Most Inspirational Moment
Inspirational moments were bountiful, but particular highlights were: swimming with many Galapágos sharks and a hammerhead at Kicker Rock (San Cristóbal) seeing Galapágos penguins, manta rays, dancing blue-footed boobies and swimming marine iguanas around Las Tintoreras (Isabela) snorkelling with many Pacific green turtles, sleeping white-tipped reef sharks and a sea horse at Los Túneles (Isabela) trekking up to the rim and around the impressive caldera of Volcán Sierra Negra to see many lava formations, steaming fumaroles and mineral deposits (Isabela)
Thoughts on Group Leader
Our Tour Leader was Pablo Montalvo from Ecuador. He is a very friendly and caring person and was very passionate about his role as a leader, giving time to everyone in the group. He worked hard to keep the trip running smoothly, coordinating with the numerous local people that assisted us. Pablo's knowledge and passion for Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands was exceptional. He explained in impressive detail about the marine life, plants, geography, history and culture in superb English, whilst joyfully helping a few of us hablar Español!
Pablo went above and beyond to make the trip an enriching and unforgettable experience.
Advice for Potential Travellers
It was great to have your own snorkelling gear (mask, snorkel, fins) for comfort in knowing they fit well and how to use them. Snorkel gear was readily available for hire on most islands. A rash vest and/or wet suit was a good idea for sun protection and to be warmer when snorkelling (45+ minutes in the water can be cold at certain times of the year). Cotton scarf/ sarong and secure, wide-brimmed hat were very useful on boats when you might be more exposed to wind and water spray and the sun. Waterproof jacket/ poncho and non-waterproof ‘wet’ shoes were useful in tropical downpours and wet-landings and walking on the islands. Take a good camera and underwater camera, with a lot of memory and rechargeable batteries. Take a good wildlife guide to help identify the many amazing animal and bird species. Take plenty of high factor sun cream as it is expensive to buy locally. Read the book ‘Floreana’ by M. Wittmer before visiting Floreana for the fascinating history of island life.
For the March 2019 trip, the 2-day camping trek to Volcán Sierra Negra on Isabela was modified into two one-day treks due to recent volcanic activity (Exodus had fully informed us of this before the trip). The second day was a longer trek of 24 km and some members of the group chose to do local activities and relax around Puerto Villamil instead. For those of us that joined the trek, it was an exciting chance to see many lava formations, steaming fumaroles and sulphur deposits, and enjoy a good physical challenge! The modified itinerary allowed for an additional snorkelling trip to Los Túneles, a series of interesting lava formations and the chance to see many marine species. Whilst I would have loved the chance to wild camp on the volcano, the alternative activity was a fantastic experience and became one of the highlights of my trip.