Origin

My friend and I took a cruise on the Origin in September. It was superb! I want to provide some details why.

We took the northern and western route. I am sure that we went to islands and areas that few tourists get to see because we didn’t see many other tourists on the outer islands. We saw wildlife activities…feeding, mating and nesting…that few tourists get to see. We saw just about every species we wanted to see. Your company has an excellent ability to get your ships into areas less frequently traveled.

The Captain and crew’s first priority during the entire cruise was the safety of the passengers and ship.  During our first boarding of the Zodiac, we were taught how to hold onto the crew members arm to assist boarding and deboarding the Zodiac. Life jackets were always required on the Zodiac – no exceptions.  The captain and crew are skilled in their various duties, as expected. But they all seem to love their jobs, as evident by the smiles that they always have on their faces. They are very friendly and outgoing.

A few comments on the Origin.  It is well designed from our standpoint. The cabins have plenty of room for storing our clothes and fear. The bathroom is much roomier than typical cruise ships. The addition of baskets on the bathroom shelves ins a good feature to allow us to readily access our toiletries.  The dining and lounge areas are also laid out very well. The layout facilitates passengers mixing early and often with each other and the crew. The outdoor grill on the upper deck is an especially nice feature. The exercise facility in the forward lower deck is another nice feature. We used it, but the daily rigors of the adventures of the cruise made additional exercise unnecessary.  The fear and equipment used for our daily events, such as snorkels and masks, wet suits and fins, kayaks and paddleboards, were all well maintained and in good shape. The availability of a fresh water rinse tub on the stern is excellent for maintaining snorkel gear.  I was impressed to learn that the Origin has its own desalinization plant on board. It confirms Ecoventura’s commitment to preserving the environment of the Galapagos.

The quality of the food was excellent. Our chef and his staff prepared some tasty meals and snacks. I fully expected this level of food service. I was pleasantly surprised by the consistent high quality of the scrambled eggs on the breakfast buffet.  I know this may seem trivial, but it is an example of attention to details that the entire crew shows throughout our cruise. The crew maintained the vessel’s cleanliness throughout the voyage. The daily housekeeper in our cabin was also excellent. Considering the amount of sand that all of the passengers tracked back onto the ship, I consider this, again an example of outstanding attention to detail.

We are already looking forward to booking in the near future the southern itinerary so we can watch the mating ritual of the albatross.

William S. - Origin USA, 2018

Letty

I wanted to let you know how incredible our week-long adventure in the Galápagos Islands (Northern and Western) was with Jose and Fabrizio from November 4-11, 2018.

I traveled with two high school girlfriends to celebrate our 40th birthdays together. We could not have asked for a more amazing trip. From the boat accommodations to the food to the crew to the amazing guides Jose and Fabrizio to the landscapes and wildlife we saw, it was completely off the charts incredible! Our traveling companions on the boat were wonderful too…you did a great job coordinating the guests on each boat (Eric and Letty) so that we could have the most enjoyable time with like-minded travelers. Snorkeling almost every day with sea turtles and sea lions and learning so much about the wildlife from our fabulous guides was an absolute dream come true for this biology major and environmental consultant. We just cannot say enough about how wonderful Jose and Fabrizio were, as well as the rest of the crew aboard the Letty. The small touches, like the chocolate on our pillows each evening, and the birthday treats (champagne in our room, cookbooks, cake and candles after dinner), and a planned dinner together on land on our last night…just made our trip all the more memorable.

They say it’s a once in a lifetime trip, but the three of us are already talking about a return trip with REI and Ecoventura to see the southern and eastern islands. Maybe for our 50th birthdays! But hopefully before then. It seems like a day without sea lions is like a day without sunshine!!

Thank you so much for everything you did to make our adventure so perfect.

Best regards,

Anna D, GUEST LETTY, Fredericksburg, Virginia, USA, November 2018.

Origin

I am writing to express to you how much we enjoyed our trip on the MV Origin at the beginning of this month. Both my wife and I scheduled this trip as part of our 10 year wedding anniversary. The food and service on the ship were superb and you should be commended for providing such a comprehensive cruise.

Our naturalist guides, Gustavo and Sophia were second to none. Their knowledge of the islands and their ability to explain the flora and fauna were well received. Please express to them how much we enjoyed the trip.  Additionally the storytelling by Jack Grove made for fun dinner conversations and lectures.

As a Boston College alum, it’s great to see that you’re excelling in providing a wonderful travel experience for your customers. We hope to revisit the Galapagos again in the future and are considering a possible dive trip to Darwin and Wolf.

John L, GUEST ORIGIN, September 2017.

Origin

We did both itinerary’s, Week A and B in May & June 2018 and it was a trip of a lifetime. The islands are magical and fascinating. Walking and swimming with wildlife who aren’t afraid of you is incredible.

The trip is expensive and well worth every penny. The food on this boat was incredible. Better and more consistent than most restaurants I’ve been to in the San Francisco Bay area, where I live, and that’s saying a lot! The rooms were big, with large windows with amazing views, very comfortable beds, great bathrooms. It’s a new boat and as a result, from a conservation and guest comfort perspective, it’s one of the best around. Only 20 guests and 13 staff to support us!

We went out on pangas (like zodiacs) that held 10 people, with a National Park trained guide (fluent in English and very knowledgeable and friendly) on each panga. You could choose which panga you went on so you got to mix a lot with the other guests. We basically became like family for the time we were together.

Staff is very friendly, and we got woken up every morning by Jennifer’s wonderful voice, the best wake-up call i’ve ever had. They keep you very busy during the day. The activities included hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, and paddle-boarding, with usually a combination of the those activities during the day. This is a wonderfully active and busy vacation where you fall asleep at around 9:30 pm and wake up at dawn, 6:30am, to get on the Islands while the animals are active. It’s well worth it!

