Travel to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador – Episode 755

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Travel to the Galapagos Islands (Podcast) - Amateur Traveler

Hear about travel to the Galapagos Islands as Chris Christensen, the Amateur Traveler himself, talks about a live-aboard cruise of the Galapagos Islands on Quasar Expeditions M/V Evolution.

The Galapagos is a singular destination. People describe other places as the ‘Galapagos of Mexico or the Galapagos of some other place’ but the Galapagos doesn’t try and compare itself to anywhere else. This is a must-see destination for people who want a vacation to see wildlife. People can tell you how the wildlife here is different because it does not fear humans but until you are standing by a giant tortoise, walking through a booby nesting ground, or swimming with sea turtles and sea lions, it is hard to understand what that really means.

This is a place where you come to see giant tortoises or iguanas, but it is also a place to see interesting bird species like Nasca boobies, blue-footed boobies, and red-footed boobies. But it is also a place to experience the islands under the water. Have you swum with turtles, penguins, and sharks… on the same day? Have you had sea lions swim circles around you?

The best way to experience the Galapagos Islands is on a live-aboard boat. I was fortunate enough to be invited by award-winning Quasar Expeditions to explore the Galapagos on their M/V Evolution as their guest (they paid). This 32 passenger boat is one of the larger boats that explores the Galapagos. 

I describe a one-week itinerary to the eastern islands in the Galapagos including stops at: San Cristóbal Island,  South Plaza Island, Santa Cruz Island, Mosquera Island, Sombrero Chino, Santiago Island, Genovesa Island, Isla Seymour Norte, Santa Fe Island, and Floreana Island.

If the Galapagos are not on your bucket list… they should be.

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This episode is sponsored by Upstart is a leading artificial intelligence (AI) lending platform designed to improve access to affordable credit

“At Upstart, we believe people are more than their credit score. We want to empower people to take control of their debt and financial future.”

Athletic Brewing

This episode of Amateur Traveler is sponsored by the North America Brewer of the Year at the 2020 International Beer Challenge.

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Show Notes

Galapagos Cruise on Quasar’s Evolution
Quasar Expeditions Galapagos
Galápagos on a Budget – DIY Guide
Travel to the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador – Episode 351
Travel to the Galapagos Islands – Episode 89
Nazca Plate
Water Shoes
Galapagos Photos


Jeff Ohlfs wrote about Travel to Big Bend National Park and Southwestern Texas – Episode 753

Just listened to the Big Bend episode. I hope to get there myself next year.

Surprised there was no mention that Rio Grande is a National Wild & Scenic River, which is officially a separate unit of the National Park System.

One correction, Big Bend is not the only National Park area in the contiguous US that is an International Dark Sky park. Joshua Tree is one along with others.

Rattlesnakes are cool!

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Travel to the Galapagos Islands (Podcast) | Cruise the Galapagos Islands #travel #ecuador #gapaagos #travel #trip #vacation #wildlife #cruise Travel to the Galapagos Islands (Podcast) | Cruise the Galapagos Islands #travel #ecuador #gapaagos #travel #trip #vacation #wildlife #cruise

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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

10 Responses to “Travel to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador – Episode 755”

Patrick Brown


My wife has the Galapagos on her bucket list. She tends to get sea sick on boats. Was that a problem on the size of boat you were on?

Chris Christensen


We had a few people on the boat who said they were very prone to motion sickness. One young lad even got sick on the 20-minute bus ride from the hotel in Quito to the airport which wasn’t that winding. I didn’t see anyone on the boat or the zodiacs getting sick. A few had scopolamine patches or were definitely taking non-drowsy Dramamine. The season before May I am told the waters are even calmer (and hoter).

Debra McAdam


Chris, I’ve been listening to your podcasts for a few months now (mostly while I’m hiking.) I enjoy the variety of destinations and guests, and especially your dry sense of humour!
The Galapagos episode was great – a walk down memory lane for me. We were there in 2013 and just loved it! I agree with you that the best Galapagos experiences are in the water. We snorkeled with turtles, sea lions, iguanas and even penguins! (Yes the water was definitely cold enough for the penguins.) It was a real thrill to be so close to these amazing creatures, sharing their natural habitat.
You didn’t mention that there’s a book about the people from Floreana Island that tells the incredible story of the German doctor and his mistress, along with a German baroness and her two consorts. What a cast of characters! I read the book before our trip but I admit the stories and people are super weird so the book might not be for everyone.
By the way, we followed up our Galapagos trip with the Inca Trail trek, which made a nice double-destination vacation package – for active travellers that is!

Chris Christensen


Very true, the book is Floreana by Margret Wittmer

We will have to do Peru on a later trip. It is on the list!

Brenda Fulmer


What level of fitness is required for this trip?

Chris Christensen


We had a couple of people on the trip who were walking with a cane or with crutches, but they were missing out on some things. Only one of the walks we did was something like a hike so, ideally, I think you should be in decent physical shape and a swimmer, but you certainly don’t need to be an athlete. I am certainly not.

Justin Paddock



Great episode as usual. This destination is really interesting. My wife and I are considering a trip with our two boys (7&10) for January 2022. Both are strong swimmers and we can practice snorkeling now. Would this be a good choice or wait for them to be older? Thank you.

Chris Christensen


Justin, the two kids on our cruise were about that age. They seemed to have a blast. Being strong swimmers would help for sure.



I went to the Galapagos in August, but I chose the other Evolution itinerary. I booked with Quasar after you first mentioned them.

As a solo traveler, all the other small boats really were out of my budget, but Quasar charges a more reasonable single supplement and had great discounts this summer. So thank you for putting them on my radar!

Note about August: We did have a couple snorkel spots that were chilly but still tolerable. Many ladies doubled their shorty wetsuits. And there were two nights when the waters were a bit rougher, but most folks did not suffer many ill effects. Many were using the patches, though. We saw zero whales, but those cute penguins were all over the place.

The wildlife encounters here were truly unique. and hopefully I ended up with some decent photos! But the real highlight for me was learning more about the island biogeography and local conservation dynamics. Plus… there were albatross! This trip was really a dream come true.

Chris Christensen


LeAnne, you made my day! Thanks for letting me know.

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