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 center of the world's most incredible sights.
Visiting the Galapagos Islands on a honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of trip. It’s the sort of destination that will take you away from reality into what feels like an alternate universe, where the wildlife outnumbers the people, and the landscape is seemingly frozen in time.
This corner of the Pacific Ocean is unlike anywhere else on Earth. The place that inspired Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and where Grace Kelly spent her honeymoon, is made up of 127 islands, about 19 of which are a notable size. Some are constructed out of several islands merged together after volcanic eruptions, and many are home to indigenous animals not found anywhere else in the world. A honeymoon in the Galapagos is a chance to try something new and daring as newlyweds mark a new chapter in their lives.
Why the Galapagos Make for a Great Honeymoon
You will fall head over heels in love with the scenery as you witness spellbinding, untamed wildlife, which isn’t fazed by human visitors, and explore volcanic islands dotted with rare birds.
Honeymoons in the Galapagos are filled with early morning hikes to reach the best viewing spots before anyone else, and embarking on snorkeling and diving adventures. Jump straight off your boat and into an underwater realm, swimming side by side with turtles and dolphins. You and your partner will get up close to sunbathing sea lions, penguins, flamingos, dancing blue-footed boobies, and myriad other bird species.
The best way to see the wildlife and fascinating scenery on your honeymoon in the Galapagos is on a cruise. Choose between three-, four- or seven-day tours on board beautifully luxurious boats, which are like floating, five-star hotels. They differ in size, from intimate 16-passenger vessels to larger yachts, but all offer private suites with balconies from which to view the action and are paired with fantastic food and expert naturalists to lead you on your island tours. These mostly take place in groups, where you will get to know your fellow travelers well by the end of your honeymoon – who knows, you might even make lifelong friends on the trip.
Adventurous couples might also like to combine a honeymoon in the Galapagos with a trip to Machu Picchu too. Conservation is an important part of the ethos surrounding tourism in the Galapagos, so read about how travelers can respect the environment while they’re there.
When’s the Best Time to Visit?
The best time to visit the Galapagos depends on what wildlife you would like to see, as animal activity changes with the months. The seasons are split into two. Between June and November, the weather is cool and dry, while from December to May it is warm and wet. The warmer season, particularly April and May, is the best time for a Galapagos honeymoon overall. The calm water is ideal for snorkeling and diving, and there are more sea turtles around. April is also when their eggs start to hatch, and when many bird species begin their mating rituals, which are amazing to see.
If you can, avoid the peak seasons during the school vacations, which is when the Galapagos attracts more families and visitors, and August/September when the waters are very choppy, although this is a good time to see whales and cruises do still operate.
Where to Go
With such a rich array of wildlife and habitats, all the main islands in the Galapagos have something incredible to offer. Make a short list of your priorities and Scott Dunn’s travel experts will guide you toward the right Galapagos honeymoon cruise for you.
A lot of the boats depart from Santa Cruz, so it’s likely you’ll begin your Galapagos honeymoon adventure here. This is one of the most populated islands in the archipelago and is best known for:
- The Charles Darwin Research Center
- Beautiful beaches
- Iconic giant tortoises
- Whitetip reef sharks
- Marine iguanas
- Plenty of other birdlife
- Fabulous hotels and restaurants.
Our favorite activity: Tortuga Bay is a dreamy stretch of white coral sand lapped by turquoise, clear waters in which to snorkel. Amongst the waters, you will find an array of colorful fish, manta rays, and whitetip reef sharks. Back on land, at the right time of year, you’ll see black sea turtles who come to nest their eggs, as well as sea lions, marine iguanas, Sally Lightfoot crabs, brown pelicans, and flamingos in the lagoon behind the beach. You might even spy the famous blue-footed boobies.
Where to stay: This is one of the only islands with hotels on it, making it a great option for landlubbers. The Finch Bay Eco Hotel gives you the option of a more traditional beach honeymoon, while still being able to take in the wildlife from its private yacht, plus it has a fantastic spa. Pikaia Lodge is another lovely boutique hotel set further inland and beautifully secluded. It also has a private yacht so you can combine land and sea-based activities if you stay there.
Genovesa Island has become known as ‘bird island’ thanks to its craggy landscape. Dotted with crater lakes formed as a result of a volcanic explosion, its steep cliffs provide a home for many seabirds. The water surrounding Genovesa is very nutrient-rich, so all types of marine life can be found here too. A snorkeling trip could see you swimming with numerous shark species (including hammerheads), sea lions, sea turtles, and the occasional manta ray.
