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“Yate Darwin, stolen money”

Administracion Turistica del Parque Nacional Galapagos
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Galapagos National Park Directorate works to promote sustainable tourism in protected areas of Galapagos with a regional perspective, that ensures the conservation of ecological integrity and biodiversity of the archipelago and to contribute to an equitable socioeconomic development and solidarity of the local population.
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Yate Darwin, stolen money”
Reviewed 28 February 2013

The trip to the Galapagos islands was excellent. Never trust any person claiming that your money and values are safe on any yate. 250 US$ were stolen out of my purse on Yate Darwin. I heard from other tourists that the same happened to them on other yates - be careful and use the safe for keeping your money! Be careful if you ask for assitance concerning the stolen money, that no one claims as revenge that you smuggled drugs in order to stop the dispute... But the nature and wildlife are amazing - like in paradise. A visit is worth it. The administration should take better care of the thief problems on yates by warning people before....

Visited February 2013
2 Thank ulrikefK_ln
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
718 reviews
308 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 355 helpful votes
“An Amazing Experience On the MC Athalla To Explore the Galapagos Islands.”
Reviewed 21 December 2012

I choose the MC Athalla because it was a small boat and it went to Fernandina Island, the "youngest" island , the Western and Northwestern islands. We went on the 6- day and 5 night cruise.
Our tour contact person in Quito picked us up from the JW Marriott to take us to the airport. He just did not drop us off. He went inside the check in counter with us and did not leave us until we got to the security area. We flew from Quito to Guayaquil and then to Baltra. When we got to Baltra, the naturalist and tour guide of the MC Athala II, Jorge Garica, was there waiting for us.
The agricultural inspection was strict. No fruit or seeds were allowed. The entrance fee to the National Park was $100 per person plus an additional $10 each for the ID card. We prepaid ours when we booked the cruise in Florida. After we got our luggage, we were taken on a tour bus to the dock. From there, we got on the zodiac boat to take us to our cruise boat. We met the other 14 passengers from England. My husband and I were the only passengers from the U.S.A.
There were 8 big cabins for the 16 passengers. We had a nice bathroom with a safe. There was a big window in each cabin. There was no telephone or TV sets. We went around the boat barefooted and did not even have keys to our cabin. Our refrigerator in each room had soft drinks, wine, fruit juices, and small bottles of whiskey - all free. There was ,also, a basket of assorted snacks - peanuts, chocolate candies, roasted corn, macadamia nuts,etc.
Everyone was so nice and friendly. We were like one big happy family. We were treated very well. There were 10 crew members with the only female staff, Jennifer Jurado, as our actvities director. We had a nice captain, Victor Rodriguez, who was approachable at the bridge anytime. Our chef was friendly as all the other staff. Each meal was served buffet style and we had plenty to eat. Fresh squeezed fruit juices and soft drinks were always available and free. We had fresh fruit and a variety of cheese each meal on top of the other food. Coffee, tea,& cold water were available (self serve & free) anytime in the galley. We had all types of activities on the boat each day. We had barbecue night, ice cream night, watched the sunset in zodiac boats with food and drinks,too and kayaking. We went to Santiago and Bartolome Islands, Isabela Island (Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove), Fernandina Island, Punta Vicente Roca, Santiago Island,Puerto Egas, Espumilla Beach, and Charles Darwin Station. We had plenty of exercise hiking, climbing, and swimming.
Each night after dinner, we had a video show and orientation for the next day's activities conducted by our guide and naturalist, Jorge Garcia. There was no dull moment. In the afternoons, we had a choice between taking the zodiac boat to sightsee or to go snorkeling or SCUBA diving. Wet suits, mask, and fins were provided free of charge. There was plenty of photo opportunites. The animals were all over the place and they were friendly. We saw giant tortoises, iguanas, manta rays, sea lions, Sally Lightfoot crabs, Galapagos penguins, humpback whales, blue footed boobies, flightless cormorants, lots of colorful fish and birds.
We crossed the equator 6 times while we were on the cruise. After the crossing, we had a barbecue on board and were given certificates for crossing the equator.
We were so pampered. The House keeper came to our cabin about 4 times a day. When we came back from activities, we would have towels folded into penguins with glasses, palm trees, etc. This was the best cruise we have ever taken.
We were so pleased with our tour operator in Dundee, Florida, Ms. Judy Martin, of Latin American Reservation Center. She was very efficient and a joy to deal with. My husband and I were extremely pleased with the cruise and the service we received. We highly recommend the MC Athala II and Latin American Reservation Center. The Galapagos Islands will not disappoint you.

