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Tips for Galapagos

Islesboro, Maine
posts: 51
reviews: 69
Tips for Galapagos

I just wanted to post some tips for those of you going on a cruise to Galapagos.

1)Bring good shoes for hiking on rocks, flip flops etc for the boat. Not everyone seemed to understand that they would be hiking on rocky trails etc.

2) Bring and use sunscreen - even if you believe you will tan quickly after a burn, this is the equator, the sun is stronger. We had several burned passengers all week who refused to use sunscreen for the first few days.

3)Please follow your guide's directions. You will get plenty close to the animals without going off the trails. If you get too close you can scare mothers off nests abandoning babies to die. Also, I did not know this until we were on the trip, but your guide can be financially penalized and or their license revoked if their visitors do not follow the rules. (Average income for Ecuadorians is @2000 dollars per year - please respect the locals)

Remember, if you are over the age of 15, you should be responsible enough to follow some basic rules and should not have to be constantly told the rules or reprimanded by your guide.

4)Bring a flashlight or headlight - comes in handy on the boat at night.

5)If your are cold natured, bring a wetsuit (shorty at least) or make sure your boat actually has one available before leaving the first port. You can also rent one in Puerto Ayora on the first day and return on last day of trip (ck with local stores on Santa Cruz).

6)If you truly want to see the best sites, you should go on the smaller 16 passenger or less boats. The larger ships do not go to the remote islands. However, you need to be in fairly good shape to do this as the trails are rougher and more difficult to traverse.

7)Take a water camera with you for snorkeling. You will see so much and clearly.

Have fun, stay safe, respect nature!

Washington DC...
posts: 279
reviews: 13
1. Re: Tips for Galapagos

those are some great tips - THANK YOU for taking the time to post them on TA!

heidi

Europe
posts: 312
reviews: 41
2. Re: Tips for Galapagos

Hi,

Don't agree on the shoes. We put the "real hiking shoes" in a bin on arrival and took them out again as we departed the ship. Better to have Teva-like sandals. You don't need actual hiking shoes.

Enjoy!

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 271
reviews: 26
3. Re: Tips for Galapagos

i would say that it all depends on the person doing the walking. if you are comfortable enough doing hikes in sandals, it is fine, as long as your soles have good tread. i walked around in my keens and i was fine.

also note to bring a roll of dollar coins. the ecuadorians have made good use of the dollar coins we seem to be ignoring. dollars come in extremely handy for purchasing items and tips. no one liked anything more than a $20 and sometimes getting change is a struggle. so come prepared with lots of singles, fives and tens.

Washington DC...
posts: 279
reviews: 13
4. Re: Tips for Galapagos

fantastic - great tips. we're leaving on april 15 - getting excited!!!!

PORTLAND, OR
posts: 212
reviews: 12
5. Re: Tips for Galapagos

I'm not leaving for TWO YEARS and I'm ALREADY getting excited. :) Thanks to all of you for some great tips.

Washington DC...
posts: 279
reviews: 13
6. Re: Tips for Galapagos

that's awesome, pdxjoanne - nothing wrong with a little (or a lot...) of pre-trip excitement!!!!

will this be your first trip to the islands? you guys might think this is funny, but i have a list of '101 things i want to do before i die' - galapagos is one of those items. also on the list: india (did that in dec. 2006). rome: done (last july).

i'm still worried about this whole wetsuit issue. i think i'll be ok without one (i'm originally from austria, our lakes we definitely on the nippy side....well, i have ~46 days to think about it!

PORTLAND, OR
posts: 212
reviews: 12
7. Re: Tips for Galapagos

Hi Heide: Yes it will be our first trip. It will be my 60th bday present to myself. :) As for the wetsuits, it sounds like they are a good idea, but it seems like many of the boats either supply or rent them. We own our own so will probably bring them. I like wearing a wetsuit in general (wore mine every day snorkeling in Mexico last week even though the water was not cold) because it allows you to stay out longer more comfortably without getting chilled as your energy lessens. Just my opinion. No matter what, I am sure you will be having the trip of a lifetime!! Please post a trip report when you get back...I'll be anxious to hear all about your great adventure! :)

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 271
reviews: 26
8. Re: Tips for Galapagos

hi heidi, by april you may not need them. the water should be even warmer by then. we had a few people who went in with tight long sleeved shirts and shorts and they were fine. guess it depends on how much you are in the water at home. we rented wetsuits from our boat for $30 for the week and for that money it was worth just having them available even if you didn't use them. BTW they were of the shorties variety. hope this helps!

and it's not silly to be that excited 2 years ahead! i started looking into this trip 8 years ago! LOL

check out my trip site:

http://web.mac.com/quimbymoy/Site_2/Home.html

PA
posts: 8
reviews: 1
9. Re: Tips for Galapagos

My husband and I will be leaving for the islands on April 18th. Needless to say we are very excited. What type of underwater camera did you use? Did it take good pictures? Thanks

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 271
reviews: 26
10. Re: Tips for Galapagos

hi cougar,

my friend had a snap sights SS04 waterproof camera she bought at REI that takes regular rolls of film (it's reusable) that took pretty decent pictures. our guide had an olympus digital underwater camera that took really good pics. he said it you can take it as far down as 30 feet, but perfect for snorkeling.