Traveling with Kids to the Galapagos Islands

Traveling with Kids to the Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are the perfect place to teach your children about appreciating nature and being respectful of all living things. Not only can they enjoy paradisiacal landscapes and beaches, but also experience incredible flora and fauna up close. Discover everything you need to know about traveling with kids to the enchanted islands!

The Galapagos Islands are a popular bucket list destination amongst parents that like to travel with their kids, and for good reason! Traveling with kids to a magical place like this can be a truly life-changing experience they will remember for the rest of their lives. Being able to walk through idyllic paradisiacal beaches and appreciate unique wildlife up close, will make them realize they are in a natural paradise like no other. Your children will learn and understand the importance of nature while also having fun and enjoying an incredible vacation! In this blog post, Expedition Ecuador sums up a few things you should keep in mind to organize your family adventure.

The perfect age

When you are planning your trip, it is important to advise your kid about the new experiences you’re all going to have. Talk about the activities that can be done like snorkeling, trekking, wildlife appreciation, and see if they will be comfortable with that. We personally recommend traveling to the Galapagos islands with 6-year-old kids or older. This is a consensus that has been reached after years of experience providing family-friendly trips.
If you are traveling with younger kids or babies, we recommend traveling with a babysitter to take care of your child. It is important to consider this since there are no child-care services available on cruises or hotels. It is also a good idea to personalize a Land based tour that meets the needs of the family and the babies; or if you are traveling in a family group, you can even charter a cruise to have a personalized experience. Let us know about your family trip details and we will be happy to advise the best options for you! There are many Galapagos tours you can choose!
While much of the island’s beauty is in its crystal-clear waters, you can decide if you want to wait until your kids are a little bit older or simply if they are willing to learn how to snorkel. As they get older, they will be able to participate in more and more activities! Check out the best snorkeling places in Galapagos here.

The Galapagos islands: a protected National Park

Before you get to the islands, children and adults should be aware of the rules of the Galapagos National Park. These are some of the most important rules you and your family must follow:

• Maintain a distance of at least six feet (two meters) from wildlife to avoid disturbing them, even if they approach you.
• Never feed wildlife – the circle of life in the Galapagos is delicately balanced; there’s no need for you to interfere, as this can cause health problems.
• Remain on marked trails at visitor sites and respect signs at all times for the protection of wildlife, and for your safety.
• Do not take or buy any products or souvenirs made from banned substances, including black coral, shells, lava rock, animal parts, or any native wood or vegetation prior to leaving Galapagos. This is an illegal action and must be reported.
• Practice “leave-no-trace” principals in order to maintain the beauty of the environment – Pack out all trash and dispose of or recycle it in the populated areas or on your tour boat.

Your Galapagos packing list

Traveling with kids to the Galapagos islands will also mean packing a couple of extra important things!

• The Galapagos are close to the Equator, which means the sun is strong in some hours of the day! Sunscreen, sun hats, and long sleeve rad guards are important.

• Lightweight wetsuits are supplied for snorkel trips, but you might want to bring your own smaller sizes for kids to ensure the perfect fit.

• Don’t forget the wet bags – you can use them for wet clothes and to keep your camera gear safe in the sand. You will need to have your camera all the time!

• Kids band-aids is a great idea in case they play with stones or shells.

Please note this! Once you sail away from the main towns like Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz), Puerto Villamil (Isabela), or Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal), it’s just you and untouched nature. On most of the Galapagos islands, there’s no human habitation and certainly no stores, so pack everything your child may need!

Choosing the best Galapagos tour for your family

It is important to choose the type of Galapagos tour that suits best to your family, you can choose between Galapagos cruise or Galapagos Land-based tours. In case you choose a Galapagos land-based tour, you will be able to tailor all the activities you want to do, the type of Galapagos hotel you want to stay and any other detail during your stay. You can also organize snorkeling or trekking tours according to your family activity level. Land based Galapagos tours are able to start any date, so you can easily book during school vacations.

On the other hand, if you choose a Galapagos cruise experience you will find many options from standard to deluxe. The size of the cruises varies depending on the category, so you can choose small cruises with a capacity of 16 passengers, medium size cruises with a capacity of 42 passengers, and large cruises with a capacity of 100 passengers. The great advantage of a cruise experience is that you have everything you need on board, you don’t need to worry about itineraries, and you can reach multiple islands during your trip. Your kids will have the opportunity to see as much wildlife as they want! You will also have personalized attention, guides, meals, interconnected cabins ideal for families, a jacuzzi on board, and much more.

Please keep in mind that demand is always high during kids’ school vacation times, so be sure to plan your trip ahead of time. We would recommend booking at least 4-6 months before traveling for summer months, and if possible, more than 9 months before for Easter / Christmas holidays. Check out our Galapagos tours here.

Amazing activities

Let´s say that the Galapagos is overflowing with wildlife, and you can be amazed with landscapes everywhere you go! There are tons of activities that you can enjoy together with your kids:

• The many glorious beaches of Galapagos, red/black/white sand are backdrop of mangroves or volcanic rocks, they offer the chance to both relax and explore.

• Take them to water: Kids love swimming, snorkeling and kayaking, two-seater kayaks are available, so parents can join younger children in the water while sea lions, turtles, marine iguanas, and penguins dive under the boats. They will enjoy spotting their first sea turtle gliding through the blue depths, or snorkeling among cute-looking penguins!

• Educational talks: Don’t miss visiting any tortoise breeding center to learn about Charles Darwin´s theory of evolution and to know everything about conservancy, environment, and wildlife.

• Trekking: Galapagos is ideal for to have the first trekking adventure, while you spend time walking around, they can be witness of different type of birds, land creatures and marine life, we are sure your kids will have lots of memories to share with their friends’ back home.

The Galapagos Islands are waiting for you!
Remember that all these recommendations are based on experience and with the goal of creating a memorable trip for you and your family! We are sure that your kids will treasure the memories they will have on the enchanted islands. Contact us to start planning your Galapagos tour now!

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