Galápagos adventures — the western islands (2013)

Our return trip in May, 2013 specifically focused on the western islands of Isabela and  Fernandina.  The most western, and therefore the youngest, islands of the archipelago are renown for their rugged, extraordinary landscapes and amazing snorkeling opportunities.  On the pages below, you can travel with us to some islands we visited before (Santa Cruz, Floreana) and then on to the all new islands of Isabela, Fernandina, and Santiago.  Come on along!

Heading back to the Galápagos:  from Quito to the archipelago.

Santa Cruz:  the highlands and the Giant Tortoises.

Floreana:  Punta Cormorán and Post Office Bay.

Santa Cruz:  Puerto Ayora and Tortuga Bay.

Isabela:  Punta Moreno and Bahia Elizabeth

Isabela:  Urbina Bay

Fernandina:  Punta Espinoza.

Isabela:  Tagus Cove and Punta Vicente Roca.

7 Responses to Galápagos adventures — the western islands (2013)

  1. Maureen says:

    Thanks Tina appreciate your wisdom.

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  2. Maureen says:

    Tina a friend has suggested that we land at one of the islands and negotiate prices when we arrive. Says we should save 50%. What do you think about that?

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    • Tina says:

      Hi, Maureen–

      I don’t have any experience with last-minute deals myself. I’ve read of people saving considerable money on them, though. For them to work well, you need to not have a strong desire for getting a specific itinerary, since that itinerary may not be available. You should also have researched the boats you want (or, more importantly, the boats you DON’T want), so you don’t find yourself on a boat of a lesser quality than you are comfortable with. It can also help if you have a flexible travel schedule. If you only have, say, 9 days and you want an 8-day cruise, you may be very limited in what’s available to you.

      If you decide to give this a try, I suggest you fly into Baltra, since most of the boats leave from Santa Cruz.

      Our travel style is to know exactly what we want, reserve it well in advance, and then just sit back and enjoy the anticipation of getting our dream trip. But if you’re not particularly set on a specific itinerary or boat, last-minute deals might be just fine.

      Tina

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  3. doris and ferdi says:

    Dear Tina,
    just one question since I love your itinerary and we are planning for a trip in November this year – did you go to
    Santa Cruz: the highlands and the Giant Tortoises.
    Floreana: Punta Cormorán and Post Office Bay.
    as part of your Cruise Itinerary
    or booked it separately?

    We would like to do a Western Itinerary but also see the Giant Turtles..
    thanks so much for any advice!

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    • Tina says:

      Hi, Doris–

      On both of our trips, we went to the highlands of Santa Cruz as part of the cruise itinerary. The highlands are a typical stop for cruises, although a few probably only go to the breeding program at the Research Station in Puerto Ayora. If you look at an itinerary and it says “Highlands” for the Santa Cruz stop, you’ll be going to the Giant Tortoises. But if you stay an extra day, you can easily get to the highlands on a day trip, should you find an itinerary that you really like but that doesn’t go there.

      On both cruises, we also went to Floreana, snorkeling at the stunning Devil’s Crown and visiting Punta Cormorant and Post Office Bay, as part of the cruise itinerary. If you consider booking a day trip to Floreana, note that you don’t go to the same spots that you visit on a cruise. The day trip focuses only on the inhabited area in the highlands of Floreana and snorkels at a different spot. Good for human history, but nowhere near as good as the naturalist cruise stop for wildlife.

      Hope this helps!

      Tina

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  4. Linda says:

    Hi. Love your travel log. Looking for your writeup on western islands, 2013 trip?

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    • Tina says:

      Hi, Linda–

      Thank for the kind words–and the nudge! Summers are a crazy time and I’ve been recalcitrant in getting the new trip report segments up. I have the first 2 days posted, but those are not the most interesting landings. I’m currently working on Day 3 (one last day spent in Santa Cruz before heading to the wild and wooly western island!). Once that one’s up, I’ll move to the reports on the new landings. Thanks for your patience and stay tuned!

      Tina

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