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                           Destination Guide:  The Galapagos Islands.  

     Arriving in Galapagos, after sailing from either Panama or Ecuador, is a milestone for many cruisers. And for most, being the last landfall on the journey that will take them over the Pacific, the Galapagos Islands will not disappoint them.  There are four ports to choose from for making your landfall but, most people go to the most modern town in the Galapagos of Puerto Ayora on Isla Santa Cruz and so did we. From here, you can either get a cruising permit to visit the other ports by yourself, or go with a speedboat from a local company and stay on one of the many Islands for a change. Even though Galapagos might seem a little expensive, it is easy to find a reasonable hotel to stay at in Puerto Ayora or go on one of the many excursions which are available.  In the past, the Galapagos has not been regarded as a great place to do your provisioning, but they do have most products available and you shouldn’t have any problems re-stocking your boat with canned goods, fresh fruit vegetables and meat. The prices might be slightly higher than on the mainland since that is where most of the products have to come from.  On the contrary to other reports, you will have no problem finding both gas and good drinking water here. There are boats that will come by with diesel and fresh drinking water or a gas station in town that you can take jerry cans to for gasoline.  Immigration in Puerto Aorya is easy with no hassles but, the customs Capitania can be a little different. We arrived with our transit papers stating our sail was from Esmeraldas to French Polynesia and had to do a bit of explaining, in Spanish, why we stopped at Galapagos.  But, they did not seem too worried about us having the wrong destination. I guess that is normal these days. If you don’t want the hassle of running around to get the paperwork done there is a great agent here called "Naugula" who will do the papers for you. Naugula can get you all the clearances and papers you need beforehand or upon arrival according to where you want to go and what you want to do.

     The town of Puerto Ayora is easy to navigate and you can do most things on foot. There is not much of a dingy dock but lots of small yellow taxi boats that take you ashore for 50cents (Ch 14). The nightlife is great for such a small community with one of the best bars being The Lemon Cafe. This is where foreigners and locals meet for a cold beer and some Salsa dancing. Being an island you would think that internet is hard to come by but it is not so. The days are passed when internet is slow and Noonsite is available in text format only. They have satellite internet and an acceptable bandwidth. We were able to talk to family and friend through msn and skype for 2 dollars and hour at Internet Galapagos.

While in Santa Cruz we recommend you to:  

  • Go see the Darwin Research center and try and get a picture of Old George
  • Go the beach called Tortuga Bay, take the trail because the walk is nice by itself
  • Go diving or snorkeling. Here you can snorkel with sea lions or dive with hammerhead sharks.
  • Take a taxi (2$) to the lava caverns and walk the 800 meter lava tunnel.
  • Take a taxi (5$) and see Land Turtles in the wild at the turtle sanctuary.
  • Walk to Laguna las Ninfas and watch the birds fly back to the ocean just before sunset
  • Spend 20$ on a guided 'snorkeling with sealions' tour. (Ask for Paddy at the docks)

For more first hand information please feel free to contact us with any questions you might have. To get information in Norwegian please contact Kjell




We stayed in Galapagos quite a while and wrote meny letters both in English and Norwegian, press here to access the travel letters page.


Kjell & Darryl

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