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Photo: Pikaia Lodge

Although the Galápagos Islands are a fantastic year-round destination, travellers should plan travel at least six months in advance since flights, accommodations, and tours are limited. The 17-room luxury eco-resort Pikaia Lodge offers all-inclusive three-, four- and seven-night land-based exploration packages of the islands. Alternatively, Finch Bay Hotel, with 27 modern rooms, is a short boat-ride away from Puerto Ayora.

Ecuador-based Metropolitan Touring is a pioneer in the Galápagos Islands — it owns and operates a trio of vessels, La Pinta, Isabela II, and Santa Cruz II, in the islands, and has luxury properties throughout Ecuador.

From Singapore, fly into Ecuador’s capital Quito via Amsterdam or Houston. Stay at the luxurious Casa Gangotena, a restored colonial mansion that overlooks the historic Plaza de San Francisco. Galápagos tours can easily be combined with a luxury trip to Peru’s Machu Picchu. Contact Singapore-based Lightfoot Travel for details.

Photo: Justin Liok

Island Etiquette
Keep a sensible distance from the animals, even if they’re cute and playful sea lions. Never offer them food nor water, and never litter. Such actions could contaminate the environment or alter the behaviour of the endemic wildlife. Prior to the trip, catch the chilling 2013 documentary, The Galápagos Affair: Satan Came to Eden. It follows the story of a handful of German settlers that arrived in the 1920s to create their version of Eden, but whose fate ended in affairs, disappearances and the discovery of mummified bodies.

Read more about Shuyi Liu’s and Justin Liok’s adventures in the Galápagos Islands.

Tags: Travel, Galapagos, Wildlife