Kayaking In The Galapagos: All You Need To Know

Kayaking in the Galapagos

Kayaking in the Galapagos offers a unique way in which to explore the islands and the wildlife that inhabits them.

The main reason why visitors come to the Galapagos Islands is to experience the incredible eco-system.

The unique wildlife is truly extraordinary, as is their lack of fear. Animals such as marine iguanas, sea turtles, penguins, seals, and sharks will happily approach humans, showing not the slightest hint of concern.

Experiencing this from a kayak is completely unforgettable. Kayaking in the Galapagos gives you the opportunity to explore the landscape from a different perspective. It also allows you to explore areas inaccessible to to cruise boats such as small coves, rocky grottoes, and narrow channels.

To find out more about kayaking in the Galapagos, including how to book, safety, cost etc., please read below. 

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Kayaking In The Galapagos

The good news is that most Galapagos cruises offer kayaking trips. However, some of the cheaper cruises do not, so it's important to check prior to booking. 

Generally, you'll kayak in groups of 8-12 people with one guide leading you. You'll get kitted up, and then jump into your kayaks for a great tour. 

Most kayaks are two-man sea kayaks. This is ideal, especially for couples and families who want to experience the fun together. One-man kayaks are occasionally offered, but this is something you will need to check with your operator prior to booking or departure. 

Most kayaking trips last around 2 hours and your guide will always stay within a safe distance of the cruise boat. Choppy water will sometimes prevent kayak trips, however, this is rare as the water is mostly calm and clear. 

When is the best time?

Thanks to its location on the equator, the Galapagos Islands are blessed with year-round good weather. This means kayaking is great anytime!

During winter (June through to September) has slightly choppier water. However, winter has less showers, so you'll stay drier. Summer has more showers, but water visibility is a little better which can make viewing marine creatures easier. 

How much does it cost? 

Almost all Galapagos cruises offer kayaking as part of the tour (not mandatory). This means you won't pay any extra for the kayak trips. However, it's super important to check with your operator prior to booking - especially on cheaper options and last minute cruises

It's also worth noting that some cruises will include kayaking, snorkelling, entrance fees etc. but will not include wetsuits!? Go figure. Make sure you read the fine print before booking so you don't get caught out. 

How much fitness is required? 

A very basic level of fitness is recommended. The fitter you are, the easier you'll find it. We've seen old, young, trim, and not so trim people kayaking. 

Most of the time you'll be kayaking in a contained area. This means you can take as many breaks as you wish. Your guide will never push you beyond your comfort zone and the pace will be sedate. The idea of the trip is to be a relaxing and unique way to see the wildlife - it's not a fitness test! 

How safe is it? 

Kayaking in the Galapagos is completely safe. In fact, out of all the activities offered in the islands such as snorkelling, diving, horse riding etc., kayaking is probably the safest! 

No previous experience is needed and your guide will run through everything you need to know, including safety pointers. You will not be strapped in, so there is no need to roll or do anything fancy. 

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Land Options

There are several companies in the Galapagos that offer kayaking tours. These generally take between 6-8 days and cost over $4,000.

Although this sounds high, it's a similar price to a mid-range cruise. Instead of travelling by cruise boat, you travel by kayak each day, camping under the stars on beaches each night.

These tours are super cool and ideal for kayak lovers. You will need some experience and a passable level of fitness. Most days you'll kayak between 5-8 miles.

If you want just a taster instead of an entire week-long tour, there is the option to simply rent a kayak for an hour or two. One of the best places to do this is Tortuga Bay on Santa Cruz Island. You can rent a 2 person kayak here for as little as $20.  

Get a Cruise Quote!

Expedition Cruise do not sell tours, we simply provide impartial advice. If you would like an exact quote with our recommended specialist click Get a Quote.

Check out this cool video below of kayaking in the Galapagos by HoneyTrek. 


If you have any queries or questions regarding kayaking in the Galapagos, please feel free to contact us or leave a comment below.

Thank you and happy travels!

Expedition Cruise Team

About the Author Expedition Cruise

ExpeditionCruise.net is the web’s most authoritative information portal on adventure and expedition cruising. Our mission is to provide up to date and comprehensive information on traveling to the Arctic, Antarctica and further afield, so that your experience is as fulfilling and safe as possible.

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