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Galapagos Islands research

My daughter has a last-minute opportunity to visit the Galapagos with a friend, and they have found several discounted last-minute [March] options. However, she works 60+ hours a week, which limits the time for planning. Now, this isn't a request to plan her trip, obviously , but a query regarding the best sources for her trip research, so she can be efficient and thorough. One of her questions was- there are many islands to visit, how to prioritize? Hopefully you experienced world travelers can point her to the best and most practical sources of information, as there's no RS Guide Book for this adventure.
Thx to all!

Posted by
1526 posts

You say she has an opportunity to visit there, what is the opportunity? I believe because there are several islands, many people do a liveaboard cruise to see them. My trip was a dive trip so I can’t be much help, but I have heard of Galapagos Travel.

Posted by
927 posts

We took the Celebrity Xpedition out of Baltra. I know there are day boats that go to different islands but have heard they fill fast. There are numerous small boat / live aboard tours as well.
The number of visitors to the island is regulated and you must be with a guide. I just googled Galápagos Islands and found a lot of information.
This was my all time favorite vacation.

Posted by
1 posts

Planning for the Galapagos can be time-consuming since there so many options: land vs. sea, what islands to see, etc. In May 2019, I did a tour through Intrepid Travel that was fantastic. The groups are small (max 16) and transportation is taken care of between the islands which was a huge help. The age range is mixed and they do offer discounts for last minute bookings. If anything, their website gives an idea of what each island is like in the itineraries. Below is the link to the website. They have a variety of tours at different price points. Land-based is the cheaper option and is probably best if her main focus is NOT scuba diving. Also worth noting, any tour on the Galapagos must be guided by a native to the islands.

In terms of prioritizing islands, we went to San Cristobal, Floreana, Isabela, and Santa Cruz. San Cristobal (Galapagos sea lions, blue-footed boobies) and Isabela (tortoises, Galapagos penguins, flamingos, reef sharks, Galpagos iguanas). Santa Cruz is the most populated island with the most amenities.

Hope that helps!

Posted by
63 posts

Depending on what her budget is, this seems like the perfect circumstance for a guided trip/cruise. There are so many options in the Galapagos it can be overwhelming especially if you have minimal time to research and plan. I would recommend she look at some of the small ship cruises and pick one that fits her schedule, not worry so much about whether she gets inner loop or outer loop.

Posted by
679 posts

We actually stayed on one of the islands (there are really only two that have towns to stay). We then day tripped out. We really enjoyed it and had everything handled by a tour group that was family owned. Found it trip advisor and then checked into used their web site to book. The tour company handled everything for us for about half the price of a cruise.

Posted by
684 posts

Thx to all for taking the time to share your experiences!

Posted by
4 posts

catamaran cruises are most efficient. small groups. hiking, snorkeling every day. lectures by certified guides. even though you could do it independently, you'll save a lot of time not doing day trips.