8 Tips For Solo Travelers To The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands comprise a group of islands that are some of the most underrated travel destinations globally, especially for solo travelers. It’s a unique destination, with just so much for you to see and marvel in. Picture that perfect mix of culture and history, along with nature and wildlife at its best.
If you love the beach, you might as well fall in love with these islands’ clear and pristine waters. Moreover, the Galapagos Islands tourism board has strictly prohibited mass tourism in the area, so you won’t have to worry about bumping into big groups of noisy tourists. The long journey to the Galapagos is a worthwhile experience, even if you’re by yourself. It’s a privilege of a lifetime to marvel at the raw beauty and splendor offered by the Galapagos.
Let’s delay it no further and get you started with planning your solo holiday to the Galapagos Islands with these tips:
1. Decide Well On When To Go To The Galapagos
Generally, there aren’t any bad times to visit the Galapagos Islands. Anytime in the year is considered a good travel season in the Galapagos Islands, depending on your schedule. And as with booking your flights, flying solo means you only have your preference to think about.
If you prefer a cooler temperature, the months of July to December would be your best choice. January through May offer the warmer months, with the warmest during March and April.
2. Join a Tour
Even if you love the silence and peace of traveling alone as a better travel experience, you’re most likely bound to join a tour when traveling to the Galapagos Islands. You can get to know more about its culture and diversity when you have a tour guide taking you around. Moreover, most islands are only accessible with a tour guide, which means that having one is almost always a must.
However, you can also find a few walking trails at national parks accessible without a guide if you do thorough research and planning. Just be sure you know and memorize your way not to accidentally get lost, especially when you’re on your own.
3. Take a Cruise
If you want to make the most out of your holiday and see more of the Galapagos Islands, one of the best ways to hop from one island to another is to join a cruise. There are boats with ‘Voyager Cabins,’ for instance, which are reserved for solo travelers.
In fact, choosing a cruise over a hotel enables you to maximize the time you spend in the Galapagos. That is, of course, given the premise that you’re the type of traveler who enjoys sightseeing over staying in one place to relax.
4. Book Your Flight Early
One of the perks of traveling solo is that you’ve only got yourself to think about and consider, schedule-wise. It means it’s easier for you to book your flight early to make the most out of good deals. Once you’ve decided on visiting Galapagos this year, start searching and comparing flight options. The earlier you book, the lower the price may be.
5. Be Vigilant About Where You’re Going To Stay
As is the case with traveling anywhere else as a solo traveler, you have to be extra vigilant about where you’re going to stay. While the Galapagos Islands are generally safe, there’s no denying how solo travelers are easily attractive prey to criminals. You can give yourself that extra level of protection by at least staying in a decent hotel.
Don’t worry, as there are lots to go by on the islands. You can choose from hostels, boutique hotels, and even more expensive resorts. Ultimately, the choice also depends on your budget and preference.
6. Get To Know The Best Places To Eat On A Budget
If you’re a solo traveler on a budget, you’ll have to research the best low-cost places to eat. There are plenty of options on the three main islands. However, the most expensive restaurants are usually in Puerto Villamil, Isabela, with the cheapest in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, San Cristobal.
For those solo travelers who want to stock up on their groceries and make their own snacks – Puerto Ayora has a big well-stocked supermarket by the harbor. Thus, you can bring your own drinks during day excursions to save on your meal expenses.
7. Explore The Waters
What’s a trip to the Galapagos Islands without arranging a snorkeling or diving day? There are around 3,000 marine species on the Galapagos Islands. And the view under the sea is as great as the terrain from above.
Some of the best diving spots in the Galapagos Islands are Kicker Rock, Pinnacle Rock, Shark Point, and Darwin’s Arch. However, if you don’t want to go underwater and would rather stay above, opt for a boating or kayaking activity.
8. Be Prepared For What To Pack
Traveling solo has its perks, but it also comes with challenges. One of those is the fact that you’re responsible for yourself, which means you have to ensure that your bag is ready and well-packed for the Galapagos before you leave your home.
Each traveler may have their own set of needs as to what to pack. However, some must-haves include:
Sturdy walking shoes – to take you through all those hours of walking, particularly if you’re scheduled for a hiking or trekking tour;
Insect repellent – to prevent bites and rashes from insects;
Sandals or flip-flops – to wear to town or the beach;
Sun protection gear – like sun lotion, rash guards, hats, and sunglasses.
Now that you learned some solo travel tips which you can use for the Galapagos, it’s time to hit a few clicks and book those tickets. The idea of traveling to a remote destination may seem daunting for first-time travelers, but it’s certainly worth doing, even if it’s only once in your life. The Galapagos Islands are magical. Whether you’re going there for a nature adventure or after the peace and quiet for some soul-searching, it’s one of the best destinations when traveling on your own. Like any journey, however, preparation is crucial, and that begins with researching and reading articles like this one.