Honeymoon in the Galapagos: Your Guide to A Romantic Wildlife Getaway
Avoid the crowds in Italy and Greece, by enjoying an eclectic honeymoon in the Galapagos. Perfect for couples that strive to experience the out-of-the-ordinary, the Galapagos puts you front and centre of the world's most incredible sights.
The Galapagos is one of the most impressive national parks on Earth. It is a honeymoon destination where couples get the best seats in the house from which to view nature unlike anywhere else you’ve seen.
If the idea of a fly-and-flop honeymoon leaves you feeling bored, how about one that sees you swimming with sea lions, getting up close to giant tortoises, playing with penguins or watching dancing, blue-footed boobies? When it comes to animal life, a honeymoon in the Galapagos Islands delivers beyond your wildest dreams. With over 4,000 distinct species, many of which you will not see anywhere else on the planet, this is the kind of honeymoon that you will remember forever.
Why the Galapagos Make for a Great Honeymoon
Cruising around the clear waters of the Galapagos, you will feel like you are in another world, as far away from reality as you could be. There is nowhere quite like it and who better to share this unique and thrilling experience with than the one you love?
A Galapagos Island honeymoon is for couples with adventurous spirits, for those who go against the grain and take pride in ticking off their bucket list wishes. While the location is remote, this is not somewhere you go to relax on beaches and sip cocktails (although you can do both), but rather make incredible memories of experiencing untamed wildlife that’s confident and curious about human visitors.
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Galapagos archipelago is located about 1,000 km from continental Ecuador and comprises 127 islands, islets, and rocks, of which 19 are large and four are inhabited. Around the islands is one of the world’s biggest marine reserves. Your honeymoon days here will be spent hiking and exploring rocky islands, snorkelling, or swimming in crystal clear waters, before heading back to your luxurious cruise boat for downtime and dinner under the stars.
Galapagos Island honeymoon cruises offer a mix of privacy – in the form of stylish cabins, often with their own balconies – and shared areas with the other guests on the boat. Daytime tours take place in groups, so you get to know your fellow travellers well by the end of a seven-day trip. Making new friends and swapping stories from the adventures you’ve had each day is an enriching part of your honeymoon as is the wildlife itself. It is also worth noting that the tours often start early in the morning, so as well as being a honeymoon for sociable people, it’s one for those who like to be busy.
Honeymoons in the Galapagos combine well with other destinations too, for example, take in the culture in Peru on our Machu Picchu and Galapagos itinerary.
When’s the Best Time to Visit?
The best time to visit for a honeymoon in the Galapagos Islands depends on what wildlife you would like to see, as the animal activity changes with the months. For example, the waved albatross can only be seen between April and November, and in August the penguins migrate to central islands because of cold temperatures. So, it’s worth talking to our travel specialists about which animals you’d like to see.
Between June and November, the climate in the Galapagos is cool and dry, while from December to May it is warm and wet. We suggest avoiding August and September when temperatures are coolest and waters choppiest, but many cruises do still operate at this time.
Overall, the warmer season, particularly April and May, is the best time for a Galapagos honeymoon, particularly if you want to go snorkelling or diving, because the water is calm, and the visibility is at its best. There are also more sea turtles around. And even though it can be rainy, this is the time that many birds begin their mating rituals, which is amazing to see.
It’s important to note there are strict regulations on how many tourists can visit the Galapagos at a time. Therefore, we avoid the peak seasons during the school holidays - when the Galapagos attracts more families and visitors overall - to ensure you have a peaceful romantic experience.
Where to Go
Each island is unique, and the area is very spread out, so don’t try to do everything on your honeymoon in the Galapagos. Make a list of which animals you would love to see and pick the islands where you will spot them.
Santa Cruz is one of the main Galapagos islands. It is from here that many cruises depart and where the main Galapagos airport is. Besides that, it is home to the Charles Darwin Research Centre, amazing giant tortoises, whitetip reef sharks, flamingos, marine iguanas, and other birdlife.
Our favourite activity: The stunning white sand beach of Tortuga Bay is a beautiful place to swim, snorkel and see nesting tortoises, sea lions, whitetip reef sharks, manta rays and incredible birds.
Where to stay: Stay at The Finch Bay Eco Hotel, either for a stopover before your Galapagos honeymoon cruise or as an alternative to being on a boat. The hotel has its own yacht, which can take you out on wildlife tours if you would prefer not to spend your entire time at sea. It’s located in one of Santa Cruz’s prettiest bays, with plenty of activities on offer, from diving, snorkelling, and kayaking to mountain biking and bird watching. Galapagos-inspired menus at the restaurant are delicious, or a water taxi can take you to the centre of Santa Cruz to explore the restaurants there.
Isabela is the largest of the Galapagos Islands and its wildlife is some of the best. It is worth noting, however, that it was formed by six volcanoes merging and they do still erupt. But because of the lava fields, Isabela’s ecosystem is diverse and unique compared to the other islands. Its inhabitants include giant tortoises, but it is the bird life that really stands out. You will see penguins, cormorants, herons, boobies, pelicans, finches, Galapagos doves and Galapagos hawks. Marine life around Isabela is also fabulously colourful. When snorkelling in the clear waters on your Galapagos honeymoon, expect to see sea lions, sharks, pretty fish and sometimes even whales.
Our favourite activity: Birdwatchers will love Tagus Cove Galapagos visitor site where you might see land-dwelling birds, including many varieties of finches, yellow warblers, hawks, and flycatchers. It is also often possible to see land iguanas and giant tortoises here too. We particularly love Puerto Villamil, which has laid-back beaches lined with bamboo bars. It’s simple and rustic but beautiful and you might see the odd sea turtle or sea lion sunbathing on the beach.
