We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Returned from a wonderful trip!

Cape Cod, MA
Level Contributor
198 posts
80 reviews
Save Topic
Returned from a wonderful trip!

Well, unfortunately I'm back from Ecuador. 2 weeks was not long enough. I have to say it was a trip of a lifetime and everyone I met was great.

Tour company: I booked through Happy Gringo. They were terrific. Eva was very helpful and returned messages right away.

Arriving: I flew into Baltra from Guayaquil. I couldn't go to Quito. Too chilly for me. Everyone in my group, besides me, booked through Peregrine. They all met in Quito at a hotel. In the airport it took sometime for my guide and I to find each other. I didn't worry though. Tip: Don't panic or stress on trip.

Boat: I did a 8 day trip on the M/V San Jose. I don't have any complaints. The boat was clean, the crew was friendly and knowlegdeable. I was solo, so I met my roommate the day of the cruise. I was lucky. Kat was a great girl. We had a blast. We had windows on either side of our room. They were good for nice views or a cool breeze. Boy did that cool breeze help in drying our clothes;)

Food: I'm not picky, so to me the food was delicious. The kitchen crew was very accommodating to my vegetarian and non red-meat eating friends. At breakfast there was always cereal, yogurt, fruit and some protein. I loved the fish on the boat. One night we even had spaghetti. Yum. The only thing about the food was some of us really wanted something chocolatey.

Guide: Roberto was wonderful. He knew so much and was always one with jokes. He wasn't real strict with us and I think everyone liked him.

Islands: I'm not going to go into detail. I think everyone needs to see the islands themselves. Every island was unique. The views were amazing. The beaches were heaven and the animals were sometimes more curious about us than we of them. I did make it to Isabela island, but I did that on my own. On the last day of the cruise I decided I'm going to Isabela. Let me just say, what a boat ride!

Activites: I snorkeled almost everyday. The day I didn't was not by choice. My favorite spot was Devil's Crown. I saw sea lions up-close and personal, penguins, sharks, turtles, fish, rays and more. I didn't have a wetsuit and I could have stayed in the water for hours. However, I'm from the Northeast US and the water is cool up here. I'm also part fish according to my cruisemates. If you're sensitive to cold, than a wetsuit is a good idea. The boat provided snorkel gear. I didn't bring my own b/c I wouldn't have room. The snorkel leader was also the guide. He was a divemaster and made sure everyone was safe. Even an older man who went snorkeling for his first time in the deep waters. Hikes were great. Just be careful not to step on any animals. I was scared by lava lizards many times. A couple marine iguanas almost became intimate with my Tevas. Went out for drinks in Pto.Ayora and San Cristobal. It was nice to be off the boat at night. I felt very safe walking around.

Misc: I took along a journal to write down everything. There was no way I could remember half of what I saw or learned. I also brought music with me and some reading. I must admit I did fall once in the dinghy. I was ok and the crew was very helpful. It wouldn't have been a trip if I didn't fall;)

To everyone just enjoy yourself and go with the flow. Bring your sense of humor and you'll be sure to have a terrific time! I plan to go back to volunteer and do some diving. One more thing, I saw the book "My Father's Island" on the boat. I ended up buying it in San Cristobal. Finished it in 2 days. Good read to get to know Galapagos.

I could write so much more, but if you have questions just ask.

Mentioned in this post
Ecuador
Ecuador
South America
Guayaquil
Guayaquil
Guayas Province, Ecuador
Quito
Quito
Pichincha Province, Ecuador
San Jose
San Jose
San Jose Metro, Costa Rica
Isabela
Isabela
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
San Cristobal
San Cristobal
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Bristol, United...
Level Contributor
850 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Returned from a wonderful trip!

Thanks for the trip report. I agree with the jounal idea - I couldn't remember what I had seen on each island or even what order we visited when I got back. The itinerary was different to the one I had printed.

How easy was it to get a boat to Isabela and what was the cost ? I assume this was from Puerto Ayora ? Were there luggage restrictions ?

Mentioned in this post
Isabela
Isabela
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Puerto Ayora
Puerto Ayora
Santa Cruz, Ecuador
Cape Cod, MA
Level Contributor
198 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Returned from a wonderful trip!

My guide from the cruise booked me my boat trip to Isabela. It was a small place in Pto. Ayora next to the supermarket. It cost $30 each way and it is best to book your return ticket as soon as possible. Even if you aren't sure, book it and then change it. I did book my return trip when I picked up my ticket. As far as I know there weren't any luggage restrictions. The only thing they cared about was if you had fruits/vegetables to bring to the island. It was quite the boat ride though. Take medicine if you get any kind of motion sickness. On the return trip we saw lots of dolphins.

Mentioned in this post
Isabela
Isabela
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Bristol, United...
Level Contributor
850 posts
11 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Returned from a wonderful trip!

Thanks. What size of boat was it and how long did it take ? Does it run every day ? Sorry for all the questions but these are the things that are very difficult to find out until you get there. I have a feeling that booking these before you get to the islands will increase the cost considerably.

Cape Cod, MA
Level Contributor
198 posts
80 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Returned from a wonderful trip!

The boat runs everyday and took a little over 2 hours. It was a speedboat that fit about 16 people snuggly. Luggage went down below and overflowed into sitting area.

5. Re: Returned from a wonderful trip!

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 29 September 2009, 15:19