Galapagos Islands

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Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Galapagos Islands Reviews

rossmickel rossmick…
1 reviews
Planing for trip Apr 07, 2014
Galapagos is known for its marine beauty and sea way is best to explore this wonderful islands. I visited Galapagos last year during spring break and that was the most enjoyed vacation for me. I am planning to visit there again, Galapagos has many options such as Rock climbing, Scuba Diving and many more are the ones that attract most of the tourists like me, there are many places to visit in Galapagos such as Charles Darwin research center, beaches are awesome and the biodiversity is one thing that is so special about the place. You can see different animal species on different islands. I booked trip with and they are amazing, It was most wonderful trip. Facilities they provided were nice. They even helped me to chooses between the routes and the best places that I can visit In my limited duration of time. I will suggest everyone should visit Galapagos atleast once in lifetime, Its like living in the palms of nature.
Scuba diving at Galapagos
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isabelcastillo5648 isabelca…
3 reviews
Amazing!!! Oct 12, 2013
Este ha sido unos de mis viajes mas increíbles. Visite 6 Islas cada una era única y maravillosa. Must Do: San Cristobal es la imperdible para ver sus leones marinos y hay que ir a León Dormido, donde veras el cruce de la mayor cantidad de rayas, tiburones, tortugas, delfines y peces variados. La Isabel y su Crater, pinguinos y tiburones tintoreras. La Floreana y sus tortugas Galápagos. Seymor y los piqueros de patas azules y las fragatas de pecho rojo. Los hostales allí son baratos y con unos desayunos de locura. Los restaurantes ofrecen comidas sencillas y a base de pescados a precios asequibles. Se pueden tomar lachas para ir de isla en isla, pero preferiblemente vayan con un tour con guía para así no perder tiempo a menos que eso es lo que tengan. Mínimo hay que ir 7 noches. Lo ideal es llegar a Guayaquil y de allí tomar el vuelo a San Cristobal, luego ir moviéndose de Isla en Isla y salir de Santa Cruz. Si son mas de 10 pax, lo recomendable es chartear un barco para ustedes. Hasta para un grupo de 8 seria interesante. Hay barcos especializados en buceo.
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grantnesbit grantnes…
2 reviews
Galapagos Sep 27, 2012
I visited Santa Cruz & Isabela Islands and used to book a packed deal. Although I typically don't use any packaged trips like this, it actually worked out pretty well, as the Galapagos are still undeveloped, especially Isabela.

Note: there are not ATMs or places that take credit card in Isabela. Take plenty of cash!

SCUBA diving is spectacular. If you dive, this is a must. Seals, turtles, penguins, mantas, whale sharks, hammerheads - get in a few dives.
comicpie comicpie
3 reviews
Galapagos Islands, once a life time unforgetable experience. May 06, 2011
Galapagos islands are not cheap, but do you while you have some savings and do it while you are young and healthy. And most importantly, go there NOW!

Flights: I came from Canada and there is no direct flight. I signed up with Gap Adventure with their g6 comfort class boat tour to go there. I had to fly from Toronto to Miami, and then Miami to Quito, Ecuador. And then from Quito, you fly to Baltra, Galapagos with a stop in Guayaquil.

In the Quito domestic airport, you need to check in your bag first and pay the $10 control card fee in order to check yourself into the flight.

tips: apparently it's cheaper to fly from Guayaquil, and expenses is also cheaper in Guayaquil.

After getting to the island: You need to prepare $100 USD for park entry fee. They will then have a bus to take you to the Itabaca Canal. You just need to pay the ferry (under $1 USD) to go aross to the dock (where all the white colored taxis are waiting).

I made a mistake paying my dive centre $50USD to go to my hostal on Puerto Ayora. Because you can just take the taxi for $15 to get to your hostal or hotel. argh!

