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Good tour company for 8-10 day trip to Galapogas in April 2012

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Oct 16th, 2011, 06:38 PM
  #1
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Join Date: Aug 2011
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Good tour company for 8-10 day trip to Galapogas in April 2012

I am looking for a reliable, competent tour company to visit the Galapogas with my teenage daughter in April. We are not interested in luxury cruises but rather, in seeing as much wildlife as possible. Any help would really be appreciated. Thanks. Lois
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Oct 16th, 2011, 07:13 PM
  #2
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
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HI Lois,
There are many boats and companies that offer Galapagos cruises and tours. In my opinion, you should choose a company that is based in Ecuador (and hopefully in Galapagos), and also a company that deals specifically with the islands, rather than companies that "specialize" in a varitey of different destinations around the world.

I would suggest contacting a few companies and see which responses/agents appeal to you the most.

Any of the cruises will offer plentiful opportunities to see wildlife, but certainly ships that visit the more remote islands (Fernandina and Genovesa are my personal favorites) bring quite a bit more to the table, as these islands are harder to reach and often only the "smaller" (ie 12-20 passengers) can get there.

Have a wonderful time.
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Oct 17th, 2011, 03:56 AM
  #3
 
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Posts: 12,269
Beware many middlemen agent provider "experts" troll the

boards on TripAdgertizer and Fodors with commercial motives.

TA Glapagos boards are the worst reseach boats carefully

My favs from personal experience.

Since 1990, Ecoventura has been leading the way in expedition cruising in the Galapagos Islands. Our first-class fleet includes cruise ships and yacht charters, all ...
www.ecoventura.com

Great personal experience local provider best itinerary

got my best prices last with www.guangultagua.com

Dennis/Eva Top Local Providers were GREAT for me

spoke perfect english got me discounts everywhere.

If budget is outstanding go with Sven Linblad Expeditions

vacationstogo.com good prices with them.

For budget www.smartours.com best packages from the US

BBB.org A plus rated.

Caveat Emptor super easy to get scammed by middlemen and

pay 200-300% more than you have to...

Above are the most reputable I know of...

insuremytrip.com always wise strikes unrest not uncommon.

Galapagos/Ecuador is awesome best place in the world to

see evoulution in action and best world wildlife and nature.

I LOVE it! Happy Planning!
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Oct 17th, 2011, 04:01 AM
  #4
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
Explore the archeological jewel of South America: Machu Picchu, the lost Inca city perched on a high mountain top. Voyage through lush jungle by VistaDome train.
http://www.smartours.com/sale-Macchu...agos-Peru.html

Probably best value out there including air from US right now.

www.guanguiltagua.com [email protected] can

get you deals on cheaper cruises but by the time you add

on hotel/meals/air odds are you will not save much.
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Oct 17th, 2011, 04:15 AM
  #5
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Posts: 12,269
http://www.galapagosislands.com/mid-...ses/galaven-i/.

Had a $1200 2 for 1 cruise for $600 each GREAT deal

for my wife and myself on the Galaven

booked this fall but with air/hotels it was going to be over

$5k so we bagged it...there are great cruise deals but

air can be a lot lan.com runs sales sometimes...

So package deals generally work best...
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Oct 17th, 2011, 09:23 AM
  #6
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Posts: 532
I too am looking at visiting Ecuador and the Galapagos next year, but bot before end June, would that be a good time?
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Oct 19th, 2011, 06:15 PM
  #7
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 74
June is the cusp month between the "hot" and "cool" season in Galapagos.
Pretty much anytime of year is a good time to come to Galapagos in my opinion! You might want to check out if there are certain Galapagos wildlife that you are interested in seeing, as certain animals can only be seen at certain times of the year on certain islands.
Good luck and have a fantastic time.
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Oct 19th, 2011, 07:40 PM
  #8
 
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Posts: 57
I visited the Galapagos in March of 2011 - It was an INCREDIBLE trip with lots of amazing wildlife. You'll have a wonderful time.

We went on the Aida Maria, which was a nice sized boat with an excellent crew. We booked the boat through Robin at Sangay Touring (http://www.sangay.com/), and found the company to be very good. Robin answered all our questions, and was very nice when we met him in person in Quito.

We did the 7-night tour that is first listed on the Sangay website for the Aida Maria, with visits to Espanola, Floreana, and the islands around Santa Cruz (we didn't go to Genovesa). We saw tons of sea lions, penguins, sea turtles, giant tortoises, sharks, iguanas, and many amazing birds.

Half way through our tour, our boat had engine trouble, and we had to switch to a new boat that was available - the Daphne, which is a fancier boat. The boat was great, and we got lucky and were given the suite, but the crew and food wasn't as good. We kept the same guide.

I would suggest requesting a room on the upper or sun deck - this way you can open your door or window to get some fresh air at night. The lower level rooms have closed windows, and you can smell fumes from the motor when you are in the room at night.

Good luck planning, and have a great trip!
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Oct 20th, 2011, 05:50 PM
  #9
 
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You may want to look into land based Galapagos trips rather than a cruise. While you may see marginally less wildlife, there will be more for your daughter to do at night. Instead of being restricted on the boat, you can walk around the little towns, choose places to eat, just be a little more flexible. And lots of companies do land based trips.
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Nov 20th, 2011, 06:56 PM
  #10
 
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I would agree that you should figure out where you want to see. You can see a ton from the land, especially on Isabella but you may find it easier to have a packaged deal. I live partly on the islands and assist with a volunteer organization and have never actually been on a mulitday trip but I always used www.sharksky.com when organizing short trips. The people are super nice and speak three languages and are local run (I am really against these organizations that organize tours for everywhere). They should be able to help you figure out exactly what fits with what you want to see and your budget. The main thing is to figure out what the boat actually looks like and how many people are on your boat. Knowing this allows you to compare prices.

June may not bring perfect whether but you will find that when its less of a peak time you have more of an opportunity for last minute cruises.
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