Visited November 2012
5 Thank TRAVELdglobenow
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
72 reviews
35 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
“Incredible experience aboard the Tip Top III.”
Reviewed 9 December 2012

Just returned from an 8 day cruise aboard the Tip Top III. We went on the western route, and saw so many incredible sights. The crew was very solicitious and took great care of us. There were only 11 of us on the boat - really nice small number. Although this is a smaller boat, the service is much more individualized. We encountered several larger cruise ships, and I was so glad I had booked on a smaller boat. The activities were more physicially demanding than I anticipated, but doable. We hiked on the lava fields, was difficult at times, but we all did fine. We also went up and down stairs, around boulders, up hills, and in and out of the "pangas" or zodiacs each day. I really enjoyed the physical activitiy, but again, was more demanding than I had previously believed. Anyone that has physical limitations, should probably not book this tour. We had several opportunities to snorkel, would recommend, but definitely need a wet suit. The water was rather chilly, but worth it. The brochure provided by Wittmer listed more snorkeling opportunities that we did not get to take advantage of, so that was really my only disappointment. Also, they only offered beer and wine, and was a little on the expensive side.

The Galapagoes Islands are so interesting and the wildlife is abundant and diverse. After visiting I can see how they are named "the Enchanted Islands". Was such a great trip, would highly recommend. And would recommend the Tip Top boats.

Visited December 2012
2 Thank lfthorn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
67 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
“The most amazing experience on the Tip Top IV”
Reviewed 6 December 2012

I took the 8 day cruise from Baltra around the western Galapagos islands in November on the Tip Top IV. I found this boat very comfortable and the crew were excellent.

This boat is a great size to see the Galapagos islands, taking only 16 passengers, with 8 crew. My cabin was on the lower deck with a porthole which I preferred as being in the bottom of the boat is more stable. The cabin was very clean and comfortable, with twin beds, ample storage space, reading lights and a safe. The en suite had a good sized shower, toilet and sink with plenty of space beside it for toiletries. There was always plenty of hot water and the boat provided biodegradable toiletries in a dispenser. Towels were plentiful. I did see the upper cabins which had much larger, picture windows but there was quite a bit more movement so if you’re susceptible to motion sickness the lower deck is ideal.

The food was incredibly varied considering we were on a small boat. Breakfast consisted of cereals, yogurt, loads of fresh tropical fruits, waffles with maple syrup, eggs, bacon, sausages, fruit juices etc. Tea, coffee and fresh water was available to help yourself to all day. Lunch was 3 courses, starting with soup, main of fish or meat followed by dessert. Dinner was 3 similar courses and everything was delicious; plenty of salad, rice, vegetables and fruit. The Chef, Wellington, certainly looked after us very well. Meals are served buffet style with waiter service for drinks. Soft and alcoholic drinks were extra – cokes were $3, bottles of wine were $25 and the bar tab is paid at the end of your trip.

The boat has a lounge area where evening briefings were held. There is an open deck at the top, ideal for spotting the sea life as you sail along. There are also plenty of outside spaces sheltered from the wind to sit and read or snooze.

Wetsuits and snorkelling equipment were available to hire for $35 for the week. The itinerary was excellent, taking in the western Galapagos. We started from Baltra, to North Seymour, then on to Genovesa, Santiago, Fernandina, Isabela (5 different stops), Floreana and ending at Santa Cruz. Each day started early, around 6.30am, with a panga ride to shore and a morning exploring the island. Snorkelling was available most days. After lunch back on the boat we would snorkel or explore again in the afternoon. Evenings consisted of a briefing on what we had seen that day and what the itinerary would be the next day. The days were well constructed and no time was wasted. I was impressed with the amount of things we saw on this trip.

The only thing that let this boat down was the guide who could have been more helpful, willing to answer questions and friendlier to his passengers. He had been doing the job for 30 years and is clearly rather jaded with tourists. My fellow passengers and I voted with our tips and gave most of what the guide would have got, to the crew instead who certainly deserved it. However, the guide’s attitude didn’t spoil the trip as there was a fantastic bunch of people on board and this really was the trip of a lifetime. I thoroughly recommend this boat (perhaps with a more enthusiastic guide!).

Visited November 2012
4 Thank pumpernickelYork
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
southern illinois
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Galapagos school trips”
Reviewed 15 June 2012

I just want to make a comment as I am curious about this.

On arrival to GPS on 5/28 once we were at the Itabaca canal, we observed (DH and DS) observed what I would call a school field trip with about 50-60 school age children maybe 5th grade or so. Obviously they just flew in from Quito. We did see the same group at Tortuga beach the next day. We hiked in and out. (Which I regret as I have had both hips replaced). The children were brought in and out on boats. I must say these children were very well behaved. On two other occasions, we saw large groups of school age children on "field trips" from mainland Ecuador. At first we thought maybe these kids were from orphanages but we were with a different group on our flight from GPS to Quito on 6/5 and all of their parents were there to meet them at the airport. All of the kids had matching baseball souvenier hats and backpacks and tote bags, apparently part of their field trip package.

I just wanted to comment on this how I think these Ecuadorian children are so fortunate to be able to take such an awesome field trip. I am just suprised, seeing how terribly expensive it is to travel there, given the average household income. However, this is being made possible, I congratulate whoever is responsible making this possible and I'm sure these kids realize how fortunate they truly are.

Visited May 2012
1 Thank stlarch
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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