Cellphone and internet: Most wifi and internet in the hotel in Quito is FAST. If you are visiting Ecuador soon, please don't bring your iphone 4 because they don't have minichip there yet. I made a mistake to bring one, and the carrier (Claro and Movistar) wont' sell me just the sim card. (I was hoping I can trim it down myself). If you have a BlackBerry, that's what everyone use there. Just go there and sign up pay as you go mobile internet. (either with a laptop, or use your smartphone other than iphone) Because once you get to the Galapagos, you will be really glad that you have a phone that has faster internet than what they have over there. Their internet speed is like dialup. Really blows!

Gadget and camera: Bring a underwater camera that can take videos. I have a canon SD780IS, but I bought a canon waterproof case with it. It is the same price as the camera but probably one of my most valuable investment ever. I use it in my scuba diving trip, snorkeling and anywhere that rains.

Half of the tour will be on the land, but another half is snorkeling and seeing all those wonderful sealife. I have an entry level (Canon t2i) camera but I make sure I brought a f2.8 lens to accommodate all the lighting issues. The naturalist tour guide that you will be following, will tell you that you should not use flash on the animals. It will scare them and imaging every day ppl are taking photos of them with flash? If I were them I wouldn't be happy about it either.

If you are a backpacker, it does not make sense to bring so many lens, so bring one general GOOD one and should be good enough. Sometimes if the birds are far away, don't worry, someone in your tour will have a crazy zoom lens to take that. Just kindly ask them for the photo later :)

Also, make sure you bring a cleaner and a air puffer for your lens, you will be surprised how many times you have to clean your lens because all those wind and dust.

Clothing: Make sure you bring jacket and rain/windproof jacket with you. Quito is cold during spring time, and it rains ALL the time! Also find those trousers that you can take the bottom off. It will serve multiple purposes and when you get to Galapagos, you won't need the bottom at all.

For galapagos: bring your hat! The equator sun will burn your head! and I would totally recommend to bring a technical swimwear to snorkel in the Galapagos. Try to find the shirt they sell in the surfing store. (e.g. Oneil brand). My friend and I made a mistake snorkeling back to the boat with our biknis. Our back was completely burnt on the first day. We did not realize how strong the equator sun is! For the rest of my snorkeling trip, I either use a wetsuit (which is a pain to put it on) or to wear t-shirt and a black tights.

Also, make sure you bring a sandal that can serve as sandal and hiking shoe. Alot of times, we have 'wet landing', which means your feet will be in water when you get out of your boat. And then you have to walk through the trails in the island. They are not paved, mostly rocky path.

Accommodation: If you are not looking for something fancy, I stayed at my hostal for $35 a night with hot water, AC and free wifi. There's also places that you can pay $20 a night for no AC and no hot water.

Food: Perto Ayora is a very expensive town. If you go to the main street and eat, expect to pay 10-17 dollar for a pasta dish. It's ridicules.

I am a frugalist and I prefer eating local meals if I am in the country. I found a night food street just couple blocks north from the pier (north of the Reef store). The restaurants on that street opens after 6pm. It is decent meal (grill chicken, rice and beans for $5). Or you can find some tasty Civeche for $7-$13.

Boat tours: You can just sign up your boat tours right there through shops. (or you can even sign up in Quito or Guayaquil)

There are different grades of the boat. I went on the "Queen Beatrice" boat because the friend I tag along, she won a trip with Gap Adventure and this is the boat she is on. I signed up mine from Canada, it was expensive.(over 3K in CAD). If you have time to go around in the city and shop, you can probably get it 1/3 cheaper through last minute deal.

I signed up 8 day tours and this is the most memorable trip I had ever done. I get to see all sort of animals (sea lions, blue footed boobies, frigate birds, pelicans, iquanas, sea turtle, giant turtles, galapagos penquins, sharks, rays..etc) up close. Everyone respect the islands and the park rules, and that's why those animals are not afraid of us. I was very glad that I went and I did not regret the money I spent. It's expensive but you gain so much more experience plus seeing and learning everything about Galapagos and those animals.

