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Old 10-12-2012, 02:44 PM   #1
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Default Galapagos Islands - Ever been?

Anyone ever been to the Galapagos Islands before? I have the chance to join a couple of family members on a trip there to tour around the islands on a small ship. It all sounds awesome, but it's also a little on the expensive side, so I'm trying gauge whether it's worth the money.

Has anyone ever been? Mind sharing your experience? And if you ever went via Ecuador, how did you like there? Seems like it would be a nice way to check that county out too.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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My buddy went and he said it was one of the greatest places he has ever been, and he lives on a games reserve in South Africa.
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:47 PM   #3
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There is the lesser known "poor man's Galapagos Island". Less expensive to visit.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isla_de_la_Plata

http://www.guardian.co.uk/travel/201...mans-galapagos

http://www.pro-ecuador.com/Isla-de-la-Plata.html
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Old 10-12-2012, 02:52 PM   #4
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Not only that! you get to see a lot of boobies!!!

Spoiler!

Last edited by Bertuzzied; 10-12-2012 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:05 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troutman View Post
There is the lesser known "poor man's Galapagos Island". Less expensive to visit.
If I'm going to spends a few thousand bucks to get to that part of the world, might as well just go all the way and do Galapagos. But this does look really nice nice too...I'm sure it's all pretty stunning.
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Old 10-12-2012, 03:44 PM   #6
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I went in 03, it was an amazing trip. but be prepared to spend a lot of money for the galapagos part of a south american trip. Back than I spent about $6000 for a five week trip and near 40% of the cost was 8 day in galapagos. That being said it is worth it.

I would say 8 day on a small yacht (16 person) is ideal. Best advice we had was go to the island in the morning before breakfast and you get the island to yourself before any other of the boats go to the island, and eat after and watch the hundred people in the small tourist areas.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:15 PM   #7
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My friends dad has been there. He saw some gay tortoises have sex.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #8
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My friends dad has been there. He saw some gay tortoises have sex.
That makes him a sex tourist.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Tiger View Post
I went in 03, it was an amazing trip. but be prepared to spend a lot of money for the galapagos part of a south american trip. Back than I spent about $6000 for a five week trip and near 40% of the cost was 8 day in galapagos. That being said it is worth it.
Yep, that's kind of what I've been getting from all of this. Really expensive, but really amazing.
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:18 PM   #10
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Sexy gay turtles. Sold!
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Old 10-12-2012, 04:20 PM   #11
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Sexy gay turtles. Sold!
Tortoises! They don't appreciate speciesists in the Galapagos!
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:35 PM   #12
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Tortoises! They don't appreciate speciesists in the Galapagos!
Toirtoise is a subcategory of turtle. It's still a correct term here.
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:51 PM   #13
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Was there two years ago with a group from Gap Adventure Tours.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:22 PM   #14
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I did a surf trip to Ecuador, loved the place. Did not make it to the islands, but have heard from friends who visited that it is well worth it.
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:44 PM   #15
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I have a coworker who went. It was very very pricey, but she said it was well worth it. I saw some of her pictures and it was pretty surreal. Galapagos has always been somewhere I have planned to go in life.
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Old 10-12-2012, 10:45 PM   #16
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Never been but the weather looks fantastic.

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Old 10-13-2012, 03:15 PM   #17
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I went last year. When I booked my trip I didn't see too many options for cruises so I ended up staying in Puerto Ayora in a nice hotel.
The islands are fantastic if you are into nature and wildlife. There is a lot to do and you can easily spend weeks and weeks going everywhere.
One acquaintance told me that he went there and stayed in a yacht (he has a lot more money than me) and basically it was awesome. He would sightsee during the day and then they travelled between sites while he was sleeping. This costs more but if you can afford it I would pay for it.
Staying inland is kinda nice if you want some more downtime to relax and go to some restaurants, etc.
Another things, it is just unbelievably hot. I have never been to a place that hot. I think it was like 35C at 7AM. just crazy but nice coming from Calgary during the winter.
Another thing, if you connect do it through Guayaquil and not Quito. I found that all the flights from Quito do a stop over in Guayaquil and it adds like 2 hrs to the flight. (But if you want to go to Quito it is an amazing city).
That's my 2 cents.
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Old 10-13-2012, 07:04 PM   #18
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:17 PM   #19
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I went March 2013. This place is amazing.

We booked through Southern Explorations. After going we figured we could have saves some money by booking ourselves. That said, it was so nice to have everything planned for us. No hic-ups at all. We did Peru, Napo River and finished with the Galapagos.

Southern Exploration basically booked up with http://www.gadventures.com/cruising/...FQcSMwodyX0AUg

End of winter/start of spring is a good time to go. Most sunny days but also most rain so everything is green. The ocean is relatively calm. Apparently Darwin went in Oct. and he didn't like it. Seas were rough and the islands were grey.

Quito, Ecuardor - people there say most crime is non violent. A fellow cruiser had her purse/passport snatched, my wife had her iPad stolen at the airport and we met a dutchman who got mugged and was living on the streets trying to get enough money to buy a bus ticket to a city with a dutch embassy (we gave him cab fare and directed to the Canadian embassy). 1/3 crimes were violent so I guess most crime is non violent. This city is scary. Do not go out at night. Only use register taxis. So many fake cabs. The new airport is a disaster in terms of logistics. Try to plan you flight around non rush hour times. http://gosouthamerica.about.com/od/e...to-Airport.htm

Best part of the vacation was snorkling. So much wildlife. We were able to swim with sea lions, penguins and dolphins. The dolphins were a fluke so don't get your hopes up. I was the only one who made physical contact. Our boat had 20 people and were were split into two groups for snorkle and land excursions. During a snorkle our guide saw dolphins and asked us if we wanted to try to catch them. Our group said yes, they other guide didn't ask his group. We cruised (in a panga aka zodiak) out to open ocean and we watching them. The guide asked if we wanted to jump in and we said sure. It was amazing to see them swim around us and hear the clicks and whistles. After a while we went back to the Letty (our cruise ship) got changed and headed back onto the pangas, this time with both groups. The pod of dolphins was huge at this point. So many baby dolphins. A guest over heard the driver of the panga (a native galaponian) ask the guide in spanish if this was normal. That made the trip.

I'll try to post a video or pic in the next week or two.

Thread bump cause I just found it and got excited all over again.
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Last edited by Shaggin Wagon; 10-21-2013 at 04:21 PM. Reason: thread bump cause this place is awesome
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Old 10-21-2013, 04:30 PM   #20
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Ha, I've been meaning to put up photos of my trip for the last half year. The place was amazing...once in a lifetime type of experience.
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