- be prepared for sea sickness and the strong sun
- take an underwater camera and binoculars
- don't bother with a beach towel one was provided
- take socks with you for the first day in the highlands
- I wished I had filmed more of my trip so I could replay my experiences
- make the most of your first day in Quito and take a day trip out of the city. Half a day was fine to explore the city
This was a great trip and it really lived up to my expectations.
The flight was long and the Iberia was not great. There were no seat back screens and food was poor. On the return flight we travelled from Quito to Guayaquil where we had to get off the plane for an hour before getting back on the same plane and then flying back up past Quito! This added a good couple of hours to the already long flight. If I ever did this trip again I would not book the group flights through Exodus. The hotel in Quito was ok but a bit Faulty Towers at times. None of us really suffered with the effects of altitude. We arranged a trip to Bellavista cloud forest for the following day and really enjoyed this. The 'easy'walk was tough at times but enjoyable. A full day with a nice lunch and hundreds of humming birds.
The flight to Galapagos was straight forward and we were collected without any problems at each end.
Each day on the boat started with arriving at a new island. We would watch the sunrise from the deck and then have a hearty breakfast and set off for our first desination. Each island site would offer something slightly different. Each special in their own way. After returning to the boat we would usually go for a snorkle before a three course lunch. After lunch we would usually have about 3 hours on the deck while we sailed to our next site before we set out exploring again. I managed all walks in walking sandals but many people had walking boots. They could be hot and uneven but at a steady pace with a lot of stops. We would then return to the boat at about 6 in time for a snack and to see the sunset before having a meal at 7. We would then run through all that we had seen in the day and set the plan for the following day. I was usually in bed by 8.30 as we would sail to the next island over night. we saw most of the wildlife we expected and were able to get up close and personal to everything. There were usually one or two other boats at each island.
The boat was full with 14 adults and 2 children for our trip but space was not a problem, just be prepared to get up close to the other travellers as well as the wildlife! The crew on the boat were hard working and very safety conscious.
If you love wildlife and photography you will love this trip.
With better flights, Quito hotel and a guide with you in Quito (as a solo traveller I prefer to have a guide each day of the trip so I can be sure not to be left on my own) I would give 5 stars. The Galapagos aspect was 5 stars without a doubt.