What makes Ecoventura and The Origin special is the high quality of everything, the small number of guests and the friendliness and accessibility of the staff. We all had opportunities to have dinner with the boat Captain and he was always open to talking with us. We were on a first name basis with him. The Island guides were very knowledgeable and friendly and joined us for meals as well.

I feel very lucky to have had this experience and highly recommend seriously considering Ecoventura and The Origin if you’re going to the Galapagos. It worked for couples and families and we all intermingled. My husband and I are in our 60’s and got very friendly with a family that included three kids, high school and younger. The staff love the Galapagos and share that love and knowledge with the guests, while creating an atmosphere of warmth and friendship. It all works and if I am lucky enough to return to the Galapagos i’d go on the Origin again.

GUEST ORIGIN, May 2018.

Letty

We just came from a week on the Letty from May 6-13.

As you know, Malena is an outstanding guide/naturalist/leader and resource for everyone on the trip.  I found her warmth, kindness and enthusiasm for her job to be central to our enjoyment of the trip.  Her knowledge of wildlife is astonishing. When my husband and I let her know we love birds, she made a point of looking for small shore and land birds for us in addition to the larger and more famous bird species. She was very organized and gave us  detailed and accurate information about what we would need for each day’s journey. I can’t praise her enough.

A second person who made a big difference to us was Luis, the panga driver.  Although we could not communicate a lot with words, his warm eyes and smile were a warm welcome every time we got in and out of the boat.  When we were taking wildlife journeys on the panga, such as in the mangrove area, he made a point of spotting turtles and rays and pointing them out to me.  When we saw our first blue footed boobie and penguin, he expertly navigated the panga so that we could get close and take great pictures. He was always patient and helpful and would navigate expertly for the best viewing.

Luis, the server and bartender, as you know, has a huge job. I was amazed that he managed all of the meals , snacks and the bar by himself. He always delivered the right dish at dinner to each person, and remembered who liked red and who liked white wine.  He brought me coffee in the morning the way I like it.  I can’t imagine how exhausting his job must be, but he was always patient and efficient.

Finally, I would like to praise David, the naturalist, for the care he took of our small group on our departure day. At the airport, we learned our flight had been delayed three hours, and he made sure each of us got our bags checked, then accompanied us on the bus into town, showed us which restaurants would have good food and Wi-Fi and came and retrieved all of us when the bus was ready to take us back to the airport. He even told us when to line up for our flight. It was so helpful and reassuring to have him with  us every step of the way.

And Paulina, was so helpful before the cruise, answering all of my questions very quickly and kindly.  You have a very well run organization and excellent staff.

Thank you to all of your staff for making our trip so seamless and enjoyable.

Janice & Michael Ryan, GUEST LETTY, May 2018.

Origin

The Origin is a fabulous boat! Beautiful staterooms (love the frosted window in the shower!), lots of outdoor spaces to relax between island excursions/kayaking/Zodiac tours, great food (how they pulled off multiple gourmet options for each meal working in a tiny galley is beyond me)and an attentive and fun crew. On one Zodiac excursion, I realized that its captain Christian was looking through the viewscreen of my camera and gently lining up the boat so I could get a perfect picture of a blue-footed booby. That is definitely attention to detail.

Our Galapagos naturalists were Yvonne Mortola and Gustavo Castro — both were excellent. We appreciated their enthusiasm, attention to detail, flexibility to take us where the bird/animal watching was best, etc. It was especially great to see Yvonne’s enthusiasm catching sight of, and filming, a baby hammerhead shark swimming along a beach. She said it was the first time in 35 years she had seen such a thing and conveyed her excitement to all of us. And Gustavo, worked to find a flamingo for a New Zealander in our group who had never seen one.  They also put together a great slide show/video for our group that they shared at trip’s end.  The willingness of all our guides to talk about their own life experiences in Ecuador made this trip extra special for us.

Jeannie C. & Thomas W, GUEST ORIGIN, April 2018.

Eric

My husband Andy and I recently returned from an Ecoventura cruise. We chose Ecoventura because our research indicated this company would be excellent — and indeed, it was! I am writing let you know how happy we were, with the many ways we enjoyed our Galapagos experience.

We were assigned to cruise on the Eric. The yacht was comfortable and beautiful. Its cabins, though small, are thoughtfully laid out so that passengers can store all belongings and still enjoy being in their cabins. Beds were comfortable and our bathroom was just right.

Andy and I knew that our naturalists would be critically important to the experience we would have. Fabricio and Pepe, were highly knowledgeable and engaging; we could not have asked for more. Each man combined the right combination of education, humor, kindness, patience, and enthusiasm in his role. It was not lost on me that Fabricio and Pepe do tours day in and day out, and they still bring joy and excitement to their work. We received an abundance of attention from them, even on our last day in San Cristobal, a day when the crew was preparing for our departure and the arrival of a whole new group of passengers. These guides were attentive to our experiences onshore, to fill the time pleasantly before our flight. I was impressed that our group was even escorted through the airport, making sure that check-in went smoothly.

The rest of the crew was highly professional, too. Our bartender/waiter, Luis, remembered everyone’s particular dietary needs, was masterful in his role, and was perfectly charming 24/7. Beautiful Maria kept our rooms pristine from dawn until dusk and greeted all with a bright smile. She also helped us when we returned from multiple daily outings, guiding us in and out of the water so that we would not slip and fall. The captain also took the time away from navigating the yacht when we returned from outings, helping us hang up our life vests. Panga drivers were skilled in taking us to remote corners so that we could see everything up close and personal. The chefs — oh my goodness! All the food was remarkable, every meal fresh, delicious, and beautiful to behold. And there were others, who were less well-known to us, because they worked behind the scenes, so that we would have the experience of a lifetime.

