Id be tempted to spend a few days in Santiago as a layover.
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beautiful place I went there and everything is so beautiful, I never forget the white sand it was like a virgin beach
Tempting, but hotels seem kinda pricey for me, $200-$300 a night.
First, this price is cheap. I paid more to fly there from Quito.
I have no doubt hotels there can be $200-$300. They don't have to be that much though. I paid betwen $20-$30/night. I toured all the islands. Once I got to each island I walked around and checked out the hotels until I found a place to stay. It isn't hard. The towns aren't exactly New York size. Food is cheap, just eat where the locals eat and stay away from the tourists. I was getting menu de dias for $3-$4.
As for the beauty. It depends on your perspective. If you are from Manhattan or Kansas, you will probably think that it's the most beautiful place on earth. Otherwise, it's like many parts of California except everyone speaks Spanish. Oh wait, it is just like California.
It's not the pristine place I had in my mind. People live and work there. Fishing is the big industry. The locals fish in the protected areas. I went out with a local family on their boat. We had a picnic on one of the smaller islands. They fished for our lunch at the same places people go to visit the pristine wilderness.
The seals will come right up to you. Kind of like they do in California. Except there the cops don't tell you not to harrass the seals like they do in California.
If you are prone to seasickness, don't take the local boats between the islands. They are small. The waves are huge. Many times, it feels like I was sitting in a hole in the water. On one boat, the guy across from me puked the entire ride. I don't know where it was all coming from. He was considerate though and brought plenty of trash bags with him. Filled them all up.
Last edited by sunnysidescape; 07-13-2013 at 10:12 AM..
just went to galapagos this past december. awesome place. make sure to get the full details on this deal because american airlines does not fly to the actual islands. they fly to mainlad ecuador and you have to take another flight to the islands, offered by aerogal, lan, or tame. I believe these are the only three airlines allowed to fly to baltra (the island in Galapagos with the airport). the triopoly of these airlines allows them to charge $400-500/round trip ticket from quito to baltra.
Also, you cannot just roam freely in the galapagos since it is highly protected (and rightfully so). you will need to pay a $100 park entry fee and then join up with an official galapagos guide group. my recommendation is to take a several day island cruise to the western islands (isabella, fernandina, espanola, and genovesa). cruises are expensive though $1200 plus depending on which islands you get..
all that said, if you can afford if it is a trip you must make in your lifetime. you wont regret snorkeling/scubaing with hammerhead sharks, manta rays, sea lions, penguins. bon voyage
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