Ibike: Ecuador Exploration 

 

Galapagos Island Tours   

 

It is a shame to go to Ecuador and not go to the Galapagos Islands, if you can pull together the time and money.  We don’t have a particular package to sell or recommend.  But we can offer the following:

Try not to short change yourself on time.  Virtually ever island is different, so the more time you can allocate the more islands you can see, the more fascinating the experience will be.  Comprehensive tours take about eight days.  If you are doing an 8-day program, it is probably best to select a boat that doesn’t offer 4/5-day programs so you won’t have to return to the island with the airport to drop-off and pick-up passengers.

Tours can cost from $100 to $400 per day, not including airfare.  While the sights are about the same on all the tours, on lower priced tours the guides are likely to be less knowledgeable and less likely to speak more than conversational English and Spanish.  Part of the fascination of the Galapagos is the explanations of the natural history so there is something to be gained from a more knowledgeable guide.

The best of the tours travel at night so you can spend daylight on islands.

A major variable on a Galapagos tour is the boat:  Larger boats are more spacious, tend not to rock as much and tend to cost more.  They launch Zodiac (small boats) to get you to the islands from their anchorage.  Small boats tend to have smaller cabins, less common space, and provide less deck space.

It is a complex subject, but the larger, luxurious boats, probably have worse environmental practices, just in the amount of waste they create.  Smaller boats can be faulted for other reasons.  There are on going issues about what constitutes proper waste disposal at sea, especially in the ecologically unique, fragile and isolated Galapagos Islands.  We would urge you to be cognizant of these issues in the decisions you make and the actions you take.

To better inform yourself please read "A Practical Guide to Good Practice for Marine-Based Tours."

To research specific Galapagos tour options, some places to start are:

ecuadortoursonline.com
www.galapagosislands.com
www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=Galapagos+tour
www.galasam.com.ec
www.galaeco.com/html/galapagos.html
www.ecuadorexplorer.com
www.equateur-voyages.com/ang_TourGalapagos.htm
www.ecuaworld.com/links/EcLnks2.htm

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