3 full days in Galapagos enough?
Replies: 7 - Last Post: Jul 20, 2012 2:14 PM Last Post By: tmiddled
Jul 4, 2012 5:25 AM
3 full days in Galapagos enough?I was planning to travel to the Galapagos for 3 full days (2 travel days, arrive at noon, leave at noon).
I dont have a cruise booked or anything yet but I was mostly wondering if people who have gone, think that its crazy to go for that little time?
I know its expensive to go and I can handle the expense but i could also just spend those 5 days elsewhere in equador (only 20 days in equador excluding flight days in and out)
Its in August so the weather won't be the most amazing but I imagine it will still be a cool place.
Edited by: fritobandito
Jul 4, 2012 7:01 AM
1I would spend a bit more. If you have 20 days in Ecuador, spend 5 at the islands.
Jul 4, 2012 10:28 AM
Jul 5, 2012 10:19 AM
Jul 5, 2012 4:28 PM
4I just got back from a 2 1/2 week trip to Ecuador, including one week in the Galapagos. Definitely spend more time than 3 days especially if you're not booked on anything. I wish we had more time there--the islands really are amazing. You may be overestimating the amount of actual time you will have too because it will take well over an hour to get from the airport to the main town (Puerto Ayora) if you fly to Baltra. You also are at the mercy of whatever island(s) are available because not every island is visited every day. Due to timing and not planning, we missed out on San Cristobal, but were able to see Seymour Norte, Bartolome and Isabela as well as Santa Cruz sights. We opted to skip Floreana because the most interesting sites there are only accessible by a cruise. Instead we spent an afternoon at Tortuga Bay.
If you have a bit more money to spend, you should consider a short cruise or just stay longer and see what you can catch on day trips. Any way you do it, you will be pleased and will see wildlife. The highlight was probably Seymour Norte for me, although all was great and each place had a different feel. It would have been nice to see some of the cruise-only islands, but we were pleased given that we didn't have that much time. We saw Guayaquil, Cuenca, Riobamba, Banos & Quito on the mainland and could have seen more but got tired towards the end and wanted to relax (and it was cloudy in the mountains so we skipped Quilotoa and Cotopaxi).
I plan to post a trip report at some point. The most useful travel information I got was on here, so I want to pay it forward.
Jul 5, 2012 6:24 PM
5thanks for the input everyone, sounds like i ought not either not go or take more time there
so you had a self guided galapagos time, do you think the cruises would have been a better choice? they dont really sound that great to me and i think i would want to be self guided.
but i get your point about if im self guided i should take more time (>1week)
Edited by: fritobandito
Edited by: fritobandito
Jul 10, 2012 7:36 PM
6First of all, I'd like to say go to the Galapagos...I would argue that anything on the mainland is worth skipping compared to the chance of going to the Galapagos for a week. I was only there a week, so you wouldn't have to spend much more than that if you can't. I would have liked to have seen more places, which means more wildlife, but I'm completely happy with not having done cruises. If you're only there for a short time, though, the only cruises available to you would be ones that don't get that far out and would be less worth doing than just doing your own day trip. If I were going to go on a cruise, I would want to do the 5 or 8 day cruise that goes to Genovesa or Espanola. Otherwise, day trips to Seymour, Bartolome, Isabela or San Cristobal as well as exploring Santa Cruz would be fine. But by all means, don't skip it!
Jul 20, 2012 2:14 PM
7Sounds like you have already decided, but three days is not enough in my opinion. I just got back from two weeks on the Galapagos. 1 week cruise, and 1 week on the islands (3 nights Santa Cruz, 4 nights San Cristobal).
While my cruise was amazing, in my opinion you can have an unforgettable experience in the Galapagos by basing yourself on land if you plan right....however, not in 3 days. I would either extend it to a minimum of 6 full days on the Galapagos (either cruse or land based), or save it for another time when you can really get more out of the experience.
Seriously, the Galapagos for me is probably one of the most memorable experiences of my life, and cannot think of anything I have done so far in South America (nearly 1 year all up), or in fact probably the world, that I can compare it with. If you can stretch the budget (both time and money), then you will not regret it. However, if you can't afford it time or money wise, then I would recommend you spend that 3 days in one of the other many beautiful parts of Ecuador.
Just my two cense for what it's worth.
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