This was the trip of a lifetime: the first item on my “bucket list”. The number of passengers was small (20) so we became friends with everyone. There were two guides for 20 people; this is a great ratio. The crew was outstanding and we had great guides. The food was superb quality three meals a day. I am allergic to onions; the chef took care of my needs and fixed a separate plate for me when the dishes contained onions. I use a CPAP machine; I asked in advance for some distilled water and it was in my room when I boarded. I only gained one pound in a week because we did a lot of walking! The wildlife was absolutely amazing. I am a veterinarian, so the wildlife was my top sightseeing priority. The animals and birds show no fear of humans. There were plenty of opportunities for great photos. Be sure to have a waterproof backpack (mine came in handy) to keep your camera safe! There is some climbing in and out of rafts and some areas that are challenging walking (I was 69 when I took this trip.) Help is always near if you need it and they even have some loaner canes to use. Most of the passengers snorkeled and loved it. I traveled with a friend who also loved her trip. The cabins are clean, the beds are small but comfortable, and the rooms are tiny. You don’t spend much time in your room! Only regret: the weather was a little too warm. When I left, I forgot my Galapagos books. I had them shipped to my home as I needed them to be able to reminisce about my dream trip!Katherine WheelerKatherine Wheeler, MY Letty, March 2016
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We had a blast in the Galapagos! The trip was absolutely wonderful. The crew & staff of the M/Y ERIC were extraordinary in the quality of service they provided their guests. My sons & I felt like we were part of a National Geographic Special. The naturalists were outstanding with their knowledge of the national park, the different islands, history, culture, plants, animals etc. Jose & Pepe made each day an adventure and shared so much information with all of us.
I can’t thank you enough for all of your assistance, direction and advice, Paulina.
Ecoventura is class operation and does a fabulous job with the tours they offer to their guests. Our family had a great once in a life time experience.
Candy CoyneThe Coynes, October 2016, ERIC
|We went on a family trip to the Galapagos this past summer and had an absolutely incredible time. We learned a lot about the Galapagos ecosystem and animals. The staff were all extremely friendly and welcoming. I even got to play soccer with them on one of the islands. We loved all of the fun activities that were planned like kayaking and snorkeling. This is a video from our trip that pretty much says it all! https://vimeo.com/174229215 Would recommend for anyone to go!|
The Petruch familyMY ERIC July 2016
We took two excellent and back to back one week trips in the Galapagos with Ecoventura. The two itineraries are designed to see different areas so sights and islands were not repeated. Two weeks is still too little time to see all the amazing flora and fauna. Homero, our captain, our naturalist guides, Jose and Freddy, on the first week, Hernan and James on the second week, and the whole crew were superb, and attentive to ensure we saw, understood and appreciated the unique biology and geology of the islands. We were very happy with the boat, the crew and extremely happy with the excellent food.
Because we were there for two weeks, we managed to see many special sights: sea turtles laying eggs on the beach at dawn, whales, sharks, the mating dance of blue footed boobies, the courtship of frigate birds, swimming with sea lions, sea turtles and marine iguanas, the new species of land tortoise with horns on Santa Cruz, excellent snorkeling, and penguins in two different areas.
We were extremely happy to have had such an excellent trip with two weeks in Galapagos with Ecoventura and would recommend it to anyone truly interested in an amazing excursion with plenty of exercise.C Starke MD FACPMY Flamingo March 2016
The adventure began on Valentine’s Day 2016 and I quickly and forever fell in love with the Galapagos Islands. Every day was magical, every excursion (sea, land) magnificent. The M/Y Eric’s crew, eco-tour guides, and fellow guests were wonderful. I travel extensively overseas and the bar is set high when I explore new places; so it means a lot when I say I experienced many “firsts” in The Enchanted Islands.
Ecoventura is the best way to see a vast array of landscapes, flora, and fauna without feeling rushed. When planning your trip with Ecoventura, have the company book your flights to/from mainland Ecuador to Galapagos and agree to pre-pay for the park entrance fees and taxes to avoid long, slow lines at the airport. I cannot say enough good things about this company and its mission to keep the delicate ecosystems untouched and pristine so future generations can enjoy all the Galapagos has to offer.
