The Galapagos Islands are located off the coast of Ecuador and have become a legendary destination ever since Charles Darwin first visited, publishing his famous theory on evolution: On the Origin of Species. The remoteness of these islands means the natural world rules in every sense – with some of the most diverse wildlife and marine species on the planet.
Due to its remote location, traveling here used to be notoriously difficult and expensive. But in recent years, more and more budget cruises to Galapagos have popped up – making this paradise much easier to visit for more people. For example, Galapatours specialize in expedition cruises to these islands and offer a range of budget cruises to suit your preferences.
Only the best ships are chosen by Galapatours, who have built relationships with a variety of boat captains and owners in this part of the world. You can secure your cruise with just a 20% deposit in the knowledge that your payments are safe, as this company operates under EU law (refunds are guaranteed in case of bankruptcy). This gives you peace of mind to book your Galapagos adventure, even during the turbulent times of COVID-19.
Why Choose Galapatours for your Budget Galapagos Cruise?
It’s all in the name, isn’t it? Galapatours are a German based travel agency specializing in expedition cruises to Galapagos. They offer everything from budget to mid-range to luxury experiences. If you are a budget traveler with limited savings then the budget cruises are the best option. You shouldn’t let money hold you back from this unforgettable cruise.
Travelers can search for cruises by price and duration on the Galapatours website, which helps those with a specific price range and itinerary in mind. You can also filter your search by which islands you would like to visit and what highlights you would like to enjoy – whether it be Tortuga Bay Beach, Lobos Island, Kicker Rock or Charles Darwin Research Station.
The ships themselves never compromise on safety. The main thing that differentiates the mid-range and luxury cruises with the budget cruises is the amount of space onboard. Most of the budget vessels have rooms with bunk beds, a porthole rather than a window and a bathroom. But let’s be honest – you don’t come to Galapagos to be stuck in a room, do you?!
Communal facilities onboard the budget cruise ships are cosy with less outdoor space than the luxury cruises. The food served is of good quality but meals are quite simple in terms of ingredients and flavors. These are just a few things to keep in mind before booking the budget experience.
You might be on the fence about which cruise to book, so these things help you understand what you are getting into. Budget Galapagos cruises tend to be popular with young people, backpackers or those traveling on a big trip of South America (so they need to save for other parts of their trip).
One thing that never changes on a budget cruise with Galapatours are the destinations themselves. You will still be visiting all of the same islands, beaches, coves, bays, wildlife spots, viewpoints, islets, hills, lagoons, reserves, volcanoes and dive sites as the mid-range and luxury cruises. As long as you are okay slumming it a bit you will have the best time!
Tips for Traveling to Galapagos on a Budget
The first thing to organize before you book your flights and cruise is to start saving money. You will need to budget for flights, the cruise itself, any other traveling experiences you would like to have in Ecuador or South America, and other travel costs like travel insurance, a backpack, new clothes, etc.
To give yourself an idea of how much a budget Galapagos cruise with Galapatours costs you are looking at prices of between $1,050 – $1,780 USD for a 4-day cruise, $1,350 – $2,230 USD for a 5-day cruise, around $2,000 USD for a 6-day cruise, $2,295 – $4,295 USD for an 8-day cruise, and so on.
There are some good deals for shorter trips which are less than a week long. Once you get into 15-day cruises the price jumps up to around $5,000 USD. Therefore, depending on your preferences, you will need to save between $1,000 – $5,000 USD for the cruise itself. And then budget for the other costs like your flights and hotels on the Ecuadorian mainland.
One of the best ways to save money for traveling is to create a separate bank account where you put a fixed amount in every week, fortnight or month. This way you can watch your savings grow without too much effort. As long as you are working a stable job, you should be able to save enough.
If you can work remotely (which has become very common these days due to the pandemic) you might be able to convince your boss to work some days remotely while you travel through South America. Of course, you would need a week or two off for the actual Galapagos cruise, but on the other days you spend in Ecuador you could be working to help pay for it all.
There are plenty of ways to be frugal, save money, work extra jobs or work flexibly in today’s world – it’s just a matter of how much you want it. You can also look into options such as cheap backpacker accommodation, Couchsurfing with locals, eating at local markets and cheaper local restaurants, etc. A small budget should never be an excuse not to travel!
Biggest Highlights of the Galapagos Islands
Highlights of the Galapagos Islands are endless and the best thing about being on a cruise is that you will get to see more hidden gems. Booking a cruise means you don’t have to worry about accommodation, water taxis between islands and dealing with other tour agencies. Your experience is streamlined so you can focus more on the destination itself.
And what a destination it is! Arriving in the Galapagos Islands is like landing on another planet. Many refer to Galapagos as an “open-air zoo” and when you see marine iguanas walking around on the footpath in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island then you know you have landed somewhere unique.
There are three main islands here: Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and Isabela. All of them are geared towards eco-tourism. This is great because Galapagos is perhaps the most precious and delicate destination in the world. It’s so important that visitors respect the islands and the wildlife that call it home.
If you are a fan of marine animals then you will love this place. Some of the most popular marine animals you can encounter are orcas, sea turtles, giant tortoises, penguins, marine iguanas, hammerhead sharks, sea lions, dolphins and plenty of different fish species. The marine ecosystem in Galapagos is one of the most incredible anywhere in the world.
Free-diving and snorkeling Kicker Rock is a fantastic way to see these marine creatures up close. Diving here gives you the chance to see sea lions, eagle rays and even hammerhead sharks. You will never forget the moment you see a school of hammerheads swimming below you.
The bird life here is also extraordinary. Birds such as blue-footed boobies are a common sight. These creatures have the most amazing blue feet – a photographer’s dream! Other highlights include Las Grietas on Santa Cruz – which is this awesome swimming hole – and Tortuga Bay with its perfect white sand and amazing water activities like snorkeling and kayaking.
Booking a budget cruise with Galapatours is a great way to tick this epic destination off your bucket list in an affordable and eco-friendly way (Galapatours are committed to sustainable tourism and have a 100% carbon offset). So what are you waiting for? Book your budget cruise today!