- 97% of the Galapagos Archipelago is a National Park and is off limits to human establishments. Only 3% of the archipelago are human-inhabited areas, where hotels can be built.
- The only way to access the great majority of the visitor sites around the islands is on a live aboard vessel that takes you on a cruise throughout the entire archipelago.
- Hotels are found in the population centers which are the only places not within the Park. From here you can only access visitor sites that are nearby, when the best ones are far away (due to the lesser presence of humans throughout history).
- There are over 40 National Park landing sites throughout the islands where travelers are permitted to go ashore or go snorkeling to see animals up close in their natural habitat. Over 70% of these are not accessible when staying in a Hotel.
- Only a handful of landing sites are accessible from the hotels and this is mostly by day boat.
- All the hotels compete for spaces on the day boats. If you are lucky enough to get a day boat, you start your day by having to take a power boat ride to the landing site. These can be 2 hour rides each way. Not that pleasant and really a waste of a good part of your day.
- In contrast, the permitted live aboard yachts arrive at your first landing site before you wake up and you will have the opportunity to go ashore and visit two different sites for up to 2 ½ hours each, along with snorkeling, kayaking and panga/zodiac rides.
out of your adventure
galapagos national park guides
You must be accompanied by a Galapagos National Park guide when visiting sites within the park. Guides are crucial for an exceptional adventure. Our guides have been handpicked by our owners since 1986, thereby guaranteeing that you are in the company of only the very best.
hotel stays after or before your galapagos cruise
Hotels are best for those who want to stay on after or arrive earlier from their cruise for some scuba diving or down time.