Friday, February 16, 2024

How Long Is The Boat Ride From Ecuador To Galapagos

Where To Stay In San Cristobal

My Trip to The Galápagos Islands – 8 Day Boat Tour, Ecuador, South America

The main town in San Cristobal is called Puerto Baquerizo Moreno, and thats where all of the available accommodations are located.

Budget: Mid-Range

  • Casa Playa Mann: Situated just steps away from the beach and about a 5 minute walk from the main stretch of town, youll be able to enjoy plenty of ocean or garden views from your hammock at Casa Playa Mann. Youll also find amenities like A/C, a fitness center , and free WiFi.Check Prices

Budget: As Cheap as Possible

  • Casa de Jeimy: Located only 10-15 minutes walking from the airport, Casa de Jeimy is conveniently situated only a few blocks away from the waterfront. Youll get private rooms, A/C, WiFi, and the works all for a fantastic rate. Enjoy the rooftop common area overlooking the harbor or the shared kitchen and hammocks. Check Prices
  • Hotel Mar Azul: Youll get awesome value at Hotel Mar Azul. The hotel is located super close to the pier and main stretch of shops and restaurants. Your room will be equipped with A/C and a mini fridge and breakfast is included. You can rent snorkelling gear from the front desk. No frills, but the rate is great! Check Prices

Day : San Cristbal To Isabela

We left at 7AM for Santa Cruz via a two-hour boat ride. Both the islands of San Cristóbal and Isabela require you to pay an additional $0.50-$2.00 for a water taxi from the boat to the dock! Upon arriving we immediately checked in for the ferry to Isabela, four hours later. They allowed us to leave our luggage while we saw the island of Santa Cruz.

During the layover we visited Las Grietas. To reach the trail you must take a water taxi, charging $0.50-$0.60/person each way. The crystal clear waters and colorful fish make for a perfect snorkeling adventure.This whole trip took about three hours, before we had to pick up our bags at 1:30 pm and board the boat to Isabela at 2:00 pm.

Isabela is my favorite island, as is has the largest variety of marine and terrestrial life. Tired from the long day, we opted to pay the $1/person taxi from the docks to town, about one kilometer away. The hostal, Gladismar, is located only two blocks from the beach and two blocks from downtown. The double room was only $25/night and an additional $5/night to use the A/C. Singles and doubles are available at $15/person/night. The rooms have air conditioning, fan, television and a communal area with a kitchen.

The islands infrastructure is lacking at best. They are just starting to build a paved road from the port to the city, while being the only Island to charge visitors additional fees to enter.

Another unmissable thing to do in Ecuador is visiting the Bartolomé Island.

Tips For Visiting San Cristobal Island

  • Tours and ferries are operated separately. This means that you cant schedule a tour from Santa Cruz Island on San Cristobal and return the same night the ferry schedule doesnt allow for it. You have to do an overnight on San Cristobal if you want to return to Santa Cruz.
  • If San Cristobal is on your must-see list, we recommend trying to book a flight that lets you fly into Baltra and out of San Cristobal, or vise versa. Or, allow yourself a couple of days.
  • Book tours and ferries a day or two in advance!
  • There are 3 ATMs in San Cristobal, so no need to re-fill your cash supplies in Puerto Ayora.

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Day : Snorkeling In San Cristbal

We had a relaxed day and walk around Tijeretas Hill. We went through the interpretive center, Playa Mann, Playa Punta Carola, and snorkeled in the bay of Tijeretas Hill. The water is full of huge schools of small colorful fish. Near the rocks we had the chance to snorkel with some playful sea lions. If you are lucky a mantaraya might make an appearance. We spent the afternoon at Loberia, a coral sand beach known for its sea lions and iguanas.

Playa Mann is a white sand beach with water suitable for snorkeling. We only saw several small fish, so dont head here to be wowed.

Playa Punta Carola is a more secluded beach, still with plenty of sea lions. It is a great place to relax in the sand or swim in the refreshing waters.

Tijeretas Hill is a short walk from town. It starts with an interpretation center with the political and physical history of the islands. From there we walked along a path up to the top of Tijeretas Hill with a nice overlook of the whole area and bay where we snorkeled. At the bottom of the hill, there is a dock to go snorkeling from. There are local boat tour companies who charge pricy amounts for snorkeling trips to this bay. If you do not mind a few kilometer roundtrip walk, it is worth going on your own.

Total cost day 6: $25 for two people + food

How To Get To Puerto Ayora

Samba Cruises Yacht Galapagos
  • From the Baltra airport: take the shuttle to the docks. Santa Cruz Island is a 5 minute ferry ride from the Baltra docks. From the docks on the Santa Cruz side its about a 45 minute drive into Puerto Ayora. You can either take a $20 white pick-up truck taxi youll find many waiting or the much cheaper bus. There are limited airline arrivals each day, so expect to wait a little while for the bus to fill up fully before it leaves. We found a group to share a taxi with us to cut costs. The bus will take you to a terminal just outside of town, but a taxi from the bus stop is only $1.
  • From San Cristobal: take one of the daily ferries to Puerto Ayora. Its best to purchase your tickets at least a day in advance as their seats are limited. The ride is about 2 hours.

