The Galapagos could be Latin America’s most popular destination in 2009

Tour operator The Adventure Company is expanding its selection of Galapagos Island tours in preparation for what it predicts will be next year’s travel hot spot.

“The popularity of South America has grown hugely in the past few years, making it the most-booked region in our Worldwide Adventures brochure” comments Claire Wilson, Managing Director “In 2009, we are predicting the ‘Darwin effect’ will encourage more visitors to Ecuador and could see the Galapagos Islands join Machu Picchu at the top of the continent’s ‘must-visit’ list.”

The Galapagos Islands are likely to benefit from increased exposure in 2009, celebrating two important anniversaries for Charles Darwin. As well as the 200th anniversary of his birth, 2009 is also the 150th anniversary of the publication of his seminal work, On the Origin of Species. Additionally, 2009 marks 50 years since the creation of the Galapagos National Park, Darwin’s most famous research destination, while Ecuador will also celebrate the Bicentennial of its Independence with a year of cultural and artistic activities planned in Quito.

If you wish to experience the Galapagos Islands for yourself the Adventure Company has six adventure trips for adult travellers and families. Including two new trips – Ecuador & The Galapagos in its Family Adventures brochure and The Galapagos in its Worldwide Adventures brochure.

In addition, the company has introduced a Galapagos Extension on seven of its other South American trips, allowing travellers to combine the islands with other classic sights such as Machu Picchu, Lake Titicaca and the Amazon rainforest.

Now, as it was in Darwin’s time, visitors to the Galapagos Islands largely explore the region by boat. The Adventure Company’s tours use a range of vessels from live-aboard sailing yachts to first-class cruise boats. The company also offers a land-based option for families on its Galapagos & Amazon trip, where the islands can be explored on foot from small hotels on various islands.

The Galapagos Islands offer excellent opportunities for wildlife encounters, with chances to spot dolphins, sea turtles, sea lions, iguanas and numerous bird species, including blue footed boobies. Other attractions include the Charles Darwin Research Station and hiking up the island’s volcanoes for panoramic views of the Galapagos archipelago.

As an example of prices, The Adventure Company’s 13-day Galapagos Islands trip starts from £2,479 plus US $200 local payment per person for departures in 2009. This price includes flights, accommodation, some meals (11 breakfasts, six lunches, seven dinners) plus the services of an experienced local guide.

The two-week Family Adventure Galapagos & Amazon starts from £2,199 per child and £2,449 per adult (no local payment) in 2009, with the best prices available in the school summer holidays. Further departures are available in the Easter and Christmas school holidays.

For more information on The Adventure Company’s selection of Galapagos Island tours, see www.adventurecompany.co.uk or telephone The Adventure Company on 0845 609 0889.

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For media information and images, please contact Kate Popham / Kylie Jenkins at The Saltmarsh Partnership on 020 7928 1600 or email kylie@saltmarshpr.co.uk

For an archive of past press releases, please visit The Adventure Company’s online press office at www.adventurecompany.co.uk/press-office.aspx

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