While most visitors base themselves on the main islands of Santa Cruz or San Cristobal, booking an island-hopping boat cruise is one of the highlights of any Galapagos Islands itinerary. Boats are the only way to move between the 19 or so Galapagos Islands, and there are plenty of companies to choose from, with dozens of different packages available.
Galapagos Buses and Trains
The few towns on the Galapagos Islands are small enough to explore on foot. To move between towns and sightsee, there are white pick-up trucks that serve as communal taxis. Due to the highly restrictive rules of independent travel in the Galapagos Islands, visitors are more or less confined to specific tourist areas. Boats are the main form of travel in the Galapagos Islands since they go directly to specific nature preserves where visitors are allowed in with a guide.
The future development of the Galapagos Islands is a sensitive issue, as more and more travelers want to visit. The Ecuadorian government tries to keep a cap on the number of annual visitors to the Galapagos Islands to preserve the integrity of the wildlife. Currently, around 150,000 visitors come here each year and a permanent population of 30,000 people lives on the main Galapagos Islands to service the tourism industry and maintain the wildlife centers.