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Momopeho's ECUADOR 2008: the sun's route country

GALAPAGOS

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OFFERS & DISCOUNTS
ADVENTURE
PACHAMAMA: 13 days - 12 nights
EQUINOX: 9 days -8 nights
THREE PEARLS: 8 days - 7 nights
VOLCANOES & PLANES: 6 days - 5 nights
AMAZONIA ADVENTURE: 7 days - 6 nights
MOUNTAIN & SEA: 4 days - 3 nights
CUE- SOUTHīS CIRCUIT: 3 days - 2 nights
CUE- VALDIVIA: 6 days - 5 nights
CUE- TRANSANDEAN 6 days - 5 nights
CUE- ATAHUALPA 10 days - 9 nights
GYE- MORLACO: 3 days - 2 nights
GYE- SUNīS ROUTE: 5 days - 4 nights
GYE- TAITA: 5 days - 4 nights
AMAZONIA
GALAPAGOS
GENERAL CONDITIONS
BUSES
EXPEDITIONS

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GENERAL AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION

RESERVATIONS: In accordance with the latest requirements of the Galapagos National Park , every reservation has to come accompanies with the following information for EVERY passenger:

  • First and last names
  • Nationality
  • Passport number
  • Date of birth
  • Age
  • Marital status
  • Gender
  • Dietary restrictions
  • Medical indications (if applicable)
  • Allergies (food, medicine, other)
  • Emergency contact telephone number (in home country)
  • Telephone or hotel contact in the night prior to the cruise
  • Flight itinerary

NONE OF THE PRICES INCLUDE (Except where the contrary is specifically indicated):

  • 1. Air fare UIO-GPS-UIO / GYE-GPS-GYE nor combinations
  • 2. Entrance to the Galapagos National park
  • 3. Transit Control Card (TCT)

1. AIRLINE TICKETS: In order to avoid confusion, problems and errors at boarding time, we will confirm the respective seats to and from Galapagos in conjunction with each product, and will issue the corresponding tickets. For this purpose, always ADD the price of the tickets, in US$, per person (net).

SEASON
FROM-TO
AEROGAL
TAME
ADULT
CHILD
INF
ADULT
CHILD
INF
BAJA (1)
UIO-UIO
351.46
181.78
.
350.54
181.22
.
GYE-GYE
312.89
160.57
.
311.77
160.01
.
UIO-GYE
334.66
173.38
.
332.98
172.54
.
GYE-UIO
330.81
169.53
.
329.13
168.69
.
ALTA
UIO-UIO
407.46
209.78
49.42
406.34
209.22
48.52
GYE-GYE
356.57
182.41
35.84
355.45
181.85
34.72
UIO-GYE
383.94
198.02
47.18
382.82
197.46
.
GYE-UIO
380.09
194.17
38.08
378.97
193.61
.
ANDEAN PACT (2)
UIO-UIO
297.70
154.90
.
296.58
154.34
.
GYE-GYE
293.85
151.05
.
292.73
150.49
.
(1) 01may-14jun + 15sep-31oct (2) Colombia, Peru, Bolivia. Up

2. ENTRANCE TO THE NATIONAL PARK: This is applied according to the passport presented upon entry, and is paid upon arrival in the islands. The amounts are:

  • •  Andean Pact: US$50
  • •  Rest of the World: US$100
  • •  Children under 12: 50%

3.- TRANSIT CONTROL CARD: As an additional way to preserve the Galapagos National Park ecosystem, the Ecuadorian Government decided to implement, at the beginning of Dec/07, a “Transit Control Card” (TCC) for every tourist, local and foreigner, who visit this Natural Human Heritage and Marine Life Reserve. This Card will have a cost of USD 10,00 per person adult or children; that must be paid in cash at the arrival to Galapagos. Advantageously all the Receptive Tour Operators as Sigor Travel, are able to make agile the delivery process of our passengers data for the emission of this Card, fFor which is necessary that you send us with anticipation the above information of all your clients who wants to visit the Galapagos Islands. We will send these data to The Instituto Nacional Galapagos (INGALA), whom are the “Transit Control Card” emitting organism, to prepare and get ready to be delivered to the passengers after the payment of USD 10,00 (This amount can not be prepaid before the passengers arrival to Galapagos). Please take note that this Card, is another additional requirement to entry to the Galapagos National Park, in the same way that the Park Entrance Fee, that the passengers also have to pay in their arrival to the Archipelago, just like we always used to do

CANCELLATION FEES: As indicated in the General Conditions, there are cancellation fees which could amount to 100%.

