In cost terms for the Galapagos on a budget, which is best, booking a tour on line, or flying out and getting a tour at the harbour.
you can definitely get better deals (e.g. last minute) on site. The problem is you don't know what you'll get, and you'll be under a lot of pressure to take whatever comes along with little time to research the quality of the proposal - unless you have the luxury of spending several days in Puerto Ayora (Galapagos) picking and choosing.
Booking ahead doesn't necessarily mean paying more. Check out the cruise company's websites. With the economy the way it is, most companies are running great special offers. Some rates are even cheaper for 2009 than they were in 2008. For example, you can get airfare to the Galapagos on the Quasar Expeditions website and Latin Trails offers last minute booking discounts. It pays to look around.
I the pass week is been allot of reports of the conditions and the management of some boats in Galapagos.
The destination is not cheap just think that the cost of the flight is $410 in hight season and the entrance is another $110, I will definally research for a good company that ofer from turist superior to luxury class boats, dont go for the cheaps one you will get what you pay...
You may get good option in galapagos direct but its just a question of luck sometimes.
I would fly out ,then book once there. The prices are pretty much set, but you can shop around...of course if they're still available. I had no problem doing what I wanted, but I went in May (considered the lower season). I think you'll be ok....you can try to go to the harbour to try and get a last minute deal, but not secure enough for me. Like slipping the first-mate a fifty might do the trick, but hoo knows right? Work it thru the hotel u r staying with and go from there.......i booked my hotel online and asked about the day trips thru online, and they hooked me up.....anything else just ask. Just book the first couple nites, ask about day trips. once there shop around (because your first day there is wasted anyway) , so may as well shop around while walking darwin ave......right? it takes all of a half hour to see what Puerto Ayora is all about anyway
I agree, i certainly don't think booking in advance is necessarily more costly. now is a good time to look for all kinds of deals. obviously, there are a bunch of companies, but here are a couple I've heard positive things about recently:
i encourage you to look through your options extensively in order to find the best deals though. but a start's a start. Good luck!
Book online, secure what you want and you will get pretty much the same price
Just returned from a three week work/play trip to the Galapagos. Before I went I contacted an American woman down there who started her own travel service in the Galapagos. Getting around there is not hard but it's not easy by any means. There are daily boats back and forth and plenty of small hotels but there's not a real good way to find out about the hotels once you get there. Some are not online, some barely have phones and if they do, no one answers.
Leslie at divethegalapagos.com was great! She organized a great dive trip that took us from island to island. But she knows the islands and the business and should be a great resource in helping you figure out an itenerary.
Fly there from Mainland and do it independently. It is the cheapest option pure and simple, regardless of what you hear.
It isn't difficult to do like some make it sound. I did that last February and had a great time solo. I flew from Quito to PA, and had 8 nights to play with. I had many options from the tour companies in PA, all with great last minute prices. I also did simple day trip to some islands, that were really nice. Fact is I ended up on boats with people who had booked in advance, even just in Quito, and I was paying in some cases half what they had.
This does require due diligence, patience etc... But that's what I liked about it, I got to write my own Itinerary. Go advance if you want a simple, no work, assured trip and you have plenty of money and a strict timeframe to work with. If money means more to you, as it does to myself, and you got some time., go do it yourself you won't regret it!
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