Galápagos Islands Warnings and Dangers

  • Warnings and Dangers
    by MalenaN
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by MalenaN
  • Warnings and Dangers
    by MalenaN

Galápagos Islands Warnings and Dangers

  • GalapagosOptions.com - better to be...

    You have to be aware, that Ecuador (and of course Galapagos itself) are kind of tourist trap for a Gringos. I'm working for years in tourism and South America is one of our main destination, so I know what I am talking about. We have deal with many unreliable operators/agencies, but what we met in Galapagos was just much over our worst...

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  • Sea Lions on Bus Benches

    There is no way of denying these sea lions look awfully cute hanging about on the bus bench. However, these little beasties do more than sleep on these benches. If they need to go, whether Number 1 or Number 2, they just let fly. Thus the benches are rather disgusting to even think about sitting on, unless you want your clothes to smell like.......

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  • Minimising the impact

    In 1979, the Galápagos National Park was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This meant that the Park’s management and staff were responsible for performing permanent conservation efforts and guarding the islands according to UNESCO’s standards and regulations. But in 2007 the islands were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage in Danger...

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  • Seasickness?

    One of the things that concerned me a little before the trip was whether I would get seasick. We had opted for a cruise that included far-flung Genovesa, as it was reckoned by many to be one of the best islands (and so it proved to be), but we knew that to get there we would have a long overnight crossing, and the same to return. With the waters...

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  • Seasickness

    Before going to the Galapagos Islands I had read many warnings about people getting seasick on the cruise boats, especially on the small ones. I don’t get motion sickness, but had never slept on a smaller boat before, and as M/S Cachalote, which I was going with, is a 26m long motor sailor I thought it was good to bring motion sickness pills just...

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  • Sending postcards from Puerto Ayora

    It is expensive to buy stamps for postcards on Galapagos Islands (same price as in the rest of Ecuador though). For Europe the stamp for one postcard is $2.25 (July 2011), so make sure to bring a lot of cash to the post office if you have many postcards to mail.And it can take a very long time before the postcards reach their destination. The...

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  • You can’t walk everywhere

    Outside the populated areas visitors are only allowed to visit certain sites, and then always accompanied by a certified naturalist guide. When visiting these visitor sites you can only walk on the trails or on the beach. But even there you should be careful where you put your feet. On the beach at Post Office Bay, on Floreana, someone had put...

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  • CARRY SUFFICIENT BOTTLED DRINKING WATER

    GALAPAGOS ISLANDS When exploring these islands it will be neccesary to do a lot of walking /hiking so consequently being in the hot sun all day it is imperative to be carrying plenty of Drinking water. The days in this part of the world can get extremely hot and dry...I found I was drinking a lot of water here while climbing and walking...It is...

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  • suspicious false reports against...

    Galapagos options.com was a great help to me , I see a wrong review about this company, actually we organised the whole trip over the internet, chat and email, it was OK, the price fair, may be people shall know that the visitor sites are the same for first class travelers as for backpackers, may be you took the cheap option tour, you can upgrade...

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  • Galapagosoptions, do not let them fool...

    If you want to book your Galapagos trip by internet, do not try this with Galapagosoptions.com. They make you a great offer, that we could not refuse, and once you have paid them, they will start e-mailing apologizes about things which can not take place. Our boat trip was cancelled because the boat was under construction (actually it was double...

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  • Galapagos Cruises

    Whichever you choose, it will be fabulous. 5 star cuisine on the ship, amazing food and top class service. Do beware of the young crew asking for help with further education, help with money and coming to stay with you. Do not give them your address. Do not be seduced by the young ones on board as they have travelled widely and have a wide range of...

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  • DON'T TOUCH THE ANIMALS!

    Seriously, you will be told this many times by your guides but DON'T TOUCH THE ANIMALS. They may seem tame and cute but they are still wild and touching the animals can have so many negative repercussions - from the babies or eggs being abandoned to die by their parents to creating aggression or fear from the animals. Have respect and don't be...

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  • Bull sealions!

    The sealions are generally VERY friendly but when you see a bull (they are fairly easy to spot as they are much bigger and have a more round, bulbous head) stay away! If they are swimming in the water, don't approach them and keep a safe distance. They can bite if they feel threatened in any way and this can cause a huge wound - 100 stitches...

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  • Playful Sea Lions but watch for the...

    Sea lions are very friendly and playful when you are snorkeling and diving. Adults and juveniles will swim along with you, nudge you and get right in your face. This is all fine and you can even play back with them. We were however warned NOT to touch the bulls if they are playing with us. It is okay if they touch you but they will bite if you...

