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“Well Worth the cost to spend a few days”

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.
Georgetown, Texas
Level Contributor
300 reviews
81 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Well Worth the cost to spend a few days”
Reviewed 1 September 2013 via mobile

This has been on my bucket list for a long time and I went with a small group through the Smithsonian. We flew in to Balta and immediately got on the Coral II for 3 days around the islands. We had a naturalist from Ecuador AND a naturalist from the Ecuador Parks Dept. Between the two we were well informed. We went in Aug. which it their winter - a wetsuit was really not needed but I grew up swimming in the Atlantic. The winds are high so the water is rough so take your Bonine daily (we were some of the few that did not get seasick and I usually do very easily). The snorkling was wonderful seeing many fish, playing with the sea lion young ones, and saw plenty of sea turtles nibbling on the underwater flora. On land we saw Blue Footed Boobies, sea lions, Christmas Iguanas, Albatross (one was only about a day old with mother), etc. This was a great adventure and I would easily do it again!

Visited August 2013
Thank Noni53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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87 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
23 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
“Take an underwater camera, the snorkelling is spectacular”
Reviewed 26 May 2013

Even if you are not a strong swimmer, you can snorkel in the Galápagos Islands. Recently returned from 8 days/7nights on a Peregrine tour staying on Queen Beatriz 16 berth plus 8 crew catamaran. Snorkelled twice a day and had 2 land visits a day. The wildlife on land and in the air is beautiful, but the most wonderful experiences are underwater. Each place we snorkelled was different and had its own unique spot of amazing beauty. Snorkelling between 3m high lava channels, through mangroves with marine iguanas, along side underwater rock faces with so many fish of different colours, shapes and sizes. Tumble turning in the water with sea lions and sticking you head up to see a penguin on the rock directly in front of your face. The water was warm, no need to wear a wetsuit, but good to wear if not a strong swimmer. The best snorkelling was at the Devil's Crown. So good, we did it 5 times in one session. The current took you through the middle of a volcanic cone or around the outside of the cone. White tipped reef sharks, sea turtles, stingrays and thousands of fish. Wonderful experience.

Visited March 2013
5 Thank aussietraveller70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ridgeland, Mississippi, United States
1 review
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“Natural Beauty and Wonders”
Reviewed 23 May 2013

We just returned from the Galapagos Islands and what a wonderful place it is. Animals that you never see anywhere else seem unpreturbed by humans wandering by. We were able to snorkel with sharks, sealions, marine turtles and hundreds of fish. The Islands are beautiful and the blue footed boobie is just grand. We witnessed Wave Albratross setting on eggs and not caring at all that we were just feet away. This is a trip that everyone needs to take.

Visited May 2013
1 Thank Larry S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
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

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