Has anyone used this company to tour the Galapagos Islands? Can you please let me know how your experience was?
The Samba is an outstanding way to see the Galapagos up close! We had an outstanding trip late Dec/early Jan 2013 on the northern itinerary they offer. Truly a trip of a lifetime. Our time on the Samba was spectacular, interesting and very pleasant. The walks, snorkeling, and dinghy rides brought us close to amazingly diverse wildlife and flora. Martha Chica, our park nature guide, was informative and fun. She had wonderful style and patience, and she shared information about geology, evolution, flora, and fauna at the right level and amount for our group. All 14 passengers got along very well; everyone was eager to see, learn, and experience as much as possible on the trip and to have fun. The boat was the perfect size, has nice rooms, comfortable common spaces, and is well maintained. The crew of six was friendly, very competent and conscientious, and fun to be around. Captain Jose snorkeled with us every time, generously assisting one of the guests who had never snorkeled before. Food was excellent and ample. And then the amazing wildlife so unafraid of our presence: We swam with dolphins, sea turtles, sea lions, penguins, flightless cormorants, and marine iguanas and a myriad of gorgeous fish. Above-water excursions were similarly thrilling to be so close to spectacularly colored boobies and other birds and animals. Our trip included land and water excursions on Genovese, Marchena, Isabela (west side), Fernandina, Floriana and Santa Cruz Islands, an excellent combination of islands that really illustrates the birth and aging of islands in this geologically active area of the world. Our trip was organized by Lourdes Jacome, of Sambagalapagos.com, who was really great. She always responded quickly to our inquiries and was extremely helpful and pro-active in developing an itinerary for our days in Ecuador before and after the Samba expedition that suited our interests perfectly. We'll be back sometime for another trip on the Samba!
Thank you Barb T for your review. We are looking at this boat for Jan 2015. How far in advance did you need to book this tour for this time of year ? How was the weather ? And where did you see the blue footed boobies?
I was unsure if we would see them on this itinerary and was thinking of adding on a day trip to North Seymour just to make sure we see them.
Any other tips for this trip would be greatly appreciated :)
I too am interested in hearing the response in reference to the ability to see the blue footed boobies on the NW route, as I have read about their decline. WE too thought about N Seymore but it has been booked for months.
We are scheduled to go on the Samba the first week in December and we scheduled about April/May. Emailing Lourdes and checking availability was the way to go.
Also, although this questions might veer a bit off course a bit , does anyone know about the wet suits on the Samba? I have been told that they are 7 mm, which is warmer than my shortie- but I have read in other posts that sometimes the wet suits on other boats might be a bit big for smaller frame person and you should bring your own. ( I understand the difficulty in trying to accommodate everyone on a boat, but I would love to leave my wet suit at home. ( I am about 5'6 and 120 lbs.)Edited: 27 September 2014, 15:25
Since no one has responded specifically about the Samba, I can at least share our experience last year around Isabela with Blue-footed Boobies. We didn't see many Blue-footed Boobies, although we saw a few resting on the cliffs around Tagus Cove. A larger group were engaging in a bit of courtship activities on the ridges around Punta Vicente Roca. And those of us who were up early often saw a few skimming along the water in the early morning dawn along Isabela's long western coast. The numbers weren't high, but you're likely to see a few.
Unless you're an avid lister, though, you shouldn't worry about the Sula species spottings. You'll see the other 2 booby species--Nazca and Red-footed--in decent numbers at the awesome sea bird breeding colonies on Genovesa. I personally think the Red-footeds are even more amazing than the Blue-footeds are--they have prehensile feet that let them perch on branches and in bushes. Very unusual in a sea bird! Occasionally, Blue-footeds nest on Genovesa; but they are much more likely to be found south of the equator.
trip reports (and much more) at http://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/
I do appreciate your response, the dilemma for everyone,, of course, was what species to try and glimpse, and then what route, and time of year. I will enjoy all we can see...
When we googled Samba Galapagos, we got Sun Wind Travel, though which we booked our cruise. We can't say enough good things about our cruise. Our guide was very knowledgable, and the captain, Jose, was great as were all the crew. The cook turned out wonderful meals and snacks--I had heard that the food was excellent, but it exceeded expectations. Although we were prepared with seasickness patches, some of us still got seasick, but we still had a wonderful time. I can't say enough about how amazing the wildlife was, both on hikes (all easy) to snorkels--sometimes two a day. This was a trip of a lifetime--but I hope we can do it again some time!
Valeria, como reservo Samba? Cuál és el correo de Juan Salcedo?
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