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Please help me jump-start planning for Galapagos trip

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My sister, husband, and I would like to go to the Galapagos (and Ecuador) in 2013. I know I will be the one who has to do all of the research and make all of the arrangements. I plan to do extensive research, but my sister needs to reserve her vacation dates for 2013 by Nov. 27, so we'd like to at least figure out when we'll be going in the next 4 days! The only months that aren't good for us are January and April. When during the period Feb.-Mar. and May-Dec. is the best time to go?

We are interested in fauna (of course) and flora, love snorkeling and kayaking, and enjoy hiking and biking as long as they're not too rigorous.

I would appreciate suggestions of reasonably-priced tours to the Galapagos and of where to go in Ecuador. We will probably have either 2 or 3 full weeks for all of this.

My sister and I have taken two very nice trips to Belize through REI Travel and are considering going through REI again. They have several trips to the Galapagos, including one that sounds very appropriate for our interests (and got excellent reviews) -- Galapagos Islands & Otavalo Highlands Multisport (; Hiking, Kayaking, Biking, Snorkeling; $3,999; 12 days, which 7 days are in the Galapagos [San Cristobal Island, Isabela Island, and Santa Cruz Island]). (Price includes most accommodations and meals; private transfer in Otavalo highlands; airport transfers Quito-Galapagos-Quito; inter-island transfers; sea kayaks and necessary paddling gear, bikes/helmets, snorkel/mask/fins; services of a skilled bi-lingual guide throughout. It does not include international airfare to and from Quito; airport transfers on international flights in and out of Quito; round trip airfare from Quito to Galapagos, Galapagos Islands transit card; Galapagos National Park entrance fee.) Does anyone have experience with this trip or opinions about it?

Thank you in advance for your help.

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