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Galapagos Islands - Ecuador Travel Information

Photos from Galapagos Islands

סיבכי צהוב (2003) Yellow Warbler אנפת לבה (2003) Lava Heron אריה ים (2003) Californian Sea-Lion סרטן סאלי לייטפוט (2003) Sally Lightfoot Crab פלמינגו בכיר (2003) Greater Flamingo סולה כחולת רגל (2003)Blue Footed Boobie אריה ים (2003) Californian Sea-Lion קורמורן ללא יכולת תעופה (2003)Flightless Cormorant איגואנה ימית (2003) Marine Iguana אריה ים צעיר (2003) Californian Sea-Lion פינגווין גלפאגוס (2003) Galapagos Penguin קורמורן ללא יכולת תעופה (2003) Flightless Cormorant

(Galápagos Islands)

966 km off the shores of Ecuador is a group of islands called Galapagos Islands. Galapagos Cruises allows the visitor to tour the Galapagos Islands, and meet nature at close hands. What makes this encounter unique is the fact that the animals on these islands lived for hundreds of thousands of years almost without predators, who for some reason did not evolve here, and that is why they do not fear anything, including humans.

As visitors tour the Galapagos Islands, the animals simply ignore their presence, making it easy to learn more about the animals at close hand, and the photo opportunities never stop. There is no need to hide during your Galapagos vacation - everything is done in broad day light.

The Galapagos islands include 13 major islands, 6 small islands, and more than 40 minute islands. The main island in the Galapagos is Santa Cruz, and that is where the main town (Puerto Ayora) is located.



UNESCO declared Galapagos Islands in 1978 as a World Heritage Site.

Getting to Galapagos Islands

Most Galapagos Cruises leave the island of Santa Cruz, which also has the island's main airport. There are two airline that fly to the Galapagos Islands:

TAME Airlines
TAME's website

TAME is the national airline of Ecuador. TAME runs two daily flights to the Galapagos islands, leaving from Quito, stopping in Guayaquil, and landing at Baltra Airport. The flights leave during the morning, all weekdays.

AeroGal Airlines
AeroGal website

AeroGal is a private company that has five weekly flights to the Galapagos (no flights on Saturday and Monday), leaving from Quito, stopping in Guayaquil, and landing at Baltra Airport. The flights leave during the morning, and the flight from Guayaquil is a bit cheaper.

Notes about Flights to the Galapagos:

  • The large Cruise companies have reserved seats on the flights to the Galapagos, so if you book a cruise to the islands, you are very likely to have a place reserved on the flight too. However, these reservations are ONLY for the flight just before the cruise (you can not take an earlier flight).
  • Even if you do not have a reserved seat on the flight, don't give up. You can get to the airport early, and register for the standby list. It's important to get there early, because the standby is first come first go. In most cases there are at least a few people from the standby that get on the flight.
  • Some times it's better to fly from one city (like Guayaquil), and back to another (line Quito). The bus between the two cities costs more than the extra payment for the flight.

Visiting the Galapagos Islands

A tour in the Galapagos is usually done on a Galapagos Cruise, using boats that cruise the islands according to a very strict schedule (it is almost impossible to change the itinerary!). Many islands are closed for visitors. Boats for the Galapagos Cruise range from slow sail boats to fast luxury yachts. Every traveller can find his way to cruise the islands. Most people take 5-8 day cruises.

When flying to the Galapagos you need to adjust you watch - the time is one hour ahead of the mainland.


Tips
  • More days on the cruise does not mean you see more. Sometimes, the fast yachts let
    you more quicker between the islands.
  • In most cases, if you have the time, you can fly to the Galapagos, and find a tour
    from Puerto Ayora which better meets your Galapagos cruise desires.
  • The bigger the boat is, the less it will more if there are waves (good for
    people that are sea seek)

Costs

The first thing you need to know is that upon arrival to the Galapagos, you will have to pay an entrance fee of 100$ CASH only!

The price for the cruise is based on a number of key elements:

  • The time of year (peak/low season)
  • The type of the boat for the cruise (luxury, number of passengers)
  • Cruise duration
  • Payment method (cash/credit card)
  • Last minute sales and general sales
  • Extras (diving for example)

Samples of Cruise prices:

  • 5 day cruise in a yacht - off season - 500$