Famous for its unique and fearless wildlife, the Galapagos Islands, just off the coast of Ecuador, are best experienced by cruise. You can swim with sea lions, float eye-to-eye with a penguin, stand next to a blue-footed booby feeding its young, watch a giant tortoise lumbering through a cactus forest and try to dodge the iguanas scurrying over the lava.
The wildlife is truly phenomenal and the scenery, which is barren and volcanic, is hauntingly beautiful. Diving here is thought to be some of the best in the world, but even just by snorkelling or kayaking you will encounter an abundance of endemic wildlife species and come face to face with harmless white-tipped sharks, sea turtles and giant manta rays. Volcanic landscapes provoke explorations on land, reaching crumbling craters and eerie lava fields, mangrove swamps and black sand beaches. Although well geared up to cater to tourists, any visit here will feel as though you are stepping back into a land before time; a truly unforgettable experience.