All you need to know to plan your trip to the Galapagos

 

I lived in the Galapagos Islands for a long time, I probably know this archipelago better than my own island, Sicily!
When I landed the first time I was a veteran of more than two years traveling solo around the world. I was particularly tired and yearned to stop somewhere to reflect and decide whether to continue to travel or to go back to Europe.

 

Before arriving to the islands I knew very little about this place in the heart of the Pacific Ocean, and what little I knew turned out to be wrong too.
For example, I thought they were completely uninhabited, which is partly true but not totally. I thought you could travel them only on a cruise. I believed that apart from the giant tortoises there were no other animals worthy of note. I did not know I was about to discover one of the best-preserved marine parks of the earth.

 

After a cruise, where I suffered from seasickness due to the rough seas of August, landed in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz, I was presented with a very different scenario from what I thought would be there.

 

I made friends, I was invited to stay and I was asked to help of the trips offered incredible experiences of travel human too.

The time passed, we worked together and in the meantime I began to discover one by one the islands that make this archipelago unique. I discovered the different eco – systems, I swam with many species of animals, I lived on the three inhabited islands, and took part in all the offered tours giving myself wonderful days in equally special places, but above all giving me the time to know them and become an integral part, so much so that today I can consider the archipelago a second home.

In this long article I want to answer all the questions that I get daily from those of you who want to organize a trip to the islands and that I hope will help you discover a little more about one of the most unique and rare places and on earth but also to understand whether the Galapagos really represent the right destination for you.

 

galapagos penguin galapagos-turtle-3

 

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Galapagos Islands Guide

 

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How to get to the Galapagos Islands
Visa
When to go
The most important islands
Cruise Vs Islands Hopping?
How to choose the right itinerary
Are the Galapagos backpacker friendly?
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What can I expect from Galapagos?
What to bring
Miths about Galapagos
Where to stay
Travel ideas
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How to get to the Galapagos Islands

 

The only way to reach the islands is to fly from Ecuador, from Quito or from Guayaquil. Prices for tourists are pretty standard and vary between $400/500 per person round trip.
The main airports are Baltra and San Cristobal. There is also a small airport in Isabela but it is only used for internal flights, the islands (Baltra/Isabela and San Cristobal/Isabela).

 

Airlines flying to the islands are mainly three: LATAM, TAME and AVIANCA.
Often Avianca offers of cheaper rates and are found online, many times it is cheaper to buy independently than through agencies.
Residents in Ecuador have discounts on the flights and it is so also for the residents of the islands. The tourists have to pay full price.

 

For those coming to the Galapagos Islands with their own boat there is the obligation to dock at the three main ports, they cannot navigate in the archipelago as it is protected and under constant observation of the National Park. The sea traffic is in fact regulated by the Galapagos National Park and only boats equipped with licenses issued by the park, not issued to private boats, are allowed to navigate in its water.

This means that even those who arrive with their own boat, if they want to discover the archipelago will be forced to take part in a cruise or to daily tours that have limited places.
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The cost of the air ticket does NOT include the entrance fee to the National Park which is to be paid in cash on arrival (US$100 per adult and US$50 for children up to 12 years, residents in Ecuador that provide identity card will pay US$6).
The entry fees are subject to change, so it is recommended to always check on the official website.

At the departure airport in Ecuador you are required to pay the INGALA tax (immigration) of $ US20 per person.
Do not forget to ask for the stamp in the passport!
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Find the best flight 

 

momondo galapagos

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Visa and maximum staying time in the Galapagos

 

The maximum length of stay in the Galapagos Islands is 3 months not renewable unless you get a special visa that allows you to stay up to six months for 1 year or an employment contract.

 

These same rules also apply to residents in Ecuador to avoid overcrowding of the islands. Once past the allowable months you will not be allowed entrance to the islands for a year.
The visa is done on arrival at the airport, the tourist visa does not permit to reside for more than three months.

 

Entrance fees to the Galapagos National Park

 

The entrance to the Galapagos National Park costs $100 per person for adults, while children up to 12 years pay $50.
Besides the $100 must be paid in cash the moment you pass passport control.
There are no ATMs nor possibilities to pay by credit card, so mandatory to have the $100 with you.

