I just added a new Top Question (on the right side of the page) that will help you get started. It's the first one. The other TQs will also help you make some decisions.
Generally, the longer the trip the better. Eight days is perfect for a good cruise to visit the uninhabited islands. A Galapagos specialist would be preferable to a general all-over-the-world agency. There are a number of recommendations on the forum.
I agree with azbuceadora, the more time the better in the Galapagos, 5 days doesn't quite cut it. In terms of my top islands in Galapagos, they are: Isabela, Fernandina, Española, north seymour, floreana, genovesa, and bartolome. Isabela, Floreana and Bartolome can be reached by basing yourself with a land tour i.e island hopping via Santa Cruz. There are benefits to both cruises and land tours, but if you do a land tour you will definitely want more than 6 days I would say. The most reputable local agencies for Galapagos I would say are: Metropolitan, Columbus Travel and Klein tours.
Two other agencies that get lots of good recommendations on this forum are Happy Gringo and CNH Tours.
trip report at http://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/
I just got back from an 8 day cruise to the Galapagos and I agree that 5 days would have been too short. We sailed on Tip Top III which had a great itinerary. My favorite islands were Isabela, Fernandina and Genovesa. We booked through Columbus Travel with Diego Andrade and were extremely happy with the service provided. From the first phone call to the end of our trip he personally took care of all our needs and provided us with a wonderful vacation.
We just did an 8 day cruise on the Coral 2. It was fantastic. 8 days was great. You really need that time to see all the animals.
well, we just returned and I will be a lone vice of dissent. I believe 4 days is plenty. You of course can not see all the islands, but think of Greece or something like that- a 4 day cruise through the isles, although they are all diffeent, is still enough to get a deep feeling and adventure. We visited a different islands each day, and there IS overlap, although the wildlife can vary alot from islands to island. Scuba is best at the tiny NW islands, and there are some real differences, but i rest my case....
-:- 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.