This tour offers a good option for backpackers, budget conciencetravelers, families wanting to visit the Galapagos without spending all their savings! We do not sacrifice on visits, you’ll see plenty of endemic/native species and have great snorkel sessions. We offer 3 options: 5,6 and ,8 days. Our guides are English speaking, and ourhostals are simple but clean,and welcoming, with hot water and private bathrooms. There is also an upgrade option.
We provide the snorkel equipment and wetsuits, so there is no hidden costs, just bring extra cash for after tours beers and some souvenirs to bring home! If you do not want to be stuck on a boat, want to join a fun group and enjoy the Galapagos as its best, dont hesitate to join us!
THESE TOURS HAVE FIXED DEPARTURES, PLEASE CHECK THE DEPARTURES BELOW TO SEE WHICH ONE FITS YOU
• Meals are not “a la carte”, but menus. Please let us know any allergy/special diet you may have.
• Transportation: is made on board of small speedboats between islands. Navigation times can be long (max 2h30) due to the distance between islands. We cannot control the ocean, if a swell comes in the ride can be bumpy, especially during the Garua season (see below) If you are usually subject to motion sickness please bring parches or pills (you can also buy pills here).From experience, the parches are really effective!
• This is a pretty active and group tour, you have to be fit (be used to hiking and swimming), as it is a group we cannot wait too much if you cannot follow, in this case you can book a more private tour to go at your own pace.
• This is not a relaxed tour! Early wake ups are usual here on the Galapagos, to make the most of the day, as days are quite short (sunset is 6PM ).
• When on the 8 day tour, the last 3 days you’ll have different guides and boat from the first leg of the tour.
• We do our best to vary meals, but remember we are on the islands and lots of products are imported or not available. Rice is a common plate here in Ecuador , chicken and (extremly fresh!) fish also. Your meal is always accompanied by a fresh fruit juice.
• Accomodation is in nice, clean hostels with private bathrooms, hot wáter, Wi-fi. They are usuallyfamilyrunbusinesses.Upgradeispossible.
Touristclasshotels; (or similar): Casa de Jeimy, La Gran Tortuga, Peregrina.
Tourist superior class hotels (or similar): Pimampiro, Wooden House, Villa Laguna
• Theflight IN shall be to San Cristobal Island (code SCY). Witheither LAN or AEROGAL airline.
• Theflight OUT shall be out of BALTRA (code GPS). LAN is ok butif AEROGAL choosethelatestflightleavingaround 1PM (not the 10h45AM flight, you’d miss the tunnel activity)
WE CAN HELP YOU BOOK THE FLIGHTS FOR THE SAME RATE AS THE AIRLINES SO FEEL FREE TO ASK US!
• You can never see all species of the Galapagos unless you do a 15 day tour visiting all the possible islands: some animals just live on some islands, sometimes in just 1 part of 1 island.
• Species you CAN see on this tour: sea lions, frigate birds, blue footed boobies, nazca boobies, swallow tailed gulls, tropic birds, marine iguanas, sharks, rays, penguins, giant tortoises, turtles, Darwin finches, mockingbirds, lava lizards
• Species you CANNOT see on this tour: albatrosses, red footed boobies, flightless cormorant, pink iguana (nobody can see this one as it is ultra protected and living in a part of the islands totally closed to tourism): if you are interesting in spotting one of those, let us know so we can complete the tour with a cruise. LAND IGUANAS can be spotted on the 8 day tour only.
Galapagos can be visited all year round. There are 2 seasons:
• The Garua season goes from mid-June to mid-October (more or less): the cold current of Humboldt enters the island so the wáter is colder (around 20 degrees celcius, wetsuit is needed), cloudy days and a small drizzle. This actually makes the climate fresher so dont expect all sunny days but a cooler weather for the hiking , no need of A/C or fan during the night and almost no mosquitoes. The colder wáter brings more plancton and more wildlife, this is the best time of the year to spot whales during the boat transports.
• The Warm season is from November to Mid- May: days can be really hot (more than 30 degrees) and the wáter is warm due to Panama current entering in the islands marine reserve. No need for a wetsuit , sunny days, if you need to warm up from the Winter back home, this is the good season! Expect heavy tropical rains that can last 1 to 3 hours ( really, we have not that much days with rain all day long, it can happen but not on all islands at the same time). Due to the rains all the islands are greener. In between these two seasons would be the transition time where you can have a bit of both seasons!
TIPS: if you do not depend on kids holidays, try to travel in low season: September-October, February, or May-June: you have less people on the visitor sites and still enjoy the same fauna/flora as the rest of the year
Planning your trip: http://www.sharksky.com/about/planning-your-trip/
And now the prices! Prices are per person and in US dollars
• all meals on the islands
• tours with English speaking guides
• all transportation (boat, bus)
• snorkel gear and short wetsuit
• accomodation in double or triple roomaccupancy
• Isabela port fee.
Prices do not include:
• Flights from and to mainland Ecuador (priced between 450$-550$ +/-)
• entrance fee of the Galapagos National Park 100$ per adult, 50$ per chield. 12 years and under. CASH ONLY
• migration card 10$ per person, bought at the airport (Quito or Guayaquil) CASH ONLY
• travel insurance
• all not mentioned in the program
UPGRADE: an upgrade is possible to have tourist superior class hotels: what different with regular tourist class hostals? Well you have a swimming pool, and a larger breakfast (buffet vs American breakfast), A/C
ABOUT FEES: The migration card of 10$ – subject to change, is a card that you have to buy in Quito or Guayaquil from where you will begin your journey to the islands. The counter of the “Consejo de Gobierno Galapagos” is easy to find at each airport. They will check your luggage to see if you dont bring any forbidden food to the islands: fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, and of course, animals. They will give you a tourist card you’ll have to keep with you all the time if migration controls you during the tour, and and form to fill in specifying which agency you came to Galapagos with etc..
Once arrived on the island you will have to immediatly pay the National Park fee of 100$ (or 50$ if less than 12 years old). This has to be in CASH and there is NO ATM at the airport, be sure to bring cash with you! After that you get your luggage and you look for a SHARKSKY sign with your name on it outside the airport.
ABOUT TIPS: tips are not mandatory, but it is a good reward if you feel your guide/crew went out of his way to make your trip memorable!
A usual/reasonable tip is around 25$ per person for the guide and 10$ for the crew.
ABOUT TRAVEL INSURANCE: we do not offer travel insurance, we suggest you book your own travel insurance such as http://www.worldnomads.com/
PAYMENT: a 25% of deposit at booking is required to secure your spots. This amount can be paid by Western Union (ask your seller the references for the payment), or per bank transfer (our bank details will be provided with the invoice).
Credit card payment will be available soon, please check with your travel agent. The remaining of the payment shall be done before arrival or at arrival.
ATM_San Cristobal and Sta Cruz have bank acess( 600$ per day).
SNORKEL GEAR DISCOUNT: if you are willing to bring your snorkel gear, we are interested to buy it at the end of your tour as it is kind of hard to find good equipment at a good Price here: buy and Bring your snorkel and give it at the end of the tour to us, and get a 60$ discount. (mask, snorkel, fins , not broken of course!) type Aqualung or US Diver, Cressi… Valid from 01/01/14 to 31/12/14
CANCELLATION POLICIES: check our webpage to know our cancellation policies: http://www.sharksky.com/about/booking-payment/