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In Search of the Perfect Galapagos Family Vacation
The first things parents look for on a trip is to make sure it’s safe, fun (for the kids) and relaxing (for them). When looking at your options, especially if you’re going somewhere special, you want to make it a rewarding experience that involves both learning and enjoyment. At the same time, you also want to make sure that there will be enough activities for the kids so as to give yourself some time to enjoy the place itself. The Galapagos Islands offer everything parents look for in a vacation and more, be it on land or sea (or maybe even both). Kids are guaranteed to have the time of their lives and parents will find the perfect balance of adventure and relaxation that will send them back to reality feeling completely refreshed and renewed.
Becoming a real life pirate is every kid’s dream. Sailing the seas, encountering exotic creatures, burying imaginary treasures in secret beach hideaways – these are all but a hint of how far a child’s imagination can go. And all of it can become a reality aboard the Santa Cruz II. But only for children 6 years old and above because unfortunately, a boat is not the best place for a toddler. (Read on if you have really little ones). And when we do receive these young and special visits, we go all out when it comes to making the little ones have the best time ever. This is why we have designed the Pirates Aboard! programme that will keep them entertained, whilst teaching them about flora, fauna, conservation, navigation and the comings and goings of life aboard a ship.
What onboard activities are there for kids in Galapagos? Pirate-worthy activities!
On their first day aboard, the Expedition Leader will introduce himself to the parents and hand the kids a “pirate kit” and an activity calendar. There is at least one 30-minute activity scheduled every day, except on arrival day, departure day and the day spent in Puerto Ayora. Parents will have many opportunities to unwind in the Santa Cruz’s spacious public areas while the kids are enjoying activities such as an explanation of how the animals got to the Galapagos, a visit to the bridge with the Captain, an early dinner and movie night. These are all just a day’s worth of planned activities. And yes! Kids also get special meals at a table decorated just for them! Other activates the kids will love are handicrafts, watercolour painting, cooking and photography classes, zodiac rides, karaoke, and board games, to name a few. Check with your Expedition Leader to see which activities will be available as some do require a group of at least three kids. These special activities, combined with the outdoor family excursions, explorations and itineraries that take place on the live laboratory that are the Galapagos Islands, will make for an out-of-this-world experience the kids will never forget.
So what to do if your kids are younger than 6? Or if you want to combine the amazing experience of the Galapagos cruises with a more flexible option on land? Book a room at the award-winning Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel! Island connoisseurs recognize that to see the most beautiful islands and unique species, a cruise is the way to go, but a land-based stay will still heartily satisfy your appetite for wildlife while giving you a little more time to relax and feel the island life. That’s why staying at the Finch Bay is a great idea. In addition to being the only beach-front hotel in all of Puerto Ayora, it has one of the only heated pools in the archipelago (did we mention the heat is solar-powered?) and it happens to be the biggest one on the island. Is there something kids love more than spending time at the beach and the pool? Talk about hours of fun and distraction in a safe and gorgeous setting!
Activities For All
The Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel is the ideal place for families thanks to the fact that it serves as a central “home base” that connects guests to nearby visitor sites as well as to other islands. The Finch Bay also offers families the flexibility of being able to split the day according to what activities each family member desires. Say a father is looking to scuba dive while his wife and kids want to go on a boat tour – they can do it. The Finch Bay’s knowledgeable staff matches the interests and desires of every guest with daily activities to ensure everyone in the group finds their dream journey.
The hotel also has board games and movies that the kids can choose from. That is, if they still have energy left after a day playing at the beach, swimming at the pool and exploring the surrounding visitor’s sites with their families. Additionally, the Finch Bay offers the little ones “Pizza Night,” which has them making their own pizza and watching a movie with popcorn. Meanwhile, the adults can enjoy their own separate gourmet dinner. A children’s menu is also available upon request, and this usually includes anything from hot dogs and hamburgers to spaghetti with meatballs.
Vacations etched in your soul, not just in your selfies
Some of our most cherished memories come from family vacations we took as kids. Days filled with exploration and adventure that the whole family can enjoy together will be framed by stunning white sand beaches, turquoise waters and the most amazing sunsets. Kids will discover the true beauty of nature and the magic of wildlife running free and unafraid of their presence. Parents will have the chance to share fabulous experiences with their kids, while having the time to disconnect from the world. Be it on water or land (or even better, the combination of both), this Galapagos family vacation will be forever engraved in their hearts. And adults, beware! You just might find your inner child in Galapagos.