The Galápagos Islands are filled with unique and distinctive wildlife.

Their remote position (nearly 1,000km from the South American mainland, straddling the equator) has led these volcanic islands to develop their own set of endemic creatures, from the marine iguana to the Galápagos sea lion.

With so much wildlife to see, the best way to get up close is by boat. Sleeping up to 48 guests, La Pinta is one of the best available.

Although we're not talking a Monaco-style super-yacht here, the spacious cabins are decked out in bright blues and yellows, the crew are helpful and the expert guides have encyclopaedic knowledge of the area.

There are twice-daily excursions, including hiking, birdwatching, trips to see giant tortoises and snorkelling.

And not just any snorkelling - you'll be gliding alongside penguins, pelicans and sea lions.

Back on board, there are two restaurants with plenty to choose from, including fresh fruit, seafood and Ecuadorian favourites like ceviche - fresh raw fish marinated in citrus juices.

WOW FACTOR: The weird and wonderful species such as the frigatebird, which blows its neck up like a red balloon.

FLIGHT TIME: 16 hours.

GO: Rainbow Tours offers eight nights, including two nights at Casa Gangotena in Quito, B&B, four on the Yacht La Pinta, full board, and two nights at Finch Bay Eco Hotel on Santa Cruz Island, B&B, from £4,295 per person.