Bartolome, in the Galapagos Islands, is one of the top secluded destinations in the world

Why are distance and space key features of your next vacation?

User Avatar Author: Johanna  Alvear Larenas
3 months ago
Comments 1 Comment

Reading time: ( words)

It is no surprise that we are entering a new era of travel, one that requires more rigorous considerations of social distance, space, health, and safety. As a result, it is perhaps more important than ever to establish safety corridors or travel bubbles that can offer you an added and legitimate sense of security. By taking some necessary precautions, we believe it is possible to safeguard your wellbeing as you make your way to, and move around in, your destination. Don’t think of these measures as prohibitive; instead, think of them as assurances that your travels will be enjoyable and safe, given the expansion of some fundamental protocols.

Choose destinations that are off the radar

In this new era, traveling is not so simple anymore. There are new challenges involved in visiting our favorite places, some of which may prevent us from enjoying them. So, why not consider new destinations, ideally, ones that take distancing to new heights?

 

Explorers admiring marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands, a remote destination to visit

The Galapagos Islands are a remote destination with no mass tourism.

Connect with the destination while staying safe

Before the pandemic, avoiding crowds was meant to help you connect with your destination; now, it is also a matter of personal health. Upon visiting a new place, you come away with newfound knowledge, inspiration, and meaningful experiences, and that shouldn’t be marred by worrying about whether your health and safety will be at risk. Remote destinations offer you the chance to explore while remaining confident that you’ll be safe.

View our tour packages in South America

Tourism regulations keep you away from crowds

Let’s explore this idea a little more. Tourism regulations in remote places, like the Galapagos National Park (GNP), ensure that the only people with whom you experience the destination are those traveling alongside you. What this means is, not only will you know in what conditions everyone has made their journey, you’ll also feel secure in knowing that you won’t come across anyone outside of your travel bubble when visiting sites in this unique part of the world. This is due to the GNP regulations, which strictly govern the number of visitors at any site, in a way, providing absolute exclusivity.

Crowded places usually imply rushing from one visitor site to the next in order to make it available to the next group. However, in sanctuary destinations, you have these places to yourself to explore them on your own time, enjoying everything you wish to see.

Did you know?
Located 605 miles (973 km) off the coast of Ecuador, with a maximum expedition group size of 16 people and a hard limit on the number of yearly visitors, the Galapagos Islands receive no direct international flights. Here, ships can carry, at most, 100 passengers. This is practically the definition of a destination that is, at once, remote, exclusive, and highly regulated.

Want to learn more? Check out our blog on how safe the Enchanted Isles are!

Choose a provider that always guarantees your safety

Places that are off the beaten path or that limit tourism in any way are a great start, but if you want to go the extra mile, you need to choose your provider carefully. A provider, in this case can be your tour company, but it could also be the hotel and cruise you’re going to be enjoying, or the company that manages said hotel and cruise.

Six most important stages in Metrojourneys' Travel Bubble

Take a look at the travel bubble we’ve developed to make your journey with us safer!

Ask your travel agency the right questions

Once you pick your destination and the package, you’re in their hands, so it’s better to ask early and to understand what they offer. Does your provider guarantee you an intact travel bubble at all times? Will you always have a guaranteed personal space of 28,26 sq ft? You have every right to ask these questions and to demand assurances when it comes to your personal space and safety.

Make sure your tour operator has safety procedures for you, their staff and the environment

Another key factor is to examine the precautions your provider is taking to keep employees, guests, and the environment safe. Not only is this a sign that they are handling things responsibly and making the wellbeing of their guests and staff a real priority, but it also demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainable tourism.

Look for providers that guarantee their employees access to personal protective equipment and health screenings. Your provider should also implement state-of-the-art technology to guarantee strict cleaning procedures that don’t harm the environment.

Want to know what we’ve done to enhance our already existing protocols? Click here and read all about what we are doing to ensure your safety while you travel with us.

