We were inspired to revisit our trip to the Galapagos Islands of Ecuador after seeing a new fare on LAN airlines for round trip travel from New York City all the way through to the Galapagos of just $768.48!. O.K., that's still a considerable amount of cash, but not so much if you consider that the islands are a destination most people would consider only as a once-in-a-lifetime dream vacation. Another way to look at the price is that if you wait too long to book a flight to Florida, you might end up paying that much and never even leave the country. Bottom line is that the Galapagos really are that amazing and you should go while they are still unspoiled - and yes, you can afford to do it by following our simple tips.
Tip #1 is to search carefully for your flights as they can fluctuate rapidly. LAN airlines is a good place to start shopping as they often offer specials. We also use the "Hopper" app on the iPhone to get up-to-minute fares on any route we might be following.
Tip #2 is to research a land-based trip instead of a catamaran/yacht tour. We loved the catamaran that we took, but to save buckets of money (about $5,000 a person for a week), you can book a stay in one of the many Bed & Breakfast hotels in the port city of Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz. Just one example is the Capitan Max B&B, A couple can stay there for less than $100 a night and be in the heart of the action. Capitan Max is a native of the Galapagos and he and his staff will be happy to guide you with insider advice. You can do a lot of your sightseeing right on the island, which includes several National Park highlights. It is also possible to take day boat trips to surf, snorkel, dive or to discover the wildlife on the other islands in the chain.
Service on our private catamaran cruise was incredible, but you can save money by skipping this luxury.
The private boat operators take you to beautiful spots - but so do the day cruises!
Tip #3 is to start saving your money for the trip by living the Ecuadorian life at home. During our trip we discovered a delicious soup called Locro which we absolutely loved and which can be made for pennies. We also drank our share of "Andean Sunsets" so we decided to experiment saving for our next trip to the Galapagos by making our own Ecuadorean meals and drinks at home and putting our savings into a "travel dream catcher." Check out our next posts for detailed advice on how you can do the same. If you follow our tips you too can go to the Galapagos - really!
These marine iguanas are taking in the sun - just like you will be!
Due to the limited number of visitors allowed, you'll have as much tranquility as these guys.
This sea turtle is relaxing in crystal clear waters waiting for your arrival.