However, the tour does not include Isabella islands. I would definitely go back to Galapagos again to explore the rest.
4 / 4 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
rossmickel says:
Hey there! Thank you for such a great information, I did visit Galapagos during last spring break and it was the best experience for me. living in Galapagos is like living in the palms of nature. Giant tortoise are very attractive, I developed a new hobby of writing on Galapagos islands and Giant tortoise after I came back:

Charles Darwin Research center is amazing place to visit. I would suggest everyone must visit Galapagos at least once in lifetime.
Posted on: Apr 16, 2014
MyLifeInTravel says:
very useful info
I may get back & ask some ques if don't mind
Posted on: Nov 20, 2012
Karyna3 says:
thanks for you review :)
Posted on: Mar 14, 2012
Alicia_MN Alicia_MN
3 reviews
Galapagos Islands May 29, 2011
If you have even an inkling to visit the Galapagos Islands, I strongly recommend you block off your calendar (any time of year) and make it happen. I've always had a fondness/attraction to see the Galapagos Islands, but kept thinking "how am I going to afford it?", etc...

Well, I bit the bullet (so to speak) and blocked off my calendar, booked my flight to Quito, Ecuador and then found a place that had boat tours around the Galapagos Islands. IT WAS WORTH EVERY PENNY! I've traveled alot over the years and have seen many amazing places... But, folks, I must say the Galapagos Islands is truly a magical place like no other.

Do it. Book it. See the Galapagos Islands. You will be forever grateful you did.

3 / 3 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
annesokat annesokat
2 reviews
A Once in a lifetime experience !! Apr 25, 2011
I have spent 8 days in the Galapagos islands, for my birthday trip and this will be the most memorable trip I have ever done !

Starting hard the first day, just arriving from the airport, a few hours in the Galapagos, and already 5 or 6 species observed while snorkelling.

These islands have a lot to offer, if you love nature and wildlife, it's the perfect place to go.

I wish I could have stayed longer but I did most of the visitable islands (san cristobal, floreana, isabela, santa cruz, bartolome, plazas and seymour) and everything was jsut awesome !

I booked my trip with Sharksky, a local tour operator from Galapagos, and my guide Wilson was just perfect !

Do not hesitate, just go! Going to the Galapagos is affordable if you really want to do it !
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
felisconcolor feliscon…
2 reviews
inexpensive ways to go to Galapagos Islands Apr 23, 2011
The Galapagos Islands can be quite pricey, but you can find ways to around that. I booked a boat tour. best way than staying on an island. I recommend that you don't book a trip online. You will pay much more. I waited to get to Ecuador before I booked my trip and paid much less than online. I met some people who traveled to the Galapagos and waited to book their boat trip once they got to the islands. Their cost was less than mine. I have to say there is also a $100 park fee which is going to be $200 soon and you have to tip your crew and captain which can range from $80 to $200 depending on the size of crew. Although it is up to each individual how much they want to give. The trip was definitely worth it.
2 / 2 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
YinYan YinYan
2 reviews
Galapagos Islands - how many days Jun 25, 2011
how many days required for Galapagos Islands ? I would recommend a week if you have time. Galagpagos Islands is a must go in South America, there are 5 major islands that one should viist and staying on a cruise would allow you to do pretty much all the islands. Some tour group organizes 4 days cruise but you wouldn't be able to see much and they will only bring you to see those closer islands and taken into account transit time (in between islands transportation could take a few hours and the cruise I stayed in actually moved around mid-night time (yes while we were asleep), you won't see much in a 4 days cruise.

i signed up on the internet for the cruise 2 weeks before departure time and it was a last minute offer, so its around USD$2000 for 8 days 7 nights cruise (including flights from Quito to San Christobel), and the cruise was a luxury one (Queen of Galapagos)......meal was good and they provided light meals/snacks after snorkeling.

