According to some naturalist guides of the Galapagos National Park, Galapagos Island Hopping activities were introduced by the first German tourists that came to explore the archipelago in the 60´s, and it was them who stablished standards and the main modality.
The Island hopping service, on its traditional scheme is based on visiting the highlights and attractions of each populated island and their surroundings. The main concept of this service relies in the ability to smoothly move back and forward, between islands on a fast speed boat, as well as staying overnight in the visited destination, if it is desired.
Meanwhile, there are two kind of approaches that you can consider with Galapagos Island hopping.
The first one is the traditional procedure where you stay one night on each island that is visited, while exploring the archipelago. The second one is called navigable, and it leaves from a base hotel in one of the islands. From there, tourists visit during the day, the neighbor islands that are located nearby. Afterwards, they return to their main island for spare time during the evening.
The island hopping service is suggested to customers that suffer from sea sickness, and cannot tolerate a cruise for more than 2 days onboard. It is also another way to let visitors to enjoy the night life at their own pace on each town visited. Also, the service is more flexible than a scheduled itinerary on a cruise in regards to daily activities.
Galapagos islands snorkeling
Some tourists prefer to do the island hopping on their own. As soon as they arrive at the first island, they start to check for the alternative tourist packages offered by the local business in the islands.
Nonetheless, there is another alternative through a tour operator that can arrange a tailor-made package, which will provide the assistance of a bilingual naturalist guide that would be with you during the day expeditions, and will explain in your native language all the details of the visitors spots, making your experience easier and personalized The tailor-made package can even include the transfer service from the airport to the hotel and from there to the dock in order to take the boat.
The trip between islands takes between an hour to an hour and a half. For the most part, the trip is going to be shared with other tourists in a speed boat with capacity up to 20 passengers.
However, if you are looking for more comfort to move around the islands while being on your Glapagos tour, there is the possibility to hire small airplanes with capacity up to 8 passengers per flight.
The traditional island hopping itinerary will include the visiting to each island´s highlights, along with outdoor activities such as hiking, snorkeling, and the visit to the giant tortoises reserves.
However, with the refined taste of modern visitors, there are also other kind of services that have been contemplate and adapt in the island hopping modality, for a new profile of guests that are looking for adventure, or extreme sports, and even romance.
Therefore, some tourism operators are developing new itineraries in their packages including additional activities such as hiking, biking, horse riding, diving, camping, and social events like weddings.
In places like Isabella island, these outdoor activities are available almost all the time in a island hopping program. In the highlands of Isabella, you can even do camping in the surface of a private property.
However social events like weddings, although the island is a majestic place for couples and honeymooners, the demand for foreign weddings is not as intense as expected in this premiere destination.
LATIN TRAILS suggests a minimum of 4 days island hopping program, in order to enjoy the wonders of the Galapagos Islands. Although, if the customer considers that 4 days won’t be enough to grasp the best of Galapagos, then there are 5, 6, or 8 days itineraries accessible in our exclusive circuits on the islands.
In an established 4 days itinerary, the customer has two options already mentioned in this topic.
The first option is the navigable island hopping, where the base would be the Island of Santa Cruz, and from there you can visited small islets nearby such as Bartolome, Santa Fe, Plazas, and Seymour.
Galapagos islands turtles
The second option is a 4 days island hopping itinerary, which includes the stay at two main islands such as Santa Cruz and Isabella. Also there are new hotels in Santa Cruz that already provides packages with island hopping programs included during the day time, while during the evening the guests are back in the comfort of their boutique hotel.
Last but not least, there are even packages that are a mixture between island hopping and a cruise itinerary. This particular package could include 4 days of island hopping and 6 days on a cruise, which would allow our guests visiting islands that are far away from the island hopping reach.
After all the island hopping programs can be tailor-made and modified at last minute, according to the customers’ requirements, while the exploration on the island continues.