Finally, I want to say that we were fortunate that our fellow passengers were so much fun to be with — each person added positivity to the total experience.

Thanks, Ecoventura. We enjoyed the trip of a lifetime.

Gwen W. Raleigh, GUEST ERIC, North Carolina USA, April 2018.

Letty

I had the incredible privilege of experiencing a Galapagos Islands tour aboard the Letty March 25th through April 1st of 2018.    Since I was provided with your contact, I would like to take a few moments and share feedback regarding outstanding points of mention.

I chose a trip to the Galapagos due to the symbolism, education and the wildlife photography opportunities it offered.  In a world where human comfort and convenience have led to the careless destruction of habitat and species, my soul appreciates positive examples of conservation as well as like minds.  Combined with the theory’s of Darwin, this is the ultimate trip for anyone interested in the origin of species and the future for wildlife.  Visiting these islands has given me hope that with proper education and support through regulations, wildlife can peacefully exist despite human interference.

While I have taken many cruises, this was my first attempt at a ship of this size.  I wasn’t certain I would care for the more intimate nature of a small passenger boat.  The most surprising and unexpected outcome from the trip was the relationships I formed, and how much I enjoyed meeting people from all over the world and hearing their stories.  It was more difficult to say goodbye to new friends than I ever dreamed it would be!  The people (staff included) made the trip even more special.  I will most definitely seek out similar options when considering cruises in the future.

The boat was clean and comfortable.  The quality and selection of food were excellent.   The itinerary was perfectly varied and offered non-stop land and sea adventure.  Everything ran on time with razor-sharp precision.  We were well informed how to prepare for each day. The map provided on departure was also I nice bonus—it will take me a while to fully absorb all of the places I’ve been in the past several days!   Without a doubt, this was a very well-oiled operation from excited beginning to sad end.  That coordination made for a very smooth and enjoyable experience.

Regarding your staff; I am sure you are aware, any company or organization is only as good as the staff they employ.  I can assure you, your company is well represented and in very good hands.   Every employee I encountered was professional, friendly and accommodating on every level.  Claudia, Luis and Jorge—all fantastic.  So many other staff members were ghostly invisible, and although their names aren’t listed here, their hard work to ensure our safe and comfortable travels didn’t go unnoticed or unappreciated.  Everyone was truly top-notch.

A special mention for your Naturalists, Jose and Fabricio.  I can’t possibly say enough about this well-matched team. They functioned with utmost patience and professionalism to ensure all travelers remained on schedule as possible.  Clearly respected, even by other guides in the field, I feel we were blessed with the very best when we received their assignment.  They were enthusiastic, fun, customer-focused, and SO knowledgeable! They turned vacation into an experience.  Like walking text books, they literally brought learning to life.  Their passion for wildlife and the Galapagos environment /history is catching, and their message is so important for the future of Galapagos and similar wildlife environments.  I feel tremendous gratitude for their sacrifices and tireless dedication to such a significant cause.  You are beyond fortunate to call these individuals ‘yours’.

In closing, I would like to offer my most sincere thanks to everyone involved in the creation of memories that will last my lifetime.   Even though I’m back at my desk,  I’ve had a hard time thinking about anything else since I left.   I’m hopeful this communication will help me gain some closure so I can get back to work!  Without a doubt, Galapagos is a special, indescribable, magical place that touched my heart.

I’ll be back!

Marcy M, GUEST LETTY, March 2018.

Eric

This was the trip of a lifetime for both my husband and I. We were lucky to be invited to travel with a group of other friends and family on the MV Eric in the Galapagos Islands. This trip exceeded our expectations in so many ways it is hard to describe. It began with the Ecoventura travel planners who made all the arrangements for our trip seamless, including an additional week at the Sacha Lodge in the Amazon jungle.

The staff on the MV Eric was wonderful from the moment we arrived on the boat, where we were met with drinks and snacks and given a warm welcome by the naturalist guides and the captain and also introduced to the whole crew. During the week we got to know Abel, who was always so courteous and was able to deliver food and drinks from early morning until the end of the day with a smile; and Maria, who was everywhere organizing the berths and greeting all the returning pangas with a helpful hand and a happy greeting. Our two guides, Freddie and Ivan, were amazing, starting with their daily wake up messages each morning. They both have so much knowledge of the area and wildlife that they were able to really ensure we understood the unique and wonderful aspects of each different island. They were able to show us the incredible wildlife that exists in the Galapagos and we were fortunate to see and snorkel with penguins, sea turtles and manta rays, to mention only a few. They also helped the crew throw a really memorable party in the middle of the week, with some awesome food, singing and musical performances. Ivan sang a very special song that he had written about the Galapagos Islands which was never to be forgotten.

We also spent a week at the Sacha Lodge, which was equally memorable and completely different from the Galapagos adventure. We experienced the same wonderful welcome from Mike, the manager of the lodge, who was so helpful to us when we had to make some changes to our itinerary. Our naturalist guide, Alex, amazed us every day with his ability to recognize so many birds and animals, even from a distance, not only by how they looked but by their unique voices. The two tower visits were amazing and have to be seen to be appreciated. We were high above the canopy, where we were able to really see the vastness of the jungle and its amazing diversity.

We will never forget the weeks we spent in the Galapagos and at the Sacha Lodge and the wonderful people who made the trip so memorable. Our heartfelt thanks go to everyone who made this fabulous adventure possible.

Mike and Wendy Rawlings, GUEST ERIC, February 2018.

