Montemar Eco Luxury Villas

Montemar Galapagos Villas are the first luxury, sustainable villas in the Galapagos Islands. Montemar is owned and operated by a local family who provide an authentic, transformative and personalized experience, with the minimum environmental impact on the islands. Located in the natural habitat of the iconic Galapagos Giant Tortoises, Montemar consists of two beautifully appointed villas with a total capacity of 12 guests, in a 43-acre property, offering privacy and plenty of opportunities to c... READ MORE >>
Day 1: Arrive Quito
Day 2: Quito - Baltra - Montemar
Day 3 - 5: Montemar
Day 6: Montemar - Baltra - Montemar
Day 7: Quito - Home
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Montemar Eco Luxury Villas
Montemar Eco Luxury Villas - Villa Lechuza
Montemar Eco Luxury Villas - Villa Tortuga

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Day 1: Arrive Quito
Upon your arrival, a Southern Explorations representative meets you at the airport and transfers you to your hotel. If you arrive early, we can arrange optional tours to explore the city, including museum visits, and other sites of interests.
Day 2: Quito - Baltra - Montemar
In the morning, an SE representative picks you up at your hotel and transfers you to the airport for your flight to the Galapagos Islands. Upon arrival, you are greeted by your guide and transferred to Villa Montemar, located in the Santa Cruz Highlands. Enjoy an introductory walk of the property with your host and a deliciously prepared lunch just for you! Meander along The Tortoise Path with your guide, where you learn and enjoy the company of Giant Tortoises and Darwin Finches that live in Montemar and about the programs that take place to support their conservation. Enjoy several other guided walks throughout this incredible property. The Coffee Walk: tour of the organic and biodynamic coffee plantation and garden. The Sustainable Path: learn about the sustainable practices of your villa at Montemar. After an exciting introduction to the Enchanted Galapagos Islands, rest and relax in your private villa while watching the sunset. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - 5: Montemar
Work with a Southern Explorations travel specialist to build your custom program at Montemar. Boat day tours to uninhabited islands can be arranged, as well as a variety of privately guided excursions on Santa Cruz Island. Please note that dates, activities and trip lengths are customizable. (B,L,D)
Day 6: Montemar - Baltra - Montemar
After breakfast you are transferred to Baltra Island, where you bid farewell to the Galapagos and board your return flight to Quito. Upon your afternoon arrival back to mainland Ecuador, an SE representative meets you at the airport and transfers you to your hotel. If you wish, you may fly home on a red eye flight tonight. Please check with us to ensure the timing works. (B)
Day 7: Quito - Home
An SE representative picks you up at your hotel and transfers you to the airport for your international flight home, marking the end of SE services. Trip extensions to other regions or extra days can also be arranged. (B)


When to Visit
  • jan
  • feb
  • mar
  • apr
  • may
  • jun
  • jul
  • aug
  • sep
  • oct
  • nov
  • dec

The great weather of the Galapagos Islands makes them a fantastic destination for travel year-round. Every month of the year is a good time to enjoy a tour of the region. The Galapagos Islands have a subtropical climate that is almost completely determined by sea currents. Although most believe the Galapagos to be a very hot destination, the cool water currents in the area keep the climate more temperate year-round. The islands’ equatorial location ensures twelve hours of sunlight daily, all year long. The mild variations in weather from month to month result in an overall climate of warm days, cool nights and low humidity. Anytime is a great time to travel to the Galapagos; while visiting one can expect to see plenty of sunshine, blue skies and a possible chance of light rain.

There are two seasons in the Galapagos:

  • The hot or rainy season arrives with the coming of the warm Panama current. The warmest months are December through June with temperatures ranging from 72-90°F (22-32°C), with February and March being the hottest and sunniest. The sea is at its warmest (in the 70°F range) and tends to be calmer during this time. Although the islands receive slightly more rainfall during these months, most of the lower elevations remain quite arid. Expect blue skies and sunshine and with a chance of short afternoon showers.
  • July through November is the dry or garua season, which begins with the arrival of cold ocean currents. One can expect cooler temperatures and a light mist in the morning during these months. The skies are also a bit cloudier and air temperatures a bit cooler, in the range of 60-75°F (15-24°C). The garua is a mist that forms in the highlands, providing moisture and usually tapering off by midday, leaving skies slightly overcast or sunny for the afternoon. The air temperature can be slightly lower, but the Equator is still a warm place to visit. During this time of year a cold ocean current from the south, called the Antarctic Humboldt current, causes the water temperature to drop slightly, ranging from 60°F- 72°F (15-22°C).

