|Travel Ecuador : Galápagos islands :|
Ecuador offers a variety of different Galápagos tours for the tourist to choose from. There are no really cheap options for visiting the Galápagos, but sometimes the traveler can get lucky and find a deal that makes things a little cheaper. Don’t count on this though – the Galápagos is extremely popular, and spots on Galápagos tours often fill up rapidly, especially in the high seasons.
The cost challenge is that the flight to the Galápagos on its own will set you back a few hundred dollars, and tourists also have to pay a fee of more than one hundred dollars to enter the national park. This is before the cost of either a Galápagos cruise or a land-based tour.
That said, an Ecuador Galápagos tour is one of the most amazing trips you will ever take in your life. The opportunity to view wildlife this close up, and understand Charles Darwin’s evolution theory first-hand is an experience that is arguably second-to-none for wildlife lovers. The animals and bird life are not afraid of humans, and the opportunities for great photography are amazing. Not only that, the variety of volcanic landscapes and different colored beaches is fascinating also.
Galápagos cruise tours are probably the best way to see everything on the islands. The vast majority of tourists visiting the Galápagos Islands take a cruise. Such Galápagos tours are usually either four or five days in duration, or eight or ten days. The longer tours sometimes get out to Isabella Island.
The four day tour normally takes in the northern parts of the islands, including a trip to the highlands to see the tortoises on Santa Cruz island, a trip to Bartolomé and also a visit to Rabida.
The five day tour usually covers the southern islands, including Española and Floreana. In season, this offers the chance to see the Albatross, but if you want to do that, you need to come between late April and December.
Galápagos cruise tours are usually all-inclusive with the exception of your drinks. The tours often provide three good meals per day and often snacks too. Most Galápagos cruises offer more or less daily options for snorkelling. If you don’t have your own equipment you can usually rent it on the boat.
The quality of your Galápagos cruise depends on the level of boat that you pick. There are luxury boats through to economy boats. No matter how hard-pressed for cash that you are, it is not recommended to take an economy boat. Those looking for a not-so-expensive price should go for Tourist or Tourist Superior level boats.
Land based tours
Land based Galápagos tours are a cheaper way to see the best that the islands have to offer. Tours are usually for either four, six or eight days and take in two or three of the major islands, depending on how long the tour is.
Scuba diving Galápagos tours
The Ecuadorian government has clamped down on scuba diving in the Galápagos in recent years, and now only certain boats are legally allowed to offer scuba diving. There are only a handful of boats that offer this type of tour. If you want to dive, it may be better to take your tour and then have a couple of days at the beginning or end of your trip based in Puerto Ayora and taking day-dives using that town as your base.