Overview

Straddling the equator, some 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador lies perhaps the planet's most fabled archipelago. To many of us the Galapagos signify a paradise of sorts, but when Charles Darwin famously arrived there aboard the Beagle in 1835, he wrote: “Nothing could be less inviting – the country is comparable to what one might imagine ... the infernal regions to be.” Among sailors the islands were known as "Las Encantadas", or "the Enchanted Isles", as they were believed bewitched, often with a mysterious mist ("garua") hanging over them. Some even postulated that the land here was not anchored to the ground, but rather floated about at sea, confounding navigation. Indeed, everything present arrived via wind, water, or wings, and though the avenues are few, the proliferation of unique lifeforms is beyond remarkable.

Forever fascinating, this is one of Earth's most active volcanic areas, and the beautiful volcanic formations, together with the matchless wildlife and natural history, make for an utterly unique destination. Perennially popular among birders for the island endemics and stunning seabirds, nearly all the birds are tame, allowing for outstanding photography. In places one must be careful to avoid stepping on a Galapagos Sea Lion, a Marine Iguana or a Blue-footed Booby. The latter is perhaps the islands most iconic bird, and seeing pairs of them, bow and sway, whistling and honking, as they wave around their cobalt blue feet, is not something one forgets. Equally the thrill of watching a pair of Waved Albatross performing their intricate dance moves is another of the Galápagos highlights. The snorkelling is a wonder as well, with swimmers at times encircled by sea lions, sea turtles, and even Galápagos Penguins on occasion. The islands are named after their endemic Galápagos Giant Tortoises (‘galapagos’ means tortoise in Spanish) and seeing these magnificent beasts striding about, or sighing deeply as they wallow in the mud, one feels transported to another time, or even another world.

Anyone who has visited will tell you, the Galapagos are otherworldly. Our special island hopping tour differs from standard Galápagos cruises, as we aim to see all the possible endemic birds, while reducing our time at sea, with comfortable accommodations on terra firma. Strategic water crossings provide us good chances for the seabird specialties, while allowing access to areas for endemic landbirds too. And despite Darwin's initial misgivings, this remote archipelago more so than any other place, birthed his theory on the evolution of species, so a visit here is also a homecoming for any nature enthusiast. From the ugly-cute Marine Iguanas, to the shrieking Red-billed Tropicbirds, to the curious and endearing sea lions, an experience here marks a personal evolution.

2023 Tour price is an estimate and will change. Tour dates could be adjusted.

Tour Facts Top Birds
Galapagos Penguin, Flightless Cormorant, San Cristobal, Floreana, Espanola & Galapagos Mockingbird, Waved Albatross, Galapagos Petrel, Galapagos Shearwater, Elliot’s & Wedge-rumped Storm-petrel, Magnificent & Great Frigatebirds,  Swallow-tailed & Lave Gulls, Blue-footed, Nazca & Red-footed Boobies, Brown Noddy, Lava Heron, Red-billed Tropicbird, Galapagos Hawk, Galapagos Short-eared Owl, Galapagos & Paint-billed Crakes, American Flamingo, Galapagos Dove, Galapagos & Darwin's Flycatchers, Galapagos Martin, Small, Medium & Large Ground Finches, Large, Medium & Small Tree Finches, Grey & Green Warbler-Finches, Espanola & Common Cactus Finches, Mangrove Warbler, Woodpecker & Vegetarian Finches.
Top Mammals
Galapagos Sea Lion, Galapagos Fur Seal, Humpback Whale, Bryde's Whale, Common Bottlenose Dolphin
Habitats Covered
volcanic craters, pelagic, arid scrub, caldera, Scalesia forest
Expected Climate
warm and sunny, with a cooling sea breeze
Max Group Size
10 with 1 Rockjumper leader & local leader
Tour Pace & Walking
easy to moderate pace
Accommodation
Comfortable land-based hotels
Ease of Birding
Mostly very easy
Number of Species Expected
65
Photographic Opportunities
exceptional
Tour Route Map Route Map Client Testimonials

I would recommend Rockjumper to my birding colleagues back in Cape May, New Jersey. Cuan and Rockjumper did an outstanding job in helping us plan our trip.

This was a fantastic trip. David did an excellent job as our guide. He was thoughtful, attentive, hard-working and an expert in the field. There wasn't much that we didn't find. We very much enjoyed his company and hope he leads us again in the future.

I was really pleasantly surprised about every aspect of the Oman & UAE tour. Forrest Rowland did an outstanding job in every way and he has a great sense of humour. This tour exceeded my expectations. The pace was just right, accommodations and meals were of high quality, and Forrest did a great job of organizing details and making sure everything ran smoothly. He found the species that were sought and had expert knowledge of where the birds were likely to be found and when was the best time to try for them.

Adam Walleyn did a fantastic job organising the rest of the tour when Erik had to leave due to illness. I really appreciated his hard work and determination; for example: even though he had never been to Samoa before, his logistical work enabled us to get great views of some very difficult and unexpected species (Samoan Triller, Blue-grey Noddy).

The ability of our guide, Rich Lindie, to locate the birds from the faintest movement or call under difficult and trying conditions was outstanding.

Dates, Leaders and Pricing
2022 DEPARTURES
2023 DEPARTURES
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