How To Choose The Perfect Galapagos Trip

How To Choose The Perfect Galapagos Trip
To get to know the enchanted islands there are two main options you should consider: cruise or land-based tours.

Cruise or land-based tours?

The Galapagos Islands is a unique natural setting in the world where you will have adventures you will never forget. To get to know the enchanted islands there are two main options you should consider. No option is better than the other, everything depends on your expectations, your budget, the activities you want to do, etc. We assure you that with any of the options you choose you will have an amazing trip. Keep in mind that the two options we are going to show you will give you completely different experiences.

Cruise experience:

One of the most common and famous ways to get to know the islands is through cruises. There is a wide variety of cruises that you can board from a Standard to a Deluxe category. Cruises are the perfect choice if you are a person who wants to be carefree about travel logistics. The budget includes everything you need: meals, activities, excursions, informative talks, all the necessary services and amenities, and well-structured itineraries that you will be able to analyze before making your decision. Each itinerary is carried out with great attention to meet the expectations of travelers and make the most of their time on the enchanted islands. Most cruise ships move from one island to another at night, which means a big advantage for you to enjoy the sunny hours to explore and get to know everything during the day and in the afternoon. This is the main advantage of cruises, the ease of being able to move to different islands and thus know in depth much of the magical places of Galapagos.

This will allow you to see and be close to many endemic species that are found in their natural habitat. For animal lovers, this is will be an unforgettable experience. You will also be able to enjoy the amazing scenery and discover new ecosystems every day reaching several sites that would be inaccessible if you weren’t on a cruise. Something you should consider is that there are many differences between cruise ships depending on the category you choose. In general, all cruises are comfortable, but you will notice that there are several differences if you choose a Standard or a Deluxe cruise. On Deluxe cruises, for example, you will find larger cabins and first-class services.

We have different cruise categories: Standard, Mid-range, First class, and Deluxe. You have 4 to 8-day cruises and you can even combine different itineraries in order to have longer expeditions. About the cabins, you may find bunk beds, double, twin, triple cabins and also panoramic suites depending on the cruise and categories. If you travel as a family, you can also request interconnected cabins in superior cruise categories and be sure that there is the perfect cruise for everybody.

It is important to consider that cruises offer you a complete experience with certified naturalist guides, aboard comfortable ships, and with the chance of experiencing all the unique wildlife that inhabits the islands. Last-minute cruises are usually available from 3 weeks to a month prior to the departure of a specific date on a cruise. The closer you book to the departing date, the better the rate will be, yet the risk of there being no spaces available, or booking tours that are not tailored to your specific interests, will also inherently grow.

To sum up, here are some of the pros and cons you should consider for a cruise experience in Galapagos:


-You will reach remote places where you can observe unique animals in their natural habitat.

-Arriving at these sites will allow you to get to know in-depth the islands and their incredible ecosystems.

-The itineraries are very well structured. You will have scheduled and guided activities at every site you visit.

-All services and meals are included.

-You can share your experience with a group on the cruise.

-You can enjoy many activities such as snorkeling and kayaking.

-Charter cruise possibilities with amazing deals and you find groups discount


-Because there are many activities already planned, there is no flexibility to do other activities; nevertheless, you can always organize something with your guide on board.

-You must adapt to the itinerary and the dates that are already set.

-Galapagos flight tickets must be purchased together with cruises. If you book on your own, sometimes there are additional fees to consider, and occasionally the arrival/departure time does not match with the cruise operation, so you may wait or miss some activities. Please ask your travel advisor about this.

-If you tend to be seasick, you will feel the sea movement. We recommend taking sea sickness pills 30 minutes before departure, and you will be just fine.

Land-based tours experience:

Land-based tours in Galapagos offer you a completely different but equally unforgettable experience. This type of trips gives you the freedom and flexibility to discover the islands at your own peace, hopping between different islands as you make base in one of the 3 local tows. This is a trip that is suitable for all budgets as it can be tailored into exactly what you need.

You will enjoy the stability and comfort of a hotel room. This is a perfect option when you are travelling with small children as you can venture off and do things at your family´s peace. If you are looking to discover new places but also have time to relax and rest, then this programs will do wonders!

The main islands with hotel capacity are Santa Cruz, Isabela, and San Cristobal. If you decide to go to one of these islands, you will find a wide range of hotels and restaurants to choose from (standard to luxury categories).  

This will allow you to know the daily local life of each island while choosing the itineraries that best meet your expectations. All this can be done at reasonable prices. Land-based tours will also allow you to know unique wildlife. The truth is that no matter which island you visit, you can always find animals like blue-footed boobies, iguanas, sea lions, and more.

Here are some of the pros and cons you will find if you decide for a land-based tour in Galapagos:


-It’s less expensive.

-You will have control over the activities and the places you want to visit.

-There is flexibility in the itineraries and dates.

-You can combine relaxing activities with exploring activities.

-There are daily tours you can book according to your preferences.


-You won’t be able to observe so many animals in their natural habitat or special wildlife that can be seen only in further islands as Genovesa or Fernandina.

-Everything is not included, you will have to pay extra for meals, activities, guides, not listed in the quotation.

-You will only be able to visit a limited number of islands.

The experiences you will have in Galapagos will be really amazing no matter which option you choose. Each option offers you something different but unique in its own way. Before making a decision, it’s important to evaluate your travel style and determine what experiences you want to have on the Enchanted Islands.

Land-based tours offer you a less expensive and more flexible and independent experience that requires planning in advance. Cruises offer you a complete all-inclusive experience, but at a higher price. Planning the trip of your dreams to Galapagos doesn’t have to be complicated. If you need any other tips or advice, we are here to help you!


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