Galapagos Islands

Galapagos Islands Edit History Compare

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88==Getting Around==88==Getting Around==
89[Photo|69125]89[Photo|69125]
90How you get around depends on whether you are in an inhabited area or on Park territory.
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92On the inhabited islands, you have taxis, vans, buses and bicycles to choose from. The only restriction is that when on Park territory you must be accompanied by a licensed Galapagos National Park guide.
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94You can only get to the uninhabited islands by boat. Your landing might be "wet" (knee deep at the most) or "dry" (where there is a rudimentary pier). Once on land, it is all by foot and you'll want to have sturdy sandals, preferably walking shoes or even hiking boots. In places the ground can be a little challenging and it can really help to have a stick.
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96The "visitor site" trails are marked by posts and painted rocks and you have to stay within the lines. That's generally no problem as the animals will often come to you. You can hike in the inhabited areas, which are quite extensive on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal. You'll need a guide to go into the Park itself.
90Most of the movement among the islands is by boat. Then the vast majority of the movement on the islands is by foot. The trails are very nice and are meant for people in there mid to late 1950s. There is no back country hiking allowed in the Galapagos Islands and guides keep a very close eye on the tourists.
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92===By Plane===98===By Plane===
93There is a company (Emetebe) which operates two twin-prop light aircraft (6 or 8 seats) on a regular daily schedule between Baltra, San Cristobal and Isabela. 99There is a company (Emetebe) which operates two twin-prop light aircraft (6 or 8 seats) on a regular daily schedule between Baltra, San Cristobal and Isabela.
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95===By Car and Bus===101===By Car and Bus===
96Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and, to a lesser extent Isabela, all have abundant taxis that will take you anywhere in town for a dollar. Travel outside town, such as to the highlands will be a few dollars more. There are daily buses to the airport on Baltra. San Cristobal's airport is on the edge of town and is a 5 minute taxi-ride. You can rent bicycles on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal (Isabela?) and you can ride considerable distances before finding yourself at the limits of the National Park, beyond which you will have to be accompanied by a Galapagos National Park guide.102Santa Cruz, San Cristobal and, to a lesser extent Isabela, all have abundant taxis that will take you anywhere in town for a dollar. Travel outside town, such as to the highlands will be a few dollars more. There are daily buses to the airport on Baltra. San Cristobal's airport is on the edge of town and is a 5 minute taxi-ride. You can rent bicycles on Santa Cruz and San Cristobal (Isabela?) and you can ride considerable distances before finding yourself at the limits of the National Park, beyond which you will have to be accompanied by a Park guide.
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98===By Boat===104===By Boat===
99There are many boat tours between the islands, but both prices and comfort vary a lot so shop around. You can go on a small sailing yacht and on big luxurious cruise ships, it all depends on what you like. This is a trip that is worth planning in advance due to cost. But a traveller can arrange a trip on short notice but it best to do that on the mainland. Remember if travelling alone to ask if your cabin will have a forced roommate and to require that the forced roommate be of the same gender as you. Note that during the rougher December to April period, [[seasickness]] is more prevalent when you are on the smaller ships.105There are many boat tours between the islands, but both prices and comfort vary a lot so shop around. You can go on a small sailing yacht and on big luxurious cruise ships, it all depends on what you like. This is a trip that is worth planning in advance due to cost. But a traveller can arrange a trip on short notice but it best to do that on the mainland. Remember if travelling alone to ask if your cabin will have a forced roommate and to require that the forced roommate be of the same gender as you. Seas are normally calmest from December through May although in the last couple of years (2010, 2011) it has been windier than normal. It is never really rough but outside these months you may be more comfortable on one of the larger boats.
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102==Eat==108==Eat==
109The Galapagos Islands were once a favoured source of giant tortoises to feed the crews of passing ships, particularly whalers, and the tortoise population was decimated even to the extent that some species are now extinct.
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111In the past, some species, particularly sea-cucumber and lobster, were seriously over-fished by the local population and are now restricted to a few months in the year. There are no quotas on other species and the local fishermen are not sufficiently numerous or well equipped to have much impact on fish stocks. The biggest problem now is that commercial boats from the Ecuador mainland and other countries fish the perimeter of the Marine Reserve and frequently make illegal incursions into the Reserve. The use of long-lines and shark-finning are both illegal but enforcement is problematic.
103In the past the Galapagos Islands were famous for sea food and in the 19th century it was famous for eating the giant tortoises. Today your not suppose to eat either. The giant tortoises almost went extinct because of ships stopping by the Galapagos Islands to pick them out and load them up in the bottoms of their ships. This gave the crew of the ships fresh meat for months.
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105More recently tourists demanding fresh sea food has lead to extensive over fishing near the Galapagos Islands. This has had a massive impact on animal populations because most of the birds, seals, dolphins, sharks and whales depend on the fish for their survival. The government in [[Quito]] outlawed fishing in the Galapagos Islands but [[Quito]] is very far away making the laws useless. Travellers are asked not to eat fresh seafood while in the Galapagos Islands in order to protect the animals.113There is no restriction on tourists eating seafood (in season of course) and the quantities involved have no material impact on stocks.
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108==Drink==116==Drink==