Our favorite activity: This is the place to come for bird-lovers. Among the many, many species you might see on your Galapagos honeymoon are:
- Nazca and Red-footed Boobies (it is thought that there are 200,000 living in Genovesa’s trees and bushes)
- Storm Petrels
- Red-billed Tropicbirds
- Various Finches
Where to stay: The best way to experience Genovesa is by cruise. Infinity Galapagos offers a stunning four-day Genovesa cruise, perfect for those who don’t want to spend too long at sea but still what to capture some stunning wildlife photography.
Isabela is the largest Galapagos Island and has a huge variety of wildlife and experiences to uncover. The island has one of the biggest giant tortoise populations in the world, thanks in part to Tintoreras, the island’s tortoise breeding center. This is also a fantastic island for keen hikers, who would like a side of birdwatching with their walks.
Our favorite activity: It’s hard to pick just one stand-out activity on Isabela but Concha de Perla is certainly up there with the best. The bay’s crystal-clear waters give swimmers and snorkelers a perfect view of the underwater life, while penguins, turtles, and sea lions flirt and splash about.
Where to stay: Tourism is relatively new to Isabela and although it does have some hotel options, we prefer to take in its sights by boat. We’ve listed our favorite cruise boats below and they all have various itineraries stopping at numerous islands. However, a good place to start if you’re keen to see Isabela is one of Endemic’s 5-night cruises.
Historically, Fernandina is most famous for its volcanic eruptions. The most recent one was in 2009, making it a fantastic place to examine lava fields and lava cacti. Despite its dramatic activity, Fernandina is one of the most beautiful and pristine of the Galapagos Islands. It is home to many rare animals, such as marine iguanas and lava lizards, as well as Galapagos penguins, blue-footed boobies, and flightless cormorants.
Our favorite activity: Fernandina is an island for active couples. If you are up for a challenging hike, you can trek to the top of the La Cumbre volcano and enjoy scenic views of the island. Kayaking around the island gives you a different viewpoint from which to see the incredible birds and marine life too, including whales.
Where to stay: Most of the hotels in the Galapagos are on the bigger islands, so the best place to stay when visiting Fernandina is on a cruise boat, such as Origin, Theory & Evolve.
Best Galapagos Honeymoon Cruises
Throw away any preconceptions you might have about enormous cruise liners, the boats that tour the Galapagos are intimate and offer a personal experience for honeymooners. Our top boats for Galapagos honeymoons are:
Origin Theory & Evolve
Part of Relais & Chateau, Origin,Theory & Evolve are three of the most deluxe cruise boats in the Galapagos. They operate as a fleet of ships and take the Southern/Central or Western/Northern Route on seven-night tours. On board, there are skillful naturalists who will take you out in little groups on mesmerizing tours, hikes, expeditions on a glass-bottom boats, or on small Zodiac boats to discover hidden bays and get close to wildlife. The food on Origin and Theory also gets glowing reviews and they have been built to be environmentally friendly, with zero emissions.
Another of our chosen cruises for honeymoons in the Galapagos is the Elite catamaran, which offers three, four, and seven-day cruises in the highest level of luxury. It is one of the newer boats to the islands and its sky deck is a romantic place to lie and spot the stars at night. Each suite has glass doors, which open out to a private balcony, and come equipped with binoculars and waterproof cameras.
Honeymooners who prefer smaller groups will love the intimacy of Endemic, which only holds 16 guests. Suites, with sweeping panoramic views offer a place to retreat, just the two of you after a day of exploring. The boat is well equipped for water sports, with diving equipment, stand-up paddle boards, and glass-bottom kayaks. Plus, Endemic’s onboard naturalist is one of the most knowledgeable around, having worked on the islands for 20 years.
Start Planning Your Trip Today
If your dream honeymoon involves adventure, unique landscapes, unrivaled wildlife, and a whole lot of island romance, then reach out to Scott Dunn’s travel experts to start planning your bespoke Galapagos honeymoon package.
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.
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.
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.
Origin,Theory & Evolve
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 all members of Relais & Chateaux.
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...
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...
Ultimate Peru & Galapagos
Offering the best of Peru and the Galapagos Islands, this comprehensive tour 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...