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Galapagos Islands: Exotic Educational Family Vacation Destination

Updated on October 15, 2010

If you are looking for a vacation option that will let your family learn and explore together, the Galapagos Islands may be a perfect destination. The Galapagos Islands offer many natural wonders for you and your family to explore. Charles Darwin made the Galapagos Islands famous when he “discovered” them in 1831 and documented the various species of wildlife he found there. His fascination with the abundant wildlife is the same fascination that visitors find today as they encounter giant tortoises and other exotic animals which are all over the islands. Families in particular enjoy learning about many species and observing them up close in their natural habitat. 

If you decide to visit the Galapagos Islands, the best options for families are cruises, tours, and charters. These are often all-inclusive and provide transportation as well as educational programs for families.

Cruises have become a very popular way to experience the Galapagos Islands. Offering accommodations from 16 to 100 passengers, cruise ships travel between the islands overnight and stop at the islands during the days for passengers to explore. You can choose a cruise of just a few days to several weeks to suit your vacation schedule. Different cruises also offer different itineraries, so you can choose the activities that interest your families the most.

Many cruise ships cater to young children, offering child menus and on-board activities for children. Many offer discounts for children, making these cruises an affordable family option as well. The Galapagos Islands are a perfect opportunity for kids to learn about nature first-hand while having fun. They can swim with sea lions and penguins or get up close to giant tortoises. Science becomes accessible and fun on the Galapagos Islands!

Tours are another option for families and have grown in popularity in recent years. Tours use one of the islands in the Galapagos Islands as a home base and take day trips to other islands for specific activities such as hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, and wildlife viewing. Tours are a bit more flexible than cruises and are best suited to families with many generations represented who have differing tastes. Families with very small children may also choose a tour for its flexibility, since they offer more options for duration of day trips and departing times.

Finally, your family may choose a family charter to explore the Galapagos Islands. Charters are popular for family reunions, anniversaries, or weddings. Since charters are like cruises except that only your family will be on board, this can be a good option for a true family-centered experience.

Image Credit: cdorobek, Flickr


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  • dallas93444 profile image

    Dallas W Thompson 7 years ago from Bakersfield, CA

    Darwin would love this... Thanks for sharing.

  • profile image

    Zuri 7 years ago

    The Galapagos Islands are the most incredible living museum of evolutionary changes, with a huge variety of endemic species (birds, land and sea animals, plants) and landscapes not seen anywhere else.