Coeur d’Alene, ID… Ten years ago this month, ROW Adventures launched their groundbreaking and revolutionary trip to the Enchanted Islands – Galapagos Unbound. This tour, the only one in the world that allows travelers two nights of camping on the beaches inside of the Galapagos National Park, led the way for a more interactive type of Galapagos Islands tour that did not exist at the time.
ROW founder Peter Grubb first visited the Galapagos Islands in 1994 after leading a pioneering whitewater rafting trip on the Rio Upano in the Amazon Basin.
Grubb recalls his first trip to the Galapagos: “As I stood watching from the deck of the small yacht, I kept thinking to myself, ‘Wow, this would be an amazing place for sea kayaking trips. Beautiful beaches, sheltered paddling areas, incredible wildlife.’”
At that time all the trips in the Galapagos were aboard yachts or small ships. There was no such thing as a "land tour," as there is now, not to mention tours with a strong focus on kayaking, and that offered beach camping inside of the Park. Despite eleven years of roadblocks from the National Park Service following Grubb’s initial trip there, permission was finally granted to run a test trip in 2005.
The test trip in the fall of 2005 went great, and Grubb was given the OK to continue running his trips. In March 2006, ROW Adventures ran their first commercial trip to the Islands. Since that first trip, well over 4,000 travelers have gone on ROW’s Galapagos Unbound tour.
"The trip hit a chord with people," says Grubb. "So many people wanted to visit the islands, but not travel on a boat. To this day it remains a unique program and waking up in the morning on a beach where the wildlife of the Galapagos is also present is one of life's most amazing experiences."
While the itinerary has changed some over the years due to shifting Park regulations and other factors, the core trip still remains. This year, the trip will change slightly, offering a few new experiences, while retaining old favorites like beach camping, kayaking, and snorkeling. In addition, ROW has launched some new trips -- they are partnering with the newest luxury yacht in the Galapagos, the Petrel, and will start running a new multisport adventure that includes three days on mainland Ecuador.
More information about ROW’s Galapagos Unbound tour can be found at http://www.rowadventures.com/
Read “A Letter from Peter G: Celebrating 10 Years of Galapagos Unbound Adventures:" http://www.rowadventures.com/