacuzzis, lounges, a gym, and learning centers. For additional comfort on board the Legend, you can opt for the spacious Balcony Suite (237 ft2 / 22 m2) or Legend Balcony Suite (355 ft2 / 33 m2).
2. Luxury Galapagos Islands hotel honeymoon
There are three inhabited islands in the Galapagos archipelago: Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, and Isabela. Each has a main port town and various hotels ranging in star category. However, the most exclusive Galapagos luxury resorts are on Santa Cruz Island, both in its port town of Puerto Ayora and in the central highlands of the island.
One of the most exclusive properties on Santa Cruz is Villa Escalesia. Unlike a large Galapagos resort, this enchanting mansion affords visitors the utmost privacy. The property only welcomes 8 guests at a time. If traveling all the way to the Galapagos Islands for a once-in-a-lifetime trip, it’s well worth reserving one of Villa Escalesia’s oceanfront rooms, two of which come with king-sized beds. These rooms have the most covetable views over Puerto Ayora’s Pelican Bay.
Enjoy the infinity pool or sip a cocktail by the pool-side bar. Perhaps take a dip in the whirlpool or enjoy a steam bath. At the end of an energetic day exploring the islands, retreat to your lavish room for some alone time. Sip some champagne and enjoy your private balcony during your captivating Galapagos Island honeymoon.
3. Extravagant Galapagos safari
The name Galapagos Safari Camp may sound rustic, but it’s perhaps the most stylish accommodation in all of the archipelago. This is luxury camping at its finest. The handful of tents are surrounded by highland forest on Santa Cruz Island. This remote location is a perfect way for adventurous couples to celebrate their love.
Each comes well equipped with multiple outlets, a solar powered shower, and three layers of canvas for optimal comfort. You and your significant other can enjoy the comfort of your well-appointed room or lounge in a hammock on your private balcony with views over the hills and towards the sea.
Four course meals can be taken indoors or relished outside on the veranda. Meander out hand in hand to the camp’s viewpoint or take a dip together in the pool. Add to your honeymoon adventure by setting up a private highland picnic, a chocolate tasting session, or even a fishing trip!
With so many ways to plan a Galapagos Island honeymoon, it is easy to see how this archipelago is one of the best island honeymoon destinations. These alluring islands are filled with adventure and wildlife. Your lovers’ escape is guaranteed to be unique and absolutely unforgettable.
Ask our team of experts to put together your perfect Galapagos honeymoon package!