As world tourism grows in popularity it becomes more difficult to avoid feeling like a tourist. If you are a family that prefers sandy lanes over fast highways, and cozy inns over high-rise hotels, then a land-based Galapagos adventure will thrill you.
It is an adventure — getting there, staying there, moving around. It’s not exactly easy, though we take care of all the logistics so you can just go along for the ride. Tourism is crucial to the islands’ economy, yet the boutique hotels and restaurants remain simple and let’s say ‘uncomplicated’.
If you are a family of active adventurers then you understand — letting go of ease and luxury allows for unique opportunities. Here are five reasons that might just make a land-based trip the perfect choice for your family.
Incredible personal attention
You are in a much smaller group of travelers, maybe even just your family, along with private, expert guides. In your small group, without the burden of a crowd, there is more time for everything — for your curiosities to be satisfied, for activities or leisure time, and for your kids to be kids. It’s intimate and thrilling; you’ll get the most WOW out of your time in the Galapagos.
The flexibility to have more fun
While wildlife excursions to outlying islands are regulated, there is almost no limit to the kinds of things you can do where you stay. How does your family like to play? You can hike, surf, bike, kayak, swim, snorkel, horseback ride. You have choices of how to explore, so you can be sure to have your favorite kinds of fun each day.
Every moment counts
Downtime isn’t limited to the deck of a ship. You have unpaved roads to share with giant tortoises and iguanas, beaches (and benches!) to share with sea lions. You have your private guide at hand to show you more. All around you frigate birds and blue footed boobies swoop overhead, finches flit through tall grasses, and flamingos wade in shallow marshes. Wow.
The Galapagos is not just wildlife! It’s an area comprised of 21 islands, only 4 of which are inhabited by humans – about 30,000 people in all. It’s a fascinating and simple world of agriculture, fishing and tourism, and a delicate balance of economy and ecology. It’s a privilege to wander through for a close-up lesson in conservation. Stop by the pier when the fishing boats come in and you’ll see pelicans and sea lions vying for the catch of the day while hard working fisherman selling their bounty; it’s a special slice of local life that rounds out your travel experience.
The Galapagos Big 15
Staying on land lets you connect with daily life but aren’t you going to the Galapagos to see the wildlife? Your guides are passionate naturalists who know these islands and waters — and they want to see the top species as much as you do. So though you aren’t traveling as far and wide as a ship can take you, you still have the opportunity — nature willing —to see almost all of them. (In case you’re not sure what they are…. blue footed, red footed and Nazca boobies, flightless cormorants, American flamingo, Galapagos albatross, Great and Magnificent frigate birds, Galapagos hawk, land, marine and Santa Fe iguanas, Galapagos penguins, sea lions and fur seals and the Galapagos giant tortoise. Phew!)
PS – there’s more!
Don’t forget the sharks, rays, turtles and large schools of surgeon fish to name a few — there are so many fantastic snorkeling companions just waiting to play with you. Start planning now so we can be sure there is room for you.