Eric & Letty

Our family was on your Southern islands cruise in the Galapagos which departed on December 24th on the Eric.  I just wanted to take a minute to tell you what an outstanding job everyone did on our ship.  I was incredibly impressed with the forethought Ecoventura put into placing guests on our boat.  We had five families – 10 adults and 10 kids.  The kids bonded immediately and became their own posse for the whole trip, taking over the big table for meals, and commandeering their own panga and naturalist for each excursion.  This gave them the opportunity to have the explorations geared toward them, while the adults could hear  a more adult version given by our own naturalist.  AND, I absolutely trusted that my 13 year old was safe and in very good hands the whole time, so I knew I didn’t have to worry about a thing.  Both Fabricio and Jose were totally wonderful!  Totally!    Their command of facts, information and captivating tidbits was exactly what we were looking for, and expanded our knowledge and appreciation of the Galapagos exponentially.  Because of this, we will be much more effective ambassadors when we are telling our tales of the trip.  And they were funny, funny, funny!  The best!   Other than Jose and Fabricio, the most contact with crew we experienced was with Maria and Abel.  Maria was like vapor – I’ve never seen anything like it.  Our room was always spotless, but we never saw her!  We turned it into a game of trying to catch Maria at work.  Impossible!  And what a smile!  Abel was (I’m sorry to have to use this term), adorable.  He has the patience of Job, and made sure we were v e r y well fed and tended to.  What a sweet, sweet man.  I think the thing that impressed me the most with everyone is that they were so genuine and authentic.  I’m sure it’s wearing to deal with passengers with such different and high expectations, but you never would have known it with this crew.

The communication with your Miami office was seamless, professional, friendly and prompt – they made everything so easy, and I was confident we would have a wonderful trip from the get-go.   This was an expensive adventure for us, but we all came back thinking that we got a huge bang for the buck.  It was an adventure of a lifetime and one we will always remember, and a lot of that had to do with the people of Ecoventura – and the creatures of the Galapagos of course!

Thank you again,

Anne B, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, December 2017.

Eric & Letty

We had the pleasure of traveling to the Galapagos on the Eric from November 19-27, 2017 and had a wonderful trip. We experienced the Galapagos in 2002 and wanted to return this year with our 17 and 15 year old granddaughters to show them this amazing place.  The trip exceeded our expectations!

We can’t say enough about the staff!  They were all very pleasant and helpful and made everything as easy as possible.  Although the rooms were small as expected, they met all our needs with nice size bathrooms with plenty of hot water and ample space for our bags.  The boat was very clean with ample dining space and meeting space and a nice upper deck to enjoy our downtime (which was really quite limited due to all the wonderful activities).  While we had limited involvement with the crew that operated the boat, we wanted to comment on the six people that we did have contact with.

First of all, the naturalists, Fabricio Carbo and Jose Benavides, were fantastic.  Their knowledge of the Galapagos, the animals and their adaptation to the environment, the history of the islands, and their communication skills were terrific.   Because of them, we all came away much more educated about this amazing place.  But along with those wonderful attributes, they both had great personalities.  The boat’s group included six children being the ages of 8-12.  Fabricio and Jose switched which group they would lead (one with the children and the other with the adults including our 15 and 17 granddaughters) and did a great  job of keeping both groups entertained and informed.  On our last night, they reviewed what we had done each day and what animals we had seen.  The kids were amazing, remembering exactly what we did each day (a panga ride through the mangroves, a hike in the afternoon, snorkeling later, etc.) and recalling all the animals we had seen!  That speaks to the ability of Fabricio and Jose to share their knowledge with all ages.  The nightly briefings about the next day’s schedule were also really good, letting us know the activities and timing thereof.  They also had a very much appreciated focus on our safety, making sure that the getting on/off the pangas occurred with no problems.  We have been fortunate to travel to many different locations and feel that Fabricio and Jose were some of the finest guides/naturalists that we have encountered!  Every visitor to the Galapagos would be blessed to have them as their naturalists.

Another special part of the trip was the food prepared by the chefs, Henry and Ricardo, and the service provided by Abel.  The quality and variety of food at breakfast, lunch and dinner was amazing.  From the appetizers, to the soups and salads, to the main entrees and to the deserts, everything was wonderful.  Our compliments to them, especially when you realize we were on a boat for the entire time and had no chance to run to the market that day!  Not only did we celebrate Thanksgiving with a complete turkey dinner on the Eric, our 15 year old granddaughter and Roger shared a common birthday on the second night aboard.  We treated with a beautiful, tasty cake, and were also serenaded by the staff as they sang Happy Birthday in Spanish and English.  A birthday celebration that a 15 year old will remember forever.  Abel was also terrific, serving the food and drinks with a cheerful and helpful personality.  It was amazing to see Abel serve the food with the rough waters and the rocking-and-rolling boat….with never an accident.

We also want to acknowledge Maria, who kept our rooms clean and was very helpful and friendly with any of our needs.  Her extended hand and smiling face as we got off the pangas were a nice, warm welcome back aboard the Eric.

A wonderful trip to a special place that was even enhanced by the entire staff!  Thank you Ecoventura and the Eric for a terrific time!

Roger and Laura B, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, November 2017.

Eric & Letty

Dear Ecoventura Team,

Thank you for making our visit to the Galapagos, Oct. 22 – 29, aboard the Eric (Iguana Deck #10) a treasured memory. We chose to travel aboard the Ecoventura Eric for two reasons.  We wanted the small group ratio of 10 passengers to one naturalist and we needed a three person cabin for our family of three.  A friend and a relative each recommended the company they chose citing the wonderful wildlife experience they had.  Travel companies assured us we would enjoy the wildlife and beauty of the Galapagos on any of the ships.

Our experience aboard the Eric exceeded our expectations.

