Galapagos Islands Journals

Dreaming of the Galapagos

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A September 2005 trip to Galapagos Islands by Philly_Girl

Our first sea lion Photo, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador More Photos
Quote: I was thoroughly enchanted by our trip to the Galapagos Islands: by the animals, by the fresh sea air, and by the utter remoteness of these islands. I hope that the peacefulness I felt during our visit will stay with me always.

Dreaming of the Galapagos

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Overview

A view on Espanola Photo, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Quote:
How to describe the indescribable? This journal is an attempt to share one of the most peaceful, interesting and engaging vacations we have ever had. We spent 11 days in the Galapagos, and this essay describes some of the highlights. We chose Galapagos Travel (Galapagos Travel website) because of their emphasis on eco-travel, education, and longer trips. Ask for Debbie in the US office, who is terrific and astonishingly helpful. Our tour featured a tour leader in addition to the naturalist guide provided by the Parque National Reserva Marina. We rose early (5:30am) so that we could be the first group on the islands and ended each day with a...Read More

Coral II

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Hotel

Coral II Photo, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Quote:
We boarded the Coral II in the early afternoon on the first day, excited and a bit nervous to sleep on a yacht for 10 nights. However, we soon settled into a nice rhythm at sea and actually missed the motion after our trip was over.The captain and crew worked extremely hard to make sure we were comfortable and having the trip of our lives. We didn't expect the food to be as good as it was. We dined on fresh fish, filet mignon, and chicken, as well as started with soups and ended with desserts at every meal. We didn't reach for a single Powerbar in our stash the entire time! One crew member, Jose, was assigned as our waiter, and he was very attentive and a nice guy to boot....Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 27, 2005

Coral II

Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Secret Turtle Cove

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Attraction | "The Secret Turtle Cove"

Secret Turtle Cove Photo, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Quote:
The night before, our guide, Samuel, told us to prepare for a challenging snorkel. We would snorkel through a lava inlet past a series of bays. At the end we would climb out of the water--wearing fins--and walk about 10 feet into a small cove. We would then get back in the water and snorkel around the outer edge of a cove. He advised us that we could only whisper, as there might be sleeping sea turtles, which we wouldn't want to disturb. It sounded pretty great to us, but we had no idea of the Blue Planet moment that was waiting for us in the cove.After a zodiac cruise early in the morning, we returned to the boat and got ready to snorkel. Samuel had us drink hot chocolate wearing our wetsuits befo...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 27, 2005

Secret Turtle Cove
Galapagos Islands
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Espanola Island

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Attraction

Espanola Island Photo, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Quote:
Our first island (after landing on the human-inhabitated San Cristobal island and heading for our ship) was Espanola. At 5:30am, our tour leader's voice wafted over the speaker system "Buenos Dias, campers. It's 5:30am and a beautiful day in the Galapagos. Rise and shine!" By 6am, we were all at breakfast, and by 7, we were setting foot on the pristine, white beach at Gardner Bay. I don't know if it was because it was our first stop or what, but we instantly fell in love with this place. We were greeted by dozens of sea lions lolling about on the beach, as well as mocking birds searching for water. We saw the famous cactus finch, marine iguanas, sally lightfoot crabs, ruddy turnstones, yellow warblers...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on October 27, 2005

Espanola Island
Extreme Southeast of the Archipelago
Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

Overall Impressions

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Story/Tip

Our first sea lion Photo, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
Quote:
We left our hotel in Quito and boarded the first plane on Aerogal to Quayaquil, a short 30-minute flight through the Andes (unexpectedly beautiful!). Although Air Galapagos is not perhaps as organized as Tame Airlines, we did arrive safely in the Galapagos Islands on San Cristobal after a 1.5-hour flight from Quayaquil. We descended over the ocean, past a few islands, and landed on a very short runway. We entered the airport, paid our $100 per person park fee, and met our guide, Samuel Quiroz, who gathered our bags and ushered us to a waiting bus for the short ride to the dock. Guides are assigned by the National Park Service, so we felt very fortunate to be with Samuel, who definitely knew what he wa...Read More