What is the best way to plan a trip to the Galapagos?
I just returned from the Galapagos. It is certainly a very special place. I think the best way to experience the uniqueness of the Galapagos, which is the extraordinary interaction with wildlife, mammals, and birds is to visit by water on a boat. And if you do this, you should choose a boat with a small number of cabins, so that when you do snorkel or visit ashore there is not too large a group. I was on a boat and with a group of 10, and we were able to swim with the penguins, and sea lions, and to really spend time on shore learning with the Naturalist. It is harder to hear with a larger group and harder to have a larger group snorkel quietly so the sea lions and penguins are not hesitant to interact and harder for a large group to gather around a Blue Footed Booby Bird's nest with hatchlings. The Galapagos are the only location in the world where I have seen the close interaction that can occur with nature with no fear, and so, as going to the Galapagos is usually expensive, then I recommend going in the best possible manner to really have the top experience, which is on a boat with no more than 6 or 7 cabins.