We enjoyed the variety of the delicious food prepared by your talented chefs and anticipated the beautiful dinner presentation.  Abel was friendly and caring and attentive to my dietary restrictions.  With his direction I felt confident that I could enjoy my food without repercussions. The scheduled activities were carefully paced to maximize our interaction with nature.  We enjoyed the overwhelming beauty of the islands on our hikes, panga rides in the mangroves, and on our snorkeling trips with our expert naturalists Fredy and Pepe.  They exuded joy when sharing their wealth of knowledge.  Their patience when answering our many questions was greatly appreciated. Our panga drivers Eduardo and Luis were admired masters at maneuvering for the best view and managing choppy water for safe landings and departures.

Maria was greatly appreciated for her cheerfulness and helpfulness when we departed and returned from our adventures.  She impeccably maintained our cabins as if by magic.

Captain Ivan and Angel’s warm smiles and helpfulness were appreciated.

To sum up our experience with the crew, I can say that we felt that they worked well together and seemed happy to be there.  The piece we felt from that made our experience very special.  It is my hope that this is a reflection of being well compensated for dedicated service to Ecoventura. Our group of 19 passengers formed lasting bonds during our cruise.  We enjoyed the conversations aboard and sharing the excitement of the wonders of the Galapagos.  We greatly appreciated the “disconnect” from wi-fi and television and felt that “disconnect” promoted interaction which contributed to us feeling like a family by the end of the cruise. Having Gaston aboard for part of our cruise was an added bonus.  He was evidence of your company’s commitment to excellence.  I feel confident in recommending your company to family and friends because I feel assured that they will have the same quality of service and experience that my husband, daughter, and I had aboard the Eric.

Thank you,

Sandra W, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, October 2017.

Origin

We were very well taken care of every step of the way, from the hotel transfers to accommodations with food onboard the Origin, to help with getting into wet suits, to wild and wonderful facts about Giant Tortoises.

The captain and crew were wonderfully pleasant and accommodating, even when folks were demanding, ill, or just in need of a different kind of wine. From the panga drivers’ uncanny ability to spot sharks to the various crew members’ good humor and playful spirit, every thing on board The Origin was top flight. It was hard to say goodbye!

I came away with a thorough understanding of why the Galapagos are unique on this planet, and why we must support research in the region and protect the islands and the natural park.

Suzanne L, GUEST ORIGIN, September 2017.

Eric & Letty

It was a dream come true! A top notch professional crew amazingly attentive to all our whims and interests (and our group was aged 7-72!). Incredibly knowledgeable, intelligent, articulate and fun naturalist guides (Pepe B and Pepe C). Plus a good natured, accessible and helpful Captain Peter who even changed the Eric course midstream so that we could better follow and view breaching and diving whales. The cuisine far exceeded our expectations – two enlightened cooks able to accommodate all our tastes – even on short order one day when we bought pounds of fresh yellow fin tuna at the Santa Cruz fish market for them to prepare as an extra dinner treat! The equipment (pangas,wet suits, snorkel gear, kayaks and paddle boards) all in good shape and we sure gave them a lot of use!

What was also unexpected was the lack of “congestion” at the islands – some days we barely saw another boat or tour group. We praise the Galapagos National Park for all their preservation efforts! And to Ecoventura for their commitment to sustainability and conservation – one of the main reasons we chose Ecoventura!

Linda M, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, June 2017.

Letty

We have just completed a week on board the ‘Letty’ touring the Galapagos and I just wanted to write you a short note to say thank you so much for a wonderful week. Everything went perfectly from the time we made an initial inquiry back in January, including many helpful emails from you and your colleagues especially as we arranged our own flights. On board the Letty things were fantastic. In addition to the natural wonders that words can’t describe, all of the staff on board made the week the best organised tour that we have ever been on. I’m somewhat reluctant to mention individual staff members because I feel this can devalue the hard work of many staff who work behind the scenes to make everyone’s stay enjoyable. Nevertheless I feel that our two naturalists, Fabricio and Christian, deserve a special mention. They worked tirelessly all week to make our stay such a memorable trip. Both of them are not only very knowledgeable about the natural world but they present this knowledge in an entertaining and unique manner. They were able to interact well with all passengers from young children through to older adults. We feel extremely lucky to have had these two as our guides for the week. They certainly made a great team! Thank you again for such a wonderful week.

M. Jones, GUEST LETTY, June 2017.

Origin

The Origin was beautiful and so comfortable and had the perfect amount of cabins, and people which make the trip very unique!   All of the employees were remarkable!

Our guides on the Islands were fantastic. Gabriela (Gaby) was so awesome, and knowledeable. She was so much fun to be with and listen to everyday. This makes a big difference when you are entertaining kids!

The chef on the Origin was fabulous!!! The food was delicious!

A. Robinson, GUEST ORIGIN, June 2017.

Eric & Letty

We did a lot of internet research before committing to Ecoventura and we were not disappointed. I had heard from a previous contact about how wonderful they are in creating a fabulous “bucket list” trip, so we had high expectations. Our group included 4 couples who knew each other, and the new friends we made fit in well. Credit to the naturalist guides Jose and Erica for making the trip so special. Our captain looked like he came from “central casting” and met each returning panga trip with a smile, as the barman handed out snacks and fresh juice. The cabins (we were on dolphin deck) are small but kept in superb shape by the steward. The food was fantastic. The incredible animals are all reviewed by everyone else and I can’t add much. I think the small boat (compared to bigger cruisers) must make a real difference in the level of attention and personal enjoyment. (“Orcas – everyone to the pangas!”) We spent a lot of time between adventures and watched the sunset every night with a single malt. My wife and I have been privileged to travel the world and this was definitely one of the best trips ever. If you can afford it, GO! You will fall in love with the uninhabited islands and come to “resent” being dragged back to civilization at the end of your week(s).

