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RE: back from vacation


From: San D (kprs_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Aug 18 2004 - 04:23:13 PDT

Fantastic adventure, thanks for sharing. Please post a few photos
somehow. How did you arrange the trip ? Was it difficult to do ?
Was it expensive ?
                                        Woody in Albuquerque

There seems to be a variety of organizations that arrange the trip and
coordinate with Ecoventura the organization that runs the three ships. I
used International Expeditions (you can find them online) after doing
investigations on my own. The trip was top notch (the food for example was 5
star, and I gained weight even after the two daily hikes). The crew,
including the Captain was most gracious and attended to every need. I would
say that in terms of difficulty, the trip was moderate,in other words you
have to be able to negotiate getting on and off the boat into a dinghy
(called a panga) and negotiate 'dry' or 'wet' landings (storming the beach
vs. scampering on wet rocks). Every day you had two hikes with naturalists
that were about 2 1/2-3 hours long, and a time to snorkle (about 1 hour). As
for expense, as all 20 of us got to know each other on the trip we realized
that each company that arranges the trip charges differently. Our trip
through International Expeditions (and also the fact that we picked the top
deck, as compared to the bottom two decks) charged $4306 per person, door to
door (which meant 3 air flights each way, and included an overnight stay in
Quaquil in a 5 star hotel each way). All I had to do was tip the guides and
crew at the end. Just a note. You can not get on any of the Galapagos
Islands WITHOUT an official National Park sanctioned therefore
trying to negotiate this trip on our own without speaking Spanish would have
been hard. That said, my sister has a friend who is Ecuadorian and owns
property on the Galapagos Islands and has told us for years she would
arrange it. We opted for the first time to do it through an agency. Perhaps
the next time we will take her up on her offer.

San D