GENERAL REMARKS: The famous Galapagos Islands are considered to be the last hidden paradise on the planet. Their fantastic animal world, with a high level of endemism and a high quantity of individuals allow the visitor to observe fauna exhibiting behavior that is different from anywhere else on Earth. These animals do not feel any fear of visitors, on the contrary they are curious and they are the ones, despite being wild, who approach the visitor and offer excellent opportunities to photograph them and study them.

All those who have visited this volcanically formed archipelago in the middle of the Pacific, consider Galapagos to be one of the most fascinating sites in the world, where one travels through the very origins of our planet, with active volcanoes, craters and lava fields that look like moonscapes, and one learns about the wonders of nature in its processes of transformation.

The archipelago is located in the Pacific Ocean approximately 1000 km from the northwestern coast of South America, and belongs to Ecuador . It is made up of 13 main islands, with a surface area greater than 5 square kilometers, 6 islets of approximately 1.5 square kilometers, and more than 40 rock formations jutting out from the ocean. The largest island is Isla Isabela, with a surface area of 4,710 square kilometers. The total surface area of the archipelago is 7,882 km2. The Fernandina and Isabela Islands are the youngest of the group, no more than 700,000 years old, and here you find the active volcanoes; the oldest is Espaņola, which is more than 3.3 million years old. And it is for this reason that in this small archipelago, one can find an extraordinary diversity of flora and fauna and a high level of endemic species.

CRUISES AROUND THE ISLANDS: When visiting the Galapagos Islands , you will be one of the few human beings who has witnessed these spectacular landscapes with unique natural and climactic conditions. Its marvelous animal and plant world is for the most part endemic. The most common species of the archipelago are: The blue-footed booby, frigate birds, Galapagos turtles, seals, flightless cormorants, Galapagos albatross, sea iguanas, land iguanas, Galapagos penguins, the famous chaffinches that captivated Darwin and on whom he based his theory on the evolution of species.

The marine world of Galapagos is even more fascinating than the land-based one, it is considered by scuba-divers as one of the most exotic places to dive. Nowhere else can one can observe the larger marine animals all together and in such large numbers. Frequently there are sightings of whales, dolphins, sharks, mantas and many other inhabitants of this fascinating sea world.

Important: All of the itineraries indicated here are approved as of this date by the Galapagos National Park and are “ Subject to change without prior notice ” as a result of weather conditions, local regulations and/or in the interest of the safety and comfort of the passengers.

WEATHER: There are two well-defined seasons in the Galapagos Islands ; the first is hot and dry, and the other is wet and cool. From January to June, the temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius (this is the period with the most rainfall in the archipelago), while water temperatures vary between 20 and 25° C. From July to December, the temperatures drop a bit.

HISTORY: The Islands were unknown for a long time, it is said that the first discoverers were the Incas under King Tupac Yupanqui, however there is no evidence of that claim. The first recorded writings referring to the existence of the islands were made by Bishop Thomas de Berlanga, who was serving as the Bishop of Panama and accidentally discovered the islands in 1535 during one of his trips to the south. The name of the enchanted islands was given by the Spanish pirate Diego de Rivadeneira, who thought that the islands were slowly disappearing, probably because the navigation instruments were not as precise as they are now and did not always take the navigator to the place he wanted to go. The first inhabitants of the islands arrived in 1793 with the whale ships visiting Galapagos. However, the first permanent colony on the islands did not arrive until the middle of the 20 th Century. In 1932, the Galapagos Islands were annexed to Ecuadorian territory under the name of the Archipelago of Columbus.

In 1959, the archipelago was declared by the Government of Ecuador as a National Park, and in the 1970s, nature tourism activities were initiated.

HOW THE BOATS WORK: One arrives in Galapagos, exclusively through Quito or Guayaquil , either to the Santa Cruz or the San Cristobal Island , according to the itinerary of each boat. The entrance fee to the National Park must be paid, and then one is transported to the reserved and confirmed boat. The guide will have already been hired, s/he will identify him or herself, and begin to give the initial instructions. Normally, sailing begins at 2:00 a.m. in order to arrive at the next island at around 6:00 a.m. Breakfast is served at 7:00 a.m., followed by a dry or wet debarkation to shore, where passengers will take 2-3 hour excursions, followed by free time to swim or explore the island. The group returns to the boat at 1:00 p.m. for lunch. In the afternoon, the boat continues traveling to the next destination, including time for swimming or snorkeling. Dinner is served at around 7:00 p.m. In the evening, there are talks describing the activities of the following day.

