Galápagos, last part…

October 16th, 2015 por

Time and willingness to write were the reasons not to have finished up my Galapagos tour description. My life keeps on moving frenetically day after day, and I personally have been amidst what to do next while the whole country is literally on fire! With this, the humor is down and one feels like writing nothing other than just what it is mandatory! But here is the last part of the trip….

Isabela island, village of Puerto Villamil

On my third day, I took a boat to Isabela island. Tickets must be previously bought  and, it’s recommended to buy  the round trip (US$60). Boats leave early in the morning and in the afternoon. By the way, this is the price, but then to get to the boat you must take a boat taxi which costs you one dollar, however no one tells you about this as supposedly this is included in the price, but you are charged anyhow.

Watch out, paying round trip does not necessarily mean your way back is guaranteed. It happened to me and several others. In my case, because I speak Spanish fluently I literally spoke up and, they put me on one of the boats after some complaining, or otherwise I would have missed my planes. I did see people being left behind although they had paid round trip, but whose names did not show in their hand written lists. This is one of the sad, very sad parts of visiting Galapagos – do not trust anyone! I will share more about this in the last report of the trip. The boat ride is “something”, by the way….if you get sea sick, be prepared!!! I got a rocky, very rocky ride both ways (it was much worse on the way back), and unfortunately I had to be sit on the boat floor with no comfort at all, just to get some breeze and avoid getting really sick.

Getting to the pier in Isabela is also by boat taxi which is again charged separately. The bay where the pier is located is gorgeous and I was welcomed by little penguins and sea lions. Fabulous!

From the pier to downtown, it’s a five minute ride in a taxi that costs two dollars per person. My taxi driver was very rude and unprofessional. I told him the name of my hotel and he said he did not know, so he dropped me off in the village square and told me to go find by myself. It’s interesting to notice how different people from the two islands behave. In Isabela, people are not so friendly and they are not so tourist oriented. Actually, they try to take advantage of every tourist, which is definitely something not nice at all.

I finally found my hotel after having asked several people, but they all pretended they did not know where it was, which  according to Dani (the landlord of my hotel) this is on purpose to have people stay where they indicate you to or in the closest hostels/hotels near where one is dropped off.

In Isabela, aside from a very nice beach where I had the chance to swim and walk for hours, I took the tour to the water lava tunnels where blue feet boobies, turtles, sharks, marine lions, penguins and lots of fish could be seen. A place to do snorkeling. It’s a must! It takes half a day and it costs US$90.

Also, a “must visit” is the Sierra Negra Volcano. The weather was not so nice as it was cloudy and, up in the volcano crater is was drizzling, not allowing us  to see it when we first arrived there, but on the way back we did get to see part of it, although it was still cloudy. From the crater, we go down to the lava fields, the last one dating from 2005, when the volcano last erupted. It’s a very nice and interesting experiencing and if the day were sunny the view would certainly have been staggering as even with the cloudy day, I had a quite nice idea of what it is. This is a 20km walking tour that takes about six hours and costs US 45, although, I paid US$90 and will explain why in my next session.

Another place to visit is the turtle center (2km from down town) and the flamingo lagoon right next to the first. One can go there alone either on foot or by bike. There are several bike rental places as there are many tour agencies offering basically the same services with similar prices. Unfortunately, I had been told about this guide – Alfredo Boloña, known as Minino, whom I had contacted right after I had made my reservations to the island. I had told him what I wanted to see and had asked him for the prices to his services, which he never sent to me. As soon as I arrived in Galapagos, I contacted him letting him know the day and hour of my arrival. Contrary to my expectation he only contacted me a few hours after I had arrived. He showed up a few minutes later,  to then tell me everything had been arranged and, he finally gave me the price to the two tours which I accepted considering they would be private tours. Well, none of them was!

The boat tour to the lava tunnels was with a big group but the price was similar to what the others had paid. However, the tour to the Volcano, supposedly private was with a huge group of different people with different aerobic conditions which meant I had to wait for them. So far, so good until he charged me double the price the others had paid for and when I questioned him, he comes with this “well, you hired me for a private tour” to which I replied “but it was not” and he then, says “well, I had to do a favor to the agencies because there was no other guide to take their tourists”. Well, “none of my business”! He started arguing to which I decided to let it go, as I did not want to damage my very good experience in the island with such a “dishonest” person. But certainly, I do not recommend his services to anyone. Not trustworthy!

On the other hand, there are very nice people, such as the boat captain that took us to the lava tunnels who shot the video I am posting and several other pictures and out of nothing, offered us to copy everything from his pendrive. Of course I tipped him!

Over all, the trip was great, but one must be careful with whom and how to make arrangements. Do I recommend the archipelago of Galapagos? Yes, absolutely!!


P5220013 Turtle video



1 comentário para Galápagos, last part…

  1. Willa Newbery comentou:

    Great website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any forums that cover the same topics discussed in this article? I’d really love to be a part of community where I can get opinions from other knowledgeable people that share the same interest. If you have any recommendations, please let me know. Thanks a lot!

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