The Galapagos is a land of fearless sea lions, game-changing scientific theories, and expensive vacation packages. The destination is best explored by boat or guided tour, and the one of the easiest ways to plan a trip is by booking a one-price-covers-all vacation package—but these aren't cheap. Published prices for Galapagos packages on Intrepid Travel, a small-group adventure-tour operator, start at $2,020 for five nights, no airfare included—and we won't even get into what luxury packages cost. So consider the alternative: Plan your own journey. SmarterTravel editor Caroline Morse did just that and saved a bundle. Morse details her incredibly affordable Galapagos trip in this trip report, writing, "We ended up walking into one of the numerous tour operators that line the streets on the main island and booking ourselves onto a four-day, three-island tour with everything (meals, accommodations, tours, snorkeling, boat transfers, et cetera) included for just $200 per person." Putting on your travel-agent hat and conducting a bit of research could really pay off when planning a Galapagos getaway.