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Old 23-01-2017, 15:42   #1
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price of stopping in galapagos

Hi
Im soon sailing from panama to ester island and want to stop in galapagos on the way(we are 3 people). A one week stop in just one island is enough if it saves money.
We have tried to contact all the agents that deal with this. Only two replyd. One says that we must get an autographo for 1500$ (we are hoping not to pay so much) and the Other says if we make an "unscheduald" stop by exidant then he will get us a 20 day stay in san cristobal only for 1000$.
Are these the real prices or shoud we press to get a cheaper price? and is san cristobal worth 1000$?

Thanks
Gal
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Old 23-01-2017, 17:25   #2
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

Whatever it costs now it's worth it.
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Old 23-01-2017, 18:04   #3
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

We stayed for 20 days on one island with 5 persons on board about $1,700 to $2,000 with all the fees. Not the agents fault it is just the price charged by the authorities.

All trips are by commercial outfits with a local marine biologist guide on board.

As Mark writes...It is worth the price!
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Old 23-01-2017, 18:36   #4
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

We went to San Cristobal and took a 5 day with these guys:

SharkSky | Sustainable EcoTourism in Galápagos and Ecuador

They specialize in tours for cruisers and backpackers (more of them than cruisers). The tours are excellent value by Galapagos standards - most tours are ridiculously expensive. They are also all-inclusive. San Cristobal harbour is quite good and winds in this parts of the world are light (except that two days after we returned from the tour we got the tsunami from Japan).

The agents are next to useless but you have no choice. I thought they would look after entry formalities. All they did was bring about six officials to our boat where we had to the check-in (and feed them cookies and coke).

If you can find a way to pay for it, the visit is well worth it.
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Old 24-01-2017, 09:57   #5
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

I have made that trip from, nice spinnaker reach from Galapagos to Easter

I spent a lot of time trying to get a permit, finally sailed without one. I arrived and was told I could spend 3 days in the anchorage.

I went to the head of the Navy (they control the waters there), He said he would arrange for a boat to take our crew around to see the islands. Well after some ...talk... he granted permission to sail my boat to all the islands, we spent about two weeks there and had a great time, and he provided a local guide. much better deal than dealing with anyone else.

total cost was $1000 USD

Not saying this will work for you, just my experience.

Good luck and have a great trip!

Michael
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Old 24-01-2017, 10:19   #6
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

I would suggest you contact Tim at Galakiwi. He operates a scuba/hiking/snorkel/SUP tour outfit in the islands. He's located in San Cristobal and is a great guy. He can probably give some good advice about what would work best for you given your goals.

If you don't have your PADI open water cert you should get it before you go. The diving in the Galapagos is not to be missed, particularly Kicker Rock if you can get to it. Hammerheads and Whale Sharks and giant rays, oh my!
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Old 24-01-2017, 10:57   #7
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

Here's some info from a couple of years ago
Galapagos Cruising | Blue Water Sailing

The cost of getting permission for one island is not much less than 3 islands. We enjoyed Isabela most. The Galapagos restrictions makes it relatively unfriendly to cruisers. Still, it was worth the visit.
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Old 25-01-2017, 21:02   #8
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

Here's what I posted about a month ago on the same topic. I agree with PaulL that Isabela was far and away our favourite. Basically our observations was that cruisers who focused heavily on the cost of visiting and continually looked for ways to reduce the clearance fees (and failed generally) didn't enjoy them.

"We spent a month there in 2015 on an Autografo which allowed us to visit Cristobal, Santa Cruz and Isabela. LOVED it. We think next time we'll aim for the full 3 months the Autografo allows. Saying that however it is expensive and you need to be excited enough about the animals and the uniqueness of the Galápagos to offset that.

With 4 of us the total fees including the Autografo, agent fees, clearance costs, quarantine inspection, inter-island clearances, etc, etc. ended up somewhere around $1600-1800 (we don't have our records handy right now for a more accurate number). Friends who did the one island (between 7 and 21 day stop dependent on the Port Captain's discretion) paid around $600-700 from memory. (Noonsite has a ton of info on the latest costs so I won't duplicate them here.).