 

On payment of the $100, you will be given the tourist label to preserve jealously until the day of departure from the islands.
At the departure from the airport in Ecuador furthermore, the payment of $20 INGALA tax (immigration ) is required.

 

The cost of entry to the national park can vary, I recommend checking on the official website of the Galapagos National Park about the current rates.

 

 

Entrance costs to national park upgraded in August 2016

 

galapagos fees

 

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Best season to travel to the Galapagos Islands

 

What is the best time to visit the Galapagos Islands? This is not a difficult question to answer!

 

The Galapagos Islands are a popular tourist destination all year round, but the peak of high season tends to be from June to August, and from December to February, which coincides with the holidays and vacations in the world.

 

If you consider to visit the Galapagos during these months it is advisable to book well in advance (at least 4 months in advance, even before) in order to realize the itinerary you are looking for!

 

There is no best or worst time to visit the Galapagos because of the fact that the islands are on the equator so the temperature of the water and the air do not vary much.
However the seasons are mainly two: dry and wet.

 

The season from December to May corresponds to the warm season , with a peak in February, the water heats up, and so does the temperature in the air.
Heavy rains may happen but generally the sky is always clear and the sun shines.
Because the water is warmer you will not need a wetsuit to enter, on the other hand, there are not many fish to see like it happens instead to see during the dry season when the water cools down.
From March to May you might see sea turtles and sea lions in search of company.

 

galapagos

 

 

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Pro of this season

  • High temperature
  • You won’t need wetsuite
  • The sky is pretty much clear
  • Sea is calm
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Cons of this season 

  • Animals swim deeper
  • Animals migrate to cooler areas
  • It can rain
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Plazas Island


The season from June to November corresponds to the cold season and garua (light rain), the air and the water cools down, you’ll need a wetsuit, but despite what you may believe, it is in these months that you can do some of the best snorkeling.
During these months, in fact, the sea life is very active thanks to the Humboldt Current that brings water rich in nutrients and plankton, which obviously attract fish and birds.

 

This is also the best time of year for scuba divers as the animals in the water are really active.
It is quite common in these months to see: penguins, albatrosses (in Espanola), frigate-birds and blue-footed boobies in love and in the mating ritual

 

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Pro of this season

  • Animals are very active and can be seen in large quantities
  • Seasons of love and animal births
  • Temperate weather
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Cons of this season

  • cold water (about 20 degrees) need a wetsuit
  • Garua (drizzling rain)
  • Heaven sometimes covered (but with the sun strong anyway)
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If during the cold season the sky is a bit gloomy and the scenery spectral during the hot season the islands become green and revitalized.
A cyclic and constant change that makes it hard to recommend when to go, the islands are always beautiful and unique.

 

So if you want to go during our winter or summer … the season is always the right one to discover the enchanted islands!

 

 

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My favorite month is April. Season of love, the water is still hot, and usually there is no need for a wetsuit, the waters and also the islands repopulate.
The month that I prefer less is February because it is too hot, the animals seek warmer places and the fish swim in the profound depths. [/su_icon_panel]

 

santa fe island

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Galapagos islands, which to visit and why

 

galapagos map

 

Where they are, what to do and animals that you can see

 

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Santa Cruz

 

  • Where it is
    Santa Cruz is generally the main point of access for those landing in the Galapagos Islands. The main town, Puerto Ayora, home to the largest number of inhabitants and it is the access point for daily visits to some of the main islands.
  • Animals
    Giant tortoises running free at the high part, marine iguanas, sea lions.
  • Activities
    Walking activities and simple snorkeling. Complicated the walk to Tortuga Bay, about 4 chilometers walk from the center of Puerto Ayora. The major attractions of this island are: Parte Alta, Tortuga Bay, Charles Darwin center, Las Grietas and Playa de los Alemannes, Garrapatero

 

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Bartolome

 

  • Where it is
    Bartolome Island is located 2.3 hours north-west of Santa Cruz. The island is of volcanic origin with an extinct volcanic cone that can be accessed via a wooden walkway. The view from the top is one of the most amazing of all the Galapagos. Pinnacle Rock is the remains of a volcanic tuff and is one of the most iconic images of the islands.
  • Animals
    Lava Herons, Sally Light-foot crabs, Galapagos Hawks, Lava cacti, Galapagos Penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions, Galapagos sharks, white-tip sharks, sea turtles, stingrays, pelagic and Reef Fish
  • Activities
    Moderate to strenuous activities because of the terrain and exposure: walking on wooden boardwalk with more than 300 steps to reach the top. Lunch on board. Snorkeling.
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Plazas and Punta Carrion

