Galapagos Land Tours
Besides Galapagos cruises, visitors can join a land-based tour that takes them to the colonized islands of the Galapagos (Isabela, Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, and Floreana). During these tours visitors stay at a selection of hotels and spend the days touring the islands. Like cruises, Galapagos land tours visit land and marine sites in the archipelago and offers tourists the same incredible opportunity to experience the wildlife of the Galapagos amazingly close up, such as sea lions, blue footed boobies, seals, flamingos, albatrosses, penguins, sea urchins, manta rays, and galapagos sharks. The main difference between a cruise and a land tour is that guests stay at a stationary hotel instead of on a cruise ship, and are limited to visiting sites within a finite radius of the hub town. Land tours also spend considerably more time traveling to and from visitor sites.
Galapagos land tours have their benefits, the most significant being the comfort of staying in a hotel instead of a moving cruise ship cabin. They are also considerably more economical than cruises, and offer more days in the Galapagos for less money. Travelers are not confined on a boat, nor are the limited to onboard facilities and services. They are given the freedom to acces the port towns in which their hotels are located, including restaurants, shops, and nightlife. Tourists especially seem to value the experience of being able to interact socially with local residents and other visitors, not just other people on the boat.
Different Galapagos land tours offer different excursions, especially depending on which islands they visit. Most land tour programs offer snorkeling and/or diving expeditions, visits to the Charles Darwin Research Station, the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center, Tintoreras (to see Galapagos sharks, sea-lions, and penguins), and Flamingo Lagoon in Isabela, and numerous nature hikes including a hike up the Sierra Negra Volcano. Keep in mind during the planning process that nearly all land-based tours are customizable, and trips and excursions can be arranged according to your interests. Be sure to spend time beforehand deciding what you want to see and experience on your trip, and ask your tour provider to accommodate your desires.
The Galapagos Isles