Untamed Path

Untamed Path
Galapagos Islands Travel & Tours

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Frequenty Asked Questions About Galapagos

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Excerpt from Untamed Path guest's journal

 

March 31 - Galapagos

"Incredible day today. We landed on a beach with many sea lions. We hiked the island a bit and then went for a swim. I spotted a small sea turtle--about 3 feet long and then I saw the big one. He swam under me and looked at me for the longest time. He was between 5 and 6 feet long. Quite amazing to see. There were schools of fish-- more than you could ever imagine. All of a sudden, the fish changed direction-- obviously frightened, and then I saw the sea lion hunting them. When the sea lion saw me, he looked at me and circled me a few times. It was a very memorable moment. Terry got some great under water shots.

We leave the boat tomorrow for the next leg of our adventure. I am so glad to have had this week in the Galapagos. It’s a very special place and I will be sad to leave the boat and the people we met."

S. Harvey
Seattle, Washington

Questions about Galapagos travel

 

The trip was well planned with a lot of details and logistics.  Preparation, expectations, and follow-up were excellent. We would recommend Untamed Path to others without hesitation.

M. Crombie
Ashtabula, Ohio

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why travel to the Galapagos Islands with Untamed Path?

We provide high quality, small group Galapagos experiences with well planned island itineraries and excellent naturalist guides all at a great value. We will customize your South America trip itinerary to match your dates, comfort level and budget with the unique travel opportunities in the regions where you will be going. We will give you insider travel tips to consider in the planning and preparation process and then facilitate the trip of a lifetime for you. Very attentive and helpful customer service is our forte. Untamed Path is a tried and true, reliable company with an excellent reputation.
Galapagos questions Untamed Path philosophy and roots.

Galapagos FAQ'sWhere are the Galapagos Islands, how do I get there?

The Galapagos Islands are located 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador in South America. They are part of the Republic of Ecuador.
Galapagos information Galapagos map

Fly from the cities of Quito or Guayaquil to the Galapagos on a large plane (~2 hours from Quito plus a short stop en route).
Frequently asked questions Galapagos flights

When is the best time to go?

Galapagos is beautiful year round and the wildlife are active year round. See our Galapagos weather page for temperatures and weather considerations. See our calendar page for wildlife activity.

What are the options for travel once I am in Galapagos?

The Galapagos Islands are part of an extremely fragile ecosystem and the National Park has designated specific visitor sites. for the most part you may only access these sites with a Galapagos National Park certified guide. You can visit the Galapagos islands on a live aboard yacht or a land based trip.

What does a typical day on a live-aboard yacht look like?

Each day has a slightly different flow but the consistent things are 3 meals on the yacht, 1-2 naturalist guided walks on the islands (for 1 to 2.5 hours) and on many days you will do a snorkel session for an hour or so from the shore, the back of the yacht or from a dinghy. The activities for the evening consist of a delicious dinner accompanied by a beautiful sunset, a briefing by your naturalist guide about the following day and cruising to your next destination while you sleep. Days are full of sun, wind, fresh sea air, walking and snorkeling so people tend to sleep well at the end of the day!

What level of fitness is needed?

Medium level of fitness is necessary. This is not a particularly strenuous trip and you will often stop during a guided hike to observe and photograph wildlife while your guide gives explanations. However you will be walking on uneven ground on natural trails. You will be getting in and out of a dinghy several times each day-sometimes in water up to your knees or onto a natural rock landing. There will be a crew member to extend a strong hand but this endeavor definitely requires a bit of agility. If you have knee concerns you may consider bringing rubber tipped ski pole. If you are normally extremely active you may find that you enjoy doing some morning laps around the boat to get your daily workout in but if you love wildlife and natural history this will be well worth it!

Galapagos island factsWhat is a live-aboard yacht like?

Each yacht has an outside common area where your small group may congregate for socializing, reading, relaxing or taking in the views quietly before/after lunch and in the evening before/after dinner. Many people find that they rarely hang out in their cabin since the best views are on deck. All yachts have an inside eating area and some also have an outside eating area. Cabins are situated in different parts of the boat depending on the layout of your particular boat. There is a bridge where the captain navigates along with a sleeping quarters for the crew. You will interact with your guide and crew quite a bit each day so having a friendly and helpful crew and a good guide is an important part of having a great experience. Attire on board is casual on most of our yachts and on many of the yachts you can walk barefoot onboard.

What kind of safety equipment is on board?

Your yacht will be equipped with smaller shore boats for accessing the islands and also function as rescue crafts in the case of emergency. Each boat that Untamed Path offers has safety equipment which meets or exceeds US Coast Guard requirements.

What level of swimming strength is required for snorkeling?

Both strong swimmers and non swimmers alike enjoy Galapagos snorkeling. Non swimmers can bring an inflatable life vest from home to aid in enjoying the underwater world. The nice thing about an inflatable vest is that you can fill it up as much as you would like so that you feel comfortable without too much flotation to put your face down in the water. Anyone who has not snorkeled before may want to practice in a warm pool at home to get the rhythm of breathing through the snorkel tube. Snorkeling can be as relaxed or as vigorous a form of swimming as you like.

What are wet or dry landings?

A wet landing is where you step out of the dinghy into the water to wade ashore. Several of the islands you will visit are reached via wet landings. Dry landings require some balance and timing to step from the "panga" onto a rock or other piece of land (not a dock). You don't need to be an athlete but being reasonably fit and somewhat agile is necessary and will help you enjoy all that the islands have to offer.

Do you recommend exploring more of Ecuador than just Galapagos?

Yes! Ecuador is a small country with plenty to see and do off the normal tourist routes. If you need some ideas about where to go or what to do before or after your Galapagos trip let us know and we’ll be happy to help with suggestions or coordinating. See Combination Tours page for more information.

What is the weather like?

Mild and pleasant year-round. More details on our weather page.

FAQ'sHow much will it cost and what is included?

All depends on your priorities. Untamed Path has Galapagos trips ranging from economical to mid-range and on up to the high end of comfort.
See details on our trip costs page.

What about sea sickness?

The Galapagos Islands are in the doldrums where there is little or no wind and relatively calm seas. You will be traveling on the open ocean and while most people do not experience sea sickness there may be a couple of longer crossings. For this reason many of our guests get a prescription for the Scopolamine behind the ear patch which gets applied while your equilibrium is normal. Check with your physician or travel clinic for further details.

What about inoculations for Galapagos trips?

No inoculations are currently required for entering the country of Ecuador as long as you are arriving directly from a country that does not have a yellow fever problem. If you are flying from a country with a yellow fever outbreak history then you will need to be inoculated against this prior to arrival. The Center For Disease Control does recommend (but not require) a handful of inoculations for travel to Ecuador.

Is Galapagos appropriate for families?

Yes, see our families page for more information.

We hope this answers some of your questions and gives you a better idea of what a trip to the Galapagos Islands is about. If you have any other questions drop us an e-mail or give us a call. We have several discounted international airline contacts and are happy to share these with you.

We look forward to assisting you in planning your Galapagos adventure and answering all your Galapagos questions.



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