Choose the right accommodation option

Choosing the right accommodation option is essential if you want to experience a safe and fun trip. Whether you prefer a land-based or a sea-based experience, you should always opt for boutique hotels or expedition vessels.

Our expedition vessel and hotel in Galapagos: Santa Cruz II and the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel

Choose expedition vessels and boutique hotels; they’re a lot less crowded and service is more personalized

Boutique hotels

As opposed to chain hotels, boutique hotels create intimate and comfortable settings with a limited number of rooms. In this kind of hotel, you won’t find 100 or more cookie-cutter quarters; instead, you’ll enjoy spacious rooms with unique characteristics, plus social areas with a lot less traffic, providing you with the right amount of tranquility, space, and safety.

Expedition vessels

When it comes to expedition vessels, and why they’re a great alternative to cruise ships, they offer you a much more tailored and well-rounded experience. Usually, these vessels sail in remote, sanctuary destinations like the ones mentioned above. Also, expedition vessels are a natural choice for preserving the pristine state of the places you visit. This is because they respond to the strong limits on both the size of the ship and the number of guests aboard, without sacrificing comfort and space!

For example, in the Galapagos Islands, expedition vessels cannot carry more than 100 passengers. This measure helps preserve the islands and their unique and vulnerable ecosystems, where endemic species roam freely.

Aboard an expedition vessel, you’ll find comfortable cabins and social areas with a lot less traffic in comparison to massive cruise ships. Here, you can feel at ease in spaces designed for relaxation, without worrying about people swarming all over you.

Did you know?
Even though we often use the word cruise when we talk about our expedition vessels, according to definitions provided by CLIA, Cruise Critic, and the CDC based on gross tonnage and number of passengers aboard, these are the boats that actually sail in the Galapagos Islands:

Type of vessel (According to definitions used by the CDC and CLIA)

Gross registered tonnage (GRT)

Number of passengers

Super Mega Cruise Ships

(Can’t sail in the Galapagos Islands)

More than 140,000 Approximately 5,000
Large Ships

(Can’t sail in the Galapagos Islands)

More than 60,000 Approximately 3,000
Medium Ships

(Can’t sail in the Galapagos Islands)

Less than 30,000  Approximately 500
Extra Small Ships

(Sail in the Galapagos Islands!)

Less than 3,000  Approximately 100
Intimate Ships

(Sail in the Galapagos Islands!)

Less than 1,000  Approximately 40

Space to guest ratio: the number one thing to ask your tour operator

When it comes to your accommodation options, you should consider more than just the size of the facilities. In fact, there is a more important feature called the space to guest ratio. This number reveals the amount of space each guest has in said hotel or aboard said expedition vessel. If you ask your travel agent about this, you’re on the right path to finding the safest and most comfortable accommodation available.

Woman reading alone aboard Yacht La Pinta in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The space to guest ratio will determine how much space a guest has for himself in a vessel or hotel.

Why is this important? Sometimes, travelers can get confused when it comes to size. A bigger boat or hotel, with plenty of common areas, can sound like a dream, but you need to keep in mind the number of people with whom you’ll be sharing these spaces. If you think a much smaller ship or hotel will keep you isolated from the crowds, think again. Less space doesn’t always mean more intimacy.

The space to guest ratio is the only way to truly determine if an accommodation option is spacious, regardless of its size.

Did you know?
The Metrojourneys difference is that all our expedition vessels and hotels have some of the highest space to guest ratios in the Galapagos Islands. These exceed, by far, the internationally recommended 28.3 sq ft per guest. Here’s a table with some examples of our fleet:

Vessel area

Average personal space (in sq. ft per guest)

Compared to the recommended 28.26sq ft per guest

Cabins between 68.7 and 161.9 between 2.4 and 5.7 times
Dining areas average 39.6 1.5 times
Lecture and briefing areas average 43.8 1.6 times


It may seem daunting at first to factor each of these important considerations into your travel plans. However, the very reason why travel agents and tour operators exist is to take care of the details! That said, it is good practice for travelers today to ask the right questions in order to safeguard their health, safety, and wellbeing. This can be done while pursuing your dreams of visiting and exploring new destinations via well-organized safety corridors and travel bubbles.

