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Extra days in the Islands?

NYC
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Extra days in the Islands?
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Hopefully locking in on my last minute (Feb) cruise today.

Wondering, from those in the know, I start in San Cristobal and end in Balta. I planned to get to San Cristobal the day before, just to give myself a buffer in case of air issues etc. But wondering should I do a day or two before? Is San Cristobal walkable and is there enough to see/do for a day or two? or a day trip close enough?

And/or should I consider a day or two after in santa cruz instead of just going to Baltra then flying?

Just looking for thoughts/opinions as I was thinking of just returning to Quito for a few days.

7 replies to this topic
Riverside...
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1. Re: Extra days in the Islands?
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If you can I'd recommend flying into San Cristobal a couple of days early. The town is very walkable, and you'll get to fall asleep and wake up to the dulcet sounds of sea lions and roosters! There are a number of day trips you can do out of San Cristobal:

- Punta Pitt - worth it if you're cruise isn't going to Genovesa since it's the only other place you'll see Red Footed Boobies

- Kicker Rock - if you have any interest in snorkeling or diving there, you can now only do so during a day trip

- Espanola - probably won't be any albatross in Feb

- Isla Lobos - best sea lion interaction of my entire Galapagos experience (3 cruises and 1 week of land based travel)

- 360 Tour - I've heard mixed reviews of this tour. I don't think you really even get off the boat

Estero, Florida
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2. Re: Extra days in the Islands?
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Where will your cruise go and what will best complement its itinerary?

We loved sleepy Isabela and the Tuneles/Cabo Rosa tour; we had great day trips out of Santa Cruz, which is a bustling tourist town. San Cristobal is in-between the two.

Due to omicron, our cruise ship did not allow us to dawdle or shop when we visited San Cristobal. So a few days early there might be worthwhile. Quito was not that interesting to us. Enjoy.

NYC
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3. Re: Extra days in the Islands?
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@Mei-Mei K below is my cruising itinerary

Start San Cristobal

Española Island: Punta Suárez and Bahía Gardner

Floreana Island: Punta Cormorant, Devil’s Crown, Post Office Bay & Asilo de la Paz

Santa Cruz Island: Charles Darwin Research Station and Giant Galápagos Turtles

Isabela Island: Puerto Villamil and Sierra Negra Volcano

Isabela Island: Punta Moreno and Elizabeth Bay

Isabela Island: Urbina Bay and Tagus Cove

Fernandina Island: Punta Espinoza / Isabela Island: Punta Vicente Roca

Santiago Island and Rábida Island

Sombrero Chino Islet and Bartolomé Island

North Seymour Island end in Baltra

Currently thinking get to San Cristobal a day early (also giving me a flight issue buffer), do the above then maybe a day or two in Santa Cruz at the end or just head to Quito and maybe head north of the city for a couple of days, a day or two in Quito and fly home

Ottawa, Canada
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for Galapagos Islands
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4. Re: Extra days in the Islands?
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Dear WT -

it will depend on you / your interests. You've had some great advice above.

You'll have had a great time on the cruise and may be ready for some R&R after that. In Puerto Ayora, there is a lot of "town" life (restaurants, shops, coffee, checking out the life - going to the beach etc...). But Quito is a World Heritage site, the best preserved colonial capital city in South America and if you like that kind of stuff, it's definitely worth a visit with plenty to see / experience.

You may wish to spend your "buffer" day in Quito rather than in San Cristobal. There is very little risk re: flight issues from Quito to the islands, compared to international flight itineraries.

Warmest regards,

Heather Blenkiron

NYC
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5. Re: Extra days in the Islands?
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@heather

Yeah maybe I'll have enough islands.. As for the buffer day, If returning to Quito then #1 I figure no need to buffer there and #2 then I probably need to find/deal with another COVID test unless they remove the 2nd test or 72hr requirement for the islands

Also since I want to find something to do for a few days, maybe Amazon or something, or may even continue in SA; guess I could just forget the extra days

Edited: 12 January 2022, 20:01
Estero, Florida
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That’s a great itinerary!

For something completely different: check out Cotopaxi or Quilotoa south of Quito. You’ll need different clothes than Galapagos.

We also did one night in Mindo that was nice.

NYC
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7. Re: Extra days in the Islands?
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My friend mentioned Cotopaxi said it was pretty cool, suggested maybe even renting a car and driving around.

Different clothes does become a slight issue due to weight and not wanting to take a large bag, wondered if that would be an issue in the Amazon, if I did it, as well which it probably would be. Guess I will need to figure it all out once I finalize the cruise part today

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