We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Galapagos Honeymoon - Help!

Oxford, United...
2 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Galapagos Honeymoon - Help!

Hi,

I'm trying to plan a trip to the Galapagos Islands in October/November for my honeymoon and am confused.

I've made the mistake of reading through many of the forums here and the more I read the more daunting it all becomes.

We are not regular travellers and haven't been further afield than Europe so any advice or recommendations would be welcome but I suppose the basics would be a good start:

Recommended agents, boats, trips etc

Good questions to ask before booking

Things we need to do/know before travelling

Anything that might be of help would be greatly appreciated.

I also have concerns about the tipping scenario, whereas I have no issues tipping guides/staff etc, being Brits we also struggle with the idea of the bullying staff stories posted on some of the forums here.

We are looking to be away for two/three weeks (but want to spend a short time in the US en route) and would like to have the opportunity to chill for a little while as well as take in the unique sights of Galapagos.

I hope my ramblings are OK, thanks in advance for any replies

Tim

Mentioned in this post
Oceanside...
Level Contributor
1,867 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Galapagos Honeymoon - Help!

Hi, Tim--

It can be overwhelming, that's for sure! What do you folks like to do and see--birds, marine life, amazing scenery? Any thoughts about what's especially important to or fun for you will help people respond to you in a more helpful (read, not equally overwhelming) way.

While you're waiting for others to respond--a number of people have found a couple of overview pages that I've gathered on my trip report helpful, if you haven't already found it. These are not just our experiences or thoughts, but wisdom gathered from other travelers and many of the folks on this forum. (It might be more than you can take in at the moment, but you can always just keep coming back for more as you digest various bits.) Links to the most popular pages can be found under the header photo of the Giant Tortoise.

And remember to keep breathing! You're going to have a grand adventure, whatever you choose.

Tina

trip report at http://galapagos2009.wordpress.com/

Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
1,525 posts
147 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Galapagos Honeymoon - Help!

Congratulations on your honey moon.

Best thing you can do would be to take an 8 day cruise on a high standard vessel, which its average price goes for usd 4500 per person.

After cruising you should stay in land at a nice hotel, probabbly the Finch Bay for a 3 day stay to add total relaxation and romance to your honey moon.

At the end may be add a few days in the Andes of Ecuador where you can enjoy breathtaking landscapes and beautiful colonial cities like Quito and indian markets like Otavalo.

Do not forget to book trough local Ecuadorian agents to save yourself money and support the local economy.

Saludos cordiales,

Dennis Yepez

Edited: 12:19 am, February 07, 2011
Mentioned in this post
Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel
Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel
939 Reviews
Santa Cruz, Ecuador
Ecuador
Ecuador
South America
Quito
Quito
Pichincha Province, Ecuador
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
107 posts
102 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Galapagos Honeymoon - Help!

Hi RagingBull!

Congrats on the wedding. You want to spend a few days in the US, I would suggest Miami, as it is the easiest way to get to Ecuador. Maybe you want to stay a couple days in a trendy hotel in South Beach or drive for a romantic getaway in Key West before heading to the Galapagos. I guess you should use BA/AA/LAN for air transportation.

I would suggest you spend a few days in Quito (Unesco named Quito a World Cultural Heritage city back in 1979 and the title is well deserved) There are wonderful hotels and restaurants in addition to all the historic sites, so it deserves at least three or four days. You boud also spend a nite at the hot springs in Papallacta for some spa treatments and pampering and it is only an one and a half hours drive from Quito.

Otavalo, a couple hours drive north of Quito is also wonderful, stunning sightseeing, Indian market and beautiful old haciendas to pickfrom to spend a nite. I love the idea Hacienda Cusin for honeymooners there.... just some ideas, I am sure a good TO based in Quito will be able to put together something nice for you, so no stress. :)

Then you could take your flight to Galapagos for an 8 day cruise. There are a wide range of boats to pick from. I preferr intimate smaller boats.

I find 4,500 pp excessive. I am familiar with other high end boats with level III guides that are not as pricey. I like Mary Anne, from Angermeyer cruises ( www.angermeyercruises.com) if you are willing to be at that price range, but there is also newly refit Beluga (www.belugagalapagos.com) that would run for about 1,000 less pp.

You can always take a look at resources page in Quito if you need help with land excursions, there are a bunch of companies listed there.

Mentioned in this post
Ecuador
Ecuador
South America
South Beach
South Beach
17,260 Reviews
Miami Beach, FL
Key West
Key West
Florida Keys, FL
Quito
Quito
Pichincha Province, Ecuador
Hacienda Cusin
Hacienda Cusin
565 Reviews
Otavalo, Ecuador
Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
Level Contributor
3,423 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Galapagos Honeymoon - Help!

Dear RB,

I was married and moved to Galapagos 3 weeks later, for 4 years! It was a wonderful, long lasting honeymoon (we followed that with a move to Paris - so a great continuation!).

