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reasonbly priced Galapagos

Leonia, NJ
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reasonbly priced Galapagos

Hi - Most trips from USA with a guided naturalist who speaks english is approximately $3400 (including air) for one week from a New York City gateway. I hear it can be done cheaper than than that. Does anybody know any companies to recommend cheaper than that?

Mi Wuk Village...
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1. Re: reasonbly priced Galapagos

Nothing to do with the Galapagos is really cheap. It's Ecuador's cash cow. One obvious way to save. Go to Ecuador and book from a local agency in Quito. Lots of English speaking guides. Booking at a US agency just means paying them a big commission to send a couple emails.

Ottawa, Canada
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2. Re: reasonbly priced Galapagos

Dear Laurie,

$3,400, from NYC, for 1 week in Galapagos is a very good price if that includes a cruise (which start at about US$2,500 per week). It all depends on what's included. If it's for a land based visit, then it's nothing special. Check this forum, and the FAQs, for many discussions and answers to the type of question you are asking.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Leonia, NJ
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3. Re: reasonbly priced Galapagos

but who is reputable... know anyone?

Oceanside...
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4. Re: reasonbly priced Galapagos

This forum has lots of suggestions about good agencies that specialize in the Galápagos. The 4 I remember best (probably because they are mentioned most often) are Happy Gringo, CNH Tours, Columbus Travel, and Metropolitan Touring. (We used CNH Tours for our return trip this May and had terrific service, despite my gazillion questions.) All have Web sites with lots of information; you can also contact them in a variety of ways--Skype, phone, instant chat, e-mail... Send some introductory questions to several agencies and see whose response you like.

Tina

trip report at http://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/

Leonia, NJ
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5. Re: reasonbly priced Galapagos

ok, i have 2 choices - 7 day trip - 3 days in galagagos staying in hotels for $3200 plus air from MIA. This one includes Tintoreras which they say you can snorkel with penguins. They to to San Cristobal, Isabela, Santa Cruz. All meals.

The other one is a 10 day trip - 4 days cruise on a ship. All meals. Includes 2 days Quito (big deal - looks and sounds to me like Cuzco and Manaus, shich I've been to both). The cruise goes to San Cristobal, Sante Fe/South Plaza islands, Santa Cruz, Espanola (they claim can see blue-footed boobies and waved albatross there). Not sure if any of those islands affords you the chance to snorkel with penguins, or of Tintoreras is a good chance to that or not,.

Any opinions on those options? Basically it's ship vs hotel, one more day,Sante Fe/South Plaza vs Isabela and Espanola vs Tintoreras. And possibility of penguins...

Leonia, NJ
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6. Re: reasonbly priced Galapagos

oh, forgot to mentin the 10 day trip is $3800 - $600 more

Leonia, NJ
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156 posts
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7. Re: reasonbly priced Galapagos

and both trips all meals

Ottawa, Canada
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8. Re: reasonbly priced Galapagos

Dear Laurie,

if you can, take the longest cruise possible - the longer you're on a ship, the more you'll see the diversity of Galapagos wildlife and landscapes. It's a long way to go from NYC - you might as well make the best of itt. Like going to Paris for a weekend from NYC - you can do it, but it's that's a lot of overhead, for such little exposure to what the place is all about. Make sure you're on a reputable ship with a decent guide.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Leonia, NJ
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156 posts
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9. Re: reasonbly priced Galapagos

So you think the ship experience is better than staying in hotels. Don't want to go TOO long - may start to repeat animals. But it's one day longer than the other one. The other 2 days are spent in Quito. $600 gets you one day more on the ship and 2 days in Quito.

Anyway, THe ship is reputable (M/V Santa Cruz) - it is offered to Americans from a very well known NY based company. But what about the penguins? I do know someone who went on the longer cruise and did nto see penguins. The shorter trip mentions the possibility of snorkeling with the penguins on Tintoreras, which is not offered on the longer trip. Not sure if that is a remote possibility or a very good possibility.Any idea about that?

Rockville Centre...
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10. Re: reasonbly priced Galapagos

M/V Santa Cruz is a good ship, but a bit on the large size (90 pax). On the Wed/Mon itinerary it goes to Punta Vicente Roca, and snorkeling may be possible, depending on sea conditions. But with so many people in the water, penguin-spotting is a bit on the "iffy" side. If it's that important to see them, your odds would be better on a smaller vessel.

Also, if Quito is not that important to you, you can save a few bucks by flying in and out of Guayaquil. Hotels and Galápagos airfare a bit less than doing it via Quito (which might resemble Cuzco, but Manaus? no way<g>).