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Galapagos Islands holiday ideas experiences accommodation when to visit galapagos-islands map reviews

Holiday review by Mrs. Georgina Hay

Name:
Date of trip: 13/02/2018
Number of people: 2
Country: Galapagos Islands

Overall level of Satisfaction

 
Tribes Overall: "We had a great time and on the whole our expectations were surpassed."
 
Tribes Service: " All the pre-departure details and paperwork were good and our consultant very helpful. However, in hindsight, it would have been better if possible to travel from Bristol or Exeter to connect with the Quito flight in Amsterdam, maybe spending a night or two in Amsterdam as part of the holiday. I didn't think of this, but maybe it could have been suggested given that we live in the South West. Also, other people on the boat travelled direct from Heathrow to Quito with Avianca, which again would have been better if the Bristol or Exeter options didn't work. "
 
Guides: "Our guide and driver in Quito were excellent, always on time and enthusiastic. Our 1/2 day tour of Quito was very informative (without overload) and equipped us to discover more on our own."
 
Social & Environmental Responsibility: "I would hope so."

Accommodation

 
Hacienda Hato Verde
This was our one disappointment. The hacienda is close to a main road and overlooks a steel factory. The itinerary suggested that cycling, horse riding and walking were available. Apart from walking down a lane heavily used by cattle, no other activities were available. We were the only guests so we were pleased to have our backgammon board with us! Apparently since the last eruption of Cotopaxi in 2015 business has been very bad.Response from the owners of Hato Verde: Hacienda Hato Verde is located 1 kilometer away from the Pan-American highway (main road), so strategically that it looks like a hidden place in the countryside. The main activity of the hacienda is dairy farming, so it is very normal to meet cattle and horses in their pastures. The tranquility that surrounds the house is felt at every moment because it is surrounded by native trees of the area. Yes, there is a steel factory on the opposite side of the highway approximately 3 kilometers away.

And further comment from Tribes: In regards to the extra activities. The hotel has a book on the Hacienda´s history, which also contains the extra activities the hacienda has to offer and the rates. They do not offer the tours directly to clients, only when asked for.  The owners advised me that the do not want clients to feel pressured to buy a tour.
 
La Casona de la Ronda
This is a lovely hotel in a beautiful building tucked away behind large wooden doors in the interesting old part of Quito. The staff were very helpful and pleasant and the lounge area and bedrooms very comfortable. I would recommend ear plugs though as there is quite a lot of coming and going in the early hours with people being collected to go to the airport and the patio reception area acts like an amphitheatre! The restaurant is rather unatmospheric for dinner but the breakfasts are excellent with lots of choice and delicious fresh fruit. There are plenty of other restaurants in the area.
 
Eric and Letty
We loved Letty. We took the last available cabin (10) on the bottom deck (Iguana). I was worried this might be small and noisy but it actually turned out to be much more spacious than the cabins on the top deck. We had bunks and a single bed which meant we could use the top bunk for storage. it wasn't too noisy but again I'd recommend earplugs. All the staff and the two naturalists (Freddie & Pepe who were very knowledgeable and obviously loved their roles) were delightful and the food plentiful and delicious. The organised activities i.e. visiting islands, snorkelling, kayaking, which were optional, were just the right mix and there was plenty of time for r & r after lunch. We were always split into two groups (random) so never more than 10 with each naturalist. We understand both Eric and Letty are going to be replaced either at the end of this year or next. A word of warning - no credit card facilities for paying the bar bill.Reply from Tribes: There are currently no plans to replace the Letty. The vessel does have credit card facilities however internet services in the Galapagos are unreliable. It was unfortunate that the internet was inoperative at the time it was needed.

Our Memories

"It was wonderful to be able to see and get so close to such extraordinary wildlife."

customer rating

5/5 from 102 reviews

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facts and information

Time: GMT - 6 hours

Flight time: Flights to the Galapagos Islands leave from Quito and touch down in Guayaquil en route, taking about 3 hours from Quito or 2 hours from Guayaquil. The flights land either at Baltra or San Cristobal.

Language: Spanish is the official language in the Galapagos Islands.

Visas: Not required for British travellers. Other nationalities should obtain advice from their embassy.

Health: There are no compulsory vaccinations.

 

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