As you prepare for a Galapagos adventure with your family, know that you'll end up having more fun and create lasting memories if your Galapagos itinerary includes kid-friendly activities that are meaningful for all ages.
Here are some questions to ask yourself about your choices:
- Does it offer a child-friendly atmosphere?
- Is there flexibility (both in itinerary and hotel staff)?
- Safety and health accessibility: what are my options?
- Is there proximity to other children?
- Is there a good level of comfort?
- Should you book a cruise, stick to land-based offerings, or do a combination of both?
Land-Based and Cruising for family travel
Your budget, length of stay, and family dynamic will inform your Galapagos experience.
If flexibility is paramount, a cruise may not be the most child-friendly solution. A cruise itinerary is usually predetermined, food is served at specific times, and if there aren't other children on board, your young ones may become bored with what's available on the boat. Additionally, if there is a health emergency you may not be able to get to a doctor or hospital easily.
At Galapagos Safari Camp, our staff is flexible and accommodating. All of our land excursions are adaptable as well; we can help you adjust your itinerary, if needed and when possible, during your stay. Food is never an issue — our chef serves families according to taste in our comfortable lodge. A doctor is always easily reachable and on call.
Galapagos Safari Camp offers both luxury eco-friendly tents as well as a family suite option, so you can plan on optimal sleeping arrangements. Additional fun and educational excursions are just a short boat ride away, so you'll have the best of the Galapagos by land and by sea. GSC's Family Safari is ideal for multi-generation families — everyone can enjoy the trip at his or her own pace and family members don't have to be together all the time.
More child-friendly tips for making the most of your Galapagos vacation:
1. Maximize your time on Santa Cruz Island
Start your adventure at Galapagos Safari Camp's 135 acre farm on Santa Cruz Island, where you can sample what Galapagos has to offer: explore lava tunnels, pick local tropical fruit, encounter giant tortoises roaming the National Tortoise Reserve adjacent to GSC. Visit the neighboring organic coffee plantation and learn about small-scale farming in the Galapagos, ride bikes or walk to Garrapatero Beach and enjoy the white sand and turquoise water that contrasts so beautifully with black lava formations. You won't want to miss the flamingo lagoon, or exploring the bay in sea kayaks, where you can spot marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, and countless other shorebirds and wildlife.
2. Don't miss experiencing an uninhabited Island
Share the thrill of experiencing exotic wildlife with your family, in safety and with GSC's experienced and knowledgeable naturalist guides. Destination options include: North Seymour, South Plazas, Santa Fe, and Bartolomé. Take advantage of optimal snorkeling conditions and breathtaking views.
3. Have a fishing adventure: a family favorite
Children of all ages love fishing in the Galapagos, which is both an exciting wildlife experience and cultural exchange opportunity for visitors. GSC is involved in a program with the National Park Service that engages local fisherman in tourism activities, helping to protect local fisheries from depletion. You and your family will learn local fishing tricks as fisherman share stories from a lifetime at sea. After fishing, land on a deserted beach and enjoy snorkeling in spots only known to locals.
4. Pick the right guide
The Galapagos is made up of an Ecuadorian province, a national park, and a biological marine reserve. Spanish is the principal language of the islands. An experienced guide can transform your getaway into an enriching cultural and educational experience. Our seasoned and welcoming guides have their own families at home and understand the need for flexibility, patience and downtime.
5. Make time for downtime
Relaxation is a key ingredient to every successful vacation, and that holds just as true in the Galapagos. Depending on the dates you choose to visit, the islands can be hot and the sun is very intense, which can be draining both for young children and for adults. Consider your time and energy and make decisions based on family input. Slow-paced naturalist walks through the highlands, reading/picnicking/napping on the beach, and strolling through local farmer's markets are just some of the ways you can soak up local flavor while enjoying a leisurely trip.
Child-free time is an essential opportunity for parents to unwind; GSC offers a Kid's Club that includes art classes and more.
6. Leaving Galapagos: explore mainland Ecuador
Enhance your Galapagos vacation with an excursion to mainland Ecuador, where you can explore the beauty and wonder of the Andes, Amazon, Cloud Forest, and more. Galapagos Safari Camp offers mainland Ecuador extensions that you can add to the 6D/5N Family Safari package, or book separately.