Where to stay: Tourism is relatively new to Isabela and it’s best to visit the island as part of a cruise.
Genovesa is one of the best Galapagos Islands for birdlife. It’s much further away from the mainland than other islands and can only be reached by cruise boat. Once there you will find an exceptionally large population of red-footed boobies, which you are unlikely to see anywhere else. Other bird species that call Genovesa home include:
- Nazca booby
- red-billed tropicbirds
- storm petrels
- swallow-tailed gulls
- frigate birds
- short-eared owl (if you are lucky!)
Our favourite activity: Birdwatching is the highlight of Genovesa and even if you are not an avid twitcher you will still be thrilled by the variety and colours of the birds. However, those looking for more adventure on their honeymoon in the Galapagos might like to snorkel with hammerhead sharks at Darwin Bay.
Where to stay: As with Isabela, Genovesa tends to be accessed via a cruise. See our top Galapagos honeymoon cruises below.
Fernandina is one of the most westerly Galapagos Islands, only reachable by boat. It is home to the famous blue-footed boobies, a sizeable population of land iguanas, sea lions, fur seals, and even Sally Lightfoot crabs and Galapagos hawks. It is also one of the only places in the world where you can see the flightless Cormorant.
Our favourite activity: Diving around Fernandina is fabulous, and it will bring you up close to sea horses, turtles, rays, sharks, and Galapagos penguins.
Where to stay: Fernandina is uninhabited and does not have any hotels on the island so is best explored on a seven-day cruise of the Galapagos.
Best Galapagos Honeymoon Cruises
The Galapagos cruise boats have set routes, so speak to Scott Dunn’s travel experts to discover which would suit you best based on which islands you would like to visit or wildlife life you would like to see.
Origin and Theory
Part of Relais & Chateau, Origin and Theory are two of the most luxurious cruise boats in the Galapagos, making them both perfect for a honeymoon. They operate as twin boats and take the Southern/Central or Western/Northern route on seven-night tours. On board, there are expert naturalists who will take you out in small groups on fascinating hikes, trips on a glass-bottom boat, or on small Zodiac boats to explore bays and get close to nature. The cuisine onboard also receives rave reviews and they have been built to be environmentally friendly, with zero emissions.
Another of our favourite cruises for honeymoons in the Galapagos is the Elite catamaran, which offers three, four and seven-day cruises in the utmost luxury. It is one of the newer boats to the islands and each suite has glass doors opening out to a private balcony. Rooms come with binoculars and waterproof cameras to capture all the action too, while the sky deck and jacuzzi are romantic spots for star gazing.
Honeymooners will love the intimacy of Endemic, which only holds 16 guests in panoramic suites with private balconies, so it never feels crowded. The boat comes with excellent diving equipment, stand-up paddle boards and glass-bottom kayaks. Plus, Endemic’s onboard naturalist is one of the most experienced, with over 20 years of knowledge to share.
Start Planning Your Trip Today
If your dream honeymoon involves adventure, unique landscapes, unrivalled wildlife, and a whole lot of island romance, then reach out to Scott Dunn’s travel specialists to start planning your bespoke Galapagos honeymoon package.
Origin,Theory & Evolve
Sister ships Origin, Theory & Evolve are the most comfortable premium-class yachts operating in the Galapagos, combining modern sophistication with quality guiding and accommodating just 20 guests each. They are both members of Relais & Chateaux.
A first class catamaran, the Endemic offers a high level of comfort for up to 16 passengers in panoramic suites and is supported by a highly qualified crew including a dedicated cruise service officer and bilingual naturalist guide.
Explore the incredible wildlife-rich Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador on board the mega catamaran, the Ocean Spray. The design includes a large sundeck, Jacuzzi and eight spacious cabins, each with private balcony.
The Elite is one of the newest luxury catamarans to sail the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador, famed for their fearless endemic wildlife. Accommodates just 16 passengers in spacious and elegant cabins.
Galapagos Seaman Journey
Explore the diverse landscapes and habitats of the Galapagos Islands from on board the Seaman Journey, a comfortable 16-passenger catamaran with plenty of deck space for soaking in the equatorial sunshine and stunning ocean views.
La Pinta is one of the finest mid size expedition yachts sailing the wildlife rich Galapagos Islands with 24 spacious cabins with large picture windows, ample deck space and superb guiding. The ultimate wildlife adventure perfect for couples and families.
Family Fun in Galapagos & Ecuador
Quito, Cloud Forest, Galapagos, Guayaquil
Family fun is guaranteed with wildlife encounters and adventure activities galore on this fabulous trip that takes in both the culture and countryside of Ecuador, the country’s atmospheric cloud forest and a cruise around the magical bird, marine and wildlife kingdom of the Galapagos Islands. From chocolate tasting to night treks through the cloud...
GBP £10,900 pp
Ultimate Galapagos & Ecuador
Quito, Cloud Forest, Galapagos, Guayaquil
The quest for adventure does not mean a compromise in luxury on this superb tour offering the best of both Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. From discovering the UNESCO-listed colonial glory of Quito, to trekking through Ecuador’s atmospheric cloud forest and cruising the enchanted Galapagos Islands, this trip promises an abundance of...
GBP £15,100 pp
Ultimate Peru & Galapagos
Offering the best of Peru and the Galapagos Islands, this comprehensive itinerary combines Peru’s magnificent Sacred Valley and breath-taking Machu Picchu with a Galapagos Islands cruise. This exclusive trip embraces the history, culture, and wildlife of both countries, enriching the experience with stays at upscale Belmond hotels, a journey to the...
GBP £12,900 pp