Post # 1
Have any of you honeymooned on the Galapagos Islands? They’re on our short list (they ARE our short list, really) for our honeymoon next December and I’d love to hear about your experiences.
We have a week or 10 days, a $10k budget, and would almost prefer something not-all-inclusive because we want to do a honeymoon registry (we’ve lived together for three years and won’t have a ton to put on a regular registry), which seems like something you can’t really do if you’re on a tour where everything is planned out and prepaid.
Any ideas, thoughts, or experiences?
Post # 3
I don’t have anything to add but I want to follow this thread! My DH is Ecuadorian and has loads of family down there. The Galapagos is on our list of go to places. 🙂
Post # 4
A trip to the Galapagos sounds like SO much fun!
Post # 5
I didn’t go for my honeymoon, but I was there about 10 years ago on vacation with my mom 🙂
it it was AMAZING!!!!!! Honestly, it’s my favorite vacation (and I’ve been to 5 continents and over 25 countries).
We took a 10 day cruise. The sailboat only held 16 passengers so we were able to visit some islands that couldn’t handle the bigger boats. I would highly recommend it.
I don’t think there is anything other than all inclusive – there are no hotels on the islands, you have to be on a boat, which would provide transportation, food, etc. every trip I’ve ever seen is a cruise with a planned itinerary.
Post # 6
I haven’t but heard it is amazing… commenting to follow 🙂
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
@hgwells: Do it! Oh the Galapagos are SO amazing. I’m a wildlife biologist and actually worked there for about 5 months, living on the beach on an uninhabited island. It was seriously like paradise.
I agree with PP, it’s not an ideal place to just go and do it yourself… it’s such a fragile ecosystem and so many of the islands are undeveloped and uninhabited, so they really regulate tourism. You pretty much have to do a boat-based tour if you want to see what it has to offer. (And this is coming from someone who hates cruises / planned travel!)
Otherwise, there are a couple islands that are inhabited and you can just arrange your own boat, hotel, excursions, etc there. I spent a week or so after our research ended doing that. Santa Cruz is the main island, and the town there (Puerto Ayora) has the airport, hotels and restaurants, the Charles Darwin Research Station, etc. http://wikitravel.org/en/Puerto_Ayora Other inhabited islands are Isabela, San Cristobal, Floreana, and I think another one or two. You can take a ferry to those islands and travel about yourself.
But, the main attraction is really the wildlife and amazing scenery on all the different islands. You can’t see a lot of that without a boat that takes you there on an organized trip. For example, the island I worked on, Espanola, has two stops on the boat circuit – Gardner Bay (ridiculous white sand, blue water, tons of sea lions who body surf with you, etc – I copied in a photo below) and Punta Suarez (biggest seabird breeding colony in the Galapagos – boobies, albatross, frigatebirds, gulls, etc!). You can’t get there without doing a tour thing.
Anyway, hope that helped and feel free to PM me if you have any more specific questions…
Post # 8
- Wedding: August 2013 - Rocky Mountains USA
ps – I agree with @Glasgowbound:, do one of the small boats where there are only a handful of passengers. It’s supposed to be a much better / more intimate experience, and it sounds like it should be within your budget.
Post # 9
I honeymooned there!
We didn’t actually plan a bunch of excursions ahead of time. Mostly because I was just so over wedding planning, but ended up staying on Santa Cruz the entire time, which was nice. We got to relax and unwind after the wedding. There was a great night market where we ate giant $20 lobsters in coconut sauce every night. We did try to go to a different island but hubby got the times wrong and we missed the boat lol There was plenty for us to do on Santa Cruz for the 5 days we were there like the Charles Darwin Research Center, Tortuga Bay where we saw a ton of marine iguanas, the Giant Tortoise Reserve, and snorkeling in Finch Bay to name a few, but you can totally book a trip to another island once you get to Puerto Ayora. There are travel agents lined up along the shore. You can arrange a trip through them or any other excursion you want.
There were seals everywhere on the pier, just hanging out. We’re generally not into organized tours, we saw hoards and hoards of foreigners getting off boats in the evening. I don’t think you can really get the “local” experience if you’re with like-people all the time. I ended up speaking Spanish the entire time I was there. No one really spoke english. Then again, maybe we went off season or something. It was awesome though. I felt like I blended in 🙂
I will say it was exhausting getting to the Galapagos (Baltra). We flew into Quito, landed at 11pm (there are not many nice hotels near the new airport), caught an 8am or 9am flight to Balta, but had to stop in Guayaquil, took a scary crowded bus ride along the cliffs down to the channel, took a ferry across to Santa Cruz island, then took a 40 min cab ride to Puerto Ayora, which is one of the more developed towns there. I think that’s mainly why we didn’t want to travel AGAIN to see the other islands, but we’ve decided to go back on our 10 yr anniversary and expore more. Unfortunately we were out of vacation days this year because we had to take time off for various wedding related things.
Here’s a picture we took wandering around Puerto Ayora. We found a fish market, and so did the fat seal and pelicans! Even if you’re in a “developed” area in the Galapagos, you will still see a ton of wildlife.
You’re going to have the time of your life!