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Why Are Galapagos Cruises So Expensive

There are many factors that make the Galapagos Cruises expensive, including:

  • boat operational costs
  • high-quality standard of the boat and service, even in the non-luxury boats
  • high costs of permissions and taxes
  • in Ecuador the minimum wage is much higher than in other country in South America, and so is the quality standard of living.
  • Highly qualified staff on board

Being A Responsible Traveler When Exploring Isla Isabela

  • Do not litter. Do we have to show you pictures of turtles strangled by plastic 6-packs or birds choking on plastic bags? Because thats what happens when you litter. If you so much as throw your cigarette butt on the ground, you might as well be murdering an innocent animal. Dont do it!
  • Do not venture to places where signs say not to. I dont care about your sunset shots, theres erosion and turtle nests.
  • Do not feed the animals. It makes them dependent on humans because they realize they dont have to hunt.
  • Do not go within two meters of an animal if you can help it. This sign is posted all over the Galapagos. I know sometimes its hard to follow. Sometimes a bird lands on you. Sometimes you have to step over sea lions. Sometimes animals approach you. Its a rule of thumb in a lot of cases, but be mindful of your distance.
  • NEVER use a flash on an animal! Ever! Not just in the Galapagos and Isabela Island. Anywhere, ever. Flashing a bright, unexpected light at an animals face scares them, and makes them erratic. It could damage their eyes, which are often more refined and sensitive than a human eye. If there are too many flashes, the animals may think that theyre in danger, which could lead to a migration issue . Your photography is not that important. Know your place as a guest in the animals territory.
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    Galapagos On A Budget: The Ultimate 8 Days Galapagos Travel Guide

    Posted on Last updated:

    By: Author Travel To Blank

    Many people have the idea that Galapagos is an expensive destination due to the high prices on cruises but in reality you could visit the Galapagos on a budget if you follow the following itinerary. You do not need to hire a tour to visit the Galapagos Islands as the islands are serviced by ferries you can take on your own. The best thing to do in Galapagos is to take day tours as it is the most affordable way to see the Galapagos.

    Our flights from Guayaquil to San Cristobal round trip cost only $20 each thanks cashing in 18,000 kilometers on LAN Airlines. In that time we visited the three main islands: Isabela, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal.

    Read More: What to do in a layover in Guayaquil

    Flights are tricky as you can only fly from either Quito or Guayaquil and there is a price difference for the same flight depending if you are from Ecuador or a foreign. Tickets range between the $200 to $600 round trip depending on the season. The cheapest way to get to Galapagos from Ecuador is between Quito to Baltra Airport . From Baltra you will have to take a boat or bus transfer to Puerto Ayora. The transfer cost a few dollars.

    We have provided an in-depth itinerary which can be used as your own Galapagos travel guide to visit the Galapagos Island on the cheap.

    Recommended Hotels And Restaurants In Quito

    #ScienceTheEarth Santa Cruz II Boat Tour in Galapagos Islands Ecuador

    Casa Gangotena, on the newly restored Plaza San Francisco in the heart of Quitos colonial center, is the best hotel in Ecuador, combining history, style, and service.

    Another top option is Illa Experience Hotel, a 10-room boutique hotel in the citys central San Marcos neighborhood. The property sits in a renovated mansion, and each floor presents different décor, including colonial, republic, and contemporary styles.

    When it comes to dining, Zazu is the only Relais & Châteaux restaurant in Ecuador. For a more casual experience, head to sister restaurant Zfood, where a Hamptons-style fish-shack vibe is replicated perfectly and seafood reigns supreme. Dont miss their reinvented Bloody Marys.

    Under the guidance of chef/owner Daniel Maldonado, Urko stays focused on showcasing Ecuadorian ingredients and flavors. Go for the tasting menu to get a full sense of what Maldonado calls cocina local.

    At Lua Restaurante, Peruvian and Ecuadorian flavors meet and mingle, and the crowd here is very sophisticated.

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    How Do I Get From San Cristobal To Baltra

    The most affordable way to get from San Cristóbal Island to Baltra Island is to fly, which costs $215 and takes 21 min. What is the fastest way to get from San Cristóbal Island to Baltra Island? The quickest way to get from San Cristóbal Island to Baltra Island is to fly which costs $215 and takes 21 min.

    Taxis Tipping In Ecuador And Galapagos

    Typically, local Ecuadorians dont pay tips to taxi drivers or uber drivers. Even if tips arent required for a ride, it is always appreciated.

    More importantly, tipping is a good way to do your part to help the local economy of a country in which you are a guest.

    This shows through the many expatriates that live permanently within Ecuador that continue tipping as they would back at home. How much should you pay? One dollar for every ten-minute ride will be greatly treasured.

