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Indepent Travel Questions

New York City, New...
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Indepent Travel Questions

I've read a few guidebooks but there seems to be some gaps in the information provided. If anyone with first hand experience could fill me in on the details, I would be grateful.

Which islands can day tours actually land on and walk the trails? My books make it sound like quite a few, but there are first hand reports of being turned back or told they could not go on land upon arriving so they only snorkled. Specifically, I am looking at Santa Fe, Plaza South, North Seymour, the place on Isabella where you go to view sharks in the water from land, El Chato, and Bartolome. Sorry, I typo'd the title and I am uncertain how to edit it.

As I will be coming in the late fall, I think the tortoises will be back in the Santa Cruz highlands? I also would like to see a land iguana. I've read there are some between the airport and the ferry. Is it allowed to walk around the roadside and such looking for them? Finally, if anyone has leads on where I can see the galapagos geckos or snakes it would be much appreciated. I've also read of an introduced treefrog, has anyone specific advice as to where I might be able to see one?

Edited: 30 January 2013, 01:05
New York City, New...
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1. Re: Indepent Travel Questions

Sorry about the title, I don't seem to be able to edit the typo

Ottawa, Canada
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for Galapagos Islands
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2. Re: Indepent Travel Questions

Dear EP,

you pose a lot of questions! Good for you. I will answer a few.

The introduced frog (another scourge) is mostly found in the Villamil wetlands - the last I heard, the park was trying to eradicate them using caffeine... what a way to go! I'm not sure how numerous they are. Geckos are ubiquitous - most species are introduced as well! The snakes are very hard to find - I don't think more than 1/100 visitors will chance upon this harmless slitherer. I lived there for 4 years and never saw one.

I think most of the islands you mention are visitable by day trip (not Santa Fe, and I'm not sure about N. Seymour either). And you can just walk around Baltra looking for land iguanas. Santa Fe and South Plazas are good places to find them though. There are some in the Charles Darwin Research Station Land Iguana pens (I ran the project to build those pens!).

So, there's a start to answering some of your questions.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Bristol, United...
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3. Re: Indepent Travel Questions

Bartolome, N Seymour and S Plaza all allow landings from day trip boats (authorised ones of course). I have done N Seymour and Bartolome that way. The land visits are always with guide only.

I have heard of some people landing on Santa Fe and others being told its snorkel only - so check when you book. A couple of years ago, I couldn't find a trip that landed there.

As far as I am aware, there are authorised trips to the shark viewing off Isabela - certainly our cruise ship guide left us on the islet unattended which would not of happened on the restricted sites. However as its a short boat trip from population, it may be that unauthorised boats are also operating and maybe thats where people have been refused landings.

Dave Peters

DP Software

4. Re: Indepent Travel Questions

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