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“best way to see the Galapagos”

Metropolitan Touring
Book In Advance
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$3,604.00*
and up
Galapagos Islands Cruise: 5-Day Eastern Itinerary Aboard the 'Santa Cruz II'
Ranked #11 of 117 Tours in Quito
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: We are Ecuador's leading tour operator, with over 60 years experience in travel. We own and operate three boats in the Galapagos Islands as well as one hotel. Our holding group also owns Casa Gangotena in Quito and Mashpi Lodge in the cloudforests northwest of the capital. We are also a regional company with offices in Peru, Chile, Argentina and Colombia.
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Bathroom facilities
Dedham, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“best way to see the Galapagos”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 9, 2014

Our experience with Metropolitan was wonderful, from start to finish. The helpful staff helped guide us through the Quito airport, over to the Galapagos, where we met Valentin, our excellent guide. We took three excursions - North Seymour and South Plaza islands by boat and the Charles Darwin Research Center. The trips were unforgettable and comfortable, accompanied by a delicious lunch prepared and served on board. When my wife got seasick on one of the trips, Valentin could not have been more caring, checking in on us and helping guide us through the experience. We had to leave most of our luggage in the care of Metropolitan and the Finch Bay hotel when we flew over to Isabella island. We were nervous but did not have to be - our luggage arrived at Baltra airport, on time, and ready for our flight home.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
Thank jejharrington
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dominic_Hamilton, Public Relations Manager at Metropolitan Touring, responded to this review, March 12, 2014
Many thanks for your kind words about our operation and about your experience in the Galapagos. It's great to know you had such a good time and appreciated our company's efforts. We'll be sure to pass on your review to everyone concerned. Thanks!
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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236 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Japanese first
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  • Any
English first
Epsom, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
230 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“wow, wow, wow, a fantastic experience of the highest quality”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2014

We were recommended La Pinta by friends and our 7 day trip exceeded all expectations. The boat was very comfortable with large cabins. The size ( max 48 people but visits to islands/snorkelling etc were in small groups of 8 to 10) worked very well. Not too large or too small. A cosmopolitan mix of passengers from all continents. Food excellent and plentiful. The guides were outstanding, friendly, helpful, knowledgeable and sensitive to passengers needs. The perfect cruise to see the wonders of the Galapagos.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Steve t
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sun City West, Arizona
Level Contributor
1,006 reviews
378 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 354 helpful votes
“Day tour of the Manta Area”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2014

About six months ahead I contacted Metropolitan for information on booking a day tour for 7 people on a cruise ship to Manta, Ecuador. We set up a customized trip with a stop in the Pacoche Rain Forest, a look around town (not much but included a small museum, street scenes, and an interesting open fish market right on the beach), lunch, and a trip out to Montechristi to see where Panama Hats are really made. The man I corresponded with left the company, but someone else picked up all his e-mails, and we had no problem with the arrangements. We were promptly to the pier by Heike (actually a German) and did enjoy all the sights and a HUGE, delicious lunch. Only complaint is that, after spending a second day in Peru at Guayaquil, a lot of the information we learned there conflicted with what Heiki told us. In any case, a great way to get away from town and see something of the countryside and enjoy a sophisticated and delicious lunch. Reasonable cost compared with any of the ship excursions. Recommended.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
Thank Soulefulltraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Appleton, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
43 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“La Pinta Galápagos cruise”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 17, 2014

We greatly enjoyed our 5D/4N cruise on La Pinta. The attraction is, of course, the islands themselves. Anyone well informed with reasonable expectations will not be disappointed. These islands, with the exception of the settled Santa Cruz, are all part of a highly protected national park.

The Ecuadoran government rightly protects the beautiful but often stark and fragile environment of these islands. This means that the total number of visitors is limited and no- one goes ashore except in small groups accompanied by a park-certified guide.

The La Pinta had three of these guides, all of whom were excellent -- highly knowledgeable, personable, and strongly committed to protecting the Galapagos fauna, flora and landscape. Each day, there were generally two morning and one afternoon excursions, with up to 16 people accompanying a guide in a small outboard-powered rubber boat, or panga. These excursions included photo trips along the coast of islands, beach visits, hikes, snorkeling, swimming and kayaking. Glass bottom boat trips were an occasional option for those who wanted something a bit more sedentary. Each day ended with a naturalist briefing before supper.

While providing support and encouragement to try to help each guest have a great experience, the guides worked in a lot of nature lectures, including geology, oceanography, history and biology. We swam with penguins, sea lions, sharks, rays, and schools of tribal fish. On the shore, we had close encounters with tortoises, marine iguanas, and many species of birds. Most excursions were followed by snacks and drinks, while the naturalists and crew had their routines of getting dozens of people to shore, into and out of wetsuits & snorkel gear, and back onto the boat down to an efficient and safe science.

The experience of visiting six islands was unique and phenomenal. But most of the time is spent on the boat, which is essentially an extremely comfortable floating hotel that delivers you to new destinations daily. The rooms and beds were comfortable, the food was always excellent, and there was a decent library, an exercise room, a nice bar, indoor and outdoor lounging areas, The only quibble is that the wifi was limited and sometimes spotty, but when you're floating in the Pacific, any wifi Internet is pretty good.

All in all, La Pinta ensured a great Galápagos experience and provided a great value.

Visited February 2014
Helpful?
4 Thank Tdawson48
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“4N/5D aboard the Isabella II Yacht (Metropolitan Touring)”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 12, 2014

The adventure was well organized and exciting. I say adventure because that's what it is. It is not a leisurely cruise; it requires some stamina. The crew and Naturalists are great; very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the Islands; some are native islanders. The one thing that we were not advised about, and perhaps we should have assumed, was the rocking and rolling of the ship which we never really got used to. Even with Dramamine, many of the guests experienced some degree of motion sickness during the week. Motion sickness patches might be a good idea. The yacht has 20 cabins accommodates 38 guests. The cabin was bigger than I expected, and the bathroom had a separate shower. Single beds were fairly comfortable, although I had trouble sleeping with the rocking motion. Cabins are air-conditioned. Towels were folded into animal shapes every day with a little chocolate on the bed. Very nice ship, and the meals and service were top notch. Buffet-style breakfast & lunch with a very nice formal dinner. The fish served was like it had just been caught - so fresh! Red or white wine was served with dinner (included). Fresh Fruit and juices with morning meals. The schedule is very busy starting at 7 am. There is a lot of walking on the islands, so bring good comfortable shoes. Snorkeling if you choose, or a glass-bottom boat to explore the marine life. Water was around 73 farenheit in late January and so clear and turquoise blue. You are shuttled to the islands from the Isabella II on Zodiac inflatable boats (takes about 10 minutes). It was a wonderful experience and the staff does everything to accommodate the guests, and make it a memorable adventure. Tours tend to be of the central islands, or the northern or the southern Islands, depending on the tour and number of days. Ours was the central area around Santa Cruz and Santa Fe Islands. An amazing place.

Visited January 2014
Helpful?
3 Thank S T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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