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Galápagos tours last minute - book puerto ayora or Quito?

Perth
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Galápagos tours last minute - book puerto ayora or Quito?

Hi

I'm currently in colombia and heading to ecuador and Galápagos Islands next... I can get a flight straight to baltra or Quito and am wondering what will be most cost effective - but will also give me the most chance of getting a decent boat?

Is there much choice of last minute boats when booking from puerto ayora? Or am I better off frying to get a flight and boat package from Quito? Any help greatly appreciated

Thanks In Advance :)

Cheers

Ottawa, Canada
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1. Re: Galápagos tours last minute - book puerto ayora or Quito?

Dear Andrea,

If you're alone, and have flexibility in both time and ship/itinerary, then you should go to Puerto Ayora and find something there. September is lower season - though some ships take advantage of that and go into dry-dock or maintenance for a few weeks during that period - leaving fewer options. But again, if you're alone (even 2 people), and fairly flexible, that's the best situation to be in. You just need to study the options being offered to you before putting your money down - take your time.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Rockville Centre...
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2. Re: Galápagos tours last minute - book puerto ayora or Quito?

You can get a flight straight to Baltra or San Cristóbal from Guayaquil or Quito, but not from Colombia (unless there's been some radical change recently, which I doubt). Anyway, August is the bottom of the low season, so there's fewer tourists. But there's also fewer ships, as many of them go into dry dock for maintenance. When you arrive at the Baltra or San Cristóbal airport, ask the waiting guides if there's any room on whatever ship they're working on. If yes, you can probably get a good price deal. Otherwise, you could go into town (Puerto Ayora on the former, Baquerizo Moreno on the latter) and try your luck there. Or if you plan to spend a few days on the mainland, see what you can find there. But if you want to fly directly to the islands, fly to Guayaquil. Island flights start in Quito, stop in Guayaquil, then head out. So there's not much point going to the extra time/expense of flying to Quito just to get a flight that'll take you to Guayaquil on the way to the islands.

Perth
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3. Re: Galápagos tours last minute - book puerto ayora or Quito?

Thanks

I don't have too much flexibility on time... (Maybe a couple of days - i also want to do a day diving trip so that could give me time) .... That is kind of what I'm worried about. Eg. Get to the island and then have difficultly finding a boat right away. I'm fairly flexible on itinerary as I am yet to do major research on the best options... Any suggestions of must see islands? :)

I was thinking of flying from Medellin to Quito to Guayaquil and to baltra ... Long haul but maybe worth it to save on time and money.

Thanks for your posts :)

Edited: 27 August 2013, 14:34
Rockville Centre...
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4. Re: Galápagos tours last minute - book puerto ayora or Quito?

If you only have a few days, AND want to do a diving day trip, your best best would probably be to fly to Baltra, then take the bus/ferry/bus over to Puerto Ayora. Go to Scuba Iguana (near the entrance to the Darwin Research Station) and see what's available. You might be able to do much the same thing at San Cristóbal, with diving at Kicker Rock, but I don't know the details of this. In any case, try to contact the dive outfit NOW, just to see if diving is available at this time of the year -- seas are apt to be a tad rough, and maybe this affects dive operations. Also, you can also do a few non-dive day trips, including one up into the highlands. So with limited time available, this might work out best for you.

Perth
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5. Re: Galápagos tours last minute - book puerto ayora or Quito?

Thank.. I do have about 10 days at least so was hoping to get an 8 day trip ona. Broad and do a one day dive ... Just depends on how quickly I can arrange a boat I guess.

Cheers :)

Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Galápagos tours last minute - book puerto ayora or Quito?

I would like to know if cruising (boat of some kind) to any of the islands is best, staying a couple of nights then catching another boat to another island is a good plan? How long would you suggest, we are not divers just walkers/swimmers in our 60s.

Also we arrive in Santiago and then considering flying north first any tips on places on the way up to Quito?

Have you heard of the Visit South America Pass through Lan, oneworld etc.? We will be travelling for 6-7weeks.

Tucson, Arizona
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7. Re: Galápagos tours last minute - book puerto ayora or Quito?

LAN is a good airline, and their various passes are generally a good deal, especially if you're traveling to several countries. Between Chile and Ecuador is the spectacular Peru--definitely worth a stop to at least visit Machu Picchu, although the country could you keep you busy for much longer.

With your amount of time a real cruise of at least eight days would be much more satisfying, I think. You get to the more remote islands and away from development. You can't do that with an island-hopping trip.

Sydney, Australia
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8. Re: Galápagos tours last minute - book puerto ayora or Quito?

Thanks for the info. Still find cruises VERY EXPENSIVE and we have a lot of places to visit. We are now flying from Sydney to Guayaquil in March, will probably stay a couple of nights (in Guayaquil at least) to relax and look around Guayaquil then organise flight to Baltra and then hopefully get a look around that Island and organise a cruise to other islands on day trips or two day visits. Have to do some research.

Rockville Centre...
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9. Re: Galápagos tours last minute - book puerto ayora or Quito?

wally5022 -- Have a look at Unipark Hotel in Guayaquil, here: http://www.uniparkhotel.com/

It's got three things going for it: location, location, location<g>. Parque Seminario (better known as Iguana Park) is directly across the street, the Rio Guayas waterfront is just a short stroll away, and so on. Also take a cab ride to Parque Historico, which is on the other side of the river. In Galápagos there's nothing to see on Isla Baltra (other than the airport), so take the bus/ferry/bus over to Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz. From there you can take day trips to nearby islands -- also visit the Darwin Research Station, which is an easy stroll from the city.

Sydney, Australia
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10. Re: Galápagos tours last minute - book puerto ayora or Quito?

Thanks, looked at hotel - booked out even in March next year! Thanks about Baltra, I did read you had to go to Puerto Ayora Just a bit concerned about day trips from the Island to other islands in late March/April.

Do you know if this is a busy time? Any suggestions would be appreciated. (We are in our 60s but still young!)