The Galapagos Islands can be experienced by taking a luxurious cruise to the many islands or by staying on land at a luxury lodge and go Island hopping by day. Either way you are in for a thrill unlike any other.
The Galapagos National Park authority regulates the way people visit the islands. Travels can only visit the islands with a naturalist guide authorized to work in the islands protected areas. The parks rules established allows cruises and other operators to go ashore with a maximum of 16 visitors per guide. On multi guided expedition cruises however there are more guides available bringing the average group sizes down to approximately 12 guests per guide. The park’s careful itinerary planning insures these restrictions. Having smaller group size groups allows Naturalist guides to offer top environmental interpretation and enhances the intrinsic value of the islands biodiversity.
As the cruise ships travel from one island to the next at night while the guests sleep you are maximizing your time to see as many of the islands as possible during your stay in the Galapagos.
Generally, the daily itinerary on a cruise is to visit a different Island each morning and in the afternoon do one of the many activities available to you in the area which you are located such as: snorkeling, swimming with the turtles, beach hopping, etc.
There are a variety of cruise ships to choose from. You can charter a private cruise for your close friends and family from 16 to up to 40 guests. Alternatively, join a group with other world travelers of the same interests. Either way your group is almost guaranteed to have exclusivity on the Islands due to the unique park rules of the Galapagos National Park mentioned above.
Most cruises are from 4 – 5 nights with some going for 7 nights.
For those who prefer to stay on land, your trip can be equally as rewarding. You stay at a luxury hotel and take daily excursions by boat to the islands of your choosing. The itinerary for these days mirrors those for the cruise ships: visiting an island in the morning and doing an activity in the afternoon that is unique to the island you are at. There are numerous hotels to choose from.
Should you want to relax at the pool for a day and perhaps get a massage these hotels will not disappoint.