Feeding your curiosity and honoring your spirit of adventure by traveling to incredible places, is still an opportunity to grow and discover a part of yourself that you may have never known. After all, this is a new era with its own set of rewards and so much more to offer!

Are you interested in exploring the ultimate secluded destination?

It is no surprise that we are entering a new era of travel, one that requires more rigorous considerations of social distance, space, health, and safety. As a result, it is perhaps more important than ever to establish safety corridors or travel bubbles that can offer you an added and legitimate sense of security. By taking some necessary precautions, we believe it is possible to safeguard your wellbeing as you make your way to, and move around in, your destination. Don’t think of these measures as prohibitive; instead, think of them as assurances that your travels will be enjoyable and safe, given the expansion of some fundamental protocols.

Choose destinations that are off the radar

In this new era, traveling is not so simple anymore. There are new challenges involved in visiting our favorite places, some of which may prevent us from enjoying them. So, why not consider new destinations, ideally, ones that take distancing to new heights?

Explorers admiring marine iguanas in the Galapagos Islands, a remote destination to visit

The Galapagos Islands are a remote destination with no mass tourism.

Connect with the destination while staying safe

Before the pandemic, avoiding crowds was meant to help you connect with your destination; now, it is also a matter of personal health. Upon visiting a new place, you come away with newfound knowledge, inspiration, and meaningful experiences, and that shouldn’t be marred by worrying about whether your health and safety will be at risk. Remote destinations offer you the chance to explore while remaining confident that you’ll be safe.

View our tour packages in South America

Tourism regulations keep you away from crowds

Let’s explore this idea a little more. Tourism regulations in remote places, like the Galapagos National Park (GNP), ensure that the only people with whom you experience the destination are those traveling alongside you. What this means is, not only will you know in what conditions everyone has made their journey, you’ll also feel secure in knowing that you won’t come across anyone outside of your travel bubble when visiting sites in this unique part of the world. This is due to the GNP regulations, which strictly govern the number of visitors at any site, in a way, providing absolute exclusivity.

Crowded places usually imply rushing from one visitor site to the next in order to make it available to the next group. However, in sanctuary destinations, you have these places to yourself to explore them on your own time, enjoying everything you wish to see.

Did you know?
Located 605 miles (973 km) off the coast of Ecuador, with a maximum expedition group size of 16 people and a hard limit on the number of yearly visitors, the Galapagos Islands receive no direct international flights. Here, ships can carry, at most, 100 passengers. This is practically the definition of a destination that is, at once, remote, exclusive, and highly regulated.

Want to learn more? Check out our blog on how safe the Enchanted Isles are!

Choose a provider that always guarantees your safety

Places that are off the beaten path or that limit tourism in any way are a great start, but if you want to go the extra mile, you need to choose your provider carefully. A provider, in this case can be your tour company, but it could also be the hotel and cruise you’re going to be enjoying, or the company that manages said hotel and cruise.

Metrojourneys Health and Safety protocols for your trip!

Ask your travel agency the right questions

Once you pick your destination and the package, you’re in their hands, so it’s better to ask early and to understand what they offer. Does your provider guarantee you an intact travel bubble at all times? Will you always have a guaranteed personal space of 28,26 sq ft? You have every right to ask these questions and to demand assurances when it comes to your personal space and safety.

Make sure your tour operator has safety procedures for you, their staff and the environment

Another key factor is to examine the precautions your provider is taking to keep employees, guests, and the environment safe. Not only is this a sign that they are handling things responsibly and making the wellbeing of their guests and staff a real priority, but it also demonstrates a strong commitment to sustainable tourism.

Look for providers that guarantee their employees access to personal protective equipment and health screenings. Your provider should also implement state-of-the-art technology to guarantee strict cleaning procedures that don’t harm the environment.

Want to know what we’ve done to enhance our already existing protocols? Click here and read all about what we are doing to ensure your safety while you travel with us.

