This rural and scenic part of Riverside county is a different experience of California wine country compared to the Central… more>>
Travelers the world over have a fascination with the untouched and unique Galapagos. Its certainly more involved than simply packing a bag and going. Environmental restrictions impact how many visitors are there at any given time and this is true of flights as well as cruises which have become more popular to the islands in recent years.
Arrival by guides is the only way to get to the island at all. Ships have become a popular mode of transit with boats arranged directly from Ecuador that carry from 10 to 100 passengers. Larger cruise lines also have access to the Parque Nacional Galapagos. The cruises reduce the numbers of travelers actually staying on the island and so are seen as a good thing but the regulations make the sightseeing more broken up. Basically there is a circuit which the ships are allowed to move among the 13 islands and itineraries can range from a few days upwards of two weeks to see everything. A five day experience can cover the essentials.
From Ecuador one can depart from one of two airports: Quito and Guayaquil, this makes it more appealing to spend time sightseeing in Ecuador before or after a trip to Galapagos. The major airlines which fly are TAME, Aerogal Icaro and LAN. Roundtrips range between $300 in low season and $600 in high season. There is a luggage limit of 20kg per person which is also meant to respect the island’s ecological balance. No immunizations are required to visit the island. Be aware there is a $100 entrance fee one must pay at the gate of departure. There are two island airports on the Galapagos which receive flights San Cristóbal and Baltra.
Once you’ve flown in many have booked cruises to tour around the islands before returning back on a flight. It is recommended to go to Puerto Ayora in Santa Cruz (just a water taxi ride from Baltra airport). Booking ahead of time is more expensive, it is recommended to head to the port and buy a cruise there which can be bargained for.
Year round the climate is warm, so it is an attractive place to see. High season is December and January also June through August. February to May and September to December are more affordable and less crowded times of the year. There are no major changes in seasons and most species of animals are pretty active and visible all year round.