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Galapagos Islands: recommendation for 6 to 8 days around $2000 a person

Galapagos Islands: recommendation for 6 to 8 days around $2000 a person

Old Jan 29th, 2011, 01:29 PM
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Galapagos Islands: recommendation for 6 to 8 days around $2000 a person

My husband and I would like to go to the Galapagos Islands in August. Any help finding a cruise with good food, good itinerary and snorkling would be great! We would like to be on the boat for at least 6 days and spend $2000 or less. We also want the boat to accomodate no more than 20 people. Any info about weather for swimming and sunning on the boat in August would be helpful too. Thanks
beverlya is offline  
Old Jan 30th, 2011, 09:21 AM
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Hi, Beverly--

If you can, I suggest you go for an 8-day/7-night cruise. All cruises are really 2 days shorter than they sound, due to airport transport. The first day's outing is just an afternoon; the last day's, a morning. (So, a 5-day cruise is really only 3 days at sea.)

We were in the archipelago in Sept., 2009--so pretty near the time you're considering. The waters will be getting a bit rougher, as the currents begin to change. (Sept. is the month of the roughest waters, though.) If motion sickness is a concern, you might want to investigate catamarans rather than single-hulled boats. The rough waters are most likely during the open-water crossings (e.g., to Genovesa or Española). Since the wave action in those situations is most likely to be from abeam (the side), a cat will more likely bob rather than rock from side to side, as a single-hulled boat will. If the waves hit from the fore, though, cats will move more fore to aft, while a single-hulled boat will slice through those waves to a greater extent. In the shorter transit to islands more centrally located, the wave action is anyone's guess and one style of boat will not necessarily be superior. It's the luck of the draw (and the seas).

The waters will be cooling a bit, so you might consider bringing at least a half wetsuit if the boat you decide on doesn't offer them. (However, only a few people in our group had wetsuits and most people went snorkeling every time.) This year, with La Niña, the waters were exceptionally cool. But in a more normal year, you can still be in the water without a problem unless you're really sensitive.

Most itineraries offer at least one snorkeling/swimming opportunity each day--and we often had 2 such opportunities in a day. Boats will have lots of space for being outdoors--covered as well as uncovered decks. Since you'll be right at the equator, the sun will be directly overhead--so bring lots of sunblock. Most itineraries are so active that there's often not a lot of time for sunning. We were on the go from sunup (6 a.m.) to sundown (6 p.m.).

You might find our trip report useful. In addition to documenting our trip, I've written several general pages that cover issues such as things to bring and how to choose a cruise (with some links to various other good Web sites). The general pages are based not only on our experience but from what we've learned from others on forums like this. Links to the most popular pages can be found under the header photo of the Giant Tortoise.

trip report at http://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/
ztsipapu is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2011, 05:29 AM
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www.galapagosXpeditions.com good direct locals

good recent personal experience with them.

Consider the Stable Cats like Nina and Seaman II

for best expeience on a short cruise in your price range

Beware the foreign expat tout/trolls who occultly

scam as "Destination Experts" many are for profit agent/owners

Roach boats like Archipel/Samba/Fragata/Eden scammed mostly.

www.insuremytrip.com always wise

www.travel.state.gov also wise to review

www.lan.com best airline out if you can swing it.

Happy Hunting and Caveat Emptor!
qwovadis is offline  
Old Jan 31st, 2011, 05:34 AM
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August best for wildlife colder Humbolt current from

Anartica predominates less rain more fog cooler for snorkel.

Most pack/wear a shortie skinny suit for snorkel/dive comfort
qwovadis is offline  
Old Feb 2nd, 2011, 09:56 AM
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Hi Beverly,
There are quite a few choices that could accommodate your budget and time frame. If you can manage to squeeze in some extra days, I would also opt for the 7 day cruise if at all possible.
August weather can be a bit misty on and off throughout the day, but you´ll still get some sunny periods. The snorkelling is best around this time of year, as the nutrient rich stronger currents are rolling (swimming?) through the islands.
As for sun tanning, you´ll have some down time occasionally after lunch if the ship is transiting to another island, and there will be at least one snorkel a day, possibly from a beach where you can relax in the sun as well. If you are looking for a trip where you´ll spend a full day at one beach soaking up the sun, then a cruise won´t actually have this option. Staying overnight in Puerto Ayora and enjoying Tortuga Bay Beach for a full day will definitely give you a tan..if not a burn!
Have a great time.
GalapagosExpert is offline  
Old Feb 8th, 2011, 09:24 PM
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Hi Beverly, If you're flexible about your dates and don't mind waiting until 3-4 weeks before your trip, you'll have terrific bargaining power and probably have your choice of boats. We went in June two years ago, and were offered 7-day trips in your price range on several different excursions. Google "last minute Galapagos," send inquiries and see what happens. Because we were using mileage we were able to tweak our flights once we decided on a a boat (we wanted one of the larger ones, but did get offers on the smaller 16-32 passenger ones.) The skies were clear and the seas were calm when we went, but as others have said, it will be rougher in August.
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Old Mar 22nd, 2011, 06:19 PM
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As per all the other post - waters are rougher and cooler in August. If your sensitive to the cold, a wetsuit is a must. It also offers sun protection.

*Keep in mind that the sun is very strong near the equator. You won't need much time to burn and will need lots of sunscreen.

Good luck!
Galakiwi is offline  
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