Not sure what your budget is, but you generally get what you pay for in the islands. A 7 night cruise under about US$2,500 per person (just the cruise) would start getting me worried, unless it's a last minute special. You want to be sure you have a great guide and a decent itinerary.

If you're willing to pay in the $3,000-$4,000 range, you should be OK, no matter what you choose. There are some very good options in the higher $2,000's range as well.

October / early November is lower end season - so there might actually be some offers available right now. I recommend you nail down the cruise first, and build the rest of your trip around that - the cruise is the trickiest part.

I also recommend you find yourself a decent agent and work with them. That's their job - to sort through the mess. There are plenty of Galapagos specialists out there, both based in Ecuador, the US, the UK and elsewhere. Just make sure they are Galapagos specialists, and not one of those that sell everything under the sun. You can identify 2-3 of them, exchange a few emails to see how they respond, and settle on one. Prices for "just the cruise" can be compared on-line, to be sure you are getting the market rate. Generally, ship owners post the price of a cruise, and agents are asked to respect that price, so you shouldn't find much variation, unless some are undercutting the ship owner's themselves.

Congratulations on the wedding!

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

Edited: 8:19 pm, February 07, 2011
Mentioned in this post
Ecuador
Ecuador
South America
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
107 posts
102 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Galapagos Honeymoon - Help!

I agree with Heather, whatever your choice, you should book your Galapagos portion FIRST and work anything else around it. Some companies run "early bird specials" which might work better than "last minute bookings" when one is planning a honeymoon...

Good luck , It will be a great trip, I am sure!!

Mentioned in this post
Suffolk, United...
Level Contributor
1,130 posts
220 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Galapagos Honeymoon - Help!

Congratulations on forthcoming Wedding & Honeymoon, perhaps this post re my recent holiday to Galapagos & Ecuador may help:-

tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowTopic-g294307-i2253-k4…

Mentioned in this post
Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
651 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Galapagos Honeymoon - Help!

Congratulations on your honeymoon, Tim!

There´s lots of info to weed through in order to choose your dream holiday; I support the idea of including a cruise in your itinerary, and perhaps even some time relaxing on one of the inhabited islands for a few days.

I got to spend a brief few days onboard a cruise just after our civil wedding here in Ecuador and we had a fantastic time! The island sunsets and just being so in touch with nature up close and personal had a romantic, yet "out of the ordinary" feel to it!

Generally if you tell the booking agents or tour companies that you will be celebrating a special event they will try to arrange something for you, or offer you some extra services or discounts.

Contact a few recommended companies from here and see who you feel most comfortable with.

Have a great time!

Mentioned in this post
Ecuador
Ecuador
South America
Oxford, United...
2 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Galapagos Honeymoon - Help!

Thank you all for your responses, I'm starting to get a plan together in my head.

An 8 day cruise is looking like my best option to get the most out of what may be a once in a lifetime trip so now I'm looking to find the perfect trip to book.

I'm going to lean on you all for advice again if you don't mind.

I'm looking towards the Archipel II (mainly as it looks to have as much to offer as others but at less cost) so any recommendations / horror stories of this catamaran would be greatly appreciated.

Alternatively, I'm looking towards Eric, Letty and Flamingo although these are more costly.

Once again thanks for your help so far and any further advice will be gratefully received

Tim

Chicago, Illinois
1 post
Save Reply
9. Re: Galapagos Honeymoon - Help!

Hi Tim,

I too am trying to plan a honeymoon to the Galapagos this coming November and am overwhelmed with information from these forums!

In talking with friends (and friends of friends) who have taken trips to the Islands, two agencies seem to have shaken out: Mountain Travel Sobek and Adventure Life. Outside of the experience those folks have shared with us regarding those companies, we haven't seen the boats they use be mentioned elsewhere in these forums. Otherwise, MT Sobek offers a package that includes 3-nights in Quito which might be difficult to pass up.

Have any other users had experience with either of those firms? Or familiar with the boats they contract?

We are also trying to decide between doing a land based and a small yacht cruise. This seems to be pitting the freedom of the land tour against the uniqueness of a 15-20person small cruise. Most forum users seem to swear by the small cruises... but can anyone name an advantage of the land tours?

Thank you all for your help, and hope everyone has amazing future travels.

B

bwolfsn@gmail.com

Mentioned in this post
Quito
Quito
Pichincha Province, Ecuador
Ottawa, Canada
Destination Expert
for Galapagos Islands
Level Contributor
3,423 posts
19 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Galapagos Honeymoon - Help!

Dear Son,

have a look at the TOP QUESTIONS ABOUT GALAPAGOS in the upper right hand corner of this forum. You'll find a debate on the pros and cons. If you have any other questions, feel free to come back.

Warmest regards,

Heather

Mentioned in this post