A Galapagos Multisport trip is a land-based, island-hopping tour that explores the wildlife and geology of the islands by human-powered means while overnighting in hotels along the way. This means hiking in the highlands, sea kayaking and snorkeling the shorelines, biking to visitor sites, and then retreating to the comfort of a hotel room (vs. small yacht cabin) to pass the evening. We could get fancy and come up with all the nuanced ways a multisport trip differs from the classic cruise (or naturalist land-based trip), but it all boils down to 3 distinguishing qualities. . .
- Flexibility & Freedom: When we say freedom and flexibility it’s important to point out that all visitors must be accompanied by a naturalist guide while in the Galapagos National Park. Being that 97% of the archipelago is designated as national park, you will be with a guide for the majority of your excursions. That’s where the good stuff is. A multisport trip gives you freedom and flexibility compared to other Galapagos trip options. Not necessarily freedom in the “I’m an intrepid explorer” sense. A great trip for travelers looking for some autonomy is the Essential Galapagos Multisport Adventure. You join shared tours into the park each day, but with your own private guide from one of National Geographic’s Best Adventure Travel Companies on Earth, NeoTropic Expedicions (formerly Ecuador Adventure). This helps cut down on the cost of logistics, without skimping on a quality of your guide. As you have to be accompanied by a guide, you ought to care if he/she is a good one. With evenings free and suggested self-guided excursions you gain access to the park through your guided excursions while still keeping your freedom to enjoy and explore the islands on your own. Multisports, like other land-based trips, give you the flexibility to explore the local cuisine, enjoy the tranquil-island nightlife and spend your downtime however you see fit. These trips also allow for a variety price points as there are numerous lodging and meal options, as well as, the choice of shared or private tours.
- Active Participation: Traditional Galapagos tours typically include visits to two different sites per day and at least one snorkeling excursion. The outings tend to be slow-paced walks with a good chunk of standstill time to observe wildlife, take pictures and hear the ecological and geological explanations of the area from your guide. And, this is why you go to theislands. You go for the wildlife. You go forthe geological uniqueness of each island. You go to learn. However, for some standing around all day, even in the midsts of fascinating information, starts to make the legs twitch and the mind wander. Multisport trips don’t forgo the interpretations, rather they allow you to be active in your exploration of the islands and there is diversity within and between your days. For instance, you might bike to a visitor site in the morning and then sea kayak to a good snorkel spot in the afternoon. The next day you might spend a full day hiking a volcano vs. taking a quick stop to view the caldera before moving on. They are great trips for families and those who want to be active or try new sports – like sea kayaking or stand up paddleboarding. Two excellent trips that bring the fun are:
- Galapagos Premium Multisport Adventure: The local operator, NeoTropic Expeditions (formerly Ecuador Adventure), was the first in the Galapagos to operate such an adventurous trip and over the years they’ve only perfected the formula. Their guides are trained to both interpret the natural wonders of the Galapagos and safely guide you on each adventurous activity. Unlike many other trips with the word “multisport” in the title, this trip delivers true adventure with high quality gear and world-class guides making it one of our top recommended multisport trips.
- Stand Up Paddleboarding Galapagos Multisport: Stand Up Paddleboarding might as well have been made for the Galapagos. Unlike sea kayaking, the SUP vantage point gives you a booby’s-eye view into the wonderland below your feet. This one-of-a-kind trip offers plenty of time on and in the water along with inland hiking. A SUP lovers dream.
- Comfort: A land-based, multisport trip feels more like a traditional vacation than a yacht-based trip. First off, you have more physical space. The majority of yacht cabins are tight quarters compared with a hotel room. You can get your sprawl on. A multisport trip is also a great option for someone worried about or prone to sea sickness. While you will use small boats and pangas for some of your excursions, you don’t have to try to sleep on a motoring, rocking boat. And, last but not least in the comfort category, you have considerably more options on how you spend your downtime than you do on a boat. Hammock and book. Lunch in town. Shop the handicrafts. Rent a bike. Go for an extra snorkel and swim. Go on a run. Talk to a local fisherman. Build a sand castle. . .
Still not sure? Read on . . .
- Should I go on a Galapagos Multisport Adventure?
- Should I go on a Galapagos Naturalist Cruise?
- What is the difference between a land-based and a yacht-based trip in the Galapagos Islands?