Galapagos Tips: 5 things to consider when planning your Galapagos adventure
These Galapagos tips are brought to you by a travel partner I am working with called Fred.\ Discover. Carefully crafted with the discerning traveller in mind, their holidays are sure to take pride of place on many a bucket list; yet with Fred.\, travelling to exotic destinations needn’t mean sacrificing home comforts…and in this article they share 5 tips to make a trip to the Galapagos amazing.
The Galapagos are a trip of a lifetime….here are 5 tips to make it amazing!
The Galapagos Islands are one of the most remote destinations in the world and somewhere you are likely to visit only once in your lifetime. You’ll therefore want to make sure everything is perfect during your awe-inspiring trip and that you are prepared for every scenario. These useful tips will help you get off on the right foot and enjoy every second of your time in this awesome archipelago.
#1: To Cruise Or Not To Cruise?
The most popular way to experience the Galapagos Islands is as part of a cruise, but it can also be done as part of a land tour if you prefer. If you choose a cruise, you will fly out from Ecuador to join the ship and then embark on an itinerary around the various diverse islands. One benefit of travelling this way is that you can save time by journeying between islands overnight; it is important however, to choose a sailing that visits the landing sites you are keen to see. You also have the option to explore more of South America before or after your cruise, but remember that travel to the Amazonian region may require certain vaccinations. Consult your GP in advance if you choose to do this.
The non-cruise options include flying out and choosing one particular island to stay on – taking day-trips to other places of interest within the archipelago. Alternatively, you can opt for an island-hopping tour during which you’ll stay on each of the four inhabited islands (Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Isabela, and Floreana). One thing worth pointing out is the fact that some of the best wildlife spots are on the uninhabited islands, so this may influence your choice of tour.
#2: Packing Essentials
As well as the usual stuff you would take on holiday; i.e. clothes, passport, money and sun hat; there are a few essentials you should ensure are in your luggage when you travel to the Galapagos. Being situated on the equator, the Galapagos can get very hot at times so sun cream is a must. Having said that, the evenings can be surprisingly cool, so a jumper or fleece is also an essential inclusion.
One of the first things in your suitcase however, should be a pair of good walking shoes that you don’t mind getting wet. Parts of the terrain you’ll be navigating will be quite rocky and you are likely to experience a few wet landings on various beaches.
Whatever you do, don’t forget your camera, back up memory cards and batteries when you visit the Galapagos – a waterproof cover, or even better a submersible camera, is another ‘must have’, as there is plenty to see under the water as well as above!
#3: Get To Know Your Camera
With such fascinating landscapes and endemic flora and fauna all around, it can be difficult to know where to start when it comes to snapping your surroundings. If you don’t know your way around your camera though, you may miss the opportunity to capture some fantastic images. After all, that blue-footed booby isn’t going to wait around for you to find the right setting!
Get to know your camera before you travel, particularly if you have purchased new equipment especially for the trip. Some key things to understand are aperture, shutter speed and ISO. And again, don’t forget extra memory cards, lenses or battery packs otherwise your photography session could be cut short!
#4: Know Your Limits
By limits we mean where you can and cannot walk. On all of the islands, trails will be marked out which define your limits of exploration. This is partly done for your own safety and partly done to protect the fragile eco-systems that have developed in the Galapagos. As long as you stick to the marked out visitor sites you will be fine, but it’s easy to wander into a restricted area, especially when searching for that perfect picture.
#5: Consider Life Beneath The Waves
There are some excellent excursions opportunities available in the Galapagos Islands, most of which involve viewing the unique wildlife, but to see even more of the animal residents you can choose to take a look beneath the waves. Diving and snorkelling are both popular activities and most tours offer at least one opportunity to see sea lions, turtles, many species of fish and even sharks. You may wish to bring your own equipment or at least research whether the ship you are sailing on will have some available to hire.
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