Galapagos - Any Suggestions will be helpful

Old Mar 29th, 2007, 06:31 AM
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Galapagos - Any Suggestions will be helpful

Ok, my g/f and I are going to Ecuador for a wedding. We'll be leaving on May 24 and coming back June 4. The wedding will be on May 26 so we will be in Quito until then. We are planning on booking a Galapagos cruise from May 27 - June 4. I have read many forums on the topic, but can use any help I can get. Do we book the trip here or in Quito? Some suggest to fly to the island at the Galapagos and book the trip there. We are very budget minded and could use any suggestions you can throw our way. Thank you.
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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 04:38 PM
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If you are frugal, flying to Baltra and then hooking up with a ship would be the ideal for netting a bargain, but that also runs the risk of not finding what you need. Do you really want to play roulette with what is a once in a lifetime experience? Especially because you will spend hundreds of dollars just to fly there and back. The same potential benefit and risk applies to doing this all in Quito, though at least in this case you won't pay for air tickets to the islands without knowing whether you have berths on a boat that fits your schedule. You might try contacting agencies that are on the web to see if they can arrange discounted last mintute trips. We're booked on the Angelito for May 13th, and did our planning last year by using an agency. The idea of a last-minute bargain was tempting but the nightmare of not getting it right convinced me otherwise.
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 08:14 AM
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Baltra is not the most organized airport, and I'd be wary of just showing up and hoping to get on a boat -- especially with such a specific timeframe. I don't think it's advisable to try to book in the Galapagos or in Quito unless you’re more flexible with dates.
I booked a boat from home about a month in advance, through Zenith Travel. They were extremely helpful and organized, and even picked us up at the airport in Quito for free and took us to the hostel (not a hotel they recommended). Later in the trip my boyfriend got severe altitude sickness, and the owner of Zenith showed up at the hospital and stayed with us for a few hours until he knew everything was okay. Can't ask for better customer service than that.
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Old Apr 5th, 2007, 10:10 AM
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Hi slonik

I will give you the e-mail address for Martin Slater in Quito .
he and his brother own a Travel company called Sangay tours in Quito.

He booked all my activities while I was in Quito and also booked my flight and yacht for the Galapagos.

He is right there when good deal are available.
Do not chance going to Baltra and then trying to get a tour from there.

Like , already has been mentioned, this is a once in a lifetime trip.

Martin Slater
E-mail Address(es):
[email protected]

or
Martin Slater
E-mail Address(es):
[email protected]

Please say Hi to Martin for me.

We still stay in touch.

Percy
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Old Apr 6th, 2007, 03:19 PM
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Firstly, Baltra is just the island that houses the airport. It's not populated at all. You'll need to go to Puerto Ayora. Like gratianus says, if you're really on a budget, the best bet would be flying to Baltra, which as airports go, is basically a large shed, get the ferry and then a bus to Puerto Ayora (should be no more than $10 p/person) and try to book something when you get to PA. Thing is, you can get lucky and find a cheap trip but you do run the risk of going all that way and finding nothing. Personally, I wouldn't risk it, especially if you're Spanish isn't great.

Basically, if you book before you go, you'll pay over the top for the convenience of not having to look for something when you get to Ecuador. I used to work in a hotel in Quito and so I've seen all sorts of people going with all sorts of agencies. Avoid the large multinationals like the plague - GAP, Metropolitan, Zenit, MM. These guys are dreadful and not a week went by without stories of lost luggage, boats breaking down etc.

However, when I went to the Islands myself, I used Jaguar Touring (www.jaguartouring.com) which is a local agency, small (so small overheads) and their web prices are the same as travel agents charge in Ecuador and only a few bucks cheaper than what you'd find on the Islands if you're lucky enough to find anything when you get there. Having had a lot of first-hand experience of most agencies in Ecuador, these are the guys I'd go with.

So basically, DON'T chance it by arriving into Baltra without anything booked. Give Heleana at Jaguar Touring a bell and see what they've got.

Good luck and safe travels! Joe
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Old Apr 20th, 2007, 06:57 PM
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My family and I went on a Galapagos cruise on the Letty, one of the Ecoventura boats and a sister ship to the Flamingo and the Eric.

3 out of 4 members of my family and 7 out of 22 people on the boat contracted a stomach virus with symptoms including fever, diarrhea and vomiting.

I suggest you stay away from those boats.
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