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  • There are sharks

    Our naturalist guide assured us that even though there were sharks in the area they would not bother us. Sharks apparently are able to tell human from other forms of food and must not like how we taste. They do however like the taste of sea lion. Here is a picture of a sea lion that has a rather nasty, but unlikely fatal, shark bite. This happened...

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  • they are not pets...

    As cute as the animals might be and as peaceful and fearless they might look don't come too close. One reason is that they might have different ideas in their mind about your good intentions, especially if they are a bull sea lion or a mother nursery her offspring. Another reason is that if you touch them they will have your smell on their bodies...

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  • check your snorkel before you leave

    Though I generally was happy with my snorkeling equipment I did get burnt twice. Once I got one with a purge valve and it leaked and another time it has been used by a heavy smoker and evidently not cleaned very thoroughly. YUCK! Anyway, check your equipment well before leaving the shop. They don't carry spare stuff on the boats and unlikely anyone...

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  • Don't touch the animals!

    While it is very tempting to reach out and touch the animals which seem to be as tame as pets this is strongly discouraged. The relationship between animals and humans on the islands is one of mutual respect, and of respecting each other's "private space".Our guide compared this to people sitting in a restaurant. You are happy to go there and sit...

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  • Cormorant II tipping!

    We have just returned from a superb 5 day tour of the Galapagos island on a first class catamaran The Cormorant II. It was amazing and worth every penny. Its not the type of place you would want to see any other way. The boat was excellent and the food and crew great! Just a word of warning to those that would chose this particular boat. The guide...

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  • Another warning against Galapagos...

    The travel agency called GalapagosOptions were the most incompetent group of people I have ever worked with before on anything!Here are the basics of what they did wrong.1. They caused a 2 day delay in our being able to leave for the Galapagos because they did not give us the correct documents we needed to travel with. We had to spend 6 hours the...

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  • Unsafe boats

    Even if you're on a budget ...don't go for the cheapest boat on the water. Best to go for a few days less. We saw some pretty rickety boats out there. The cruises between the islands are far between ..as much as 17 hours apart. There have been too many cases of boats sinking. Here's a pretty good site to looks at cruise options....

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  • Don't touch the animals

    Galapagos is home to many unique, endemic animals, most of which are fearless due to the lack of natural predators. It is critical for their survival that you don't feed or touch the animals . The baby sea lions look so cudly, but if we get too close and our scent rubs of , they will not be recognized by their mother and they will be abandoned and...

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  • package tours - horse riding

    If you are not expecting to ride a horse for 2 hours, then be warned that some boat packages will include a horse ride whether you've ridden before or not. A daunting experience if you hate horses or have never ridden. I personally love horses and enjoy riding - but this experience was difficult, dusty, and quite overwhelming as we weren't advised...

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  • Watch out for Marine Iguanas

    Marine Iguanas generally pose no threat. The do, however, frequently discharge salt water from their noses, with a far-reaching spray. Salt water in a camera can cause problems, so be careful about getting within range of an iguana's spray.

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  • Respect the Bull Sea Lions

    While Galapagos Sea Lions are generally friendly creatures, the bulls can be territorial and aggressive, particularly during the breeding season. By paying attention, and giving these animals sufficient space, you shouldn't have any problems.

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  • Beware the "Thieves"

    Well, the thieves of the island will stalk you and pester you for morsels of food or some water ... but the little thieves here were actually Mockingbirds and very much welcome to pester me :-) Still, no animal should be fed or given to drink, it is not allowed because the animals need to keep their total indipendence. So the mockingbirds in the...

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  • Whale Arses....

    You will likely be seeing this view quite a bit underwater... (the whale's arse quickly disappearing into the haze in front of you...) These suckers are fast, so best to have some sort of reasonable level of fitness before you head down to the Galapagos for diving... The couple of days we spent chasing the whale sharks around felt more like an...

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  • Buddy Buddy System.....

    I guess there arent too many places to dive where the "Buddy" system is more important than here. The dive sites are remote and the dive conditions (ripping currents, marginal visibility) are challenging.... This is the only place I have ever been diving where the give you an emergency transponder to activate just in case you get washed away.......

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  • Eel Garden

    I wouldn't normally consider Moray Eels much of a danger. Sure they look kinda scary, but unless you do something stupid to provoke them they won't bother you. Diving here often involves clinging to a rocky shore while watching the hammerheads and/or whale sharks, ( especially at Wolf and Darwin Islands) And the rock are just thick with big moray...

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  • Unusual Combo of Ailments....

    Living on a boat for eight days can make your legs do funny things once you are again on dry land. They seems not to want to walk straight, and i could still feel the imaginary rocking in my head even 3-4 days after we we off the boat. Combine that with the thin air of Quito (elevation 8500 ft) and your head starts feeling dizzy from the lack of...