Within both seasons, there are other variants, like altitude, that affect the weather.
The lowest point of elevation is sea level and the highest is Wolf Volcano, Isabela Island (5,600ft or 1,710m). There are seven vegetation zones ranging from arid coastal zones to evergreen cloud forests to treeless shrubless pampa zones, all of which are affected by moisture levels, temperature and sunlight. During the garua season, the coast is very dry while the highlands are much wetter. The hot season may or may not have a rainy period which normally lasts four to six weeks, or in the event of El Nino, a longer period. During the hot season, the coastal zones remain arid. Prevailing winds from the southeast keep the southern sides of the major islands much moister then the northern sides, which fall into a rain shadow resulting in the arid zones reaching a much higher elevation. The months of May and December are changeover periods and weather and sea temperatures in these months tend to vary from year to year depending on the change in the water currents. Occasionally, one will feel humidity, predominantly on the south side of major islands. Compared to the humidity levels in the Amazon or the US South, the humidity in the Galapagos is very low and will not disturb activities.

Snorkeling is an activity offered on all Galapagos trips.
Wetsuits, available onboard most cruises and for all land tours, are recommended June through November. Though sea temperatures vary significantly from island to island, generally all travelers will use a wetsuit during this time. Snorkeling in shallow waters offshore or in protective coves tends to be warmer. Waters to the north, near Genovesa are warmed by the Panama Current, whereas snorkeling off the western island of Isabela is always chilly due to the cold Cromwell undercurrent. The Humboldt Current, or the South Equatorial Current, brings cold sub-Antarctic water that flows through the archipelago eight or nine months a year keeping sea temperatures low. One will experience a variance in sea temperatures while snorkeling on any trip during any time of the year. During the hot season, travelers tend to spend more time in the water, especially at midday when the temperatures are the hottest and wildlife is less active. Snorkeling is an optional activity and those who are not interested in snorkeling have other options.

Sea Conditions are a concern of many cruise travelers.
All Galapagos vessels are small; the largest accommodates only 100 passengers. Naturally, some movement will be felt on all vessels regardless of the time of year or the size of the vessel. The seas around the Galapagos are generally shallow and despite being the crossroads of several currents, the waters are not terribly rough. The seas are at their calmest January through April. December, May and June are transitional months during which one will experience relatively calm seas, though it varies year to year depending on the shift in the currents. July through November, one will find choppier seas, with August through October being the roughest. Certain vessels are more stable than others and cabin location can also help avoid seasickness. Most travel is done at night while passengers are sleeping with the only exception being the short midday transit (two hours or less). During the day, vessels dock in calm waters near shore. Passengers spend most of the day on land or snorkeling. These factors lessen the risk of seasickness. We recommend that you bring over-the-counter or prescription motion sickness medication, though many cruisers discover that the seas are much calmer than anticipated. If you are concerned about motion sickness, please contact us for more details on how to select the right vessel for you.


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall


*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Min-Max Air Temp

Avg Rainfall


*Year Round Temperatures in °F, Rainfall in Inches


Montemar Eco Luxury Villas
Montemar Eco Luxury Villas - Villa Lechuza
Montemar Eco Luxury Villas - Villa Tortuga
Included in tour cost
  • 2 nights' accommodations in Quito or Guayaquil
  • All land and sea transportation during the itinerary
  • Local Quito or Guayaquil representative
  • All airport/hotel transfers
  • All hotel accommodations
  • All listed activities
  • English-speaking certified guides
  • Meals as indicated
  • Southern Explorations pre-departure services
Excluded from tour cost
  • International airfare to and from Central & South America
  • Tips and gratuities
  • Medical & travel insurance (highly recommended)
  • Domestic airfare to and from Galapagos Islands
  • Galapagos National Park entrance fee ($100 Adult/$50 Child)
  • Galapagos Transit Control Card ($20)
Trip Dates
Hotel upgrades are available, please contact us to discuss your options.

One Day


Southern Explorations was outstanding from start to finish. Every facet of their service was friendly, polished and organized. I couldn't help but feel in the months leading up to the trip that it would be very well organized because of the impressive correspondence with Southern Explorations. The operations staff was informative and very helpful. Any questions that I emailed them were answered by the next day. Galapagos is in itself a magical destination, but one of the many things I'm telling everyone back home is how perfectly everything seemed to unfold with our guided tour. Moment by moment our activities, experiences, sights and travel arrangements just seemed to mesh seamlessly.I'm well-travelled, but this is my first time writing a travel review. I understand the benefit of constructive criticism, but I honestly can't think of one thing to complain about. Southern Explorations all the way! - Liam Pigott, Canada (Galapagos Island Land)

We had a wonderful trip. Fabricio really made sure that everything was carried out without a hitch. We greatly appreciate all that he did and shared with us. We have some wonderful memories. Thank you Southern Explorations for making our trip possible. - Cunningham Family, Washington (Galapagos Island Land)


