Photo by Chris Force

On the Road with Ecoventura: The Galápagos Islands

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April 22, 2022

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In the week I spent exploring the Galápagos Islands, days would go by where I didn’t see a single road. No cars. No buildings. No cell phone towers. No streetlights, no airplanes. And, except for the other passengers onboard Origin, a luxury yacht from Ecoventura, I saw no other people.

Instead, the chaos and noise of the human world was replaced by the chaos and noise of the natural one. With the help of Ecoventura’s extremely skilled local naturalists I was surrounded by sea lions, iguanas, lizards, turtles, finches, cormorants, doves, frigates, boobies, albatrosses, flamingos, giant tortoises, whales, sharks, crabs, penguins, gulls, manta rays, and dozens of types of fish that exist only in the Galápagos.

The Galápagos Islands are one of the most elusive destinations in the world. Located 600 miles off the coast of Ecuador, the majority of the islands are carefully monitored and protected National Parks that are only accessible by sea. Since you must travel by boat, and the islands themselves are completely natural and undeveloped (no hotels, no running water, no bathrooms), the only way to truly experience the Galápagos is on a liveaboard boat.

For a week I lived on Origin, where guests are treated to a private chef offering fantastic meals and snacks throughout the day, as well as two fully stocked and staffed bars, a hot tub, sun loungers, outdoor showers, king size beds, daily laundry, air conditioning, Wi-Fi, Apple TV, and all the luxuries and care of a modern hotel. The real luxury, though, was the pristine and unrivaled natural world Ecoventura delivers—a truly wild string of active volcanoes crammed full of fascinating history and wildlife.

I learned there are three main types of lava that created the islands and how to spot them. Imagine you stepped on sharp, crumbly land in bare feet and said, “Ah! Ah!” This is what they call the first kind of lava, a’ a’, as its viscous flow dries into rough, jagged surfaces. The second type is pahoehoe, when the lava forms in a smooth, ropy like texture. The third is the result of the molten magma finally meeting the water and forming a skin, or crust, that makes hard pillow shapes. They call this pillow lava. Even the land itself in the islands is beautiful and unusual.

a luxury expedition yacht

Origin is a 142-foot luxury expedition yacht from Ecoventura. The 10 spacious staterooms offer panoramic views of the sea.

Guests can relax in a jacuzzi hot tub on the Beagle Deck after a busy day of snorkeling and water activities.

A colony of sea lions is seen on the white coralline sand beach of Gardner Bay. There are an estimated 50,000 sea lions on the Galápagos islands.

One of 10 staterooms on Origin. Luggage courtesy of Peak Design and Away. Show here: the Travel Backpack 45L in black by Peak Design and “The Large” in black by Away.

The Origin’s staterooms offer individualized climate controls, memory foam mattresses, a private luxury bathroom, Apple TV, a coffee and local chocolate station, plenty of storage and Wi-Fi. The rooms are impeccably cleaned, with no grain of sand left behind, multiple times a day.

For more information visit ecoventura.com. Hotel accommodations in Guayaquil courtesy of Hotel Del Parque. Luggage courtesy of Peak Design and Away.