  • Where it is
    South Plazas is a small island on the east coast of Santa Cruz in the shape of a wedge formed by a tectonic uplift. The island gradually goes up to then end in precipice to the sea. Punta Carrion is the place where you will do the snorkeling and where probably you will swim with colonies of Galapagos sharks.
  • Animals
    Sea lions, land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls, red-billed tropic birds, Audubon shearwaters, blue-footed boobies and Nazca boobies, frigate-birds, Galapagos sharks, reef fish.
  • Activities
    Moderate activity, the tour includes walking, lunch on board and snorkeling
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North Seymour and Bachas Beach

  • Where it is
    The North Seymour Island is located immediately north of Baltra and less than an hour from Ithabaca channel. The island is small and flat, is a major center spot where numerous species of birds and animals native of the Galapagos.
  • Animals
    Blue-footed boobies, sea lions, magnificent frigate-birds, marine iguanas and land iguanas, swallow-tailed gulls.
  • Activities
    Moderate activity, the tour includes walking, lunch on board and snorkeling
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Santa Fe and Playa Escondida

  • Where it is
    The Santa Fe Island is definitely my favorite as regards the snorkeling activity and for the color of the sea, turquoise. This is one of the oldest islands of the archipelago. The island is located in front of Santa Cruz and the tour is mainly for snorkeling.
  • Animals
    The sea lion colonies of California, Barrington Land iguanas, and some unique rodents. Marine Fauna: Galapagos sharks, different stingrays, pelagic fish and sea lions
  • Activities
    Snorkeling tour and simple walk. This tour is mainly for snorkeling.
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Isabela island

  • Where it is
    Isabela is the largest island of the Galapagos and perhaps considered the most beautiful and romantic of all thanks to the long stretch of white sandy beach directly accessible from the village. It is located about two and a half hours with speed boat from Santa Cruz or you can fly there (from Santa Cruz or San Cristobal)
  • Animals
    Sea lions, penguins, land and sea turtles, boobies, stingrays, tropical fish, marine iguanas
  • Activities
    The hikes in Isabela are simple and pleasant, this is the basis for taking part in the following tours: Cabo Rosa, Sierra Negra Volcano, Isla Tortuga, highland and Tintorera.
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Cabo Rosa – Marine lava tunnels

  • Where it is
    Los Tuneles are a network of lava tunnels that have been exposed to and subsequently flooded by oceanic movements. In this half-day excursion there is a walk along the lava formations prior to doing snorkeling through this unique marine environment.
  • Animals
    Green sea turtles, white tip sharks, stingrays, lava gulls, penguins, blue-footed boobies.
  • Activities
    Moderate activity, walking on volcanic rock. Walking and snorkeling among the tunnels.
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Sierra Negra Volcano

  • Where it is
    Sierra Negra Volcano boasts the second largest caldera in the world, it is an active volcano with eruptions in 1911, 1948, 1953, 1954, 1957, 1963 and 1979 and the last in 2005 with an eruption lasting eight days.
  • Animals
    No sightings of animals, but the focal point of this tour is to see the lunar and volcanic landscapes.
  • Activities
    F Tiring because of the terrain and distance, this tour involves six hours of walking on gradual inclines, the walks can be exhausting also because of the terrain and the humid climate and slippery or dry and dusty terrain.
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San Cristobal 

  • Where it is
    San Cristobal is home to the capital of the Galapagos Islands, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The 5500 permanent residents of the city are mainly employed by the government or in the fishing industry. San Cristobal is the island less visited but that offers incredible tours especially for those who are fond of sea lions.
  • Animals
    California sea lions, marine iguanas and some unique rodents, Galapagos sharks, stingrays, pelagic fish and with luck, hammerhead sharks.
  • Activities
    Moderate and simple. Tours is mainly for snorkeling.
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Espanola and Punta Suarez

