Multi-guided Expeditions in the Galapagos: Consider This Before Your Trip

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Why Consider Multi-Guided Expeditions?

If you had to be guided in an exotic place or anywhere in the world, would you want to share a guide with a big group of people or feel the advantages of having multiple guides?
Imagine long lines at the checkout lane in the supermarket. We’ve all been there. Even more baffling is when we’re stuck in one line waiting to pay, and dozens of registers around us are empty and without cashiers. This is what it feels like to have just one guide in the Galapagos.
Now, consider the possibilities of multi-guided expeditions.


Diego Zapata

Rosa Mena

Sandy Lara

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Diego Zapata

Rosa Mena

Sandy Lara

It’s a Small World After All

While this analogy might not be the best way to picture it, bear with us: what many people need to learn about the enchanted Isles is that the Galapagos National Park only allows up to 16 people per guide. Now, you might think this is a manageable number and might decide to take a smaller ship with just one guide, but stop and consider this: what if in your group, a couple is coming from France (who might not speak English); there’s a family from Australia (with an unruly couple of kids); and a small group of retired couples from Germany. How do you think just a single naturalist guide would manage activities and languages?

What’s just been described is the norm in the Galapagos Islands, leading to heartbreaking scenarios. By the time the guide finishes speaking in one language, the albatross will have spent courting its lady a little further down the trail. Believe us when we say that you want to attend the albatross’s mating ritual and have it explained to you! Will the guide have to explain things in three languages, back to back, every time? This is the case only for small ships.

What About Activities?

Kayaking In The Galapagos Islands
Discover The Galapagos By Kayaking Through Its Pristine Waters.

What happens if the group’s most youthful members are eager to kayak, while others might feel a bit fatigued and prefer a relaxed swim, or perhaps they want to stay dry? What if the older individuals wish to lounge at the beach? While these may seem like viable options, the Galapagos operates under a unique set of rules.

In this archipelago, groups are only permitted to engage in activities at visitor sites with the accompaniment of a naturalist guide. Consequently, independent snorkeling or strolling is not an option — everyone must simultaneously participate in the same action. This rule is mainly enforced on smaller boats.

Take a moment to watch this video, which provides essential travel tips for the Galapagos. It will assist you in planning your expedition effectively!

Size Matters

Let’s consider this from a different perspective: A slightly larger ship may initially seem impersonal, but it’s important to remember that the Galapagos cap the number of visitors allowed each year. This restriction means that all ships, including the larger ones, are relatively small compared to traditional cruise ships. As a result, these vessels are often referred to as expedition vessels rather than cruise ships. Despite being considered “larger,” the group sizes aboard these ships remain pretty small.

The best part? Medium and larger vessels typically have a lower guide-to-guest ratio, ensuring that various age and language groups are accommodated adequately due to the range of activities offered. For instance, if one group wants to kayak and another prefers lounging on the beach, there will be sufficient guides to facilitate both options.

Time is Precious

Family Exploring Genovesa Island Aboard Santa Cruz Ii Cruise
A Happy Family Enjoying The Wonders Of Genovesa Island.

Your time here is precious, and you want to get your money’s worth. The Galapagos Islands are a fantastic place. Save time waiting for the tour guides’ explanation to evolve into another language! Satisfy your curiosity in one fell swoop, and move on to the subsequent magical discovery with multi-guided expeditions! You never know when a blue-footed booby will have spread its wings and flown off or scurried under a rock.

Javier Garcia

Eduardo Silva

Carolina Escobar


Javier Garcia

Eduardo Silva

Carolina Escobar

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Here’s a list of all the activities you have available on our expedition vessels:

  • On-land excursions
  • Kayaking
  • Snorkeling
  • Glass bottom boat
  • Star-gazing

Want to go swimming? Your grandparents don’t want to get wet? Why don’t you go snorkeling while your grandparents observe the beauties of the fantastic life underwater from the comfort of a glass-bottom boat? Why be limited to doing just one thing – which might not be the most convenient for everyone- if you have the opportunity to do it all? Follow your heart’s desires!
Don’t think twice. Choose wisely.

Updated:December 4, 2023

Published:April 28, 2017