A visit to the famed Galapagos Islands is one trip that is on pretty much nearly everybody’s “bucket list”. Brought to fame by Charles Darwin as the inspiration for his development of the theory of evolution, the Galapagos offer a fascinating insight into the processes that unfold over time as species continually adapt to their changing environments. The lack of natural predators for many of the creatures that arrived there and continue to evolve in isolation means that they lack the natural wariness of humans that you find in the rest of the world. This brings the natural world up close and personal and brings us a new appreciation of the environment that forms our planetary home.
But visiting the Galapagos is not cheap, especially on a cruise boat, which can cost around $2,000 for an 8-day tour, in addition to the roughly $400 to fly there from the Ecuadorian mainland and plus the $120 it costs to get into the Galapagos national park.
A great alternative which provides a much more economical and in some ways better experience is to go on an island-hopping, hotel-based tour with a company like True Ecuador Travel. Their land-based tours run from 5 to 10 days in length and are based on two or three of the human-inhabited islands with daily excursions to some of the uninhabited islands and restricted areas. Thus visitors get a wide-angle view of the Galapagos Islands at a price that is just half of what the cruise boats charge.
An additional bonus is that visitors get to sleep in a bed that is not constantly in motion. While being on board a small boat is heaven for some people, others much prefer the freedom to move around and explore the local towns in the evening, decide where and what to eat, enjoy a beer or a coffee, and stroll along by the shore. This is especially true for families with younger children.
True Ecuador Travel offers their island-hopping tours all the year round and can customize programs for special needs and preferences. For example, those with a diving certificate can incorporate diving into their program instead of the regular snorkel tours that form part of some of the daily excursions.
They can also offer hotel upgrades for those wanting more than just the regular tourist-class hotel. Although, they always remind visitors that they will be out all day on a boat, in the sun and wind, snorkeling and hiking, and will return tired and ready to just shower and eat and get ready for the next day’s adventure. So an upgraded hotel may not be a priority.
Lastly, True Ecuador Travel has their own unique app on which each visitors program is detailed with all departure times, boat names, hotels, and other important information. The app also has a list of free and low-cost activities to do in any spare time, as well as the weather forecast and online and offline maps.
With so much attention to detail, the island hopping tours offered by True Ecuador Travel offer the best and most economical means to explore the unique Galapagos Islands.