Galapagos Island Vacations tips, recommendations and what to do upon arrival to this famous Archipelago.
How To Arrive: You must take a flight from Quito or Guayaquil (in Ecuador - South America) to Galapagos Baltra Island
Then you have to cross the Itabaca canal and take a taxi to Puerto Ayora the capital of Santa Cruz Island.
Or you can also arrive to the airport on the town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno on San Cristobal Island
In Baltra Island the taxi will charge you $15 for the 30 minutes drive. Or you can take a bus for a minimal cost. Ask at what time a Fibra (this is a fiber boat) will take off for Isabela Island (the capital of Isabela Island is Puerto Villamil).
Arrange a seat for the boat, the cost will be from $25 to $30 depending upon the number of passengers. Make sure there are enough life vests, the Galapagos trip takes approximately 2 hours from Santa Cruz to Isabela.
A bigger ship called "Estrella de Mar" also goes to Isabela every Monday and Thursday for $12. It's slower, but during high tide season, it's more secure.
Puerto Villamil: is the Capital of Isabela, it is a small town inhabited by approximately 2.000 people. The town was named after General Villamil, who took possession of the Galapagos Islands.
The Island has electricity and water. Ask in your hotel for a driver and a guide that speaks English.
There are many locals that speak English that will gladly guide you to the sites of interest. Everyone knows everyone in town but a couple of weeks in advance is required to organize any visit. See Our a Recommended Galapagos Land Tours
Concha de Perla: Take a walk on the wooden path that leads to the Concha de Perla bay.
This path was built by the Galapagos National Park within the mangroves and leads to a small pier from which you can jump into he water to snorkel or just take a swim. Last month 4 dolphins entered the lagoon from the sea. You don't need a guide to visit this lovely spot.
Las Tintoreras: In your Galapagos island vacations planning, make sure you arrange a boat to cross you only 10 minutes from the pier (El Muelle) to the "lava formations".
You will be escorted by sea lions, then on the rocks will surely see penguins, blue footed boobies, and various birds before you arrive to the place where the tintoreras (Sharks) tranquilly swim in a natural lava canal.
You can admire them from an observation point that has been discovered by the National Park. The visit costs around $5 per person depending on the number of tourists that take the boat.
You will see the most interesting lava formations on your walk The entire tours will take about an hour depending on how long you want to watch the sharks swim in this unique natural environment... Don't miss this wonderful experience during your Galapagos Island vacations adventure.
Galapagos Volcanoes: Sierra Negra and Volcano Chico This is a wonderful trip that must be part of your Galapagos Island vacations so...
It's a good idea to wear jeans or comfortable clothes and walking shoes. Take a jacket as it might get cold in the highland.
Your tour operator will arrange for a guide to take you on this interesting tour. A pick-up takes you up to the farmlands as you watch the vegetation change.
You'll see beautiful trees and rich farmlands. Then you'll arrive to a farm where horses will await for you.
Don't worry, these are tame animals anyone can ride. You will ride by the awesome crater o the Sierra Negra volcano which is 12 Km in diameter, the second largest crater in the world.
Then you trek along on the Volcano Chico where you'll experience walking on lava, with a lunar landscape.
You will need to take a picnic and drink water. This tour usually has a cost of $25 per person, it will take you all morning and you'll return after lunch.
Visiting these volcanoes is a wonderful Galapagos island vacations experience that you'll never forget!
The Path to the Wall of Tears: This is a long path that was put into good condition by the National Park. It's a beautiful recreation area not to be missed in your Galapagos Island vacations.
A taxi will take you to the Muro de las Lágrimas (Wall of Tears), this ride takes about 15 minutes. You may hire the taxi to take you back to the town, visiting the spots of interest.
Many tourists walk back, and take their time, take a picnic and stop for a swim at the beach.
The path is well marked with signs, there is no chance to get lost. The Wall of Tears is a very big wall that was built, stone over stone by the prisoners when Isabela was a penal colony back in 1946. The prisoners were kept busy carrying and placing the sharp lava rocks to form this enclosure.
See Beautiful Galapagos Island Pictures here
Start your way back and you will come to a wooden staircase that leads to an observation tower. Then you'll run into pristine beaches like Playa del Amor (Love Beach).
Don't miss the Estero, just follow the sign and walk among giant mangrove trees, then follow the stream and walk out the mangroves to where the stream and the ocean meet.
This is just paradise on your Galapagos Island vacations because when you continue to follow the path you will come to the Flamingo lagoon waiting for you to be admired...
Keep in mind during your Galapagos Island vacations specially on Isabela Island, that the Plants of Galapagos and fauna are spectacular as on the other Islands of this Archipelago. The main activity of the inhabitants of Isabela is fishing.
With 250 photos and tons of great information, this is an essential addition to your pre-Ecuador and -Galapagos reading!
There are better guides if you are only interested in the islands, but for a combination trip taking in Ecuador as well, it's hard to beat.
Small enough to fit into your pocket, yet containing comprehensive information and pictures of all the species you will encounter in the islands, this book is a must-have for nature lovers.
Let's face it, Galapagos is largely about the wildlife. This book will NOT disappoint, and you'll have a great memento of your time with the seals, penguins and tortoises!
Definitely NOT a tourist's guide, but if you're like me, and find the history and geography of the islands irresistible, then this is a title you ought to invest in.
Stunningly illustrated, and painstakingly researched, those of you who have been there will be enchanted again -- and those of you who have not will begin planning your trip!
If you're a seasoned Galapagos regular, then you will probably prefer something weightier.
But for first-timers looking for simple, down-to-earth advice on where to go, what to see and the best shopping and eating on the islands, this is the book for you.
Small, well-priced, and reliable!
The 10th anniversary edition of this photographer's tour of the Galapagos Islands is a stunning book, worthy of anybody's coffee table.
This is a perfect post-trip talking point -- a great way to remember what you've seen, and spread the word amongst your envious friends!
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