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Tailormade holidays: land-based options to the Galapagos Islands

Nazca Boobies, Galapagos

Nazca Boobies, Galapagos

The Galapagos Islands are widely regarded as one of the world’s finest wildlife holiday destinations. The remarkably habituated and almost tame wildlife, much of which is endemic to the islands, can only be seen to be believed. At Naturetrek we send over a hundred clients to the Galapagos Islands each year – in search of the islands’ iconic wildlife including Giant Tortoise, curious Blue-footed Boobies, enchanting Waved Albatrosses and playful Galapagos Sea Lions – on a holiday which for many, is the experience of a lifetime.
 
All participants on our group holidays to the Galapagos, and many who opt for a tailormade holiday, choose to visit the islands on one the many cruises we offer on a variety of carefully chosen motor-yachts. Many people feel that a cruise is still the very best way to visit the Galapagos Islands and see their unique wildlife.

Scalesia Lodge

Scalesia Lodge

However, here at Naturetrek Tailormade we are aware that some of our clients prefer not to travel in this manner, and we are always conscious to avoid a ‘one-size fits all’ approach to wildlife travel. We are therefore pleased to offer a new land-based option, staying at Scalesia Lodge on Isla Isabela, the largest of the Galapagos Islands. Scalesia offers guests the opportunity to stay in one of 16 luxurious, safari-style tents, surrounded by forest, with spectacular views over the Pacific Ocean and many other islands. We can offer a daily, three, four or 5-night programme based at Scalesia Lodge on Isla Isabela which includes activities on Isla Isabela. It is also possible to combine a stay on Isla Isabela with a stay in a land-based lodge on another island, for example at Finch Bay on Isla Santa Cruz. Scalesia Lodge is accessed via a flight from Guayaquil to Baltra (where most Galapagos cruises begin), followed by an onward speedboat ride or flight to Isabela’s capital, Puerto Vilamil.
 
During your stay on Isla Isabela, you will have the option to snorkel everyday, as well as to visit some of Isabela’s most exciting wildlife attractions including the Giant Tortoise breeding station and the Sierra Negra volcano – to see the second largest volcano crater in the world. This island offers iconic Galapagos wildlife such as Galapagos Penguins, Marine Iguanas, Magnificent Frigatebirds and various species of the famous finches which captured the interest of Charles Darwin on his Voyage of the Beagle. The island also plays host to the breeding grounds of the endemic Flightless Cormorant.
 
Scalesia Lodge offers a fantastic alternative to traditional Galapagos cruising and is also a great option for families looking to explore the Galapagos from the comfort of a land-based lodge.
 
If you are interested in booking a tailormade holiday to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, or would like to discuss itinerary ideas, please call Georgie Head on 01962733051 or email georgie@naturetrek.co.uk.