  • Where it is
    Española Island is located two hours south -west from the port of San Cristóbal. It is the southernmost island of the Galapagos archipelago and, in over 4 million years, one of the oldest. The island has a very flat profile that receives less than three inches of rain per year. The structure of the island, with sandy beaches and coves, is ideal for spotting sea lions.
  • Animals
    Albatross, blue-footed boobies and nazca, crabs, sea lions, marine iguanas, hammerhead sharks, stingrays, pelagic fish.
  • Activities

    Moderate to strenuous because of the terrain, the walks take place between sand and rocks, snorkeling is done in the open sea.
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Kicker Rock

  • Where it is
    Kicker Rock is located about 2 hours north -west of San Cristobal and is the eroded cone of an extinct volcano.
  • Animals
    Blue-footed boobies, frigate birds, sea lions, Galapagos sharks, hammerhead sharks, stingrays, sea turtles.
  • Activities
    Moderate to exhausting, snorkeling is done in the open sea, ideal tour for those who love snorkeling, here with luck hammerhead sharks will be sighted.
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Pinzon and Borrero Bay

  • Where it is
    Pinzon is a volcanic island off the coast of Santa Cruz. Playa Palmas is an isolated beach on the southwest coast of Santa Cruz which is only accessible by boat.
  • Animali
    Blue-footed boobies, Nazca boobies, frigate-birds, gulls, sea lions, stingrays, sharks, reef fish, whales (with luck).
  • Activities
    Moderate, this tour is only for snorkeling
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Cruise VS Islands Hopping

 

This is a question that is made very often to me and that on which is really hard to say if there is a mode better than the other.
The reason is that the Galapagos as protected National Park are constantly under control of the National Park that determines routes and modes of travel that are more or less the same for those traveling by cruise and for those traveling by islands hopping.

 

It is about separate modes of travel arrangement but does not make one better than the other, everything depends on the experience you want to have.
Each of these two modes has its pros and cons.

 

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Islands Hopping pros and cons

 

Pro of Islands Hopping

  • It’s very flexible and you can plan on the basis of one’s own interests (snorkeling, hiking, animals to see)
  • Allows a contact with the population
  • Provides customized services
  • At the end of tours a few afternoons and evenings are free and you can self-manage as you see fit

 

Cons Islands Hopping

  • You cannot get to some islands (Fernandina and Genovesa)
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Cruise pros and cons

Pro cruise

  • You can reach the islands that can not be reached otherwise (Fernandina and Genovesa)
  • The whole trip seldom touches the towns
  • Those of the first category offer excellent boats with excellent guides
    Against the cruise

Cons Cruise

  • For those who want to travel a long time around the archipelago, from 8 days and more, it is much more expensive than an islands hopping
  • Forced on times marked by the captains and there are no off-board spare time
  • It is not recommended for those suffering from seasickness
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sea lion galapagos

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How to choose the right travel itinerary? And how many days stay?

 

 

If you want to travel by cruise, the itineraries are always the same: South, North and West

  • The South itinerary covers the following islands: San Cristobal, Santa Fe, Espanola and Floreana
  • The North route covers the following islands: Santiago, Bartolome, Rabid, North Seymour and Genovesa
  • The West itinerary covers the following islands of Isabela and Fernandina

 

 

The cruises last for 5 or 8 days and the cost of the cruise obviously depends on the type of boat , economic or luxury, starting from 1600 for 5 days until you get to $3000 for 8 in tourist class.

 

The Islands hopping instead are much more flexible and, as a customizable, can meet the needs and desires of all, while remaining a different way of travel arrangements from the cruise but ideal for those who suffer from seasickness and do not want to live 5 or 8 days on the boat without a lot of freedom.

 

In both cases, the routes must be accurately thought out and with care so as to offer variety of wildlife and the possibility to reach the best spots to do snorkeling.

 

Not all the itineraries are the same, if the choice falls on the cruise, it is important to choose the itinerary that allows you to visit the islands that would not be visited otherwise, for example, those that involve Genovesa and Fernandina, to do both of them serve at least eight days.

 

The important thing, whether it be of Islands hopping or cruising, is that the islands as a whole, offer plenty of variety of flora and fauna so as to permit one to understand the biodiversity of the archipelago, in fact I remember that each island has its own eco-system and if well mixed, also in just seven days, in the case of islands hopping, you can be sure that you will get the best in terms of the fauna and land and marine activities.

