If you want a fun-filled, relaxing Galapagos holiday that caters to the free spirit, then a land-based option is the adventure for you. On a land-based tour, you are free to customize your itinerary depending on your traveling pace and interests. Love kayaking? Spend a whole day paddling around coastlines. Crazy about penguins? Go out in search of them every day. Like to take things slow? Move at the pace of a giant tortoise if you wish.
Land-based tours allow the opportunity for downtime and lazy afternoons on the beach, which is not factored into many cruises and makes them feel a bit frantic. What’s more, short travel times and the option of inter-island flights mean that there’s more time to enjoy the islands, and less opportunity for seasickness.
A land-based itinerary allows a deeper dive into the core of the islands and gives you as much time as you need to discover the secret tracks by foot, bike, kayak, paddle board, or otherwise. It also gives you the opportunity to delve into the culture of the indigenous people and animals that make their home on the remote islands. You can take a day fishing trip with a local fisherman, and enjoy ceviche afterward from your fresh catch. Or, sit down and swap stories with a restaurant owner as you sip a hand-crafted cocktail made with fresh juices. A cruise does not allow time to linger on the islands, and follows a very strict itinerary. You might hop off the cruise, shop for three hours, and never learn anything about the vibrant cultural energy of the Galapagos Islands. Land-based tours help support local communities because the money you spend goes directly back to the local people, and cruises meanwhile, have little or none of this support and contact.
If you are bringing your family along, land-based options eliminate the worry of small children running around the deck of a yacht, and offer more space and stability to keep everyone happy. And, if you like your showers hot, your bed big and soft, and your privacy intact, then a land-based program is probably for you. In spite of the limited resources of the islands, there are many luxurious and pleasant places to stay that will accommodate most budgets. Just imagine lingering over a succulent seafood dinner after a long day of exploring, and then sinking into a luxurious bed with an oceanfront setting.