Should I take a cruise or land tour in the Galapagos?
One of the first decisions you need to make when planning a trip to the Galapagos is whether you want to stay on a cruise or at a lodge. There are pros and cons to both, though really there is no wrong choice. Both will give you an incredible wildlife experience through the "Enchanted Islands." Here we'll run through the advantages of each, to help you decide which is the best option for you and your family.
1. Less daytime traveling - Considering you do most of your movement while you are sleeping or during downtime, traveling by yacht or catamaran allows you to maximize your daylight hours exploring the islands. At a hotel, you will need to spend a portion of your day traveling to a neighboring island. If you only have a few days in the Galapagos, then this is really important because there are so many different things to see and each island provides something unique for your camera and your memories. It is a fact, that traveling by boat will give you more variety in your experience, allowing you to see more islands and therefore more wildlife
2. An intimate experience - there is nothing quite like being on a 16 passenger Catamaran staring at the stars at night, feeling the steady rhythm of the ocean around you. Traveling by boat will give your experience a sense of romance and adventure that is unparalleled by the hotel counterpart.
3. Camaraderie - On one of the small Galapagos yachts, you are bound to become friendly with the other passengers and staff on board as you share such life changing experiences together. These are the types of friendships that will last a lifetime.
Boutique Lodges and Ecocamps
1. Flexibility - While some hotels have very packed itineraries, others leave more opportunity to wander off on your own, find a nice beach and relax. This is in stark contrast to the cruise itineraries which leave very little time one's self. You can spend this time relaxing, or wandering the town and local beaches on your own.
2. Less expensive - While this isn't always the case, generally speaking, the hotel experience will do less harm to your wallet than a Galapagos cruise, leaving more room in your travel budget to explore the mainland of Ecuador or Peru!
3. Sleeping on stable ground - For those who are prone to sea sickness; a lodge may be the way to go. It doesn't matter how many islands you visit on a cruise, if you are not able to leave the bathroom of your cabin. The hotels on the island offer a comfortable place to rest after a long day of exploration.