M. Glode, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, February 2017.

Eric & Letty

There just aren’t words to describe how wonderful Ivan and Malena made our trip. The naturalist guides were SO good. I have graduate degrees in Biology and have worked as a University professor and in the corporate science education industry for years…The level of knowledge, enthusiasm, and patience exhibited by our guides was INCREDIBLE. The variety of activity and ecological experiences was awesome! Thank you for an amazing, life changing trip!

Holly, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, February 2017.

Eric & Letty

My husband and I traveled with the Eric in February for a magical week in the Galapagos!! Thank you for having such wonderful crew, staff, kitchen help, cleaning person (Maria) – and especially the world’s best guides. We truly had an amazing adventure. I think everyone went out of their way to be helpful, kind, knowledgable, and make our trip wonderful. Thank you

S. Colby, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, February 2017.

Letty

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 Wheeler, GUEST LETTY, March 2016.

Eric

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 Coyne, GUEST ERIC, The 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 family, GUEST ERIC, October 2016.

Origin

The MV Origin was the best boat out there in the Galapagos and everyone else had boat envy! It was beautifully appointed and the crew and guides were all lovely. The accommodation, food, pickup services and guides were faultless. We will highly recommend you to all our family and friends and you will be our first port of call in arranging our next trip to South America.

C & L Bryne, GUEST ORIGIN, Australia, September 2016.

Origin

Let alone a high priority “bucket list” item — has to meet the highest possible expectations for excellence. From start to finish, our MV Origin cruise of The Galapagos Archipelago did that and so much more. An exceptionally clean and comfortable ship; a first-rate and highly professional and attentive crew, from captain and two very knowledgeable and amicable naturalists on through all 13 crew members; exceptional kayaking, snorkeling, hiking and “vegging-out” opportunities; exquisite dining; well-organized “back office” professional support; every courtesy and service one could want…You get the picture. A most memorable, informative, and entertaining experience. Which is just what we got on our August 2016 Itinerary A cruise with unsurpassed service and camaraderie from start to finish. Whoever said, after all, that it need be just “once” in a lifetime? Hogwash.

Bud Ward, GUEST ORIGIN, White Stone, Virginia, U.S.A. August 2016.

Origin

Three generations of our family had a wonderful adventure on the very comfortable  M.V. Origin this July.  The accommodations were great and the food exceeded everyone’s expectations including the allergy person.

The Origin was well-equipped and the staff extremely organized to support all the various activities which were led by the very knowledgeable guides Gus and Yvonne.   Having two hiking adventures and two snorkeling/water adventures every day enabled us to see the wide-range of land and sea “creatures”, to learn about their evolution and habits, and to experience the different volcanic  terrains that are unique to the Galapagos.

Highlights included swimming with the sea lions, snorkeling among so many fishes we felt like we were in an aquarium, seeing baby blue footed boobies being fed, courting by the wave albatrosses, sitting on the top deck seeing not only the beautiful sunsets; but being “courted” by frigate birds overhead, dolphins dancing through the waves, and sharks circling off the stern!

A truly great experience which we highly recommend!

Saleh Family, GUEST ORIGIN, August 2016.

Origin

Ivonne was extraordinarily knowledgeable and both naturalists shared many interesting facts with passion and enthusiasm.

Horst Family, GUEST ORIGIN, July 2016.

Origin

Jairo learned our drink preferences from the 1st day and had drinks ready (just the way we each like it) waiting at each meal.

Li Sheng Kong, GUEST ORIGIN, July 2016.

Origin

In enjoyed staying in the Origin! Seeing nature up close! Loved fresh fish and themed meals.All crew were very patient and helpful with my 75 years old parents. Thank You!

Elena Perez, GUEST ORIGIN, Jully 2016.

Origin

Snorkeling, walking, family time, staff and naturalists were excellent. Gabbi and Pepe were amazing! Helpful! Happy! Informed! Educated! Passionate! Benja was positive, Christian on the boat was great! Christian the chef was awesome! Jose best staff!

Amy and Lou Aronson, GUEST ORIGIN, July 2016.

Origin

The food excellent and housekeeping 5 stars.Bar service was great, barbecue on the sundeck was memorable. Such a special evenings. Thank you for the party! We had high expectations and you exceed them. We felt as If We were your friends and not your customers, which is truly very special.

All of the guides Gaby and Ivonne were wonderful

Ruiz Family, GUEST ORIGIN, July 2016.

Flamingo

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, GUEST FLAMINGO, March 2016.

Origin

Just wanted to let you know what a wonderful time Candy and I had on the Galapagos trip. The Origin is a beautiful and very comfortable vessel. The Captain and crew could not have been better! Our guides Billy and Cecibel were very knowledgeable and I would recommend them anytime. We had couple on the boat who had been on other vessels in Galapagos and said Origin is by far the best and best equipped. The service and food was excellent! The itinerary was also very complete. We saw everything! I have already recommended Ecoventura to others. As I took hundreds of photos everyone wants me to send them copies.

Thanks again for a great experience!!!!!

Chris Powell, GUEST ORIGIN, May 2016.

Eric

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.

K Maze, GUEST ERIC, February 2016.

Flamingo

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 Lovett, GUEST FLAMINGO, May 2015.

Flamingo

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 Fludzinski, GUEST FLAMINGO, February 2015.

Letty

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 Harbert, GUEST LETTY, February 2015.

Flamingo

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 Qin, GUEST FLAMINGO, January 2015.

Flamingo

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 & Terry, GUEST FLAMINGO, November 2014.

Flamingo

We enjoyed a wonderful family Spring Break trip on the Flamingo with our two young teenagers and adult son. Ecoventura put several families together on the boat. The 7 teens and one 8 year old all got along very well together, as did the adults. The cabins were cozy and comfortable with plenty of room for belongings. Our three children shared a three-person cabin that was quite comfortable. The food was excellent, including both gourmet delights and kid-friendly choices (hamburger, pasta, chicken nuggets).

