offers and discounts are much sought after, but not so easy to find.
In reality, cheap Galapagos tours do not really exist, and
nor does a cheap Galapagos cruise. There are ways to keep
costs down on your Galapagos Islands vacation, or get more bang for
your buck, but it is never going to be a cheap trip. Rather
chasing the impossible, focus on finding the best itinerary for you,
the most suitable boat, and ensure that your Galapagos cruise
experience is the best it can be for your budget.
minute deals are one way to get a Galapagos cruise cheap, or at least
cheap as compared to the regular price. See last
minute Galapagos tips and tricks
to help you find a good deal or negotiate a discount.
Galapagos cruise seems too good to be true, it probably is, so be sure
to get everything in writing and make sure anything important to you is
explicitly specified, in case the tour operator changes the boat or
itinerary at short notice. Compare Galapagos cruise boats
and check cruise reviews if you can find them. Check several
websites for cruise boat information - you may find the same cruiser
listed in different categories!
booking your Galapagos cruise, hotels or tour separately from flights
to the islands, in case one is no longer available by the time you have
booked the non-refundable "bargain" others. A good Galapagos
operator or travel agent will make sure all elements of your Galapagos
package deal are in place and link up smoothly.
on Galapagos flights are rarely found simply because the flights are
usually full, so the airlines have no need to reduce ticket prices in
order to sell them. In addition to the tourist traffic, the
Galapagos islanders travel backwards and forwards to the mainland, so
there is rarely an empty seat on a flight to or from the islands.
Those with homes on the islands can fly on standby, but
cannot unless they have hotel accommodation booked before they arrive.
So, it's not usually worth hanging out for cheap flights to
the Galapagos Islands, and you are more likely to get a fair price by
booking well in advance.
those with an empadronamiento
may get discounted flights - ask your travel agent
or volunteer agency about any relevant offers. Bear in mind that an
empadronamiento will take some time in Quito or Guayaquil to arrange.
The savings involved are not worth volunteering rather than
taking a luxury cruise, or getting an empadronamiento just for this,
but if you were volunteering anyway, you might as well look into it.
budgeting, remember Galapagos
cruise prices rarely include the National Park entrance fee of $100 or
the control card fee of $10, especially on discounted cruise packages.
Look out for other omissions
special offer packages. What looks like an attractive
cruise can actually be very expensive if you must add on meals, are
charged a fortune for drinking
water or have to pay extra for excursions. Tips and alcoholic
are almost never included in package deals.
discount on the National Park entrance fee might be available to
of a valid visa
with "empadronamiento" (this
replaces the old censo) - enquire with your travel agent about the
noting that flight prices and the National Park entrance
fee and control card are the same no matter how long you spend in the
islands. A 4 day cruise (really only 2 whole days and 2 half
days) may be cheaper but is perhaps a false economy as you get so
little time in the islands. Most visitors wish they had been
to spend more time in Galapagos - it's probably a
once-in-a-lifetime experience, so I would recommend doing it properly
with an 8 day cruise on the nicest boat you can afford. Even
then, a day or two at each end of the cruise to walk in the
islands or explore some of the social history would still be
can only afford a four day cruise, consider a few days before
or after in one or more of the Galapagos
to do some walking. It's not really a cheap Galapagos tour,
but it could be an excellent way to stretch your budget and see more of
Galapagos Islands to get the most value from your Galapagos flights and
National Park Entry Fee.
Galapagos weather and wildlife will make a big difference to your trip,
so see the Galapagos
Climate Calendar and Wildlife
pages before deciding
is best to visit the Galapagos islands.
When you have identified the time of year you would
then search for the best deals to find a relatively cheap
Galapagos tour or cruise. Especially outside of the
season, it's always worth asking for a discount Galapagos package.
Spanish Vocabulary for finding discounts in the Galapagos Islands:
Islands Deals, Discounts, Special Offers
Cheap Galapagos tours? Galapagos offers, cruise deals, bargains
discounts for boats &
tours. How to find a cheap Galapagos cruise.
Website www.ecuadortravelsite.org, text and photos by Sarah Clifford.
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