As for the question of the Autografo vs the one island and doing tours to the others. For 4 of you I think you'd find that you'll very quickly spend more than the difference between the two options on tours to the other islands if that is your plan. Tours tend to be relatively expensive in the Galápagos compared to Central and South America standards. Think more like North America or Australian costs. There are quite a few activities on the islands that are free, but you are quite limited on where you can go without being guided. (This upset quite a few of the cruisers, but we came away convinced that Ecuador is very justified in limiting unsupervised access after witnessing the way many of the tourists interfere with the wildlife in the unsupervised areas - often to get a selfie or a 'good shot'). We probably spent an additional $1500-1800 over the month on tours and a couple of dives (for two of mustang only my daughter and I dive).

Is one island enough? For us, no. Part of the uniqueness of the Galápagos is being able to see the differences between the islands based on the their age. The differences between Cristobal and Isabela (about 80 miles apart) are amazing and I think you need to spend some time at each of the islands to truly appreciate the differences. Again though, you have to be excited by the science or you'll probably just find yourself fixated on how expensive it is and frustrated.

To make a long story short, my recommendation lately to a few other cruisers considering the Galapgos has been as follows:
- Read Noonsite for the latest on clearance fees and requirements
- Accept those costs at face value and don't assume you're going to be able to 'do it cheaper' or avoid some of the costs. You may, but probably not a significant amount and don't count on it. Write that number down and imagine for the next step that's what you paid on your first day in the Galápagos.
- Now find and watch either (or both if you can) the BBC or David Attenborough documentary series' on Galapagos.
Now......
- If after watching those you find yourself researching the various options to see the animals and sights that caught your eye, reading more about the geological variation and development, etc...... my guess is you'll love the Galápagos.
- If after watching those you find yourself still fixated on ways to reduce the clearance fees, or agents fees, bemoaning the fact that it's one of the most expensive cruising destinations in the world and debating whether it will be worth it....... my guess is that you'll be disappointed by them.

Just my thoughts. YMMV"
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Old 31-01-2017, 15:07   #9
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

I've just made arrangements with an agent by the name of Bolivar Pesantes to handle all the entry, inter island (three ports) and exit paperwork. Including park fees, etc. he's estimated the costs to be about $1600. My impression is that he's arranging ALL of this, but I'd be truly impressed if that was so. I expect some of those costs will be direct out of my pocket rather than through him. I also need to come with cash for these fees.

I got Bolivar's contact info from a blog that is now several years old, but he came highly recommended. In particular, I remember the blog saying he was there in port when the boat pulled in.

The biggest thing I'm unsure of is how much independence we'll have once there. I understand that there are some places you can visit without a licensed naturalist as a guide, but that they're not the best places. I expect to be booking local guided tours and dive trips, but don't know how much more to budget for them or how to go about making the arrangements.

My schedule can afford several weeks stay and I would appreciate some advice on the above plus recommendations on an itinerary I can follow in my CT41 ketch, Mabrouka.

Regards, Roy Neyman
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Old 31-01-2017, 15:29   #10
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

Roy
We used Bolivar. He's a good fixer if there are any problems. Keep him informed of your arrival time and he will meet you and schedule the horde of officials. We paid him for everything except I think one $20 fee. Bolivar has agents that handle the port captain check-in/out St the other islands.

In answer to your question " how restricted you will be". The answer is very. You are limited to the anchorage's on your Autografo and in most of those limited to taking the dinghy only to and from the boat/shore.
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Old 31-01-2017, 20:38   #11
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

We also used Bolivar with good results. His English isn't great but it all works well anyway .... Roll with it.

Our itinerary was Cristobal, Isabela then Santa Cruz because we thought provisioning would be best there. Next time, we'll do Cristobal, Santa Cruz then Isabela. The fresh produce in Santa Cruz was ok, but nowhere near as good as Isabela where there was a small farm you could go to for fruit and vegetables (that were in season) right off the fields and pick your varying states of ripeness. Meat and non-perishables were much better in Santa Cruz however we found..... depending on the time since the last supply boat to the store. There is a big fruit and vegetable market in Santa Cruz, but it's mostly brought over from the mainland so didn't last anywhere near as well as the produce we got in Isabela.

A good reference for budget activities in Galápagos, this was a good resource and I see it's been updated recently.
Exploring Galapagos Islands on the Cheap: A How-To Guide (Updated 2017) - Thrifty Nomads

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Old 31-01-2017, 20:48   #12
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

have not been there, but watching some cruisers videos, did not look like much to worry about.

tipical overregulated/overpriced national park.
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Old 31-01-2017, 21:31   #13
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

Ok. Sounds just like Disney World.
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Old 31-01-2017, 22:38   #14
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Re: price of stopping in galapagos

You can do it officially or just show up. Either way it's going to cost you a minimum $1000.
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