The captain, crew, and guides were terrific, accommodating all of our needs and wants. The captain allowed the teens to jump into the water from the top deck which they really enjoyed. (The day that sharks were circling the boat, he did not allow this.) Ivan and Jorge were excellent guides, imparting their extensive knowledge in an engaging way. Conservation of this special place was stressed and encouraged. Ecoventura had arranged for our group to meet with 8 students who are members of a local Ecology club. We participated with them in a science project, had a delicious lunch at their educational facility, and met them again in town where they gave us a tour and talked to us about life on Santa Cruz Island. This was a very tiring day, but an excellent experience for our kids.

The morning and afternoon hikes were paced well to allow for wildlife viewing without rushing although many of the hikes involved scrambling over uneven and loose lava rocks. For snorkeling, wet suits were needed and provided along with masks and snorkels of good quality. Snorkeling started with easy/calm water places and progressed to more challenging areas through the week. Beginners were assisted by the guides and crew in zodiaks stayed with the snorkelers to allow people to leave the water whenever they chose.

We are very glad we chose Ecoventura for our trip. We saw all the birds and animals we had hoped to see and had a “wonderful time in paradise.”

Rosemary & Martin Pike, GUEST FLAMINGO, April 2014.

Flamingo

Firstly, the trip definitely exceeded our expectations!  We absolutely loved it!!  All the crew members were friendly, helpful and courteous at all times.  They went out of their way to make our trip very comfortable and pleasant.  They were eager to please us.  The boat drivers let our kids steer sometimes, the captain was taking our life jackets and hanging them up, the food server would bring us special requests.

Our guides would definitely get top marks in all categories.  We loved Solange and Gustavo.  They were so knowledgeable about everything.  They were very relaxed and happy and put us all in vacation mode. They really set the tone and pace for a real vacation.  I couldn’t ask for better.  We are now thinking of going on another Ecoventura trip led by Gustavo down the Amazon River.

The food was excellent.  We loved every meal.  Our server, Diego was pleasant.  It was such a joy to have scrumptious meals served to us.  We could really enjoy the meal with the family and sit and talk to each other three meals a day for a whole week.  We returned to our house and I wanted to make more time for meals.  We tend to always be rushed at our house and don’t really sit and enjoy the meal with each other.  Maybe I just get too tired from all the prep and clean up though too!

Our tour was very organized.  We always knew what we were going to do.  We were given lots of time to snorkel and see things and were relaxed about it.  They didn’t rush us or fret if we were a few minutes late.  When I was snorkeling fairly far from the group, one of the boat drivers brought a kayak to me one day knowing that I wanted to kayak in the afternoon.  We were running a little late, but he didn’t rush me and was so friendly about it.

We usually go on about two trips a year.  For the first time ever, all three of our children didn’t want to come home at all.  They wanted to stay on board the ship with the friendly crew, yummy food and wonderful atmosphere.  Thank you so much for giving us memories of a life time!

We learned about the Ecoventura in a travel book and then we looked on line.  We have already recommended your yachts to several of our friends!  They are so jealous about our trip.

Kim & Perry Tempel, GUEST FLAMINGO, March 2014.

Eric & Letty

The Letty is a very comfortable yacht. The passenger cabins are small and that is to be expected in any vessel of its size. The common spaces – lounge, dining space, exterior decks, etc. – are all spacious and comfortable.
The crew members were always friendly, supportive, helpful, and smiling. They not only got along with the passengers, they got along with each other and worked as a team, making for a tension-free on-board experience.
Yvonne Mortola is extraordinary as a tour leader and as a person. She was the highlight of the trip for me.
Ivan Lopez is well informed, enthusiastic, talented, and fun. The surprise CD of photos that Yvonne and Ivan gave to us at the end of the tour was the “frosting on the cake.” The food that was produced for us from the galley was way beyond expectations. We had entree choices, salad choices, and pastries and desserts that were amazing and delicious, especially coming from such a small galley. The tour was superbly organized. Details were well handled, schedules were both reliable and flexible to accommodate to unfolding circumstances, and the overall “arc” of the experience left me feeling I had learned a lot, had a wonderful time, and wanting to be an advocate for preserving the Galapagos Islands as a world treasure.

David H. GUEST ERIC & LETTY, December 2013.

Eric & Letty

I just returned from Ecuador last Friday.  What a fabulous trip!  We enjoyed it tremendously!  I can’t wait to review the hundreds of photos we took in the Galapagos and Ecuador. Thanks for your pleasant help.  The staff couldn’t have been more helpful, the crew of the Eric were awesome!  This was a thought provoking and wonderful experience. Thanks again!

Julie Hoisington, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, January 2013.

Letty

Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that Vicki & I had a fantastic time in Ecuador.  The crew on the Letty was great!!  Our guides were great, enthusiastic and full of information.  The accommodations on the Letty were very nice.  The meals were excellent.

We also had a wonderful time at the Sacha lodge.  It was a fantastic introduction to the Amazon rain forest.   Our guide was very knowledgeable and truly enjoyed introducing us to all of the animals and plants in the rain forest.  The lodge was very comfortable.

We also have high praise for Le Parc.  It is a fantastic boutique hotel. The staff were very helpful.  The rooms unique.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is staying in Quito.  The hotel shuttle was great.  I wish we could have stayed a day or two longer to enjoy the hotel and all that Quito has to offer.  We really enjoyed the Museo de Banco Central.

We will definitely recommend you to anyone interested in going to Ecuador and the Galapagos.

Thanks Again for all your help.

Mark Sperry, GUEST LETTY, January 2013.

