We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The Tripadvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Once in a lifetime vacation

Huntsville, Alabama
Level Contributor
11 posts
27 reviews
16 helpful votes
Once in a lifetime vacation
Save

Am planning a trip for hubby and I (both in our latter 60s) either in Jan or Feb. any recommendations on a

The best month? We are in good health but not into dangerous or too adventures activities. I’d like to see as much as possible as we will only come once. I’d like to stay on at least two of the islands. Plan on a vacation of at least 10 days. Suggestions for the number of days to get a feel for Darwin’s experience?

Here’s a few questions

1) which two islands do you recommend staying on?

2) he’s a diver and I’m a snorkeler, are there trips that take both divers and snorkelers?

3). We love the outdoors and want to see lots of birds and animals. I can’t find the island listed which has the Komodo dragons? Can you visit that one?

4) I’ve read conflicting opinions on bring our own snorkeling gear vs renting..which is better?

5) have also seen booking tours ahead and not booking ahead. Which is preferred?

Thanks for all the help!

7 replies to this topic
London, United...
Level Contributor
88 posts
19 reviews
22 helpful votes
1. Re: Once in a lifetime vacation
Save

There aren’t any Komodo dragons

Tucson, Arizona
Destination Expert
for Quito, Ecuador
Level Contributor
13,914 posts
113 reviews
134 helpful votes
2. Re: Once in a lifetime vacation
Save

Galapagos is a year-round destination, so figure out if you want hot and sunny, with calmer seas, or cooler/mistier, with less calm seas.

1. Since it sounds like you're planning a land-based trip, find the Top Questions on the right (not visible on phones) and select the one titled "Land-based travel." There is a well-researched, very lengthy thread that explains pretty much everything available on the few islands you can stay on and visit to. That should help you decide which islands you would like.

I also like the Galapagos Conservancy's website https://www.galapagos.org/travel/travel/ to help you plan.

2. Take a look at Scuba Iguana or Wreck Bay Divers to see what they offer for both divers and snorkelers.

3. As noted above, there are no Komodo dragons in the Galapagos. They live on the island of Komodo, in Indonesia. You have probably seen the piles of marine iguanas in pictures, and they are pretty much everywhere.

4. For me, hands down, I would much prefer to use my own gear as I know it fits well, has been well-cared for, and only has my cooties on/in it. I have Rx lenses in my mask so that's a must.

5. Your call. Some people like to chance saving some money by booking in person, while others want to ensure getting a particular tour on a particular day by booking ahead. Not all tours run each day, so bear that in mind.

Edited: 04 August 2022, 08:06
Huntsville, Alabama
Level Contributor
11 posts
27 reviews
16 helpful votes
3. Re: Once in a lifetime vacation
Save

Thanks, for some reason I thought they were there, but looked it up and they are found in Indonesia

Huntsville, Alabama
Level Contributor
11 posts
27 reviews
16 helpful votes
4. Re: Once in a lifetime vacation
Save

Thanks for the info! I agree about masks.

Level Contributor
17 posts
21 reviews
20 helpful votes
5. Re: Once in a lifetime vacation
Save

I did the land-based holiday and think that was the best way to go. I loved San Cristobal Island and Santa Cruz. I stayed on Isabella for three or four nights and found that was way too long. There’s not enough to do there and the town is very very small. Restaurants are not as good and not plentiful. You’re going in the best time of the year. I talk to everybody and that’s the sunniest time of year which is great when you book a tour to go snorkeling. Book everything once you’re there it’s far cheaper. Make sure you bring lots of Dramamine. The taxi ride from island to island is about two hours on a smaller speedboat type boat and they pack them . Make sure you bring lots of cash everything is cash there you can use credit cards at some restaurants but most of the time it’s all cash. When you enter Isabella Island for example they ask you for a fee I think it’s $10 per person. Entering the Galapagos also requires cash

Level Contributor
17 posts
21 reviews
20 helpful votes
6. Re: Once in a lifetime vacation
Save

I did bring my own snorkel gear. I ended up just using the tour guys flippers. So that was a waste of time bringing those. However I did like having my own snorkel and mask.

North Coast, N...
Destination Expert
for Northern Ireland
Level Contributor
5,878 posts
128 reviews
164 helpful votes
7. Re: Once in a lifetime vacation
Save

I hate contradicting people but I think there is enough on Isabela to justify 3 or 4 nights there. We did a fantastic half day trip to Los Tuneles with great snorkelling, loved the Sierra Negra hike with the amazing bio-diversity - start in cool damp Highlands & within a couple of hours hike you're in lava fields landscape with cacti! The walk to the wall of tears was brutal (bike it!) But nice seeing the wild giant tortoises along the way.

The town is small but we loved the more chilled vibe.

Easiest though is probably to fly into Santa Cruz & out of San Cristóbal (or vice versa)

Edited: 09 August 2022, 23:26
Reply to: Once in a lifetime vacation
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted