Isabela. So many options to explore and do things on your own. Quiet town. Great beach.
Floreana was the highlight of my recent land based trip with G Adventures. We spent 2 nights staying in the Lava Lodges on the sea front.
San Cristobal because of the beautiful beaches, amazing snorkeling at kicker rock and the large number of playful sea lions
All three islands have something to offer. Most day tours to other islands start from Santa Cruz, such as North Seymour, Santa Fe, Las Plazas, Bartolome, Floreana, Daphne, and Pinzon, as well as day Dives to numerous sites. Isabela is by far the most beautiful of the islands and has some of the best sites you will find in all of the Galapagos and can be done in about a minimun of 2-3 days depending on what activities you would like to do. San Cristobal is great for surfing and as above mentioned Kicker Rock for snorkeling or diving. Again it all depends on how many days you plan on spending in Galapagos and what are your specific interests while you are on the islands.
We have 16 nights and are flying into San Cristobal and out of Baltra. I was originally thinking 5 nights San Cristobal, 5 night Puerto Ayora, 6 nights Isabela. There are 3 or 4 3 night cruises leaving San Cristobal (after 3-4 nights) and ending in Puerto Ayora. They are very, very far out of our price range, but I was debating going to a San Cristobal travel agency a couple days before. If we could get a crazy good deal, I'd consider doing that because I'd love to see the waved albatross mating dance but not enough to pay $250 each for a day trip to the island. I want to have plans for if we get a cruise and if we don't get a cruise (which I'm assuming is more likely). I thought ending with 6 nights on Isabella would allow for relaxing on nice beaches and seeing lots of wildlife too. I appreciate any feedback anyone has. I'm trying to find cheap places for a family of 4 to stay with a pool on at least 1 or 2 of the islands and hopefully on the beach in Isabela.
When are your dates? There are definitely amazing last minute deals and since you have plenty of time in the Galapagos there should be no problem in finding a cruise. The only problem with finding cruises once on the islands is the issue of payment. Most offices don't accept credit cards and if they do the surcharge is ridiculously high. ATMS don't allow you to take out more than a few hundred dollars per day so you may find yourself running back and forth every day to pull out enough cash for the cruise. Hotels with pools are limited in Galapagos and are on the more expensive side but there are a few cheaper options. What is your budget?
We are arriving March 31 and deparing on the 16 of April. The worry I have with the cruise is that we would be booking in San Cristobal (to go from there to Puerto Ayora). There is a cruise on Majestic (6 spots booked and 10 available as of now) and Alia for 3 nights-April 3-6 with itineraries that I like and Odyssey and Sea Star have 5 nights departing on the 4th. Those would likely be too much because of the length. If we did a cruise I would want it to be under $200 per day per person (we are 4). I'd like to spend $50-75 per night for lodging for the 4 of us and if we found something cheap on one island could maybe splurge on another.
I know I've seen 8 day cruises for almost $100 per day for last minute, but I don't know that we want an 8 day cruise.Edited: 29 December 2016, 17:04
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