A Galapagos vacation is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that lasts long after the trip is finished. Exploring the islands reawakens traveler’s connection with nature, putting you face to face with the creatures that have welcomed travelers from around the world for decades. The far away destination entertains adults and children of all ages; bringing groups, couples, and single travelers into a vast diversity that sparks the imagination and invigorates the spirit.
There are many ways to dive into the archipelago for all types of adventurers. Keep reading for a short, friendly, guide to exploring the Galapagos Islands.
One of the most important decisions to make when planning a Galapagos vacation is to choose between an island-hopping excursion or a cruise. Each has its advantages and trade-offs, and each has a number of different options for different budgets.
Cruises are the traditional way to explore the islands. The all-inclusive option takes care of the nuts and bolts; itineraries are set at the onset, meals are included, and guides accompany groups to visitor sites across the islands.
• All Inclusive-after booking and paying the national park fee, all meals, equipment, and tours are taken care of beforehand.
• Cruises can cover a lot of ground-more islands are visited within a short period of time.
• Socially Friendly-going on a cruise puts you in the company of kindred spirits who you join on day trips, meals, and daily briefings.
• Set Itinerary-you find the route and attractions that are on your bucketlist and choose a boat that ticks all the boxes.
• Lack of Flexibility-once the tour is booked, the set itinerary can’t be adjusted or changed.
• Lack of Privacy-apart from the privacy of your cabin, you are in the company of others during the duration of the journey.
• Confined Spaces-while vetted boats offer comfort, by nature, traveling on cruise confines you to the boat and small cabins designed to accommodate the limited space available.
Island hopping or Land Based Tours tours of the Galapagos are up-and-coming options for Galapagos vacations. There are budget, specialized, and luxury tours that normally travel between San Cristobal, Santa Cruz, and Isabela Islands. Most offer options for day trips to uninhabited islands, and a variety of activities for added costs.
• Flexibility-most organized island-hopping tours combine planned activities with free time and options to opt out of the day’s excursions.
• Free Space and Privacy-staying on land lets you explore at your leisure and gives you privacy, a good option for families and couples who want to spend time on their own.
• Custom Options-island-hopping tours often let you choose the activities that you want to tackle, giving you choices for day tours and destinations within an a la carte menu.
• Extra Costs-while there are all-inclusive, high-end, luxury island hopping tours; most budget and mid-range itineraries add extra costs for trips not set at the onset and activities such as kayaking.
• Limited Number of Islands to explore-island hopping is limited to the inhabited islands of the Galapagos, offering day trips to uninhabited islands close to your home base. This limits the number of islands you can visit those within a day’s journey.
• Crowds-on island hopping tours you stay in the main towns of the Galapagos. The hubs bring throngs of tourists, especially Santa Cruz, and San Cristobal. Be ready to brave the masses when dining and going out and about.
When planning a Galapagos vacation, consider what your priorities are and how you want to travel before jumping in and booking a tour. For help with your plans and expert information about your options for an epic journey to the islands, contact a member of our team while consulting our detailed information on this site.