 

The itinerary that you will follow will make a difference on the perception of the islands and on your travel experience. On the islands, more than anywhere else, reigns the saying “you get what you pay for” (you get what you pay). Make sure that boats, guides, tours are of good quality and that the islands to visit really touch places of your interest.
The islands can offer a lot but if you mind too much about savings you risk losing a good part of them, and, as sometimes happens, you will remain disappointed.

 

But this happens only when you make the serious mistake to believe that going to the Galapagos automatically implies the living in close contact with the animals, when it is quite the opposite.
The animals continue to live there just because it is made sure to keep them away from men.

 

 

Galapagos Islands

 

How many days to stay in the islands?

 

I work with the Galapagos Islands for the past four years now, since then I design customized travel itineraries and based on my experience I believe that from 7 to 13 days great travel ideas can be realized.

 

For obvious reasons I think that 13 days is ideal as they allow you to discover a good of the islands, sleeping on 3, but for those who have less time or a budget that does not allow this expense with seven days will be able to enjoy the best of the islands and see also 90% of the flora of the islands.

 

blue footed boobies

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Are the Galapagos backpacker friendly?

 

The islands are not a destination for backpackers, not only for the very high costs but also to the mode of travel to which they oblige.
The Galapagos are a protected marine national park, only 3% of the territory is accessible independently while the rest require a guide and tours that are fully licensed whose costs are very high and exceed hundreds of dollars per person per day.

 

The backpackers tend to travel independently, to reach places without guides and with public transportation, sleeping in hostels and limit the impact of the cost by cutting many aspects to extend their trip.

 

The Galapagos allow nothing of all this. There are very few hostels, and those few are very expensive (from $ 30 per night), are not accessible independently if not for a few beaches (but I wonder if it’s worth spending $600 to reach them to stay in two beaches), a weekly budget is requested that in principle could be enough for traveling up to two months in a country like Bolivia.

 

Galapagos

 

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What should I bring for a trip to the Galapagos?

 

We are on the equator therefore the temperatures never drop below 20 degrees. In fact a sweater for the evening is good to have along. Here is a checklist of things to bring:

 

  • Pocket torch for underground tunnels
  • Swimsuit
  • Towel
  • Flip-flops
  • Shoes for walking
  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Sunscreen cream (apply even if it is cloudy because the sun beats equally)
  • Comfortable trousers for walking
  • Adapter with american socket (the two parallel arms just to understand)
  • Pills for seasickness
  • Jumper
  • Anorak
  • Comfortable and light clothes, never cold in the islands but they are not a particularly fashionable place
  • Basic Medicines
  • Hat and sunglasses

 

For the rest know that Puerto Ayora, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno and Puerto Villamil are inhabited towns where you can find everything, so do not fear, there is wifi, there are shops and minimarkets.

 

Do not forget to take out Travel Insurance!

 

 

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What should I expect from a trip to the Galapagos?
Are the islands the right destination for you?

 

A trip to the Galapagos is a kind of sea safari, if your idea is to camp out at the beach in the Caribbean and tropical situations this is not likely the right place. The islands and the permitted visits demand discipline also when on travel, all the itineraries are defined by the National Park, 97% of the area is not accessible to independent travelers who are denied access.

 

The Galapagos is not a place for everyone and, although in recent years they have become fashionable, the motivations that lead to organizing a trip to this place must be strong, there are much cheaper places and even more beautiful if what the islands offer does not suit us.

 

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The Galapagos are for those who …

Scuba Dive
Want to walk close to animals and swim together with them
Loves nature and the simple and quiet life

 

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The Galapagos are not for those who…
Wants a beach and relaxing holiday
Has limited budgets
Is not interested in seeing animals or do snorkeling
Wants to travel in a totally independent manner

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Galapagos

How do I know if the Galapagos are the right destination ?

 

Ask yourself if you are interested in what the islands have to offer and that you cannot find anywhere else.

  • Are you interested in seeing the animals that inhabit the islands up close?
  • Do you like to do snorkeling?
  • Are you willing to pay so much money to live this experience?
  • Are you willing to give up your independence in traveling and to fixed and determined times?

