Should I do a Land-Based Island Hopping Trip in the Galapagos?

On an island hopping trip, you will stay at a hotel on 1 or more of the 4 inhabited islands in the Galapagos: Santa Cruz, San Cristobal, Floreana, and Isabela Island. From town, you will do excursions each day in to the National Park on a guided tour. You will do naturalist walks and snorkeling. These trips can be a good option for people who don’t want a cruise, but also don’t seek an active adventurous trip. Island hopping trips can be less expensive than other types of trips, but in order to maximize your experience we recommend visiting at least 3 different islands (see our blog post on Which Islands Should My Galapagos Land-Based Trip Visit?).

Who should do an island hopping trip? 

  • Travelers who have at least 6 days to visit 3 or more islands. With this amount of time, you can see all, or at least most, of the island’s wildlife species
  • Staying on land is a great option for you if you are very prone to seasickness. We would recommend flying between islands, however, as the speedboat rides can be rough
  • You want to see all of the amazing wildlife of the Galapagos, but you don’t particularly care about seeing the variations from specie to specie on different islands
  • You are not cooped up on a boat so will be able to get out and explore on your own when not on a tour
  • You may be able to choose what and where you want to eat, depending on how many meals are included in your itinerary
  • If you want to check out night-life you will be able to go out to restaurants, bars, or discos in the evenings and hang out with locals.

If an island hopping trip is for you, see our favorite trips: Galapagos Walking Adventure and Galapagos Wildlife Discovery 

Who should not do an island hopping trip? 

  • While you may see most of the iconic wildlife species, you won’t visit as many islands and thus won’t see as much variation in the species as you would on a cruise. Also, you may not see wildlife in as great of numbers as you would on a cruise.
  • You won’t get to some of the more remote and less-visited sites, so your trip may not feel as wild as it might on a cruise
  • You will have to pack up and move to a new hotel every few days, depending on your itinerary
  • The trip probably won’t be very active, and also may not visit places as remote as those visited on yacht trips or multisport adventures
  • Traveling between islands on speedboats can be quite uncomfortable and can cause seasickness, although the journeys only take about 2 – 21/2 hours

If an island hopping trip isn’t for you, don’t worry!  There are other styles of trips out there for you:

Should I go on a naturalist cruise in the Galapagos?

Should I go on a more active land-based multisport adventure?