This side trip to the Galapagos islands was really an amazing trip. I knew that I would travel here before I left Oregon and it was on my To Do list. It met all my expectations as a place to see this unique place. When I started researching this side adventure it was a bit overwhelming because it was so hard to know what was the “best” way to see this place. It was a “trip of a lifetime” and I wanted to make the most of it. Reading about it convinced me that I wanted to be on a “better” boat, which meant a Class 3 Naturalist (they are rated 1-3 based on knowledge and experience), and I wanted to Swim with Sea Turtles
On all these types of Tourist trips you know you will pay for it. But I knew it would be worth it to me. I found a Last Minute Galapagos web site and started emailing with them about boats, quality and options. When I arrived in Quito I met with them face to face. That helped me decided that they were Ok to book with. Some other bikers had booked a last minute trip and arrived back the day after we arrived Quito so I go first had recommendation about the Odyssey. Worked out the “last minute deal” that saved $ . We paid $1,400 each for the Odyssey for 5 night and 6 days. It was worth it!! Then I had to book a flight from Quito to Baltra on Santa Cruz island.
I booked with these guys, but there are many options especially for last minute travel. My only advice to to “splurge” and get on a First Class ship. It is the trip of a lifetime!
This is where the story gets a bit interesting. The travel agent was quoting flights for around $500 USD. I went online and found a fare for $293. Booked it with LAN airlines. Was excited that I got a great deal and saved some money!! More on this later….
We flew to Baltra, and Stayed in Puerto Ayora. They met us in town the next morning and took us to the boat on a zodiac in time for lunch. We were the first of the 16 passengers to arrive. So we enjoyed sitting on the top deck getting some sun!
The inside of the boat was all wood, and the tables were all set! After almost 9 months motorcycling through the US, Mexico, Central America, and Columbia, this was certainly “first class”.
Fully stocked bar and Michael Anglo as our Bar tender and server!
3 levels to explore including a hot tub on the top deck!
The rest of the passengers arrived after flying in, and we had a bit of time to get to know them. 2 couples from Aruba, 2 Swedish men (father and Son), a Newly wed Couple from the UK, and 6 Americans including us!
We were all ready to explore the Galapagos Islands.
The “cruise” was busy from the moment that we set foot aboard the ship. Briefing and Safety, Outings starting at 6 Am and then a variety of other activities including 3 full meals a day, and snacks every time you rebounded the ship after a hike, snorkeling, Kayaking etc.
We started at the Charles Darwin Research center where we say land turtles and other information about the Galapagos, Volcanos and Wildlife that we are about to explore!
One of the first hikes we did was a couple hours on Isabela Island, were we walked on the old Lava fields and out Naturalist Jamie pointed out Marine Iguanas, All kinds or birds, and Fauna.
The Lava was interesting depending on where you were, how the Hot lava flowed down into the sea.
Of course as tourists we all took lots of photos and enjoyed the exploring. It was very hot and humid this time of year!
We arrived back at the boat just before Sunset, and had a short time to relax before dinner!
The days have sort of blended together but we say so much wildlife like the sea Lions
Marine Iguana on the beach
and on all the rocks. Many times we had to step over them
With a bit of time to catch some sun on the upper deck. But the Sun was really hot because we were near the Equator!