 

If the answers to all these questions are YES then it is the right place, there are few places in the world like the Galapagos but being a particular place it is not necessarily universally the best.

Everything else that can be found in the Galapagos (cruises, swimming in the sea, bars by the sea etc), can be easly found in many other places in the world at much lower prices and even more suggesting.

The food is nothing special, the bars just like the hotels are quite simple and very expensive for what they offer, most of the inhabitants are immigrants from Ecuador and there is no real local culture, everything that is sold on the islands come from Ecuador, which is why the prices are much higher and you can find them about half the price on the continent.

 

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The choice to go to the Galapagos must be motivated by a genuine interest in this archipelago and what it means for the natural world, but it must not be a choice dictated by trend, exists the risk of being disappointed if you are not conscious of the place you are going to or, by mistake you stumble into the following myths that you should dispel instead. [/su_icon_panel]

 

Galapagos

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The myths to be disproved on the Galapagos Islands and the truth

 

Exotic charm

The first mistake people make when thinking about the Galapagos is to identify them as an archipelago in the Caribbean or the Pacific Ocean. This is not the Maldives or Mauritius nor the Caribbean islands.

The Galapagos invite you to a different journey made up of nature, animals and basicity (at great cost), if you want to relax on the beach or in the bungalows on the beach in less than half the price you can reach the Maldives or the Caribbean, or at the same price you can go to Polynesia which probably offers a more exotic situation than what the Galapagos could not.

 

Latin-American Culture

The islands have only been inhabited 100 years, there is no real Latin American culture, not as it can be found on the continent. You get to know the local people, who today will be the third or fourth generation, but the islands are not the ideal place to study and learn about the culture of Latin America which instead is found on the continent.

 

Can be done on a budget

Everything on the islands cost up to double as in Ecuador, the quality is much lower than the mainland at much higher prices, the hotels are very expensive for what is being offered.
The islands live off an elite tourism which until a few years ago was mainly of luxury and cruise. The efforts that the national park does to restrict access are numerous and are reflected in the price increase so as to render it so.

The high costs are due to the exclusivity of the place and the chance to discover one of the virgin archipelagos. In fact the costs, especially for accomodations, are not always justified and are actually more expensive by about 3/4 times compared to Ecuador.

 

You can travel without taking part in tours

This is what you may believe, and that in more occasions I have read on various blogs, the truth is that only 3% of the territory is accessible to independent tourists and this small percentage is limited to populated towns where, for obvious reasons, there are no animals and there are few accessible beaches, of which only 3 really beautiful (Tortuga Bay, La Loberia and Puerto Villamil beach).

 

The rest of the territory is kept under control and study of the National Park that grants few licenses to boats and determines a maximum number of passengers per day for each one of the uninhabited islands, which is why the cost of the tours is very high, only a few people can reach these islands every day.

 

So, if it is true that you can go independently to the islands it is also true that taking part in tours and to have naturalist guides of the National Park is mandatory and essential to make this trip unique and unforgettable.

 

 

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Where to stay in the Galapagos Islands

 

The inhabited islands are a great base to take part in the tours, if you do not want to entrust yourself to an agency, they offer the possibility to organize the complete itinerary without leaving anything to chance, they are 4: Santa Cruz, Isabela, San Cristobal and Floreana.

The accommodation options are many, the quality is significantly lower than Ecuador for the same price, or rather at prices decisively higher, but there are many solutions that offer excellent value for money.

By working with the islands for many years designing travel itineraries, I know many hotels on the islands, and these are my favorite solutions for different budgets, from tourist to the first category.

Many structures are not found online, often the rooms are not available on web but they are on site, I always recommend to ask whoever organizes the trip an advice, agents always have the best prices and they make sure you have the best rooms, and the availability.
But if you choose to do it yourself, I believe these ideas may help your case.

 

All hotels of the Galapagos that are purchased online do not include 14% (VAT) in some cases not even the 10% (service), for a total of 24%, I would recommend checking the extra costs that are still always mentioned .

 

I will not list Floreana because it is a very small island, with just over 100 inhabitants, there is only a very expensive hotel and in general is an island I do not consider, if not done on a cruise, since there are no animals worthy of interest and I think there are more interesting islands in the archipelago.