Choose the right accommodation option

Choosing the right accommodation option is essential if you want to experience a safe and fun trip. Whether you prefer a land-based or a sea-based experience, you should always opt for boutique hotels or expedition vessels.

Our expedition vessel and hotel in Galapagos: Santa Cruz II and the Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel

Choose expedition vessels and boutique hotels; they’re a lot less crowded and service is more personalized

Boutique hotels

As opposed to chain hotels, boutique hotels create intimate and comfortable settings with a limited number of rooms. In this kind of hotel, you won’t find 100 or more cookie-cutter quarters; instead, you’ll enjoy spacious rooms with unique characteristics, plus social areas with a lot less traffic, providing you with the right amount of tranquility, space, and safety.

Expedition vessels

When it comes to expedition vessels, and why they’re a great alternative to cruise ships, they offer you a much more tailored and well-rounded experience. Usually, these vessels sail in remote, sanctuary destinations like the ones mentioned above. Also, expedition vessels are a natural choice for preserving the pristine state of the places you visit. This is because they respond to the strong limits on both the size of the ship and the number of guests aboard, without sacrificing comfort and space!

For example, in the Galapagos Islands, expedition vessels cannot carry more than 100 passengers. This measure helps preserve the islands and their unique and vulnerable ecosystems, where endemic species roam freely.

Aboard an expedition vessel, you’ll find comfortable cabins and social areas with a lot less traffic in comparison to massive cruise ships. Here, you can feel at ease in spaces designed for relaxation, without worrying about people swarming all over you.

Did you know?
According to definitions provided by the United States’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the gross tonnage of our ships locates them on the Small and Extra Small Ship categories!

Space to guest ratio: the number one thing to ask your tour operator

When it comes to your accommodation options, you should consider more than just the size of the facilities. In fact, there is a more important feature called the space to guest ratio. This number reveals the amount of space each guest has in said hotel or aboard said expedition vessel. If you ask your travel agent about this, you’re on the right path to finding the safest and most comfortable accommodation available.

Woman reading alone aboard Yacht La Pinta in the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

The space to guest ratio will determine how much space a guest has for himself in a vessel or hotel.

Why is this important? Sometimes, travelers can get confused when it comes to size. A bigger boat or hotel, with plenty of common areas, can sound like a dream, but you need to keep in mind the number of people with whom you’ll be sharing these spaces. If you think a much smaller ship or hotel will keep you isolated from the crowds, think again. Less space doesn’t always mean more intimacy.

The space to guest ratio is the only way to truly determine if an accommodation option is spacious, regardless of its size.

Did you know?
The Metrojourneys difference is that all our expedition vessels and hotels have some of the highest space to guest ratios in the Galapagos Islands. These exceed, by far, the internationally recommended 28.3 sq ft per guest. Here’s a table with some examples of our fleet:

Vessel area

Average personal space (in sq. ft per guest)

Compared to the recommended 28.26sq ft per guest

Cabins between 68.7 and 161.9 between 2.4 and 5.7 times
Dining areas average 39.6 1.5 times
Lecture and briefing areas average 43.8 1.6 times


It may seem daunting at first to factor each of these important considerations into your travel plans. However, the very reason why travel agents and tour operators exist is to take care of the details! That said, it is good practice for travelers today to ask the right questions in order to safeguard their health, safety, and wellbeing. This can be done while pursuing your dreams of visiting and exploring new destinations via well-organized safety corridors and travel bubbles.

Feeding your curiosity and honoring your spirit of adventure by traveling to incredible places, is still an opportunity to grow and discover a part of yourself that you may have never known. After all, this is a new era with its own set of rewards and so much more to offer!

Are you interested in exploring the ultimate secluded destination?

Chat with us!

You’re in good hands.
Get in touch.

Have questions? We have answers. Reach out to any of our experts to help you plan your next adventure.

  • Please, be as detailed as possible. e.g. travel dates, number of travelers, special requirements.