Galapagos Tips & Information | 3 MIN READ

3 Main Tips to Galapagos Expedition

User Avatar Written by: Nathalie Moeller
Galapagos flamingos in Floreana Island

Tips To Choose the Best Galapagos Tours

It’s not always the case that “one size fits all” when it comes to cruises in the Galapagos. There are distinct advantages for travelers that choose to explore the natural wonders of the enchanted isles aboard a multiple-guided ship. The rules of the Galapagos National Park specify that ships need to have 1 guide for every 16 guests (or less) aboard. As it turns out, around three-quarters of cruise ships in the Galapagos are sized for exactly 16 guests. It means that individuals aboard these vessels have no choice but to explore the archipelago as a single group.

In the case of Yacht Isabela II‘s multiple-guided ship, the presence of more than one guide allows guests to explore the islands in smaller-sized groups: around 11-12 guests per guide, on average. You will have the option to be part of a group based on interests (birding, for instance), language (English, Spanish, German, etc.), and activity difficulty.

Learn how to choose the best Galapagos tour for your vacation!

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Find your best Galapagos tours by asking these questions:

(Tip #1) Do I Have to do the exact same thing my travel mates are doing at all times while we’re in the Galapagos National Park?

 The Galapagos presents visitors with a variety of different options for exploring and having fun in the archipelago. In the case of land-based journeys, visitors have several scheduling options when it comes to activities that are available outside the park boundaries. Within the park boundaries, a licensed Naturalist Guide needs to be accompanying visitors. Partaking in a multi-guided expedition vessel and yacht gives guests the greatest flexibility when it comes to a tour of the Galapagos.
Tourists in the Galapagos islands

Visitors must be accompanied by a tour guide at all times during their explorations in the Galapagos

(Tip #2) Will I have access to Medical Care on board?

Maybe not the biggest concern for travellers in good health, but abroad Yacht Isabela II you will have access to a MD Officer (Doctor)! It can make a noticeable difference throughout your tour of the Galapagos, especially given how remote the archipelago is. Granted, all operators keep the safety of their guests at the top of their priorities. And the National Park, too, has its own facilities and emergency medical transport on standby. Nevertheless, certain operators like to take safety one step further by investing in the permanent presence of a medical professional on board.
Infirmary aboard Yacht Isabela II

Not every expedition vessel in the Galapagos islands counts with a doctor on board

(Tip #3) If I choose a Single-Guided Boat, will I get exclusive access to locations in the Galapagos National Park?

 At visitor sites, it’s not unusual to find more than 4 single-guided boats or just 1 expedition vessel present. This is because, in accordance with the rules of the Galapagos National Park, each visitor site permits a maximum number of guests at any given time. All itineraries are reviewed and approved by the authorities. A well-designed itinerary, not ship size, is what guarantees exclusivity and the best wildlife viewing opportunities when visiting the islands.
Galapagos glass-bottom boat

Sailing on a glass-bottom boat in the Galapagos islands