BASIC RULES FOR THE NATIONAL PARK: The Galapagos is one of the few places in the World that maintains an ecosystem in a relatively pure state. Caring for the environment is everybody's responsibility.

  • Be careful not to carry any living being from the islands (insects, seeds, soil). No pets are allowed on the islands.
  • It is prohibited to collect, remove or change rocks, plants, and animals and their by-products like bones, pieces of wood, coral, shells or other natural objects. This could damage the ecological conditions of the site.
  • No animal can be touched or held. A baby seal may be abandoned by its mother, for instance, if you imprint your smell onto it. The same is true for birds.
  • No one should feed the animals. This will alter their life cycle, social structure and reproduction levels.
  • Do not distract the animals while they are sleeping or brooding. This is particularly important with the cormorants, boobies, seagulls and frigate birds. The closest one should get is 1-2 meters, so that the mother does not abandon the nest, which would cause the egg to calcify in no more than 30 minutes in the hot sun.
  • All groups of visitors have to be accompanied by a qualified guide certified by the National Park. The visitor has to follow the rules and the marked paths for this purpose and should never leave them.
  • The golden rule: follow the guide and ask him or her everything you want to know “before” taking any personal initiative. S/he is responsible for you. On the contrary, if you observe an inappropriate attitude on the pat of your guide, report him or her to the National Park.
  • Garbage of any kind has to be taken off the islands. The ships can throw waste overboard only when it is biodegradable and only in certain areas. You will receive a bag in which to collect all trash to be deposited on the boat after every excursion or shore visit.
  • Do not paint or carve anything in the rocks, it is against the law and you will be prosecuted for it.
  • No not buy souvenirs nor gifts made from plants or animals from the islands, except for wooden ones. Not buying is the only way to discourage depredation.
  • In order to camp, one needs a Permit from the National Park, in Santa Cruz , San Cristobal , or Isabela. No campfires are allowed, except for gas burners which must be used with all possible precautions to prevent a fire.

Be proud of your conservationist attitude. Disseminate these rules and help us enforce them.

BOATS, YACHTS, CATAMARANS, SAILBOATS. The crafts that offer cruises around the Galapagos islands vary a great deal in terms of the services that they offer, the training of the personnel, their food offerings, and the equipment and service on board. The classification presented here has been provided to us by each ship-owner; when not available, we have used the most common meanings. We suggest that you do not look for the cheapest possible option, since like all destinations of this type, they are all fairly expensive, and thus it is worth it to choose the best. We are sure that you will never regret it! Also remember that with your visit you will be supporting the conservation of this natural wonder.

ECONOMIC (E): These are generally small yachts that are simply equipped. Due to their size, the space on board is limited, the cabins are small and have bunk beds. Their cruising velocity is also limited and therefore so is the itinerary. The guides have Naturalist I qualifications, generally Galapagos natives with limited knowledge of foreign languages. The food on board is not very varied, normally we suggest these yachts to young tourists who do not have much money and who can easily accommodate to these services.

TOURIST (T) – SUPERIOR TOURIST (TS): These yachts are better equipped, a little bigger, with bathrooms and showers in the cabins, which still have bunk beds, bigger social areas and some offer air conditioning. In general, the service and the itinerary are better than in the economy class, the guides are Naturalists II, better trained in explaining the Islands and with a command of one foreign language. In general, the service is better, and the service/price ratio is constant. Some of these yachts offer additional services like diving with a dive master, for which the corresponding technical equipment is available.

FIRST (P): The First Class yachts/ships offer certain comforts on board, many of them adhere to international maritime safety regulations, the cabins are more comfortable, with hot and cold water, a central air conditioning system, the guides are Naturalists III, which is the highest category in Galapagos, some of them are specialized biologists who not only know the plants and animals but also speak two or three foreign languages. The food is served buffet-style and there is great variety along with a good bar. These cruises offer snorkeling equipment, sea kayaks, and excellent island itineraries.

LUXURY (L): This is the best way to enjoy an expedition in this unique, magical Paradise . The cabins are very elegant and comfortable, the service is first class with a professional team capable of satisfying the most demanding customer, and they offer the best routes in Galapagos. The luxurious infrastructure includes satellite communication, video, souvenir stores, Jacuzzis, exquisite buffet meals, a minibar in each cabin, central air conditioning. These are very fast yachts that cover distances in a short amount of time, thus making it possible to do more activities on the islands. They use cutting-edge technology and are environmentally-friendly.

E-mail: momopeho@yahoo.com / momopeho@hotmail.com