Galápagos Hiking the Enchanted Islands
600 miles off the coast of Ecuador lies an isolated chain of islands known as the Galápagos. The wildlife that arrived here evolved in such unique ways that all the reptiles and nearly half the birds and plant life are found nowhere else in the world. This is what inspired Charles Darwin’s “Origin of species.” You’ll find prehistoric land iguanas, colorful birds and the 600-pound tortoise that gives the archipelago its name. Most wonderfully, the wildlife in their isolation has never developed a fear of humans. Come snorkel with sea lions, swim with penguins, or watch the mating dance of the blue-footed boobies.


Choosing a cruise
A Galápagos cruise is most often a boat-based and active experience, hiking on volcanic rocks and embarking and disembarking from boats sometimes into shallow water.  Choose a large boat if you prefer having lots of comfort and living space while you’re on board, or a small boat if you love life on the water. Small boats are a bit less formal and you’re likely to eat your dinner still dressed in shorts. Shore excursions are limited to groups of 20 or less in either case. For those short on time, a 3 or 4 night cruise is a fine sampler, but every island has different plants, wildlife, and landscapes, so a full week cruise is better for encountering all the fascinating creatures of the Galápagos. For example, you’ll only find the marvelously ugly land iguana on South Plaza or Santa Fé Islands. Different boats have different itineraries, so let us know if there’s a particular animal or plant that interest you. And, different boats have different schedules, so your dates will impact your choice as well. Maxim Tours works with many boats, all selected for their general operational excellence and emphasis on good quality guides. We will help select the right boat for you.