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uhh, boat trip vs land?

sarasota, FL
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uhh, boat trip vs land?

My husband and i are part of a home exchange website. A family from Quito Ecuador stayed with us last year so this year we are visiting them. since we stay with them for free, this is a great deal. While we are there, we plan to fly from quito to the Galapagos islands for only three nights, since this is all we can afford to pay for lodging on this trip (i got laid off recently) i see alot of the posts are about ships and boat trips through travel agencies...Since we are flying and staying three nights..can we get little boats that go in one day to other islands so we are not stuck on the same island all three days? do boats go back and forth from some of the islands and does anyone know the prices? i dont know how close together the islands are so i couldnt even begin to figue prices, this is a trip of a lifetime for us and if we were wealthy, we'd be able to stay longer and enjoy more, but most of our vacations are short due to money restraints, forcing us to go-go-go the whole trip and experince as much as possible..

thanks for any help!

Perth, Australia
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1. Re: uhh, boat trip vs land?

There's a disussion on this forum just three down the page that may answer some of your queries:


Ottawa, Canada
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for Galapagos Islands
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2. Re: uhh, boat trip vs land?

Dear Constant Wanderer,

I understand your dilemma - and I would like to raise another option.

If budget is an issue, why not skip the Galapagos this time around?

I suggest this because it will cost you US$ 412 for your flight to the islands, as well as US$ 100 for your Park fee and US$ 10 for your Transit Control Card fee for a total of US$ 1, 044 just to get there. This money could be used to do so much more on the continent, and would leave you the money you had budgeted for your Galapagos land extension to use in addition to your travel money, extending your budget even further.

Ecuador is much, much more than just the Galapagos - it is a gem of a country in which you will find jungles, mountains, beaches and some of the world's richest cultural and natural heritage!

I'm suggesting that you think outside the box.

If you are committed to visiting the Galapagos this time around, then I would recommend a 4 day/3 night cruise. There are a number of reputable ship owners that offer tours of this length. A trip of this length starts at around US$ 1, 220.00 per person for the cruise only and tends to be available only on upper 1st Class and Luxury ships.

Be sure to ask what visitor sites are included - with a cruise this short, you will want to ensure that you maximize your time in the islands themselves (as opposed to human habitation zones). With that said, I fully support visitors spending additional time in the towns of Galapagos, however with your time constraints, you need to focus on the animals.

I hope my thoughts help with your decision!

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Arizona, USA
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3. Re: uhh, boat trip vs land?

When are you planning this trip? I am leaving early July on my yachet from LA down along the coastal areas to end my trip at the islands. I would be more the happy to share the trip out to the islands. My yachet has 3 cabins, plus sleeper sofa. I would be traveling with my wife and 18 year old son. This trip is his graduation gift from high school and this is where he wants to go.


sarasota, FL
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4. Re: uhh, boat trip vs land?

wow, that's crazy nice of you but we are going in April...such a great dad for giving some awesome life experiences to your son..

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: uhh, boat trip vs land?

if you decide to skip the galapagos as suggested above, i can recommend a nice trip to cotopaxi and the quilotoa loop. we rented a car for 3 days for < $300 and the b&bs are inexpensive if you look around.

also, someone told me a lot of the galapagos wildlife can be found on the mainland coast, but i did not see that first hand...

Bristol, United...
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6. Re: uhh, boat trip vs land?

Day trips can be difficult to get if you only have a short time available. They sell out and only go on specific days. In my week on Santa Cruz I could only get two islands as day trips where you actually land. The average price is around $100 each and it takes a full day for each trip. One pickup was 5am. These are all guided tours - you cannot wander off on your own. Try to find a way to book them before you get there - ask your hotel.

Between the populated islands you can get boats for $30 each way but you can't get there and back in a day and you will not be able to see the visitor sites that you see on a cruise (best for the animals). I don't recommend this in the time you have.

Island hopping is a relativly new way to see the islands. You stay one night on each of the populated islands. Again you will not see the best visitor sites but you can cover 3 islands in 3 days. redmangrove.com is one of the first to offer this.

The cruise is the best way to see the animals but of course they are expensive. Most of the best islands are only available to cruises.

Tucson, Arizona
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for Quito, Ecuador
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7. Re: uhh, boat trip vs land?

<also, someone told me a lot of the galapagos wildlife can be found on the mainland coast, but i did not see that first hand...>

You can see some of the more common critters in the "poor man's Galápagos" on Isla de la Plata off Puerto López. PL is a quiet fishing village, not touristy, with some very nice hotels that might set you back $20-30/night (I really like Hostería Mandala). You can bus there if time is not an issue, or fly to Manta and bus or taxi to PL to save time (about $130 RT flight, $40 each way by taxi).

8. Re: uhh, boat trip vs land?

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