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Cruises, Tours and Adventures – Family Vacations in Galapagos
Do you decide to have the perfect family vacation and are looking for an extraordinary adventure? The Galapagos Islands are a natural paradise for adventurers of all ages. Enchanting and exotic, it is a land where the giant tortoise reigns supreme and where close encounters with animals are a daily occurrence. Close to home – but halfway around the world – the Galapagos Islands offer the unique opportunity to learn and experience nature at the same time.
Located 600 miles off the west coast of South America, the Galapagos Islands are easily accessible for families living in North America. Your trip begins with an international flight to the Ecuadorian mainland – daily flights from Miami are just a bit longer than those to the Caribbean (just over 3 hours). You will arrive in the evening and connections to the Galapagos are available each morning.
Most travelers choose to start their trip in Quito – one of two international gateways to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. Located in the Andes, Quito is the capital of Ecuador and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. South America’s best-preserved colonial city, Quito is well worth spending an extra night or two exploring on its own. The historic old town is rich in art and architecture and Quito’s proximity to the equator (15 minutes) gives you the opportunity to take family photos while straddling the equator line with one foot in each hemisphere.
Entry requirements for citizens of most countries are quite straightforward and consist of a valid passport and return ticket – no vaccinations are required.
Once you have decided to visit the Galapagos, the next step is to select the type of program that best suits your family – a cruise or a package tour. Over the past 25 years, cruises have become the traditional way to see the islands. Varying in accommodation from 16 to 100 passengers, you’ll sail between islands at night and explore the islands during the day. Each yacht has a predetermined itinerary ranging from 3 to 15 nights. Children 7 years or older are welcome on board – special arrangements can be made for younger guests on request. Many yachts offer special departures for families with child-friendly activities and special menus designed for children. Cruises generally offer discounts of up to 50% for children 11 years old or younger.
More recently, Galapagos Tours have grown in popularity. Using one of the islands as a base, tours can last any number of nights (3 nights is the recommended minimum). Tours combine day trips to a selection of islands with an array of activities such as snorkeling, hiking, photography, kayaking as well as wildlife viewing and your daily interactions with the wildlife.
Galapagos Tour packages are the best alternative for families with young children, multi-generational families or groups of families with a wide range of ages. Tours are more flexible and can be designed around family interests. You can decide how many hours you want to work each day as well as what time you leave each morning. Many families with young children choose to have a nanny join them on visits offering greater flexibility (local nannies are available). Your nanny can focus on watching and entertaining the younger members of the family while leaving parents and older children free to enjoy longer hikes or spend more time in the water.
Whether it’s watching the smile on your child’s face as they swim with baby sea lions or having their photo taken next to a giant tortoise, the Galapagos Islands are a magical destination for adventurers of all ages. Your visit to Galapagos allows you and your family to take spectacular family photos while creating wonderful memories of your adventure together while gaining an increased love and concern for the environment that can last a lifetime. life.
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