Our family had the most wonderful adventure in the Galapagos! The travel reps at Southern Explorations and especially our guide - Felipe - worked hard to make sure that all our needs were met. we were able to sit back and enjoy a most wonderful ride. - Grace Ott (Galapagos Island Land)

We were impressed with the initial specific and prompt information given us. Our whole trip reflected this professional, attentive response. I think we saw the best that the Galapagos has to offer whether it be the geography, the land wildlife or the sea life. Our guide, Alfredo, showed deep knowledge of all these things and helped us appreciate these varied, often strange and mostly beautiful islands. - Carol Saunders, Colorado (Galapagos Island Land)


We learned a ton, we had a blast at each stop, we had excellent guides throughout, and every thing felt necessary to us. Felipe kept us going in a fun and interesting way, was always helpful in answering our questions and enthusiastically leading us through our experience - offering tons of information and able assistance throughout. Your staff in Seattle was tremendous, patiently answering all of our questions in a timely and complete fashion. - Jeff Schneider (Galapagos Island Land)

The best guided tour I've ever taken. Our guide was well-educated and delightful. The restaurants served local dishes with fresh ingredients that North Americans could appreciate. We had a great time. - Kris Stred, Washington (Galapagos Island Land)

The guide was great. He was knowledgeable about the natural history and the Darwiniana. (That's what I came for.) He was a great snorkeling guide (that's for and what my wife enjoyed most). He chose restaurants and seafood (our favorite) well. And then set up a basketball game with local friends for our son on the last day. We've done a lot of international travel with my own professional activities.   -Bill Hyde, Colorado (Galapagos Island Land)

I just want to emphasize the fact that Southern Explorations was so organized, so accommodating, that I could not ask for a better experience! We are already thinking about joining SE for Peru, Machu Picchu, and the Amazon.   - Phil Merta (Galapagos Island Land)

The trip to the Galapagos was amazing! It almost seemed like we were getting a private tour of the islands, since we barely ran into any other tour groups. I also liked the fact that we did some activities that not all tourists seem to do, so that we have some very unique experiences. I am also extremely glad that I did some of the trip extensions (Quito city tour and Middle of the World, Cotopaxi, and the Bellavista Cloud Forest) before I went to the Galapagos. It really made me appreciate Ecuador and helped make my trip all the more unforgettable, especially climbing Cotopaxi. Everything ran smoothly and efficiently, and the guides were fonts of knowledge, attentive, and extremely personable. I could not have dreamed of a better vacation! - Marie Gardner, Virginia (Galapagos Island Land & Ecuador)

One of the best, if not the very best, holidays I have ever had. I will definitely choose Southern Explorations for my future trips to South America.   - Yelena Belozyorova, England (Galapagos Island Land)

“I can’t say enough great things about my trip. I have certainly praised Southern Explorations to my friends, family and co-workers. What a wonderful experience. It was fun, exciting, relaxing, and informative and I can’t say that I had any bad experiences. I am ready to go on another trip. If anything it wasn’t long enough. I could stay their forever!!! Marisa was wonderful and did such a great job on the planning and making sure everything was great for our trip before, during and after. - Teresa Leamy, Vermont (Galapagos Island Land)

The Galapagos trip has truly been one of my most favorite trips ever. I absolutely loved the amazing wildlife. Snorkeling with the sea lions and the gigantic sea turtles were the top highlights. The people were so unbelievably kind and friendly to us. I'm a born and raised city girl so I still can't believe I sat on a beach in Isabela and watched the sunset with a beer in my hand while sea lions come and go next to me. I honestly believe that I will go back to the Galapagos in a few years again. This time I'll bring my nephew and I will definitely use Southern Explorations again. Thanks so much for everything. - Leslie Ung, California (Galapagos Island Land)

Thanks for your help in planning and arranging our wonderful experience in The Galapagos Islands. Our family had a great time on the Multi-Sport Adventure and will always treasure our memories of the island experience and our fabulous guide, Andreas. - Ron, Terry, Evan, Jessy and Roxane Dorn (Galapagos Island Land)

I can't imagine trying to arrange all of the transfers and transportation. It's definitely worth going on a pre-arranged trip. I'd have no idea where to begin arranging all of the details. The whole trip flowed quite well.   - Julie Johnson, Florida (Galapagos Island Land)