    Remember, if you are traveling with bags and the driver helps, provide 50 cents to a dollar per bag.

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    Can Foreigners Buy Property In Galapagos

    Buying Basics

    There are no restrictions on foreigners buying property in Ecuador. Most foreign buyers hire a lawyer to confirm that there is no debt on the property, that it has clear title and that there are no issues with the registration, said Sara Chaca, a lawyer in Cuenca who works on real estate transactions.

    Who Was Charles Darwin

    More than 20 rescued from capsized Galapagos Islands tour ...

    Its widely known that Charles Darwin developed his theory of evolution based on the information collected during his time in the Galapagos Islands.

    Charles Darwins groundbreaking biological theory of evolution changed our perception of the world as we know it. He was an English naturalist, geologist, and biologist, largely famous for his scientific theory of evolution. It was the genetic diversity of the animals in the Galapagos that lead Charles Darwin to put forth his belief that species were not immutable in his book On the Origin of the Species. He called the islands a living laboratory and developed his theories of evolution in the wake of his visit to the Galapagos back in 1835.

    Galapagos Weather

    The weather is excellent all year round. However, its important to know that there are 2 distinct seasons in Galapagos:

    Hot Season: December until May Conditions are tropical, temperatures are hot and humid from 26 ºC 30 ºC , while the water temperature averages 26 ºC .

    Dry Season: July to November Weather is cloudier, cooler, and drier, with air temperatures ranging from 23 ºC 26 ºC . Water temperatures range between 20 ºC 23 ºC .

    Find out what is the best time to visit the Galapagos for you. Remember, the Galapagos are a year-round destination!

    Galapagos History

    For more Galapagos history, be sure to check out our Galapagos Information page.

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    Arriving At Isabela Island

    Compared to driving into Santa Cruz, arriving at Isabela Island felt much more like stepping onto a tropical paradise.

    Spotted rays and tiny penguins swam lazily in the clear blue waters next to our boat. Across the clear blue water, we were greeted by shimmering white sand, swaying palm trees, basking marine iguanas, honking pelicans, and several adorable napping sea lions.

    The pavement by the dock is a nice warm spot for the sea lions, so you have to literally step over them they wont budge for you.

    Dizzy from our boat ride and still sleepy, we grabbed a cab and asked for Caleta Iguana hostel, which we saw recommended by one of our favorite blogs, Two Wandering Soles, as one of the best hostels in South America.

    Unfortunately, it was not.

    How Much Does It Cost To Visit The Galapagos On Your Own

    It all depends on the activities you choose to do, the type of accommodation and where you eat. For instance, in our case we spend $30- $40 on a budget double room and it is half for a single private room. In food we spent around $12 per person eating breakfast, lunch and dinner. We recommend to look for locals comedores. This place have delicious food and are meant for locals to buy their lunch or dinner. It will be always the cheapest option yet not the most comfortable experience. Tours can get pricy but once again it all depends on what you choose to do. We took day tours, rent a cab for the hour with another couple to visit each island by land, walk and took water taxis to go to other places in the island not accessible by car or foot. Ferries are a great option to go from island to island without having to hire a tour. Prices ranges from $20-$150 USD per person. Scuba Diving is always the most expensive tour .

    We spent $600 USD per person for 8 nights excluding the airfare from Guayaquil to Galapagos. We stayed in budget friendly accommodations, took several tours including one scuba diving immersion, and dine as a local.

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    How To Choose The Perfect Galapagos Cruise For You has many last-minute and early booking deals that you should always keep monitored. The website offers a wide array of cruising options for many types of itinerary and boats and prices where you can easily compare to find whats the best for you. Also, they have the best rate guaranteed policy, which means that if you find the same cruises with exactly the same characteristics on another website that has a lower price, they match it! Isnt it great!?

    Ok but not lets get to the point, how do I find the best Galapagos Cruise for me? with so many available? You may wonder. Before calling customer service, you should do some research first. And I am going to help you do that.

    It is very easy to get excited when you see a super special rate or the itinerary that you really had in mind that you forget to check all the other factors and you end up booking a trip that is not exactly what you were looking for.

    So here is a list of features and parameters that you should take into consideration when you book a cruise to the Galapagos Islands .

    You can also move on to my articles about the top 5 Galapagos Luxury cruises and the 13 Amazing Galapagos Island Cruises for any budget if you are undecided and need help narrow down your search.

    Snorkeling On The Los Tuneles Tour

    Galapagos cruises and Tours in Ecuador

    We continued onward to our first real destination: the snorkeling area.

    This was the longest we went snorkeling on a tour the entire week. All told, we were in the water for two whole hours! Ill hit you with the highlights.

    The area we were swimming in is a collection of four or five rings of rocky islands. In this area, we saw more water critters then we did anywhere else.

    In addition to the usual boatload of fish and rays, we saw roughly ten giant sea turtles! No one pissed them off this time, so I was lucky enough to swim in between two of them, side by side, which was freaking magical. Theyre so chill and used to humans .

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