Should I take a Galapagos cruise or a land based tour? This is one of the biggest decisions you’ll have to make as you plan your trip. Here are:
10 Reasons to Choose a Galapagos Land Based Tour
- Free time is on land: Because our free time was on land – we got to explore on our own. For example, one evening after a snorkeling excursion (which our daughter refused to even try the mask/snorkel) Dena took Drew to the beach in front of the Isabela Lodge and taught her to snorkel. It was more relaxed and she loved it. If we had been on a boat, Drew would have left the Galapagos and not have enjoyed snorkeling and seeing the marine life. Now, because of that experience, she can’t wait to snorkel again.
- Enjoy the People of the Galapagos: We really loved being on land during our free time. We walked into Puerto Ayora (the main town on Santa Cruz Island) a number of times. There is a fisherman’s volleyball game worth watching and the theatrics of the fish market. Shopping in town is not limited to a single, dedicated excursion. We were able to get to know local people and businesses as well as enjoy some of the islands’ culture.
- Less Environmental Impact: Help with Galapagos conservation by avoiding water based tours. Land based tours use less fuel and pollute less than a cruise.
- Internet is not only available, it’s free. On Santa Cruz , we used free wireless internet to blog and send email. Although we brought our laptops, both lodges have a terminals setup for free guest use.
- Excursion Choices: We got to choose between snorkeling and island excursions. On Floreana Island, for example, we took a trip into the mountains while other guests went snorkeling. Cruises have a fixed itinerary and you must comply.
- No Wet Landings: Not everyone can handle wet landings (or even a dinghy) in order to go ashore. While this wouldn’t have been a problem for us, someone with mobility issues or younger children could have a hard time. Traveling with Flipper’s Hotel Galapagos means dry landings every time.
- Kids Are Always Welcome: Many cruises won’t accept children under a certain age. Land based tours accept children of all ages.
- Less Parental Paranoia: As parents, we didn’t need to worry about the safety of our daughter while she played, including the (albeit small) risk of her falling overboard.
- No Rock-N-Roll Dining: Dining at sea isn’t always much fun and can get old fast – regardless of how delicious the food is. Meals can be much more enjoyable without rolls and bumps. Also, on a land based tour with Flipper’s Hotel Galapagos you will never have to share a table with strangers unless you want to. Some days we dined just the three of us, other days we chose to have coffee or a meal with other guests.
- Privacy & Comfort: Having your own hotel room, private bathroom and room to roam is a luxury that shouldn’t be taken for granted. We enjoyed normal showers and hotel rooms. I’m a big guy and like to be able to get in the shower and turn around. After a day of exploring, a normal shower is an amazing luxury. They will also do your laundry on the same day with zero pollution in the sea.