Galapagos is a great place to plan your next adventure and explore the rich wildlife, sail to the popular shores and reach the most remote corners that land-based trips don’t include in the itineraries.
One of the most exciting and unique wildlife-watching destinations is the Galapagos National Park. It’s home to a wide range of animals that can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
So, if you can’t decide how to choose your Galapagos cruise and you’re somewhat overwhelmed by the hundreds of options, this is your post. Besides choosing the best cruise and planning your trip to Galapagos, we’ll also give you tips on the best islands to visit. So, let’s dive in!
Choose the Mode of Transport
There are hundreds of Galapagos cruises from which you can choose; however, it can be a nightmare to figure out the best one for you. Especially if you are traveling on a budget, selecting the best Galapagos trip cost might be challenging.
The Size of the Cruise
You might wonder how this is relevant to the preparation for your upcoming Galapagos trip. It’s important since the size of the boat determines the versatility and flexibility throughout the trip. Smaller ships can take you to more destinations in the region and you’ll be able to explore more remote islands.
While larger vessels are considered counterintuitive and are constrained by strict ecological regulations.
Decide on the Dates
Keep in mind that cruises offer trips to Galapagos in a given timeframe. If your schedule is not flexible, filter out the trips that fall into the desired date range. This way, you can narrow down the search and choose the best cruise trip.
Duration of the Trip
Before going into detail about the why’s and how’s, it’s crucial to determine the trip duration, so you plan the trip accordingly. Most cruises last up to two weeks. However, there are week-long cruises to choose from and plan the itinerary.
Almost every cruise offers a visit to San Cristobal, Isabela, and Santa Cruz islands. These are the central regions of the Galapagos and inevitable destinations for most cruises. If you want to visit more remote locations and islands like Floreana and Espanola, then it’s recommended that you check with the cruise company whether they offer such deals.
Determine the Budget
Determining the budget for your Galapagos trip is crucial in choosing the right cruise. You can check the average cruise prices in advance, so once you have an idea of the cost of the trip, you can book it when the time comes.
According to travelers, the cancellation policy is pretty important since most cruises have strict rules regarding canceling your trip. Read the policy well before booking and make sure to obtain travel insurance in case you need to cancel the trip and get coverage on your trip costs.
The Best Islands to Visit
Bear in mind that this list is purely our preference for the best Galapagos islands, and you can feel free to skip any island you don’t see fit your itinerary. In the following 2023 year, these are considered the best islands to visit.
1. Santa Cruz
Without a doubt, Santa Cruz is one of the best islands in the archipelago. Once you’re there, we recommend visiting Tortuga Bay and exploring the Galapagos wildlife, including sally lightfoot crabs, marine iguanas, sea lions, flamingos, and brown pelicans. If you’re a fan of Natural Sciences, then the Charles Darwin Research Station is a must-visit destination.
Isabela Island is the largest Galapagos island, taking up more than 55% of its land mass. It’s an island you must not miss!
It consists of six volcanoes, Ecuador, Sierra Negra, Cerro Azul, Alcedo, Darwin, and Wolf. The Wolf volcano is the tallest at 1,707 meters.
You’ll find all sorts of vegetation on Baltra island. It’s considered the flattest island, also known as South Seymour Island. The predominant features of the Baltra’s vegetation are the Palo Santo trees, the prickly pear cactus, and the saltbush.
4. Santa Fe
The name of this island means “Sacred Faith,” translated from Spanish. It’s a small island worth a day-long visit. The fun part of its origin is that it was created by a volcanic uplift, which led to its flat surface and ridged surroundings.
Santa Fe is home to many endemic species, including the Barrington land iguana, the Santa Fe rice rat, and the leaf-toe gecko.
Once of a Lifetime Experience
Galapagos is a unique and exotic destination that offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences to its visitors. The most important thing when traveling to such destinations is to remember to have fun! It’s easy to get caught up in discovering and learning more about the islands; however, make sure to relax and enjoy the sunset on some of the mesmerizing beaches with a mojito in your hand.