There’s no doubt that the Earth is full of breathtaking wonders, some of them discovered and accessible to everyone, some are not. As exotic and remote a place, the more coveted it is for travelers. But can all of them offer a business opportunity for travel companies? It may depend on many factors, such as accessibility, type of services available, costs and profitability, professional support, and advice.
Based on that, the Galapagos Islands have travelers’ hearts set but is it an exotic destination worth selling? Let’s talk more about it in this article to help you conclude.
Pristine, remote, and easy to travel around
The Galapagos Islands are easy to travel around depending on the type of experiences travelers want, even though they are in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, with only four inhabited islands.
Visitors can choose between taking a cruise journey or an island-hopping tour. Both have pros and cons but are excellent travel options.
The first point to clarify is that cruise ships in the Galapagos are not even close to the giant vessels that travelers can find in the Caribbean or the Mediterranean. Larger vessels host a maximum of 100 passengers aboard, but more than 80% of the 90 boats authorized to navigate within the archipelago are from 16 guests. So, the cruising experience is very intimate and exclusive.
Galapagos cruises are ideal for travelers who want to get the most of their time and money because they allow travelers to visit as many sites as possible in a few days. Also, it’s the only way to access remote and isolated islands that require longer navigations.
Local authorities have done a great job devising cruise journeys to ensure an equilibrium between activities such as nature, adventure, wildlife watching, relaxation, and local activities in the inhabited islands.
Another unique characteristic that cruises gifts to their guests is small groups’ comfort, exclusiveness, and sociability. Moreover, travelers can experience as many sites as possible with a guaranteed visit of at least two different locations per day and long navigations at night.
Gastronomy is another of the experiences that guests enjoy the most aboard cruise ships because they can taste a wide range of international dishes and let the Ecuadorian flavors pamper their senses.
One of the constraints of cruise journeys is that they are fully scheduled, so travelers must adapt their trip to the cruise-trip date. Also, people cannot change the itinerary because the Galapagos National Park strictly controls the influx of cruise ships and their passengers to each destination by granting permits for the tours on specific hours and days.
In the case of Galapagos Island Hopping, it’s ideal for travelers who suffer from seasickness. Also, for those looking for flexibility and managing their time and activities while visiting the islands. They can stay in a hotel and take daily tours of the surrounding islands. It’s perfect as an extension of the cruise journey, allowing travelers to experience the local vibe and way of life.
On the other hand, their main cons are that they are limited to the inhabited islands and the nearby uninhabited islands and islets, so they cannot visit islands such as Genovesa or the western side of Isabela. Another constraint some travelers avoid is connecting inter islands through speed boats, with an average of 3 hours. The other option is to take an interisland flight, depending on the weather conditions and the number of confirmed passengers.
A friendly destination for a different types of travelers
Including the Enchanted Islands in your travel catalog is an opportunity to offer a suitable destination for travelers. From families, couples, divers, and golden age travelers, among others.
The Galapagos Islands has a wide range of activities to satisfy the adrenaline of adventurers, the wildlife to fulfill birdwatchers, or nature to relax and disconnect. It’s also a good option for those looking for water experiences at a professional level, such as diving, to the amateur level with snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, or paddle boarding.
Some cruises offer triple or interconnected cabins for families, and others have special conditions for solo travelers looking for single rooms. Women solo travelers enjoy the safety the Galapagos Islands offer them to enjoy the archipelago by themselves with the support of a caring crew aboard cruises or in the island-hopping option.
On the other hand, divers can access some of the most coveted diving sites onboard a liveaboard cruise or on a diving day tour in the case of a land-based journey.
The Enchanted Islands is one of the favorite destinations for golden-age travelers who want to tick their bucket list. It’s common to see them aboard cruises or enjoy the hotel facilities. However, in recent years, there has been a steady rise in centennial travelers that seek and value travel experiences in nature and exotic destinations such as the Galapagos.
Nature and wildlife are genuinely the cherries on top of the ice cream.
In the Galapagos Islands, saying that Luxury is in Nature is more than real, and the archipelago’s wildlife is a highlight. Not in vain, travelers are regularly amazed by seeing that animals are fearless to humans, experience swimming among a marine iguana, or watching a sea lion sleeping on a street bench. Imagine watching first-hand the rareness of a flightless cormorant on a rocky volcanic island; these are just a small selection of what visitors can experience in the Enchanted Islands.
In the Galapagos, nature is a precious jewel highly protected by the local authorities that controls all the touristic activities. In that way, the Galapagos avoid overtourism, so this remote archipelago is far from a crowded Caribbean Island.
Some natural highlights that travelers can experience when cruising the Galapagos Islands are the red beach of Rabida, the northern Genovesa Island, and the southeastern island of Española, where albatrosses nest and perform their courtship ritual, as we mentioned in our previous article. Additionally, a hike to Sierra Negra volcano, visiting the Pinnacle rock at Bartolome Island, or watching giant tortoises in the highlands of Santa Cruz Island is possible either on a cruise journey or a day tour in island-hopping.
Different vessels for different travelers and budgets
For travelers who want to cruise the Galapagos archipelago and wake up every morning in a different natural setting, the islands have a wide range of expeditionary cruises, with very few liveaboard yachts.
The Galapagos cruise offer, as we mentioned before, is very far from the massive tourism business and infrastructure that many travelers think of when hearing about cruises. So, it’s better to explain that to travelers.
Regarding the type of cruise ships available, travelers can choose from tourist, tourist superior, first class, luxury, and ultra luxury yachts. They offer all the meals aboard and a naturalist guide who leads a maximum of 16 passengers per group. The main differences among categories come from facilities aboard, naturalist guides’ expertise, and the crew’s personalized service to guests.
In terms of price, cruising the Galapagos Islands could be considered a costly option, but it is worth it in the end. The cheapest cruise option charges range from $300 daily per person. Yet, the average cost can range from $500-$800 on a tourist’s superior and first-class cruises.
As you can see, the Galapagos Islands is the perfect destination to include in your touristic offer considering that it is a versatile destination that can fulfill several types of travelers with different needs and budgets.