While the Galapagos Islands are definitely an exotic destination and you mght feel like just grabbing your bag and jup on the plane, it might be very useful to consider a thing or two when planning your trip.
The majority of things that have to be accounted for are rather universal, and they include things such as budgeting, determining different inland destinations and many more of the kind.
So, here’s a short guide on how to How to choose a tour to Galapagos Islands.
Different Kinds of Trips
You might want to determine whether you are going to go on a cruise, book a hotel or you would just go for a daily trip.
In any case, all of the options are convenient, and they would strongly depend on your personal preferences.
Cruise or island-hopping—what’s best?
That’s the question that gets endlessly debated by first-time visitors and experienced Galapagos-goers alike. Because both options have their share of pros and cons—and you can have an amazing experience with either one.
So…how do you choose?
There really is no “best” option, it depends entirely on the type of experience you want and your own goals for your vacation.
- Cruises are great for a “big picture” view of the Galapagos Islands.
- You’ll be able to visit remote areas on uninhabited islands like Fernandina where you’ll have more opportunities to see wildlife.
- Most ships move at night so none of your daylight adventure time is wasted in transit.
- Cruises are convenient—your itinerary is set, meals are served at regular times, you have service 24/7 in most cases, and you only have to pack and unpack once.
- You’re confined to a boat a good amount of time; you may have cabin fever or seasickness. Kids, especially, may tire of life on a boat.
- If you need WiFi or to be easily reachable, you may be uncomfortable with a cruise.
- Not as flexible; you are committed to the ship’s itinerary and departure dates.
And then there’s a land-based tour (we call it island-hopping):
- Complete flexibility to plan your vacation when it works for you.
- Itineraries are less rigid; if there’s something in particular you want to do, it’s easy to work it into an island-hopping tour.
- You’re not locked into coast-based activities as you might be with a cruise; there are opportunities to hike, kayak, bike, or even just wander around Santa Cruz sampling the restaurants and shops and getting to meet the locals.
- You can always book a day-cruise on a yacht or catamaran or sailboat if you want to experience life on the water.
- You can usually get WiFi and loved ones back home can reach you more easily.
- You will spend more time in transit between the islands and hotels.
- And you will pack and unpack your luggage every time you move.
- You will not be able to visit the most far-flung uninhabited islands the cruise ships visit.
- You’ll take motorboats and yachts for your day trips to visitor sites, which means a choppier ride than traveling by cruise ship.
There’s also a third option, if scuba-diving is an essential part of your trip—a dive tour. Most dive tours combine an element of both land and sea tours, either with a multi-day boat excursion or single, full-day boat tours for dives.
Do keep in mind that some dive tours require PADI certification, so if you’re a beginner, be sure to find out the requirements before you book.
Choosing Transportation Method
The majority of people, which will undertake Galapagos Travel, would prefer to use an aircraft from the mainland of Ecuador. The flights are going to depart on a daily basis from all of the principal cities – Quito and Guayaquil.
There are three particular companies, which are servicing these flights and respectively offer them – these are the Avianca, TAME and LAN-Ecuador. This is the first thing that you’d have to pay attention to.
Even though the prices for the tickets are generally going to be fairly similar between the three companies, you might want to go ahead and check for promotions, as you might get lucky.
However, you should be expecting to pay something in the range in between $350 and $500 for a round-trip ticket.
Choosing the Time of the Tour
One of the most important things that you have to consider if you want to learn how to choose a tour to the Galapagos Islands is the time of the year.
Luckily for you, the tours can be all-year round as the climate of the Galapagos Islands is incredibly convenient for tourism.
Throughout the entire year and even the water temperature in December is about 25 degrees Celsius, which is definitely significant. You may get a better picture of weather in Galapagos in this blog.