DIKSIA.COM - The Galapagos Islands are one of the most amazing and diverse destinations in the world, where you can encounter unique wildlife, stunning landscapes, and rich culture. However, visiting the Galapagos Islands is not a simple or cheap endeavor. You need to plan ahead, book in advance, and choose the right tour company for your needs and expectations.
But how do you choose the best tour company for your Galapagos Islands adventure? There are hundreds of options available, ranging from budget to luxury, from land-based to cruise-based, from group to private, and from standard to customized. How do you compare and evaluate them, and how do you avoid scams and disappointments?
In this article, we will give you some tips and criteria to help you find the best tour company for your Galapagos Islands adventure, based on your budget, preferences, and expectations. We will also recommend some of the top-rated and reputable tour companies that offer different types of tours and experiences in the Galapagos Islands.
Why You Need a Tour Company to Visit the Galapagos Islands
The first thing you need to know is that you cannot visit the Galapagos Islands on your own. The Galapagos Islands are a protected national park and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and there are strict rules and regulations that govern tourism activities and access to the islands. You need to have a permit, a guide, and a registered tour operator to enter the park and visit the different islands and sites.
The main reasons why you need a tour company to visit the Galapagos Islands are:
- To comply with the park rules and regulations, and to support the conservation and management of the islands.
- To ensure your safety and security, as the islands are remote, isolated, and sometimes challenging to navigate and explore.
- To enhance your experience and enjoyment, as the guides are knowledgeable, professional, and passionate about the islands and their wildlife.
- To save time and money, as the tour companies take care of the logistics, transportation, accommodation, meals, and activities for you.
What to Consider When Choosing a Tour Company for the Galapagos Islands
There are many factors and aspects that you need to consider when choosing a tour company for the Galapagos Islands, such as:
The type of tour
There are two main types of tours that you can choose from: land-based or cruise-based. Land-based tours are more flexible, affordable, and eco-friendly, as you stay in hotels or lodges on the inhabited islands and take day trips to the nearby sites. Cruise-based tours are more comfortable, comprehensive, and exclusive, as you stay on a boat or yacht and visit more islands and sites that are otherwise inaccessible. The type of tour that suits you best depends on your personal preference, budget, and travel style.
The itinerary and duration
The Galapagos Islands have 13 major islands, 6 smaller islands, and over 100 islets and rocks, each with its own unique features, attractions, and wildlife. You cannot see everything in one trip, so you need to choose an itinerary that covers the islands and sites that interest you the most, and that matches your available time and pace. The itineraries vary from 4 to 15 days, and from easy to challenging, depending on the tour company and the type of tour.
The quality and service
The quality and service of the tour company are crucial for your satisfaction and enjoyment of the trip. You need to check the reputation, reviews, and ratings of the tour company, as well as the qualifications, experience, and personality of the guides. You also need to check the quality and comfort of the accommodation, transportation, meals, and equipment that the tour company provides. You want to choose a tour company that offers high-quality and reliable service, and that meets or exceeds your expectations.
The price and value
The price and value of the tour company are also important for your decision and budget. You need to compare the prices and inclusions of different tour companies, and see what you get for your money. You want to choose a tour company that offers the best value for your money, and that fits your budget and needs. You also need to consider the additional costs and fees that are not included in the tour price, such as the park entrance fee, the transit control card, the flights, the tips, and the personal expenses.
The Best Tour Companies for the Galapagos Islands
Based on our research and analysis, here are some of the best tour companies that offer different types of tours and experiences in the Galapagos Islands:
If you are looking for the best Galapagos scuba diving tour, Liveaboard Galapagos is the perfect choice for you. Liveaboard Galapagos is a specialized tour company that offers diving cruises to the most spectacular and diverse dive sites in the Galapagos Islands, such as Wolf and Darwin Islands, where you can see hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, manta rays, sea lions, turtles, and more.