This was my fourth cruise in the Galápagos Islands with Ecoventura. As before, the experience this year was excellent. I teach a course on the natural history of the Galápagos Islands, and this trip is the culmination of that course. I would not consider using any company other than Ecoventura. Once again, the scenery and wildlife of the islands were amazing, but it was the comfortable accommodations, the delicious food (it seems to get better each trip!), and the wonderful crew that made the trip so special. Ecoventura has always set the highest standards and expectations for their crew (and also for the land-based staff). The guides were deeply knowledgeable about all aspects of the ecosystems, and their enthusiasm for sharing their knowledge never flagged. The entire crew, from the captain, to the steward, to the panga drivers were not only polite, patient, and helpful, but they were so warm and friendly that by the end of the week, the students and the crew had become one big family. The students hated to say farewell. And this year we got a special surprise. Thank you for arranging to have Wolf Volcano erupt while we were there!
Don LovettM/Y Flamingo May 2015
We traveled in Feb 2015 aboard the M/Y Flamingo I and it’s been difficult to consider putting into words how amazing the experience was. First of all, if you have been considering visiting the Galapagos, a 1 week (or hey, 2 weeks if you can swing it) trip is highly recommended, and you should move it to the top of your list as soon as it is feasible. Note that this is a review of Itinerary A, and we can’t wait to go back and do Itinerary B. Some highlights of the Galapagos:
– The snorkeling was probably the best part – whether it was sea lions dashing by you, a group of reef sharks catching some Z’s on the ocean floor, or the schools of different kinds of fish, every deep water and off-beach snorkle had something to look forwards to.
– All of the hikes had a different animal(s) to focus on – but you never really get tired of cute baby sea lions. All of the boobies and frigate birds lived up to expectation, as did the giant tortoises which are iconic to the islands.
– It really is one of the best places in the world, and all the work that’s going into keeping it as unspoiled as possible is commendable. It combines beautiful beaches, incredible snorkeling, volcanic landscapes, and the choice of relaxation/adventure at every turn.
About the cruise:
– The crew went out of their way to make this a great experience – our two naturalist guides were very knowledgeable and a special shot out needs to go to Ivan – count yourself lucky if he’s a guide on your trip.
– We weren’t sure what to expect for the food, and we were blown away. Buffet breakfasts and lunches, always with plenty of food and healthy options, and a choice of dinner each night. Got way too used to those two delicious snacks after excursions during the day.
– The cabins were tight as you’d expect but there was plenty of room to feel comfortable and you shouldn’t be spending much time in there anyways. You get time for a siesta in the afternoon but you can easily spend it on the sun deck rather than in your room.
– You are forced into being at least a little social as there are only 20 seats in the dining area (for a max of 20 passengers). We were lucky enough to have a great group of people and it was very fun to discuss the events of the day all the while learning about fellow travelers.
We have so many pictures and memories and hope to be able to go back in the not too distant future. Ecoventura made this a comfortable, special trip and I’d highly recommend them to anyone who is trying to decide how to experience the Galapagos.Derek FludzinskiM/Y Flamingo February 2015
My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed our week on the Letty. I picked Ecoventura because it was an local company, it focuses on the environment, the ships were small and they emphasized snorkeling. The wildlife on the Galapagos islands is amazing but what made the trip special were the naturalist guides, the crew, the food and our fellow passengers. The guides, Yvonne Mortola and Martha Chica were knowledgeable, friendly and worked very well together. We could not have asked for better guides. The food was outstanding — much better than on many of the large cruise ships we have sailed on. The crew could not have been more helpful — from loading luggage to dingy driving, to cleaning our room several times a day. If you are going to cruise in the Galapagos, then I highly recommend Ecoventura and try and find out when Yvonne or Martha (or if you are really lucky both of them) are going to be guides and book that week.Don HarbertM/Y Letty February 2015
Our family recently completed an 8-day/7-night Itinerary B tour aboard the Flamingo I. We had a fantastic time and was most impressed by the pristine landscape and scenery of the Galapagos; respect for, preservation and protection of the wildlife; knowledgeable naturalist guides; and wonderful cruise ship service. All of the Ecoventura team (from Captain Homero to Maria) which we encountered on Flamingo I made our week-long visit to the Galapagos truly feel like home.
