Your Honeymoon in the Galapagos Islands
Why plan your honeymoon in the Galapagos?
What’s more romantic than a candlelit dinner overlooking clear blue waters and white sand beaches? How about this same dinner on the deck of a cruise ship as it glides through the tropical seas of the Galapagos! While many people opt for more traditional honeymoon spots, like the Bahamas or Hawaii, yours will take you out of the cliché and put you right into the romance. With less than 200,000 visitors annually, the Galapagos Islands, off the western coast of Ecuador, are one of the more intimate destinations in the world.
Six hundred miles from the mainland, the Islands are easy to get to and will probably save you money compared to the steep prices of many other honeymoon hotspots. Once you arrive in the archipelago, there’s only one thing left to do – board your ship and experience your new love in the most unique way.
The Galapagos Islands, initially made famous by Charles Darwin’s “The Origin of Species” in 1859, has been growing in popularity ever since. Their positioning in the middle of the Pacific Ocean between the coldwater Cromwell Current and the Antarctic Humboldt Current sustains an ecosystem like none other on the planet. In addition to the nutrient rich currents that blast colder waters through this tropical archipelago, the volcanic geology that formed the Islands helps support an even broader “origin of species.”
Choosing the right cruise
Four to five day cruise: With up to nine stops, this is a great option for the couple on a tighter budget. You will still get to experience everything the Islands have to offer, but in a bit more moderation than longer cruises. The four/five day cruises will stop at several islands and include snorkeling at some of the best sites in the chain, chances to see the endemic land animals like the playful sea lions and famous blue-footed boobies, and even relax on the white-sand beaches that you’ve always dreamed of.
Six to eight day cruises: These cruises feature all of the great attractions of the four-day cruise, and even more. With an extended cruise in the Galapagos, you will be able to really take in the sites and experiences of the Islands. The longer cruises feature four or more snorkeling adventures on multiple reefs, dinghy tours upon reservation, and even a stop at the Charles Darwin Station, for a deeper understanding of the Islands’ unique ecology and a chance to see the Giant Tortoises up close in a protected environment.
What to do in the Galapagos Islands
Relax. It’s your week, so just enjoy the fact that you are in nature’s most beautiful corner of the world. Even if you never left the boat, you would be sure to witness amazing sites like magnificent sea turtles, volcanoes reaching towards the heavens, and friendly bottlenose dolphins cruising through the waters at the bow of your boat. If you turn your eyes towards the sky, you will see some of the bird species that patrol the Islands, endemic uniquely to the Galapagos.
Of course, there’s much more to a Galapagos honeymoon than just relaxation, and a cruise will allow you to experience it all. You are only limited to the footwear you have: the larger islands have beautiful trails that wind around ancient volcanoes and past mangrove forests, so make sure you have some solid ankle support. If you prefer flippers to arch support, then prepare for an unparalleled underwater scene as you snorkel or dive in an area famous as one of the seven wonders of the underwater world. And if flip-flops are your favorite, then check out the Charles Darwin Station on Santa Cruz Island, where giant tortoises are protected in captivity for their own safety and for the appreciation of travelers. Later, be sure to hop on a dinghy to propel smoothly through the waters and around the islands on one- or two-hour tours.
Romantic dinners are also a luxury that the Galapagos Islands have to offer honeymooners. Since tourism has been consistently climbing in the past several decades, more hotels and restaurateurs are opening up for your dining pleasure. Cruises offer some of the Island’s finest cuisine, as well, inclusive in the price of your package.
When should we go?
If you know your honeymoon destination is the Galapagos, then planning your wedding date around this trip isn’t a bad idea. There really is never a bad time to visit the Islands, but there are two distinct seasons, and each one brings with it a plethora of new life.
The dry season between June and December experiences cooler air and sea temperatures and less sun. This is considered the Galapagos busy season, and it might be harder to book your vacation with heavier tourist traffic, so be sure to plan ahead. During this season, keep your eyes open for humpback whales, blue-footed boobies, American oystercatchers, flightless cormorants, Galapagos Hawks, swallow-tailed gulls, Nazca Boobies, dolphins, sea lions, and certain species of jellyfish.
The January to May wet season hosts another experience entirely. Although you can expect sporadic daily rain showers, it won’t detract from your experience at all. The warmer air and water temperatures are attractive to snorkelers and divers, who can also enjoy the year’s greatest underwater visibility. If you want to see green sea turtles, greater flamingoes, the Galapagos Dove, or nesting marine and land iguanas, then the wet season is the best time to visit.
Of course, certain staple animals of the Galapagos experience can be found year-round on the islands, like the penguins, Giant Tortoises, iguanas, and the thousands of fish species that can be seen on snorkeling adventures.
How much you experience all depends on how much time you leave your cabin. But even if you never do, you will be in one of the most naturally romantic destinations in the world.