A “living museum and showcase of evolution,” the Galapagos Islands inspire and instruct; their extraordinary wildlife capturing the imaginations of those fortunate enough to see them up close. And while there are many ways to “do” the Galapagos, from solo traveling to 100-passenger cruise trips, a small group tour is truly the best way to visit this amazing archipelago.
Read on for a few reasons why and be sure to check out our Machu Picchu to the Galapagos small group tour and our Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands small group tour.
1. Up-close encounters with the unique wildlife
Above all else, the Galapagos Islands are known for their unique and fascinating wildlife. From blue-footed boobies to giant Galapagos tortoises, lava lizards to waved albatrosses, the astonishing diversity of fauna serves as the islands’ main draw. On a solo trip, you may see many amazing species, but likely won’t have all the information necessary to find the best wildlife viewing spots. Traveling with a big group? You’ll find it hard to get up close to wildlife in their natural habitat, as you will most likely stick to the oft-visited places with guaranteed animal sightings.
On a small group tour, you’ll get the best of both worlds: insider knowledge and guidance, along with access to interesting locations (like the islands of North Seymour and Española). And your nimble group will be able to tour these locations without overwhelming the natural beauty or spooking the animals.
2. Expert Galapagos naturalist guides
For most travelers, touring the Galapagos Islands is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. And as such, it’s crucial to get the most out of your time there by securing the services of an expert guide. On our small group tours, we are accompanied by naturalists trained at the Charles Darwin Research Station and licensed by the Galapagos National Park. These guides know each site intimately and are happy to share their knowledge and insights during our excursions, immeasurably enhancing the enjoyment and information we get from our visit. While you may be able to book one of these guides on your own (for a fee) or enjoy their services with a bigger group (where their attention is more divided), the small group dynamic allows you to interact one-on-one with your guide and learn from the best. And, it allows you to ask just why those lava lizards sport such incredible color patterns!
3. Intimate cruises aboard private yachts
Each island in the Galapagos offers its own treasures, but getting between these isles presents its own set of challenges. On our tour of the Galapagos, we sail aboard private yachts like the one above when visiting nearby islands on day trips, as well as on our longer waterborne transfer between Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. The small size of these boats allows us to sail to beaches, coves, and inlets that larger cruising vessels cannot reach. And they also give us room to enjoy the stunning vistas of the islands in relative peace.
4. A comprehensive and diverse adventure
When taking a nature walk with an expert Galapagos naturalist, you know you’re getting the best guide in the islands. Similarly, when visiting the Galapagos on a small group tour, you can be secure in the fact that you’ll experience all the best the islands have to offer. On our Galapagos Explorer tour, we enjoy the flora and fauna on four distinct islands; visit secluded beaches (like the one above), hidden coves, craters, lava tunnels, and learning centers; enjoy a snorkeling expedition at Kicker Rock; and have time to explore both Puerto Ayora and Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, the islands’ two largest communities. It’s an all-encompassing tour of one of the world’s most fascinating destinations.
These are but a few of the many advantages of visiting the Galapagos Islands on a small-group tour. For more information, or to book your trip to the Galapagos, visit our website or call toll-free 1-888-370-6765