Galapagos Islands Land Tours - Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How do I choose an itinerary?
A: We offer land tours that are based from one, two, three, or all four inhabited islands. Some trips include day tours to nearby uninhabited islands, while others explore the inhabited islands in greater depth. The Galapagos is an incredible place, and no matter which islands or visitor sites you end up seeing, you will be impressed by the abundance of wildlife and unique landscapes. Our land tours vary in level of accommodation and level of activity. Contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator for more details on the best trip for you.
Q: Can I make changes or additions to these tours?
A: Yes! While cruise itineraries are set by the Galapagos National Park, we can add extra days in the Galapagos or extensions in mainland Ecuador. Contact an Adventure Travel Coordinator for recommendations.
Q: When is the best time to go to the Galapagos?
A: With abundant wildlife and pleasant weather year round, there isn’t a bad time to go to the Galapagos. You can find a wider selection of trip options by avoiding the winter holidays, spring break and the summer months when most people are free to travel and plan vacations.
Q: What is the weather like?
A: The Galapagos has a sub-tropical climate with temperatures ranging from the mid 60s to high 80s throughout the year. There are two seasons, which caused by different prevailing ocean currents. The warmer, wetter season runs from December to May, and a cooler, dryer season takes over from June – November. Even in the wet season, rain is generally confined to brief afternoon showers and shouldn’t disrupt your trip. You can find more information about what to expect under the ‘Weather’ tab on each Galapagos trip.
Q: What is a typical day like on a Galapagos land-based tour?
A: This can vary based on what type of land tour you choose. All trips will have full days with guided exploration of the island you are staying on, or a day trip to a nearby island via speedboat. While you will be busy most of the day, you will have some time to relax or enjoy the town on your own. Please contact us for more details about your specific itinerary.
Q: How physically fit do I need to be to enjoy a Galapagos trip?
A: While your days in the islands will be full, our Galapagos trips are not particularly strenuous. As long as you are able to walk a couple of miles at a leisurely pace and comfortably navigate uneven terrain, you will be able to enjoy most of our land tours. Some of our more adventurous multisport tours include activities like biking, kayaking, and longer hikes. Please check the physical ratings on our trip pages or contact your Adventure Travel Coordinator to see if a particular itinerary is a good fit for you. 
Q: How much time do we need to visit the Galapagos?
A: Due to the amount of time it takes to get to the Galapagos, we recommend our travelers plan for at least 5 days in the islands. Our shortest land tour runs for four days, but most of our options are 5 to 8 days. You must arrive in Ecuador at least one day prior to your cruise in order to catch your Galapagos flight.
Q: How far in advance should I book?
A: The Galapagos Islands are relatively busy year round. As a rule, the further in advance you can plan, the more options you will have. For the best selection, plan at least six to nine months in advance throughout the year, and close to a year ahead of time for anything over the Christmas holiday season or May through July. 
Q: What are your booking and cancellation policies?
A: Click here to see our booking and cancellation policies. Please note that each cruise has its own cancellation policy in addition to our own. This will be detailed in your itinerary.
Q: Do you use certified guides?
A: The guides on all of our land tours are experienced, fluent in English and hold a degree in a related field. We tend to use the same guides as they are accustomed to the trips we offer. Please note that many of the best guides in the Galapagos now choose to skip formal certification process that defines the level of each guide because of the high costs and the time it demands. Because of this, the designations of Level I, II, III are no longer an accurate indicator of the quality of your guide.
Q: What kind of accommodations can I expect?
A: Most of our land tours include 3–star accommodations that are basic, but clean and comfortable with en suite bathrooms. We also offer resort-style packages that include five-star accommodations, such as Galapagos Safari Camp, located in the Santa Cruz Highlands. In general, hotel choices in the towns of the Galapagos are limited, but luxury properties are beginning to open to meet growing demand.
Q: Do tours include airfare?
A: Travelers are responsible for their own international airfare. Internal flights, including Galapagos flights, are quoted separately from our base trip costs. We include your Galapagos airfare in your quote.
Q: How many people are on your tours?
A: Land-based tours typically have a maximum group size of 12 people. There can be up to 16 on boat excursions to other islands. Please note that some group sizes increase to 16 during the holiday season. 
Q: What are the benefits of a land-based itinerary over a cruise?
A: Land-based tours are great for more active travelers who want to stay busy. Some of our land tours include biking and kayaking, as well as longer hikes than those on a cruise. Land tours also give you the opportunity to spend evenings and free time enjoying the island towns.
Q: Can we snorkel, kayak or scuba dive during our trip?
A: Snorkeling will be included almost every day on all Galapagos trips. Kayaking is only permitted in certain areas, as mandated by the Galapagos National Park. Most land tours offer at least one opportunity to kayak during each itinerary. Many land tours also include options to add scuba diving. Be sure to check with your Adventure Travel Coordinator if this is a priority for you. 
Q: Will I get more information on packing, vaccines, currency, electricity, etc.?
A: After booking you will receive a link to our online trip portal which includes all of the need-to-know information that is specific to your itinerary.  This includes packing lists, restaurant recommendations, tipping guides, FAQs, vaccine recommendations and currency information. Your Adventure Travel Coordinator will also be a great resource for any other information you may need.