Ecuador and Galapagos

May 19th, 2009, 01:16 AM
  #1  
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Ecuador and Galapagos

Hi,
My wife and I are planning a trip to Ecuador and Galapagos for 3 weeks from the 22nd of September. I have read that the sea is rough and cold at this time of the year and as a result I am not sure whether to cancel our plans or not. Some advice would be greatly appreciated. In addition, if we do go, is it advisable to book now or wait till a month before when the price will hopefully be substantially lower? (This is the off season and so will probably not be fully booked)
Any other advice about what not to miss in Ecuador would also be gratefully received.
Thank you,
Brian
brianbraude is offline  
May 19th, 2009, 07:05 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 27
Hello Brian,

The Galapagos is visited all year round, but most people select the holiday / vacation periods (i.e., Christmas/New Year's, Easter, summer holidays/vacations). These periods sell out up to one year in advance (or more!).

The warmest period (air & water temperatures) generally run from November through to April. The coldest (and generally has more turbulent seas) are generally September and October. February through to April are the most desirable months. During this period, the islands not only adopt an emerald-green color, and turn humid and balmy warm, but many species start reproducing now.

* calmest waters;
* the hottest period in Galapagos;
* the islands are generally a lush green due to high humidity & scattered showers;
* most animals are in the height of reproduction, courting and/or nesting;
* Reproduction of land reptiles, as well as land birds.

Keep in mind that many Galapagos yacht operators temporarily take their boats out of commission for maintenance in September (taking advantage after a busy period in July & August), so spaces are generally a little restricted.

In terms of what not to miss in Ecuador it greatly depends on what your interests are. Some highlights, in my humble opinion would include: Saquisili indigenous market (Thursdays only) - this is a working Andean market; Old/Colonial Quito; Mindo Cloud forest (i.e., Bellavista lodge or similar) for bromeliads, orchids & hummingbirds; Andean hacienda (working farm); Cotopaxi National Park; Amazon rainforest (i.e., Napo Wildlife Center, Sacha Lodge, La Selva or similar); Cuenca, Loja; if in Ecuador between June and September, a visit to Puerto Lopez region (on the Pacific coast) is worth it to take in the Humpback whales.

Hope this helps you a bit.

Warmest regards,

Robin
http://sangay.wordpress.com
robinslater is offline  
May 19th, 2009, 04:49 PM
  #3  
 
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Cancel due to the seas? No, just take Bonine or a doctor prescribed patch. If this trip is something you really want to do I would not wait until just a month before departure and risk disappointment. But if you're very flexible and wouldn't mind missing out this time around, waiting would be a good strategy.

The boats out of commission in Sept. is a good insight, Robinslater.
atravelynn is offline  
May 19th, 2009, 05:28 PM
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atravelynn's comment is spot on.

For those sensitive to motion or sea-sickness, try to avoid the sailing (or motor sailer) boats – the narrower the boat the more prone it is to rocking in the open waters, while the wider (and heavier) the boat is the more stable it is. The most stable are the large cruise ships and the motor catamarans (i.e., Athala, Anahi, Cormorant II, Queen of Galapagos), followed by the wider motor boats and then down to the narrow sailing boats.
robinslater is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 05:37 AM
  #5  
 
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www.enchantedexpeditions.com

best provider choose a stable craft...
qwovadis is offline  
May 20th, 2009, 08:06 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
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"Best" is most often a relative term. Although I cannot deny that Enchanted Expeditions is a good source, there are numerous (actually over 60 Galapagos boats) to select from.

Granted, many are not worth considering. From a review of the site posted, there are 15 yachts indicated. I should mention to readers that there are numerous other stable crafts available that consistent receive high levels of guest satisfaction, which include Anahi, Athala, Nina, Queen of Galapagos, Archipel II, Treasure of Galapagos (all motor catamarans); Eclipse, Evolution, Galapagos Explorer II, Galapagos Legend, La Pinta (all cruise ships); in addition to such motor boats as Galapagos Odyssey, Galapagos Voyager, Galaxy, Erik/Letty/Flamingo (sister ships that are highly recommended).
robinslater is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 10:04 AM
  #7  
 
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We visited the Galapagos Islands in late September 2008. I was concerned about sea sickness since I tend to experience it on smaller boats. We had never been on an overnight cruise so I was really concerned. I obtained enough sea sickness patches for the five days/four nights of the cruise. I am pleased to report that I still have all of the patches still in the box. I did take dramamine at night since it does make me drowsy.

The sea was not rough. I took a wetsuit for snorkeling but did not use it. Our ship, the Santa Cruz, had wet suits available for rent at a very reasonable amount. For snorkeling from the beach, I did not need a wetsuit as the water was warm. People who snorkeled in deeper water said that a wetsuit was beneficial.
Dorothy01 is offline  
Jun 3rd, 2009, 10:10 AM
  #8  
 
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I forgot to address the second part of your query. We booked our cruise through a travel agent (Columbus Travel in Quito; Elena was most helpful) less than a month before departure. We used AA miles for our airfare and flew to Guayaquil. Our cruise (five days/four nights), flights to and from the Galapagos from Guayaquil, transfers, and fuel surcharge were around $3,200 for two people. We had to pay $100 each for the National Park fee. We saw the same cruise advertised on other websites for $3,800 for two people and this price did NOT include the additional $300 per person for the flights and the $90 per person fuel surcharge so we did benefit from booking fairly close to the departure date.

Hope this information helps. We had a fantastic time.
Dorothy01 is offline  

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