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  #1  
Old 5 May 2005
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galapagos - best choice

hallo out there,

in august we would like to visit the galapagos islands (2 days santa cruz + 5 day cruise) - on a rather tight budget...
maybe anybody has some suggestions: flight from where (quito, guayaquil) and with which company, better to buy a package or not, which companies offer the best value cruises, place to stay on santa cruz...

as always - any information would be fine

good luck to anyone
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Old 5 May 2005
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It's cheaper to fly from Guayaquil than Quito (the plane leaves from Quito and stops at Guayaquil, anyway). There is only one airline and the price is fixed for tourists at a level depending on whether you visit in high or low season. Take lots of cash and negotiate a cruise when you get there - mainland agencies simply do not know which boats have space, and are much more expensive. South American Explorers in Quito has hundreds of trip reports to help you get a shortlist of cruises. A small boat with around 12-20 passengers is best. Don't go on a huge boat or a luxury cruise because it won't be as much fun. Make sure you get good snorkeling gear & an underwater camera because the snorkelling is even better than the diving, and free!

Have fun,
JC
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James Courtier
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  #3  
Old 9 May 2005
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Hi there,

Cheapest option was as James suggested to fly from Guayaquil. I would not book a cruise in advance unless you are really pushed for time. I saved $100 by not booking on the mainland and went on a boat called the Enterprise if I remember rightly (cost me $550 for 6 days). This was a boat that had something of a dodgy reputation because the owners did not get on with the travel agents. Many would not even bother telling customers about it.

The result was a pretty good trip - boat and crew were ok and the route was the same as all the others. The islands are fantastic whatever boat you take it would seem. My only criticism was the lack of attention to detail offered on the boat - the wildlife chart was for the north Atlantic! The boat was fairly big - 25 people in good size cabins. Take a good supply of alcohol and snacks though!

Can find some more specific info if you need it.

Cheers.

Matt
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