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  • To beer or not to beer....

    There is an inherent problem when the dive schedule calls for 5 dives a day, and the boat has an open (i.e. free) bar.... This situation will invariably lead to conflicting choices.... (ive or drink ??? dive or drink ???? what should I do ????) One case in point was a night dive that I really wanted to do, but all my mates were already in the bar...

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  • The Dreaded Curtain of Bubbles....

    When chasing the vaunted whaleshark through strong currents you will invariable be blowing air at an ungodly rate. (you can actually see the pressure gauge indicator plummeting....) Thats OK and all, but should another group also be in the water chasing the same whale, you just may find yourself blinded by a curtain of air bubbles from below...

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  • Rough Seas

    The seas can be quite rough and the islands are quite some distance apart.....10 to 17 hours most nights. If you are prone to sea sickness , it might be best to pick a 4 night cruise. The shorter cruises stick to the closer islands and you will see almost as much..

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  • Watch out for the big guy!

    All the creatures in the Galapagos don't view humans as predators. So because of that, you can get quite close to take pictures. Don't get too close the the female and baby sea lions though. A very large male will probably come your way barking as to let you know that you are too close as this one in the picture did. Run! Nah, just don't get too...

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  • SUNBURN!

    You simply can't wear enough sunscreen in the Galapagos. We applied RELIGIOUSLY and still wound up crispy.Biggest culprits - the afternoon siesta - you find a nice spot in the shade and decide to take a quick nap while en route to the afternoon location only to wake up in full sun.Don't forget aloe (which we also applied religiousl) - and bring it...

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  • Lines, and more lines

    Despite being one of the world's greatest destinations, getting to your hotel or boat on the Galapagos can be frustrating, and getting back can be even more difficult.If you fly from Quito, you will probably have an assigned seat on the plane - from Guayaquil you often do not. Be prepared for a mass of people that rush to the plane to get the...

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  • Galapagos is a safe place

    The Islands are nothing like the mainland cities of Guayaquil and Quito......they are very safe. Most people leave doors unlocked, and crime is absent. The guides even say that the "hammerheads are vegetarians", but I won't take responsibility for that one! (Although you never know if your fellow tourists are safe, just don't brag too much about...

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  • Sea sickness!

    If you know you are having problems with sea sickness you should bring anti sea sickness pills.I bought anti sea sickness pills in Isabela City... Ask your guide where to buy them.The pills name was Mareol (heavy stuff).

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  • That's a bunch of bull!

    Sea lions are everywhere, and as mentioned in a "must see" tip for La Loberia, bull sea lions patrol a particular stretch of beach and shoo off any rivals they encounter.For some reason, a bull often seems to think that human visitors have come to challenge him to a duel of honor to see who gets to be king of the beach (and of its female...

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  • Stay on the path

    Every island landing and visitor site in the park (which holds 95% of the land in the islands) has defined pathways where visitors are expected to walk. Visitors may *not* go beyond the established limits of the path/viewing area as these are laid out so as to avoid nesting grounds and other fragile aspects of the ecosystem.Every visitor to the...

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  • Black market souvenirs

    When you shop for souvenirs in the Galapagos, beware of vendors who offer items made from coral, shells, sea lion teeth, tortoise or turtle shell. Stick to the t-shirts, pottery, wood carvings, canvas tote bags, and so on.The park authorities ask that any vendor offering items made of prohibited materials be reported.

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  • Seasickness

    The water can be quite rough on some of the passages your boat will sail. Make sure you are prepared by bringing along seasickness remedies. If you don't like pills, consider getting some ginger concentrate, or candied ginger. It is known to be a natural seasickness preventative. If you like to cook, you might try making your own. See the link to...

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  • Boat Tours. Contracts and Sharks

    Make sure you get your travel agent to sign a contract outlining your itinerary and the total cost of your tour. Make sure they include which islands you will visit, how many days you will be on the tour and how many meals are included. Our contract became quite a valuable asset after our boat engine stopped working half way through our tour. We...

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  • Don't Break The Rules!

    Please remember how important it is that everyone adhere to the rules, to preserve these islands for future visitors. They are unique in this world!Stay on the paths, don't attempt to touch or feed any of the animals, and never take souvenirs from the natural habitats.

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  • Windbreakers too

    It got awfully windy most days, whenever we were out on the cliff edges (which was fairly often) or on some of the more barren rocks. Be sure to bring a light windbreaker along, if that bothers you (and remember when you look at this pic, I'm acclimated to Alaska!).

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Galápagos Islands Warnings and Dangers

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