But there are other things to consider besides looks.....
Some people prefer to be on a smaller boat with fewer people while others want a larger boat with more evening activities. People used to prefer the larger boats for stability, but there are many 16-20 passenger catamarans now that offer a very stable cruise.
What is the main reason for going to the Galapagos? To see all of the different species of animals. But every island does not have all of the species that all of the other islands have. So if you only go to one or two islands, you probably won't see as many as you would if you went to more islands. Though there are many different species on the islands, it has been determined that there are 15 iconic species, so for many people, the goal is to see as many of those as possible.
Unless you mainly want to lay on the beach, just booking a hotel on one of the islands is probably not a good idea because only 3% of the islands are outside of the protected national park. There are some hotels that have packages that include excursions though.
There are many reasons a land-based tour is preferable to a cruise.
- Rest and relax in our comfortable hotels instead of on a cramped boat.
- Spend much less time moving from place to place, and more time having fun.
- Enjoy flexibility and freedom to do what you want, when you want.
- Have more time for each activity, which is great for active travelers.
- Don’t worry about seasickness
- Support the local economy and help provide gainful employment for Galapagueños.
- Get in touch with the unique vibe of each island and visit town whenever you want.
- Not have to deal with uncomfortable and time-consuming wet landings just to get off the boat.
- Experience more variety in your surroundings, activities, cuisine and interactions.
- Enjoy a smaller group size, meaning more personal attention and less environmental impact.
- it’s a much more eco-friendly experience, as you are not burning through hundreds of gallons of fuel every day to navigate from one destination to another.
- If you are traveling with a family, then this is definitely the option for you, with a great selection of kid-friendly activities and no stressful adaptations to living on a boat.
But, if money is an object, then choose the best that you can afford (we list some specials on our site, though not all). I would not recommend the cheapest boat or hotel. The cheapest boats have bunk beds and shared bathrooms and the less than the best guides. The cheapest hotels are often dirty and sometimes not well-maintained.