a VirtualTourist member
Hi, I'm looking to visit the Galápagos Islands and wondered what other people suggest for tours.
I was thinking of going with Red Mangrove (www.redmangrove.com) with their land tours. Has anyone used them? And what do they think?
Or would a cruise be better?
Or even another company?
I'm also thinking of doing the Amazon right after. Any advice and/or suggestions are appreciated!
Thanks in advance!
I used Lindblat/National Geographic and my daughter used Agressor (for diving) tours. Both are cruises as this is the only way you get from island to island and depending on the length of the tour you get to see many of the islands.
Each island is unique unto itself and although most all will have seals, sea lions you will see albatross on one, land tortises on another and so on.
I would definitely go with a cruise.
There are only two islands you can stay at, Santa Cruz being probably with the most going on, and with large land tortoises in the highlands. To get to some of the other islands you need to tour with boat that can stay out a couple of days.... or do the luxury side as Al did with Lindblat/NatGeo and I did with Celebrity on the Xpedition.
There are four islands you can stay on in Galapagos Islands and some islands can be visited on daytours from those places, but as above posts says there are other islands which can only be visited while on a cruise (for example Isla Genovesa, Isla Espanola, western Isabela and Fernandina). I would absolutely recommend a n 8d/7n cruise over a shorter cruise or landbased visits.
I made a cruise with M/S Cachalote and had a wonderful time. The cruise I booked through www.galapagosislands.com (but there are many other reliable companies too). After the cruise I went on my own for a few days to Puerto Villamil on Isla Isabela.
I forgot about the Amazon. The only lodge I have visited is Sani Lodge and it is lovely, so I can really recommend it. I stayed at their camping which is a cheaper option, but the cabins at the lodge are nice too.
I guess I have a lot to consider. I was told by a local and read some reviews that the best way to experience the Galapagos was through day tours. Only because you have less time in each area, but I haven't considered that day tours might not go to some islands.
I looked at the Sani Lodge too. There's several in the area and they all sound about the same. I guess it's just a matter of just picking one since they are similar. Thanks for letting me know you had a lovely time at Sani Lodge. It'll definitely be a consideration :)
I have made a travel page about Sani Lodge (well, the introduction is not written yet) so if you are interested you can see my photos here: [original VT link]
I have done both land tours and cruises during my Galapagos visits. They both have advantages and now that I've spent months on the Galapagos I realize that if you want to see 'everything' you have to do both. The harder to reach islands may only be visited on a cruise, while doing fun things like biking in the highlands or hiking to a volcano are usually limited to land tours. I found land tours to be more active and flexible, with time to explore freely on your own. I found cruises to be more structured and relaxing. The boat I was on during my first visit was the Cruz del Sur...which has since sunk (crazy!) and the land tours I did were with a company called Galakiwi.