If you have time, you can stay in Quito (capital of Ecuador) for a bit of time and see if you can get any last minute offer. I visited in Oct last year and it was not peak season, water was a bit cold though (18 degrees Celsisus) and snorkeling or diving could be quite tough even in wet suit but I was so overwhelmed by what I saw underwater that I totally forgot the coldness.
1 / 1 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
dries_habex dries_ha…
3 reviews
save up! May 06, 2011
If you dream to go there and see a lot, it is not easy unless you have loads of money, the most interesting is probabley to got by small boat/cruiseship, with your own sailor, so you can sail to any place where you want. the islands are very remote.

for normal people like me, i flew in from Quito,ecuador.

i payed in 2008 400 dollars for that return flight and 100 dollars national park fee. Santa cruz is the most busy island with 20.000 inhabitants.

Make sure you have your diving license before you go,

you will see great creatures. taking a boat ride form santa cruz to the biggest island is also worth it. you can hike here to volcanos with or without horses. For the rest on santa cruz make sure you go to the 2 "big gaps" inland (volcanic rocks the imploded under its own weight). and the turtle breathing place inland. also close to santa cruz city you can swim in a naturl little canyon and jump off rocks, ask the locals for directions.

If you like surfing, ask for the with sand / blue sea beach, everybody knows it. It is in the top 10 of my most bueatifull beaches. renting surfboards is easy but do it in town. it will be a long walk with the board through nature to reach that beach and watch for strong currents when surfing.
eclectictraveller eclectic…
1 reviews
Last minute bookings Apr 19, 2011
We did not book a tour before we left Canada. Instead we booked our tour when we got to Quito. The couple from Denmark who booked the earliest paid the most. Make sure your $100US landing Park fee is crisp with no tears or marks.

The company was Galasam. I found it in our Footprints Guide. We took the tour in March 2000. It was a nice small tour with a total of only 9 passengers, from all over the world. Food was generally good- a little too much cilantro but our guide was amazing. Worth every penny!

We were surprised at some of the other tours, one with a boat of 300 Americans, ferried to the various beaches a dozen at a time.

Our little boat was cozy. My hubby and I shared a room with our own bathroom and shower. My son shared a room with a guy from Germany. There were three girls who shared the 4 bunk room. We should have brought our own bottled water because it was expensive buying it from the boat. We had the front deck of the boat to sit on when it cruised between islands and it was covered.

It was very hot on the islands. Melted my son's cheap sandals when we walked across the lava flows. Our Tiva's held up well.
YinYan YinYan
2 reviews
Galapagos Islands - how many days Jun 25, 2011
how many days required for Galapagos Islands ? I would recommend a week if you have time. Galagpagos Islands is a must go in South America, there are 5 major islands that one should viist and staying on a cruise would allow you to do pretty much all the islands. Some tour group organizes 4 days cruise but you wouldn't be able to see much and they will only bring you to see those closer islands and taken into account transit time (in between islands transportation could take a few hours and the cruise I stayed in actually moved around mid-night time (yes while we were asleep), you won't see much in a 4 days cruise.

i signed up on the internet for the cruise 2 weeks before departure time and it was a last minute offer, so its around USD$2000 for 8 days 7 nights cruise.
mcheng mcheng
1 reviews
Jun 20, 2007
The Galapagos Islands are definitely an unforgettable experience! It's been almost 14 years since our visit, but I still remember it vividly. If you like the outdoors and wildlife, this is definitely a place that you want to visit. The wildlife is unrivaled by any other place in the world! It's pretty amazing how they seem so undisturbed and don't even move away from you when you approach them. I still remember having to step over all the blue-footed boobies on the pathways. I hope that these islands are still as undisturbed and magical as they were during my last visit. I would definitely go back again!

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Galapagos Islands Map
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Galapagos Islands
photo by: Melboorn