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  1. #1
    jgenie is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default Galápagos Islands

    I’m thinking I would like to go next summer 2022 or spring 2023. If you’ve been, please share. How long were you there? Did you go with a tour company? Best parts? Anything to avoid? I think we would like to spend a few days in Quito if the city has recovered from Covid and it’s safe. Thanks!
    for Carmen

  2. #2
    marinkitty is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Hi. We went at winter break a few years ago. We did the Western Galapagos on La Pinta through Metropolitan Tours. I highly recommend them. We booked directly with them (Katarina in Quito is who I dealt with) and spent a night on either side in Guayaquil (we decided not try add Quito to the trip - saving interior SA/colonial capitals for other trips). The boat held 48 passengers, the naturalists were really terrific, it was very intimate and personalized, there was a great mix of nationalities on board - it wasn't American centric at all and we made friends from several countries we now keep in touch with, the food and accommodations were very good (we did a double cabin for the adults and a triple for the three kids), the activities were varied enough (kayaking, snorkeling, SUP, panga rides, hikes) and we felt like we did the right mix of islands. We saw all the main animals - penguins, orca, whales, iguanas (land and marine), blue footed boobies, tons of sea birds, giant tortoise, sharks, lots of fish and just learned so much about the islands and their flora/fauna. Definitely make sure you are prepared for all weather and if your trip doesn't supply wet suits, bring them. The water is chilly after a long drift snorkel. We had mostly warm weather and very little rain, but we did get a bit of everything. I also looked at the safari camp as a land based option, but in the end I'm really glad we went with a water based trip.

  3. #3
    jgenie is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by marinkitty View Post
    Hi. We went at winter break a few years ago. We did the Western Galapagos on La Pinta through Metropolitan Tours. I highly recommend them. We booked directly with them (Katarina in Quito is who I dealt with) and spent a night on either side in Guayaquil (we decided not try add Quito to the trip - saving interior SA/colonial capitals for other trips). The boat held 48 passengers, the naturalists were really terrific, it was very intimate and personalized, there was a great mix of nationalities on board - it wasn't American centric at all and we made friends from several countries we now keep in touch with, the food and accommodations were very good (we did a double cabin for the adults and a triple for the three kids), the activities were varied enough (kayaking, snorkeling, SUP, panga rides, hikes) and we felt like we did the right mix of islands. We saw all the main animals - penguins, orca, whales, iguanas (land and marine), blue footed boobies, tons of sea birds, giant tortoise, sharks, lots of fish and just learned so much about the islands and their flora/fauna. Definitely make sure you are prepared for all weather and if your trip doesn't supply wet suits, bring them. The water is chilly after a long drift snorkel. We had mostly warm weather and very little rain, but we did get a bit of everything. I also looked at the safari camp as a land based option, but in the end I'm really glad we went with a water based trip.
    Thank you! Do you remember which boat you were on?
    for Carmen

  4. #4
    marinkitty is offline Sapphire level (2000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgenie View Post
    Thank you! Do you remember which boat you were on?
    La Pinta.

  5. #5
    lizzywednesday is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by jgenie View Post
    ... If you’ve been, please share. How long were you there? Did you go with a tour company? ...
    I did not go, but one of my buddies and her family went several summers ago for, I think, 2 weeks. They booked everything through a cruise line and loved every minute.
    ==========================================
    Liz
    DD (3/2010)

    "Make mistakes! Get messy!" - Miss Frizzle

  6. #6
    smilequeen is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Default

    We go at the end of the month. I can report back, although our Quito experience will be limited because of Covid. We are doing Galapagos and Mashpi Lodge.
    Mama to my boys (04,07,11)

  7. #7
    smilequeen is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    We were also with Metropolitan Touring. They were amazing. Everything about the Galapagos was perfect. We did everything on land, snorkeling, sea kayaks, paddle boards, etc. We were on Isabela 2 with a very specific group of families and the food was amazing, the size was perfect, the guides were awesome. All teens and adults on board were vaccinated which made it comfortable. We had so much fun on the boat too (it was meant for all the families to interact a lot but that was the group we chose to go with). We did karaoke, talent show, treasure hunt, stargazing. Now, the guides told us the numbers are greatly reduced because of Covid. Our boat was the only one active at every stop. This will probably change when things are more under control. Galapagos also currently requires masks everywhere in Galapagos (except for boats that meet the 95% vax rate like ours)

    Quito was fun. Ecuador is very very strict about masking and numbers. I imagine it would be more crowded post Covid. We did the old town and the equator.

    Our last stop was Mashpi Lodge. I highly recommend this post Covid. Right now, we had fun, but I would not go during Covid again. Long story. It’s an amazing place with amazing guides but wait out Covid.
    Mama to my boys (04,07,11)

  8. #8
    jgenie is offline Red Diamond level (10,000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by smilequeen View Post
    We were also with Metropolitan Touring. They were amazing. Everything about the Galapagos was perfect. We did everything on land, snorkeling, sea kayaks, paddle boards, etc. We were on Isabela 2 with a very specific group of families and the food was amazing, the size was perfect, the guides were awesome. All teens and adults on board were vaccinated which made it comfortable. We had so much fun on the boat too (it was meant for all the families to interact a lot but that was the group we chose to go with). We did karaoke, talent show, treasure hunt, stargazing. Now, the guides told us the numbers are greatly reduced because of Covid. Our boat was the only one active at every stop. This will probably change when things are more under control. Galapagos also currently requires masks everywhere in Galapagos (except for boats that meet the 95% vax rate like ours)

    Quito was fun. Ecuador is very very strict about masking and numbers. I imagine it would be more crowded post Covid. We did the old town and the equator.

    Our last stop was Mashpi Lodge. I highly recommend this post Covid. Right now, we had fun, but I would not go during Covid again. Long story. It’s an amazing place with amazing guides but wait out Covid.
    I’m so glad to hear you had a great trip. Did you go with families you know or did you meet onboard? We won’t be going until DS2 has been vaccinated so summer 2022 or spring 2023.

    MarinKitty - thank you for the info. This company looks great!
    for Carmen

  9. #9
    smilequeen is online now Diamond level (5000+ posts)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgenie View Post
    I’m so glad to hear you had a great trip. Did you go with families you know or did you meet onboard? We won’t be going until DS2 has been vaccinated so summer 2022 or spring 2023.
    A little bit of both. We booked with a global leadership group my husband belongs to.

    I am also going to recommend this. You can do a chocolate tasting. The Rose Petal chocolate is amazing

    https://republicadelcacao.com/


    Just got this yesterday...the guides are amazing, but the lead guide on our boat was also an amazing photographer. He sent so many amazing pics. Love this one of my oldest with the penguins

    https://scontent-ort2-1.xx.fbcdn.net...c0&oe=60E9C96F
    Last edited by smilequeen; 07-07-2021 at 12:20 PM.
    Mama to my boys (04,07,11)

  10. #10
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    Amazing pic! My youngest is obsessed with penguins and this would be his dream.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
    DD (3/06)
    DS1 (7/09)
    DS2 (8/13)

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