According the the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 100% of people are at risk for experiencing some form of motion sickness. This doesn't mean everyone will get seasick on a cruise. It means they're susceptible. Fortunately, everyone responds to stimulus that causes motion sickness differently and plenty of people enjoy boating. But those of us who suffer from seasickness know who we are.  And our loved ones know who we are.

The only thing worse than being sick on your vacation is perhaps knowing you'll be sick on your vacation. It's like deliberately sticking your finger in a light socket. Why would anyone do that knowing the consequences?  Why would anyone book a trip to Galapagos Islands if they anticipate several days of nausea and vomiting while hopefully having some time to enjoy the view from the deck of their yacht? 

There are several reasons that people may want to avoid traveling by yacht. You may have a companion who suffers from motion sickness. Or you want to avoid possible side affects of transdermal scopolamine patches, and OTC meds that cause drowsiness. Many people think their only choice for exploring the Galapagos Island is to live aboard a cruise boat moving around from island to island. Did you know there are land-based excursions that are just as fun? We can arrange custom land-based Galapagos Islands adventures for travelers who want (need!) to avoid boats.

We have a solution for traversing the islands without getting motion sickness!

One of the world's most delightful destinations can be explored by land. Here's what you need to know:

  • There are daily commercial flights from Quito and Guayaquil on Ecuador mainland, to two airports in the islands.
  • We set up transfers between the 3 main islands by using 6 and 8 seat air taxis. The flights are about 45 minutes and offer an amazing bird's eye view of pristine beaches, shield volcanoes and rock formations unique to the Galapagos.  (note: air taxis have weight limits on luggage)
  • Overnights are in small family-run hotels with hot water, linens and air conditioning. 4* Upgrade hotels are available
  • Most people prone to seasickness can tolerate short 15 minute boat rides to Tintoreras Isle or Tortuga Bay.  These rides are not on open ocean water and offer additional opportunities to observe wildlife and enhance the feeling of being in the middle of nowhere.
  • We drive you to tortoise reserves and inland habitats including lunch on a farm. 
  • There are plenty of unsullied coastal nooks and crannies to explore on foot from the hotels in the villages. 
  • A visit to dine on "Los Kioskos" street in Puerto Ayora is culinary highlight of the trip
  • January to June is the best time to visit Galapagos Islands if you suffer from seasickness. Seas are calmer during this time.
  • Affordable custom trips are arranged based on the dates and interests of your family or group.
  • Trips to Galapagos Islands can be combined with trips to Ecuador mainland, Machu Picchu and other destinations in South America.

Here's a sample 5 Day itinerary:

Day 1. Fly to Baltra / Fly 45M  to Isabela island / Tortoise Breeding Center *private

Pickup from hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Galapagos. Upon arrival in Baltra, claim your luggage and check for your connecting air taxi to Isabela Island. In the afternoon, you will visit the Giant Tortoise Breeding Center where you can observe the different stages of growth of these land-based animals and learn about the conservation efforts by the Park Service.  Enjoy an evening in the village of Puerto Villamil.

Day 2. Snorkel at Concha Perla Bay  / Tintoreras 

9AM Snorkeling at Concha Perla, a small bay by the pier, along with sea lions and a variety of colorful fish, starfish, and sea urchins! 
2PM After lunch, board small motorized boat for 15 minute ride to Tintoreras Islet where you get off to explore on foot. Here, white-tip sharks known as “tintoreras” come daily to rest on the bottom of the sea. You also can observe the endemic Galapagos penguins, sea lions, and marine iguanas, as well as go snorkeling with reef sharks and other colorful tropical fish. 

Day 3. Fly 45M to Baltra / Highland tour by Car / Charles Darwin Station

Fly to Santa Cruz by small air taxi.  Upon arrival, our naturalist guide will take you to the pier in order to cross the Itabaca channel to the island of Santa Cruz. You begin your highlands tour with a stop at The Twins, which are similar to craters, but formed by a collapse of the earth underneath due to lava flows that passed below it. Walk through the scalesia forest to encounter Galapagos fly-catchers and other endemic birds. Then it’s Manzanillo or El Chato farm in the highlands to have lunch and your first glimpse of a Galapagos Giant Tortoise in its natural habitat. These enormous creatures roam freely between the National Park and agricultural areas, offering the ideal opportunity to view these ancient creatures munching on lush green vegetation or wallowing in the mud of the seasonal pools that draw them from the lowlands during the dry winter season. At certain times in the year, migratory shore birds can also be seen. This guided tour includes a walk through open fields and forest. A basic cafeteria and clean toilets are available on these farms and some offer rubber boots in case of muddy terrain. In the afternoon, visit the Charles Darwin Research Station, to be briefed on the conservation studies and efforts carried out by the park service, such as the giant tortoise breeding program. Also, learn about Lonesome George, the last giant tortoise of its species that died without offspring and now has a special exhibit hall depicting its survival story.

Day 4. Tortuga Bay by boat (snorkel, kayak & snorkel) / Free afternoon / Option to Dine on Los Kioskos street

9AM  Visit Tortuga Bay (20 minutes by boat, each way), renowned for its white sand, crystal waters and waves. During the walk on the beach, we'll cross the tropical dry forest with stunning Giant Cacti, only found on the Galapagos, and see various species of Darwin's finches.  Tortuga Bay is home to marine birds such as frigates, pelicans and oystercatchers, plus marine iguanas and Sally light-foot crabs. In the smaller beach, Playa Mansa, surrounded by mangroves, you have the option to explore by kayak and snorkel with colorful fish and reef sharks. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure.

Day 5. Transfer to Baltra airport for return flight to the mainland

Contact our US office if you have questions or would like to know how to set up an affordable custom trip for your group.