Galapagos Vacation: How To Fully Experience The Islands
Visiting the Galapagos Islands is an incredible experience. This is where the theory of evolution was born—where you can see endemic wild animals up close and personal. While people visit the Galapagos expecting to be amazed, they often return stating that it exceeded their expectations.
Animals like blue footed boobies and marine iguanas are the main stars here, and it is a remarkable experience to be able to witness such amazing creatures. The best part of the Galapagos is that the animals don’t fear humans. Without any predators in the archipelago, the animals of the Galapagos show no concern about the presence of humans, allowing for close interactions and spectacular photo opportunities.
People often ask us whether to see the Galapagos by cruise or by land expedition. With over fifteen years of experience, our Galapagos experts can give you thorough quality advice on the practicality as well as pros and cons of either option. We are here to help you make the best choices for your Galapagos vacation.
We understand that for many, a vacation to the Galapagos is once-in-a-lifetime experience. You have dreamt of visiting the Galapagos, and we want to help you get it right. We want you to fully experience the islands with all of their breathtaking landscapes and even more breathtaking wildlife encounters on your upcoming Galapagos vacation.
Visit The Galapagos By Cruise
Ask any expert and they will tell you that the best way to see the unique wildlife of the Galapagos is by cruise. Yes, if you choose to stay on one of the main islands, you will see the notorious animals of the archipelago such as the sea lions, blue footed boobies, and marine iguanas. However if you want to see the more unique species, you need to take a cruise to the farther remote islands. Via cruise you have the chance to see the flightless cormorant, short-eared owl, Galapagos penguin, and the rare red footed booby, among many more. The opportunities for wildlife viewing are more diverse and more abundant when traveling by cruise, and for many travelers, this is a priority.
Islands are more accessible by cruise, allowing you to visit more. With island hopping, you will be located on one main island and will take a small boat to nearby islands, giving you access to a handful of islands. With a cruise, you will visit between four to nine islands, depending on your itinerary. By visiting more islands, you can gain a greater appreciation for the biodiversity and magic of the Galapagos Islands.
Traveling by cruise is the best way to maximize your time. The cruises travel at night giving you the full day to explore and partake in adventure activities, such as hiking, snorkeling, and swimming. In order to explore the islands when you are island-based, you must take a small boat during the day to the various islands, which often takes several hours. On a cruise, you depart the boat first thing in the morning, dedicating a whole day to exploration and activities.
The final benefit we will mention to cruising is preventing seasickness. We know, this sounds counterintuitive. It is a popular misconception to not go on a cruise if you experience seasickness easily. Yes, you are not sleeping on a boat if you select the island-based option. However, if you choose to visit other islands, you must take small speed boats for usually around 2 hours to reach neighboring islands. These boats can induce seasickness worse than a cruise. If you are prone to seasickness, we recommend selecting a larger cruise which is more steady while in transit.
Visit the Galapagos by island hopping
While cruising is the best way to see a diversity of wildlife, it may not be the best way for everybody. With island hopping, travelers base themselves out of one or two islands, which popularly tend to be Santa Cruz or San Cristobal, and then take day trips to nearby islands. Travelers who choose to island hop often want more autonomy over their itinerary. Cruises have a set amount of time at each site that they visit, and they have an arranged schedule of activities. Those who prefer more freedom and spontaneity appreciate island hopping more. The land based option is flexible and customizable, allowing you to choose your schedule.
In addition, with the land based option you will spend more time on your homebase island, meaning you get to know that one island more personally. This way, you have the chance to understand the culture and history of that island. You will have the opportunity to interact more with locals. If you prefer intimately getting to know one place, island hopping is for you.
Whether you prefer a cruise or island hopping, we will help you plan your Galapagos vacation to get the full Galapagos experience. Everyone is different and has diversified interests and tastes, so what may be the best way to see the Galapagos for one person may be different for another. We at Gulliver Expeditions want to make your once-in-a-lifetime Galapagos vacation absolutely incredible. Contact us today to start planning!0