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Camping - Galapagos

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United Kingdom
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Camping - Galapagos

Hi guys.

me and my boyfriend are planning to go to Ecuador for 25 days. out of those 25 days we would lilke to visit the Galapagos islands at least for 5-6 days. We will not be doing cruising - only day boat or inland trips.

I can see that there are only two hostels on the main island. I was thinking of taking our tent and camping. Do you kow about any good sites with hot water located near Puerto Ayora?

Appreciate any comments.

many thanks.

Quito, Ecuador
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1. Re: Camping - Galapagos

HI Kristina,

There are plenty of hostels in Puerto Ayora, many are "budget" (in fact, so "budget" that they don´t have websites, which may be why you only can find a few!)

With regards to camping, I´m afraid that you are out of luck for Santa Cruz island. You used to be able to camp at Garapatero Beach (with National Park permission), but since the Tsunami washed alot of the sand away, I don´t know if the site has re-opened or not. There is no hot water hook up there.

In Isabella Island you can camp at the end of the beach and use one of the hostels´ facilities for a small fee. I believe at "Beto¨s bar" and nearby you can do this.

Good luck!

United Kingdom
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2. Re: Camping - Galapagos

Many thanks, I appreciate your reply.

Do you have any suggestion for good hostel?Reasonably priced and clean.

And what about island hopping - would it be possible?I have been on so many websites and I don't know whether I should rather pre-book daily tours, but how am I supposed to do that when most agencies are local without website, or just go by offchance?

Ideally, I would like to spend three nights on different islands, but I am not sure whether this will be possible to 'spontaneously' arrange :)

Thank you .

regards

kristina

Bristol, United...
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3. Re: Camping - Galapagos

I don't think you wil be able to spontaneously island hop. The arranged island hopping tours incude accomodation on the islands and guided tours and are not that cheap.

The only public boats between islands leave Santa Cruz at 2pm and leave for the return trip at 6am taking between 2 and 3 hours. There is only one a day to each of Isabela and San Cristobal and both return to Santa Cruz. So you need at least 2 days on each island. Fare was $30 each way but check if its still the same. You need to book at least the day before. You may be charged extra if you have more than one bag.

A private boat will cost loads if you can find someone willing to take you - not worth it.

Day trips to other islands run at around $100 each. You often can't book very far in advance so most people see whats on offer when they get there. You could try galapagosmoonrise.com to see if you can secure places earlier. You may find day trips to N. Seymour, Bartolome, Plaza and possibly Santa fe - all of which require you to be with the guide and give you maybe 1 or 2 hours on the island.

Dave Peters

DP Software

One thing you can try with the accomodation is book only the first night and then look around when you get there for notes in windows offering cheap rooms. Don't expect luxury that way though.

United Kingdom
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4. Re: Camping - Galapagos

Hi dave,

thank you for your reply. I went on lonely planet forum as well and I have been advised to actually spend money on the Galapagos as it is a life time experience and I can budget whilst in Ecuador.

Well I need to think about it, but it is actually life time experience so I need to figure out all the prices and I ahve also been told I can book the curises from Quito which are cheaper than booking from the UK and often we can get some good bargains.

If we decide do cruise, what is the amount of time spent on the islands?

Thank you for your reply.

Quito, Ecuador
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5. Re: Camping - Galapagos

HI Kristina,

Galapagos definitely is a once in a lifetime experience!

As Dave mentioned, the "island hopping" spontaneaously will be a challenge, but you could always base yourself out of one island and do a few day trips from there, either to uninhabitted islands, or on the island itself.

If you want to reach the further islands that are, in my opinion, well worth it, then a cruise would be the way to go. Cruising allows you 2 land visits a day (either 2 different islands, or 2 different sites on the same island) as well as a mid'day snorkel, swim, or possible kayak,depending on the vessel.

Day trips from Santa Cruz focus on the islands that are closer and more accessible, and have 1 land visit a day and one snorkel/swim.

No matter what you decide, the islands are magical!

United Kingdom
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6. Re: Camping - Galapagos

To Galapagos Experience: Hello, I cannot wait to go. Six months to wait, but from what I have read this is going to be special,very special time indeed.

I need to discuss this with my other half, but we will think of something. Either way, we are going to spend 6 days on the island so we can make the best out of it.

Thank you for your advices.

Bristol, United...
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7. Re: Camping - Galapagos

On a cruise you might get a couple of hours morning and the same afternoon with either snorkeling or panga rides inbetween. It varies a bit between islands. Don't forget prices include food but expected tips are high.

I would say you get double the time per day cruise based than land based., Also you get morning and afternoon rather than middle of the day which is often more pleasant and better for photography. You also get to the more remote islands which have better variation of wildlife. As a slight downside, you can't explore on your own without a guide as youcan in some areas of the populated islands.

There are certainly bargains to be found last minute if you are flexible about the boat you go on and the start date.

If you are travelling alone, the single supplement is often 80% which you can avoid by stating you are wiling to share. Be careful some boat operators charge the extra if they can't match you up whereas others give you the cabin to yourself at no extra charge. The Beagle has one single cabin at no extra but its a hiigh end boat to start with.

You can book with local operators via Internet too. My favourite is happygringo.com based in Quito. I found most UK agents adding extra to the price and doing little for it. In fact when I used a UK agent, they passed it to a local agent that made a mess of it.

Miami, Florida
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8. Re: Camping - Galapagos

Most people do an 8 day, there are other options for less days. www.cachalotegalapagos.com has very affordable 6 day with great itineraries,you might want to take a look.

United Kingdom
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9. Re: Camping - Galapagos

To crewtips: This looks good, however 8 days for $2400 is little bit way too much. Our budget is around $600, may consider $800 at most. But thank you.

To Dave P: happygringo is our base agency for the Amazon - My friends who travelled in Ecuador really recommended their services. They may give us some discount if we use them for the Amazon and the Galapagos, maybe...:)

We are planning 25 days in Ecuador and our budget is around $2050. Is this going to be sufficient?(With the galapagos, Amazon visiting, horseriding, volcano visiting)..

Thank you for taking your time asnwering my questions, ...

Kristina

Tucson, Arizona
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for Quito, Ecuador
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10. Re: Camping - Galapagos

Kristina, I think you would do better to skip Galapagos on this trip. You are going to spend $400-500 EACH just getting to the islands and paying the park fees. You won't get much out of the visit doing a few day trips on inhabited islands; you kind of miss the whole point of Galapagos.

Otherwise, you would be able to travel very comfortably on the mainland. In June the humpback whales have returned to the area around Puerto López; there are operators in the town that can combine whale-watching with a trip to Isla de la Plata (aka the poor man's Galapagos), where you can see three kinds of boobies, and the very rare Waved Albatross if you're lucky; I saw them courting there last May). You could book a nice lodge in the Amazon as well, with money left over to fly rather than take a long bus ride.

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