Should I Do a Boat Based Tour or a Land Based Tour?
We strongly prefer boat based Galapagos tours, as opposed to island hopping and staying in hotels. The hotels are in towns that are basically tourist towns, and not what you were probably hoping to see when you decided to go to the Galapagos. If the goal of taking a land based tour is to avoid seasickness, in order to visit other islands you will still have to travel by boat to get to them. If you plan to stick to just one island while in the Galapagos, it’s pretty limiting. Finally, hotel development has become an environmental problem in the Galapagos, with some properties lacking required permits. (Please see this article by Vaya’s founder on the issues surrounding hotel-based travel in the Galapagos.) All the hotels will claim to be eco-friendly, but we believe the vessels are a much better long-term, sustainable manner of tourism in the Galapagos (as long as the number of vessels is limited, which it is!). For these reasons, we strongly recommend the vessel based tours. A short stay at a hotel before or after a cruise can be a way to have a chance to go scuba diving (rarely offered on the boats, though all the boats have a lot of snorkeling), or a way to mix up the experience between both a cruise and hotel experience for those who really don’t like the idea of being on a boat for an entire week. As an add-on to a cruise for one of these reasons, we will arrange it for you.