Named a Destination to Watch in 2013 by Condé Nast Traveller and the subject of Sir David Attenborough's recent TV series, the Galápagos Islands are set to make it onto even more travel wish lists this year. Trips to this remote archipelago can be prohibitively expensive, but this deal from G Adventures saves over 30% on the usual price, cutting the cost to £999 per person.
The package includes:
Depart on 4 March; 1, 15, 29 April; 13 May; 10 June; 8 July.
Alternatively, a 10-day package with a 2-night stay and a 7-night cruise is £1799 per person, departing on 11, 25 March; 22 April; 6, 20 May; 3, 17 June; 1, 15, 29 July.
Attenborough calls the islands a "place populated by extraordinary and beautiful creatures, some of which are found nowhere else on the planet". While shooting his Sky1 documentary, the crew filmed a previously undiscovered pink iguana that lives on top of a volcano. It was here that Darwin conceived his theory of evolution and the marine reserve has since been listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The trip starts with an overnight stay in Quito, Ecuador's capital city. Lonely Planet recommends a saunter through the narrow streets of the old town, "past indigenous women carrying impossible loads, old men in sailor suits selling ice cream, past giant roast pigs peaking out of doorways and shops selling every odd commodity imaginable".
You'll then fly to the Galápagos Islands 600 miles off the Pacific coast of South America. Highlights include spotting marine iguanas sunbathing on the rocks, colonies of seemingly tame sea lions and penguins, and birds such as blue-footed boobies and albatrosses. The trip also includes a visit to the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center and a stop at a cove that still bears inscriptions from pirates dating back to the 1800s.
Finish with another overnight stay in Quito, after flying back from Baltra. A US$10 Tourist Transit card must be bought at Quito airport and a US$100 entry fee to the Galápagos National Park is payable on arrival in the Islands.
There is no supplement for single travellers -- you'll just be paired with another traveller in a twin cabin.
International flights are not included, but we found flights with American Airlines from London Heathrow to Quito for £909 per person. Click here to search with fly.com.
Our publisher loves this deal -- find out why here.
Book by 6 March. Update 2:20pm, 7 March): This book by date has been extended until 10 March.