Planning a trip to Galapagos next year? Here are 4 steps to help you make it happen!
Planning a trip can be a stressful joyride, especially when you have so many destinations and activities in mind. If you’re planning a trip to the Galapagos islands next year, you might find yourself not knowing where to start. Well, suffer no more! We’re here to give you the ultimate guide on planning a trip to Galapagos.
Step #1: What animals do you want to see?
The Galapagos are well known for their unprecedented endemic biodiversity. According to the Galapagos National Park, most of the fauna and flora you’ll encounter on your journey here cannot be found anywhere else on the planet! That’s why you have to make the most of your trip by deciding on which iconic animals you want to definitely check off your list! And don’t worry! You can put that biology book back on the shelf because we just made planning your Galapagos next year trip a lot easier.
Here at Metropolitan Touring, we created our own, handy guide that details the Galapagos’ most iconic species and where to find them. So be extra sure to check out our Big 15 for more information!
Step #2: Where do you want to go?
Once you have that out of the way, you’ll need to choose an itinerary based on the wildlife you want to get acquainted with as well as the number of days you’ll want to spend in the Galapagos Islands (we always recommend 5 days as the bare minimum). Keep in mind that each itinerary visits its own separate region of the archipelago, given the Galapagos Islands cover a vast area.
For example, let’s say you want to see the majestic waved albatross (which is only found on Española Island) as well as the bold land iguanas (seeable on North Seymour Island), then an Eastern Galapagos Islands is the way to go! Due to the distance between these two islands and the rest of the places you’ll get to visit, this trip cannot last less than 5 days.
If you want to browse the itineraries that we offer for Galapagos next year, you can check them out here! (p.s. we’ll fill you in on each boat in the next step)
Step #3: How do you want to explore the islands?
Now that you have chosen an itinerary, the next step is to pick your expedition vessel! This will be a crucial part of your trip as it’ll determine the way in which you get to experience the islands. When selecting your vessel, you should definitely consider picking a boat that offers exclusive visitor sites, an onboard Medical Officer, and all the necessary gear to enjoy the marine life, such as snorkeling equipment and/or a glass-bottom boat!
Also, when planning a trip to Galapagos, you should definitely consider the comfort factor! Activities in the Galapagos require moderate levels of physical activity, so you’ll definitely need a place to rest and unwind afterwards. Why not choose a vessel where you won’t feel cramped? An adequate guest-space ratio should be at the top of your “essentials” list. Wide open social areas and cabin space will allow you to have great moments, either by yourself or in the company of fellow explorers. In the end, a proper guest-space ratio will give you the freedom to discover the islands in both comfort and privacy.
There’re currently 69 vessels authorized for sailing in the Galapagos, so you have a wide range to choose from. Nevertheless, if you want to travel with a renowned tour operator that pioneered travel to the Galapagos and now has over 65 years of experience in tourism in Ecuador and Galapagos, definitely consider Metropolitan Touring and our fleet of 3 Galapagos Expedition Vessels:
Step #4 (only if your dates are flexible): When would you like to go?
Unlike other touristic destinations, the Galapagos Islands are a year-round place to visit! So you don’t have to worry about tropical storms or hurricanes spoiling your vacation. If you want to choose a date for your trip to Galapagos next year, your main focus should be weather and experiences.
When planning a trip to Galapagos, keep in mind that the archipelago has two seasons: dry and hot. However, the weather remains mild during most of the year. These climatic changes are determined by particular ocean currents that hit the archipelago’s coastline. During the dry season (from June to December), the arctic Humboldt Current arrives and brings new life to the Galapagos waters.
During this time of year, there’s little to no rain in the lower regions of the islands. The highlands, however, use what clouds are left to secure what little moisture there is and safeguard their vegetation. This season is also known for being relatively chilly and windy.
Hot season (from January to May), on the other hand, is known for being both sunny and rainy throughout the archipelago. These weather conditions allow vegetation in the lower regions of the islands to be nurtured by steady streams of water, thus allowing them to regain their green leaves that were absent during the Dry Season. The Hot Panama Current visits Galapagos coastline too, making the water and the weather a lot warmer. Consequently, there’s a lot of activity and commotion on land during this time of year, as a lot of the wildlife takes advantage of just how bountiful their surroundings are.
Both seasons have their unique set of quirks, meaning that each one will offer very different experiences of the islands! If you want more information on the things you can see during each month of the year, then be sure to check out this post!
You deserve the trip of a lifetime! So, stop hesitating and start planning your Galapagos tour next year with the experts at Metropolitan Touring!
Isabel Espinoza (1994) was born and raised in the beautiful cradle of mountains we call Quito. She has a degree in Journalism from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador. People and their stories have always been her thing (as well as traveling, nature, astronomy, and photography). Her love for Ecuador, Galapagos, and South America is immense and blogging allows her to share a glimpse of this affection with the rest of the world.