There are few places that hold an air of mystery about them in this world for me – Cuba, Easter Island, Antarctica, and The Galapagos. There is something about these places in my imagination which means that they are unique and magical. When we eventually got to The Galapagos, I was blown away.
It seemed that it might be out of our budget. The Galapagos are hundreds of miles from the Ecuadorian Coast. You do need to fly there (or take a very expensive boat). This means buying flights. And when you are on the Backpacker budget, the trip slips onto the “do we really need to go there?” column.
You should go!
But let me clarify things for anyone contemplating The Galapagos…it is amazing. The wildlife is incredible. There are animals here which do not exist anywhere else in the world. There are whole species of animals which exist ONLY here.
On top of that the animals are treated almost as equals. They are protected and do not view humans as predators for the most part. They are not afraid of you and that is a beautiful feeling. Animals who are just “being” in the world, coexisting with humans.
Granted it is because the commercial nature of tourism here protects them, but at least it is something. So many ecosystems are being destroyed worldwide that the existence of the fragile Galapagos world is a real haven and is sooooo worth visiting.
Budget travel Galapagos Islands
So you can fly there for around USD $400 return from mainland Ecuador. You can Island hop and do day tours if you so want. You can get accommodation for around $30 per night for 2 people and negotiate better deals if staying for more than a few days in one place. The food is a little more expensive than mainland Ecuador, but not too bad either.
If you are looking to do a cruise you can get some cheap last minute deals on the Island. I saw cruises advertised for $700/800 for 5/7 nights all inclusive. Others have half price offers and it really is possible to get some good deals if you wait till you get there.
I have to say that aside from Cuba, Isla Isabella was probably the most enjoyable place I have been. It is so peaceful, safe and beautiful that it is impossible not to enjoy. If I could live somewhere for a long time, then it would probably be here. Except for the internet which is too slow for our business.
The kids play marbles on the streets. There are animals and incredible nature all around you. There are pristine beaches and humble, friendly people. Being here, in such a remote and tranquil place, really helps to balance you.
Take me back
I would love to be there now, far from the maddening crowd. The animals, history and serenity make The Galapagos a most incredible experience. And you can do it on any budget. You have just got to plan.