Lets “go to the Galapagos.”

When I get asked “what was your favorite trip” I typically stutter and stammer as there have been so many.  But I can honestly say the Galapagos is at the tip top of the list.  The Galapagos Islands, nestled in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Ecuador, represent an ecological wonderland like no other place on Earth. Renowned for their unparalleled biodiversity and unique species, these volcanic islands have captivated the hearts and minds of scientists, naturalists, and adventurous travelers for centuries. What makes the Galapagos truly extraordinary is its role as a living laboratory of evolution, famously inspiring Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection. Here, visitors are immersed in a world where fearless wildlife roams freely, offering an up-close and personal encounter with nature’s marvels. From giant tortoises and marine iguanas to blue-footed boobies and playful sea lions, each species has adapted uniquely to its environment, making a journey to the Galapagos a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Today I want to address the frequently asked question, “is it best to visit the Galapagos with a Land Based Tour or aboard one of the luxury yachts sailing the region?”

I have had the pleasure of visiting this magical archipelago many times, both on a land-based excursion, as well as several times on board a variety of vessels in the region.  I will start by being honest as I am a bit biased and prefer the ship-based model. But that’s just me and my opinion.  Note there are as many different styles and classes of vessels as there are islands (Ok that might be a stretch).  That is also a big part of the decision making process “Land-Ship-Which Ship”.  For today let’s just look at the pros and cons of Land verse Sea. Of course, as always happy to talk through with you and yours and share my experiences.

Land-Based Galapagos Vacation


  1. Flexibility: Staying on land offers more flexibility in itinerary planning. Travelers can choose daily activities and adjust schedules more freely.
  2. Local Interaction: Engage closely with local communities, experiencing their culture, cuisine, and traditions firsthand.
  3. Comfort: Land-based accommodations often provide more spacious rooms and amenities, making it feel like a traditional vacation experience.


  1. Travel Time: Getting to various islands might involve longer boat rides, limiting exploration time.
  2. Limited Access: Some remote islands and wildlife sites may be harder to reach from land-based accommodations.
  3. Less Immersive: The experience might not be as immersive in terms of living among the diverse marine and wildlife.

Ship-Based Galapagos Vacation


  1. Maximized Exploration: Ships provide access to remote locations, allowing for a more comprehensive exploration of the islands and wildlife.
  2. Guided Tours: Often, ships offer expert-led tours and activities, enhancing educational experiences about the Galapagos’ ecology.
  3. All-inclusive Experience: Meals, accommodation, and activities are typically included, providing a hassle-free vacation.


  1. Limited Flexibility: Fixed itineraries and schedules might limit spontaneous activities or adjustments.
  2. Potential Seasickness: For those sensitive to motion, being on a ship could lead to seasickness, affecting enjoyment.
  3. Higher Costs: Generally, ship-based tours tend to be more expensive than land-based options.

Ultimately, the choice between land-based and ship-based tours in the Galapagos Islands depends on personal preferences, budget, and desired experiences. Some may prefer the convenience and guided experience of a ship, while others might value the freedom and local interactions offered by a land-based stay. Evaluating these factors can help travelers select the option that best aligns with their preferences and priorities. And again, that is what I am here for.

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Whether on land or at sea, exploring these islands promises an awe-inspiring journey into the heart of one of the world’s most remarkable and fragile ecosystems.