Well my trip has really begun!
First I´ll start with some helpful tips on how to do Galapagos as cheaply as possible.
I traveled May 2nd and Airfare round trip from Guayaquil to Galapagos and back was $430 with Aerogal.
Once you arrive on either San Cristobal or Santa Cruz (Baltra) you must pay a $100 park entrance fee.
San Cristobal is a nice Island, one of the bigger ones, taxi from airport to center should only cost $1.00.
You can find accommodation for $15-20 dollars per person per night.
Food is pretty expensive but you can usually get a lunch for about $6 dollars.
Day tours are what I chose to do since cruises cost normally $600 or more.
I did a day tour which allowed us to snorkel in 3 different areas and a lunch for $50. It was worth it to see the marine life along with hammerhead sharks if your lucky.
The next day we paid a taxi $50 for the day and he took us into the highlands. We saw this really neat tree house which included beds, toilets, kitchen! The owner will rent it out if you want to sleep in a real tree house for $20 per night. Really neat idea and definitely worth taking a look. It cost $1 to go in and see it, because it´s private property, but it´s worth it. They also have a bedroom below the tree!
Then the taxi takes you to the Tortoise breading center in the highlands, it´s a nice walk and you see all different size turtles. Then they take you to a beautiful beach, bring bug repellent because the horseflies are relentless.
Boats from one island to the next cost $25 one way and the afternoon boats sometimes cost $30. They leave at 7am and at 2 pm (really inconvenient times). It takes about 2 hours to get from San Cristobal to Santa Cruz as well as Santa Cruz to Isebella.
Santa Cruz is the middle island, it is more expensive than the other two. Santa Cruz is also the best place to book tours to islands that are farther away. Although tours to islands such as Floriana are about $85 just for the day.
I recommend seeing the lava tunnels in Santa Cruz. You take a taxi and ask them to take you to the ones that also have the tortoise breading center. There are lava tunnels that are closer to the center of town, but they are not the same. The taxi ride is about 30 min there and will cost you $30 there and back. The taxi driver will stay with you the whole time. Once you finish looking at the giant elephant tortoises they take you to this lava cave, VERY COOL! It takes about 15 min to walk through it, with a small part where you have to get down on your hands and knees and army crawl. You get a little muddy, but it´s a really neat experience. Total cost for the Breading center and the cave is $3.
Isebella is the 3rd island and the biggest. It was by far my favorite. You can see all types of animals on this island as well as two volcanoes. Volcano trip which includes lunch costs $35. It´s about a 4 hour hike, but a fairly mild hike.
Biggest recommendation is Las Tunneles. They were formed by the volcano millions of years ago. Tour costs $60 includes a snack. You take a 45 min boat ride to one side of the island. These tunnels are unique in the world with crystal clear water and not very deep. As the boat drives through these amazing tunnels you can see everything in the beautiful turquoise water. Tons of different fish! Then they stop and let you climb on the tunnels. You see perfectly,huge marine turtles swimming beneath you. Fishes of all different colors. Then they take you to another spot where you get to snorkel with the Turtles as well as white tip sharks, penguins, manta rays, sea lions. It´s an amazing tour! For my travel budget this $60 was the best I ever spent!
Isebella is also famous for it´s beautiful beaches. Go see for yourself.
When I booked my flight I was flying out of San Cristobal both arriving and departing. If possible, it´s better to book your arrival on San Cristobal and Departure on Baltra. That way it saves you a $25-30 boat ride back to the original island. I didn’t have that option so once I arrived I went and I only had to pay $10 to change my ticket. It saved me $15 and lots of time!
Diving is definitely a popular activity in the Galapagos and it is highly suggested. A dive that starts at 6am and goes until 1pm cost about $150.
The Galapagos is an amazing place to visit, I highly recommend it, although I tried to do it as cheaply as possible it does add up. People on the islands are very friendly and helpful.
Great place! I already miss it!
Now I´m off to Colombia