 

ALL THE PRICES INDICATED ARE FOR THE LOW SEASON

 

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Where to stay in Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz)

 

Puerto Ayora is the largest and most populous city of the islands although not the capital. The offer of accommodation is by far the largest since it not only houses the main airport but also because it is the principal hub for tours and visits to the islands .
I know the hotels considered and they offer good value for money depending on the category you choose.

 

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Hotel fiesta
Rooms from $100
TRIPADVISOR REVIEWS

A short distance from downtown Puerto Ayora, the Fiesta is an unpretentious, simple hotel offers an outdoor pool and rooms of different sizes. simple yet functional rooms, the hotel is on the way to Tortuga Bay.

Book now

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Dejavu 
Rooms from $130
TRIPADVISOR REVIEWS

Hostal with spacious rooms, some with sea view and Jacuzzi suites. Center, run by local people and with loving and friendly staff. Council to request that the room will be assigned and paid more for rooms with views or broader. Definitely a good compromise for the cost.

Book now
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Red Mangrove Aventura Lodge
Rooms from $300
TRIPADVISOR REVIEWS

This hotel is the most beautiful, and also the most expensive of the islands. The structure is harmonious and fits well to the Galapagos, respecting the environment of the rooms are elegant and simple. Directly on the sea in the pool area is experiencing a sea lion with which you can interact.

Book now

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Where to stay in Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal)

 

Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is growing in these recent years as a destination for islands hopping thanks to the opening of Espanola Island even to those who do not take part in a cruise.

This is the island of sea lions that has a lot to offer even if it is more basic than Puerto Ayora, in particular, this is where the tours for Leon dormido depart, where there are good chances to swim with hammerhead sharks and the wonderful Espanola Island.

 

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Galapagos Playa Mann
Rooms from $150
TRIPADVISOR REVIEWS

Central and close to the beach Playa Mann of San Cristobal, some rooms have sea views, the ‘hotel has an outdoor area with hammocks. All rooms have air conditioning. simple, no-frills rooms.

Book now

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Casa Opuntia
Rooms from $170

TRIPADVISOR REVIEWS

A very nice hotel with sea view and swimming pool in the center of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. The hotel also offers a bar and a restaurant rather busy. simple, functional rooms.

Book now
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Golden Bay Spa Resort 

Rooms from $280
TRIPADVISOR REVIEWS

Brand new, is the first-class hotel, and also the only one, of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno. A stone’s throw from the beach, rooms with views, this hotel is definitely one of the best of the archipelago with a pool and great service.

Book now

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Where to stay in Puerto Villamil (Isabela)

 

Isabela Island is the island that is liked best in general, and the reasons are many. The most beautiful sunset of the islands are seen from here, it is the only town directly on the beach, white, and with palms, it is the most romantic, is the base for discovering the wonderful marine tunnels and to do trekking on the Sierra Negra volcano.

Among all the cities it is the most basic and elementary, and perhaps this is what makes this town one of the most popular.

 

 

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The wooden house
Rooms from $100
TRIPADVISOR REVIEWS

A hotel not far from the main pier and a 10-minute walk from the center of Isabela. simple yet functional rooms with fan and air conditioning, an outdoor swimming pool, friendly and courteous staff.

Book now

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La Casa de Marita
Rooms from $160
TRIPADVISOR REVIEWS

Delicious, simple hotel right on the beach, simple and functional rooms, some with sea view others garden view. It ‘a no frills hotel, which began first as a house later became hotel in years. friendly managers and rooms of different sizes.

Book now
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Iguana Crossing

Rooms from $220
TRIPADVISOR REVIEWS

This hotel with the Red Mangrove Isabela is the best of this island. Elegant, spacious rooms, just steps from the beach, a pool and great service. A great choice for those who want comfort, elegant rooms and impeccable service.

Book now

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[su_icon_panel shadow=”0px 1px 2px #eeeeee” icon=”icon: bullseye”] ADVICE

I highly recommend NOT to book any hotel before having the itinerary confirmed by the agency. It is often hard to find places on the boats and before reserving hotels it is very important to be sure of your travel itinerary.
The risk of not follow this simple rule is to reserve the hotel but not to find places on the boats and losing days, this is even more true during the high season.

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Latest news about Galapagos and Ecuador from the Blog 

 

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