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Galapagos Experience

#30 of 298 Tours in Quito
Features Animals
Quito, Ecuador
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About Galapagos Experience
Galapagos Experience specializes in top quality, established and tailor-made travel programs, combining high standard accommodation and personalized service with great natural, historical and cultural destinations. Our portfolio includes Galapagos cruises, diving, jungle tours, highlands and bird watching tours. We are the exclusive representatives of the M/Y Samba Galapagos which is a Tourist Superior Class yacht.
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DavidnMelanie wrote a review Mar 2020
3 contributions2 helpful votes
We booked a combo Galapagos-Machu Pichu trip through Max at Ideal South America, 15 days. I was concerned we had bitten off more than we could chew, but each and every day from the boat to the sites to the hotels and the guides was excellent and seamless. Hotels in Quito, Sacred Valley, Cuzco, and Lima were well located, usually unique in some way, and each exceeded what I would have chosen had I booked independently. Guides and drivers were unfailingly professional and prepared to adapt itineraries upon suggestion and their own local knowledge. Everything was timely, nothing was uncomfortably rigid or carved in stone. It was also clear that local tour companies answered to Ideal and were concerned to preserve and promote that relationship. The Galapagos is simply not to be missed and the Catamaran Cormorant with 15 passengers and 11 crew was perfect both at sea and for accessing the islands. Kayaks, wet suits (not really necessary) and a very knowledgeable local guide ensured nary an idle moment. Not to mention wifi (included) on board. Thanks Max and Ideal. See you next time. David Cunningham / Melanie Watson
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Date of experience: February 2020
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sandrine j wrote a review Jan 2020
New York City, New York156 contributions36 helpful votes
Cruise November 26-December 3 2019 Out time on The Beagle will remain one of the best experiences of our lives. We loved every moment of it. Diego our guide met us at the airport as planned and his enthusiasm was really contagious from the start as he got the know the passengers. We were then met by the crew waiting for us onboard, cabins were ready as well as very welcomed refreshments. We were lucky that we were only 8 passengers (for 6 crew members) as it allowed extra personal space; also the diversity and openness of our group made it a very enjoyable experience. The days go very fast with lots of activities: walk on land, snorkeling, kayaking, panga ride, sunset walk on land. The guide was very thorough to explain the day ahead, and every night as we closed each day we would reflect on the activities and highlights of the day... As we return onboard each time refreshments are ready, and the crew was eager to hear about our experiences. The food was plenty and diverse for every single meal. Overall an unforgettable experience! the fact that The Beagle is a small-capacity boat was a plus for us as it enabled us to embark/disembark a lot quicker than larger boats, and therefore have more time to enjoy the activities.
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Date of experience: December 2019
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SMCPA wrote a review Jan 2020
Mendham, New Jersey33 contributions25 helpful votes
Our family just completed a 7 day cruise aboard the Xavier III through G Adventures. This is a smaller ship (max 16 passengers), which we prefer. G Adventures managed multiple transfers for us, without any hitches. Buses, ferries, ships were all on time and a G Adventures representative was there every step of the way. The crew on the Xavier was very accommodating and was always eager to assist with any request. The days were very active with hikes and snorkeling (sometimes 2x/day). We saw a tremendous amount of wildlife. Sea lions nursing their pups, frigate birds courting, boobies sitting on their eggs, dolphins surfing in the wake of the boat, giant tortoises up close, sea turtles mating, land iguanas fighting, sharks, rays and penguins feeding--all very cool stuff. This could be a combo of the season, of the itinerary, luck or all of the above, but regardless it was terrific. The food was pretty good--not great but good, exactly what you might expect on an adventure tour. Good options for different tastes and diets. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. Our guides (we had 2 different ones), were both very knowledgeable. They took the time to answer questions and this is one of the benefits of a small tour. The ship anchored in locations that were inaccessible to larger ships. Therefore, we rarely saw other tour groups nor were we hurried along because another group was coming behind us. This is a big advantage of a smaller tour. Another advantage is that you don't spend a lot of time moving lots of people from the boat to hiking or snorkeling locations. This means more time for activities, which is what you come for. The one thing to be aware of is that a smaller ship can get bounced around on the water. You do go into open water and the seas can be rough. Also, the lower cabins on a smaller ship will be very close to the engine room. Since the ship will sail during the night, it can be loud in the cabin. Either book a cabin up top or bring a good pair of earplugs. I consider the trip a medium adventure trip. I'm 65 and had no problems keeping up with the activities. I was struck by the number of people on our tour that had booked multiple trips through G Adventures. I take this as a good sign that they do a good job and it was reflected in our overall experience with them.
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Date of experience: December 2019
2 Helpful votes
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notTheStig wrote a review Oct 2019
Reading, United Kingdom230 contributions91 helpful votes
$80 for 4 days WiFi? ridiculous! $150 to hire a wetsuit, fins, mask and snorkel for 4 days...That pays for the wetsuit in one week! The passengers on the trip we were on were all over 60 - some as old as 80, but on the first day the guides just carried on as though we were in our 30's... We pointed out to them that couldn't keep up, and thankfully they slowed down to our pace. The rest of the tour was much more enjoyable. The guides were knowledgeable, and helpful. The kicker at the end of the trip was the last presentation where they asked for tips of $10 per person per day for the staff, and $20 per person per day for the guides!!!!! No Way! Animals and birds were fantastic, but soured by the quest for money. Be warned!
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Date of experience: October 2019
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Yuen F wrote a review Aug 2019
Altadena, California16 contributions6 helpful votes
This was the first time we used Ideal South America for our Ecuador and Peru trip. We had a party of 8 but scattered throughout the US, one set in the East coast, another in the South with the rest in Southern California. Max was able to work magic and get a trip for us that fit into all our schedule. He was also very accommodating at answering our questions and changing plans when some of our schedule did not fit and recommending additional outings. The tours in Ecuador was really good, especially the Middle of the Earth Museum, interactive and informative. Our tour guide, Maracello was excellent. Galapagos was magical, but make sure you know which route you will be going. We landed up with the east and did not get to see the giant tortoise, which we found out that you only get to see if you travel the west route. However, we still had a fabulous time. My family swam with the seals, which was the highlight of the Galapagos trip! The trip to the Sacred Valley and Machu Picchu was incomparable. The trip to the Sacred Valley gave us time to acclimate to the high altitude so by the time we landed in Cusco, we had no issues with altitude. Our guide, Juan Carlos was just fantastic and so knowledgeable with the Andean culture and suggested some wonderful local restaurants for us to try. Ideal South America really planned our trip well that we did not have to worry about all the internal transfers between the countries and the cities. Highly recommend the company and especially Max.
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Date of experience: August 2019
1 Helpful vote
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