We would particularly like to praise the work of our naturalist guide, Ivan Lopez.
Ivan is incredibly knowledgeable of the Galapagos wildlife, flora, fauna, and history. We learned so much information on every single guided tour and excursion at each island stop. Beyond his knowledge and effective communication skills, Ivan always manages to make his tours exciting and dynamic.
Each of the first times in which we encountered a signature Galapagos species (giant tortoise, red-footed booby, Nazca booby, blue-footed booby, Galapagos penguin, flightless cormorant, land iguana, marine iguana, etc.), Ivan would always excitedly exclaim:
“Quickly, quickly! A giant tortoise (or name of the species we’d see for the first time)! Unbelievable!”
We would all then flock over to catch our first sighting of the animal. This announcement produced such initial fervor and fun that, eventually, the phrase “Unbelievable!” became a running inside joke amongst the passengers on our Flamingo I. For instance, when our two panga groups ran into each other, we would naturally exclaim something along the lines of “Unbelievable! A new species, Homo sapiens!” Thus, our tours with Ivan were always filled with light-hearted, fun, humorous moments as well as serious, information-packed discussions about the Galapagos.
Ivan’s willingness to help and patience also stood out to us. From young children to the elderly, our group aboard the Flamingo I included passengers of a wide range of age and physical capabilities. Our group of 20 passengers also had diverse interests and aspirations for the trip. Each of the 20 travelers had a unique focus at the top of their agenda–wildlife sighting, landscape viewing, hiking the trails, snorkeling, swimming, or photography, etc. And yet, Ivan was able to structure his guided tours to be a useful and rich experience for everybody.
One member of our family does not swim and had never snorkeled before. Ivan helped her snorkel for over thirty minutes during one deep-water excursion. Another member of our family is a photography aficionado. Whenever we sighted wildlife from our panga, Ivan always took care to bring the panga near and approach the wildlife from different angles for optimal photographing.
We had an extraordinary time in the Galapagos. True to Ivan’s words at each of our daily, end-of-the-day briefings, every single day was “another wonderful day in paradise.” In one of his final speeches to our group, Ivan reminded us that–as we leave the Galapagos and return to our respective homes around the world–we should always remember that we also live in our own little piece of paradise, and, thus, it is critical that we respect and protect the nature and environment which we live in everyday.
That message really delivered the point that, today, the Galapagos is paradise as a result of the hard work, conservation, ethics, perseverance, values, and long-term philosophy of the local people, the National Park, and the leadership of the provincial and national Ecuadorean government.
That we find the Galapagos so precious, pristine, and priceless is a tribute to the enduring hard work and persistence of the people (naturalist guides, tourism industry, conservation groups, and government) who keep it this way. May we all do the same for our own little corners of paradise as the people of Galapagos have done to this beautiful heaven on Earth!
We’d like to thank Ecoventura for your commitment to conservation, preservation of the Galapagos, and sustainability. We will highly recommend Ecoventura to any of our friends or family who plan to visit the Galapagos.
To Nature!Jian Qin, Lirong Ding, and Lan QinM/Y Flamingo January 2015
My brother Terry, my sister Diana and I want to thank you personally for making our trip to the Galapagos Islands a beautiful, inspiring and thoroughly enjoyable experience. We’ve traveled to some truly great places and have many wonderful memories. But this cruise in the Galapagos is, without a doubt, at the top. Usually the sights and sounds of a trip begin to fade soon after returning as the routine of “real life” begins again. Not so this trip. I catch myself smiling at memories of snorkeling (my first and oh, such an amazing world of fish), of birds so close you can see individual feathers, sea turtles so old they have barnacles on their backs, tortoises, sea lions and many more. Along with the unusual plants and strange landscapes, there is no other place on earth like it – just as the books said it would be. But unlike the books, you helped bring it all alive and wonderful.
Thank you for your pleasant, professional hard work. We will remember you all very fondly!Linda, Diana & TerryM/Y Flamingo November 2014