Volcanic island scenery and warm tropical seas teeming with unique wildlife species that were the inspiration for Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution.
Boasting a unique set of animal species, some found nowhere else on earth, the Galapagos Islands have become a natural laboratory for biological study and research. The region is also considered a pioneer in ecotourism and conservation – the preservation of wildlife and the delicate ecosystems it inhabits is a priority above all else for the local government. Tourist numbers and boat itineraries are strictly controlled, both protecting the integrity of the national park and also guaranteeing a truly memorable experience for the lucky few travellers that venture here.
The archipelago is made up of 19 islands of volcanic rock, isolated from the mainland by over 1000 km, where nature had remained untouched by human intervention for millions of years. Due to its location on the equator and at the confluence of three ocean currents it became the ideal setting for diverse vegetation and unusual animal species to thrive. Charles Darwin famously developed his theory of natural selection here observing the small variations between species on different islands. This is the only place on earth that you can find unique species such as the giant land tortoises and marine iguanas, and due to the lack of native predators, the animals are naturally relaxed in the presence of humans.
The main island of Santa Cruz is the economical hub of the islands and offers the best restaurants and infrastructure as well as luxury accommodation. It is also home to the Charles Darwin Research Station. The other two inhabited islands, Isabela and San Cristóbal, offer a more rustic feel with dirt roads and wooden piers as well as unique attractions such as the volcanic treks on Isabela or the tortoise breeding farm on San Cristóbal.
97% of the Galapagos Islands is designated national park, so beyond these main hubs, visits to the other islands by cruise or day trips will provide a unique wildlife experience with each stop characterised by different landscapes and animals – such as the coloured marine iguanas on Bartolomé or the whale sharks off Darwin – whilst also providing plenty of time to relax on the beaches or swim and snorkel in the calm waters which are temperate year round.
What to do
We are winding down after our tour of Buenos Aires at the truly delightful Legado Mitico. Absolutely everything has been perfect and exceeded expectations and we are looking forward to La Bamba tomorrow. But we wanted to especially call to your attention and thank you for our guide in Iguaçu, Tadeu. This gentleman is a warm, knowledgeable and generous soul who totally captivated us and provided us with the experience of a lifetime. The falls took on a spiritual dimension under his guidance, not to mention good fun, smiles and laughter.
Spreading the word
Tom, we have had the most wonderful holiday, quite beautifully organised by you and beautifully looked after wherever we went. Thank you a million times. We will definitely be spreading the Dehouche name about, once back in Scotland!
A Peruvian expedition
I wanted to thank you for a wonderful trip. The guides were excellent and very knowledgeable. Your local staff helped with any issues. All your suggestions were perfect.
I will definitely use you again and recommend you to my friends.
Thank you again.
Guides that became friends
Seeing as I was a solo traveller, both Veronica and Walter helped make my visits to Cusco, the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu memorable and I felt I was traveling with helpful friends rather than disinterested employees. My thanks to both of them for making my visit one that I will remember for a long time!
Full marks Inca Trail
In short, it was excellent. Your suggested itinerary, accommodations, restaurants, etc. were superb. Everything went as planned. We rate the parts of the trip you were responsible for as a 10/10. The guides on the Inca trail were excellent. They were professional, attentive and observant. We would love to travel with Holger and Ceasar again. The tents and food on the trail were excellent also.
Overall, a great experience and we will be telling friends and family about Dehouche's excellent planning and execution for the trip.