Letty

Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that Vicki & I had a fantastic time in Ecuador.  The crew on the Letty was great!!  Our guides were great, enthusiastic and full of information.  The accommodations on the Letty were very nice.  The meals were excellent.

We also had a wonderful time at the Sacha lodge.  It was a fantastic introduction to the Amazon rain forest.   Our guide was very knowledgeable and truly enjoyed introducing us to all of the animals and plants in the rain forest.  The lodge was very comfortable.

We also have high praise for Le Parc.  It is a fantastic boutique hotel. The staff were very helpful.  The rooms unique.  I would definitely recommend it to anyone who is staying in Quito.  The hotel shuttle was great.  I wish we could have stayed a day or two longer to enjoy the hotel and all that Quito has to offer.  We really enjoyed the Museo de Banco Central.

We will definitely recommend you to anyone interested in going to Ecuador and the Galapagos.

Thanks Again for all your help.

Mark Sperry, GUEST LETTY, January 2013.

Flamingo

I have to say that our recent adventure to the Galapagos Islands was much more than we anticipated. The four of us agree that we can’t find one negative thing to say about our trip. Our hats are off to the crew of the Flamingo I; they were fantastic, hard-working, knowledgeable and fun. The food was delicious, the cabins were comfortable (Maria is amazing!), and the frigate birds arrived daily to guide us from island to island.  Karina and Janeth were among the best guides we have ever had and made it obvious that they love their jobs. They  never tired of sharing the wonders and excitement of the islands with us. They were always thoughtful and patient. We also liked that this was a very active vacation with physical activities every day. Of course, the most amazing part of the trip was the chance to see up- close flora and fauna that is endemic or native to the Galapagos.

Thanks to everyone for a marvelous holiday trip!

Sincerely.

Jan Herman, GUEST FLAMINGO, December 2012.

Letty

My son and I were guests on the M/V Letty that departed San Cristobal on 8/12/2012. I felt compelled to write and express to you our complete enjoyment of our trip.
Every moment of our week was a truly amazing experience. Not only was the boat well maintained and comfortable, but the excursions were unbelievable and breathtaking. I truly believe that our unforgettable experience would not have been remotely possible had it not been for our crew.
Every crew member, from Jose taking such good care of our cabin, to our more than attentive dining staff, to the sure hands of our panga drivers, to the extreme knowledge and kindness of our guides Ceci and Gabi, and to our most capable Captain, demonstrated nothing but professionalism, kindness, and the utmost competence in their respective positions. Without their expertise and guidance our week would not have been anywhere near the lifetime experience that it became. I truly was impressed by each and every one of them and will remember them fondly.
I would like to especially acknowledge our guides who were most impressive in not only their knowledge of the islands, the wildlife, and the history, but also in how they were able to relay all this information with the utmost ease and most pleasant manner. I am so thrilled that not only did I come away with a wealth of knowledge about the Galapagos and Ecuador, but so did my 16 year old son. Ceci and Gabi brought any prior knowledge he had about the Galapagos to life and instilled in him an eagerness to learn much more.
We eagerly participated in every excursion and soaked up all the information Gabi and Ceci relayed. These two women were very professional, articulate, conscientious, and kind. Ceci and Gabi skillfully imparted on us their love and knowledge of the islands, so much so that my son and I developed a deep respect for Ecuador and the protection of the Islands. We will never forget them or anything they taught.
Your employees made our trip a true once in a lifetime experience. They were a truly remarkable group of people. Our trip was everything we hoped it would be. Please know that because I felt so strongly about our experience, I highly recommended without reservation your company to more than a few friends and colleagues who are planning to take their families to the Galapagos within the year.
We would like thank all of them profusely for a very memorable trip and extend a world of thanks to you and Ecoventura for having such professional, competent, and kind employees.

Deniz Brink, GUEST LETTY, August 2012.

Letty

My husband Tim, 14–year-old son Matthew and I just returned from our August 12-19th trip on the Letty.   I would like to thank all the staff of the Letty for making our trip so memorable.
Ceci Gerrero and Gaby Espinoza were our naturalist guides. They are both very knowlegeable naturalists, and their enthusiasm was infectious.  Both Gaby and Ceci are very keen on preserving and sharing the beauty and unique qualities of the Galapagos islands.   They willingly shared their knowledge in a way that was both entertaining and interesting for both the teens  and adults on the trip.   I am not an avid naturalist, however the way Ceci and Gaby explained things made it absolutely fascinating for me.
Ceci and Gaby worked very well as a team, providing excellent briefings on what awaited us the next day.  They also led us on interesting hikes through the islands, calling our attention to many things that we would otherwise have missed.   Ceci and Gaby both have a tremendous range of knowledge, spanning geology, ecology, conservation, plant life, birds, reptiles, mammals and fish.
Gaby and Ceci are also very good at working with people.   We found them very responsive to special requests, such as when we asked to disembark an hour earlier than planned in Puerto Ayora to allow us to spend more time at the Charles Darwin Research Station, or when a group of passengers asked whether it would be possible to sail from Isabela to Bartolomé earlier than planned that evening to avoid a very rough night of sleep. Both requests were accommodated with a smile, and we were very pleased.
We would also like to acknowledge the professionalism of our Captain Homero, 1st and 2nd mates Eugenio and John, the chef Arturo, Jairo our waiter/bartender, and all of the other crew members Sergio, Jose, Victor and Belfor.  They worked very well together, exceeding our expectations regarding the quality and presentation of the food, their helpful and attentive attitude, as well as their concern for our safety, comfort and enjoyment of the time we spent on the boat and during the expeditions ashore and touring via the pangas.  Our Galapagos voyage on board the Letty was fabulous.   This is an experience that should have been on my bucket list, but wasn’t until I actually went on this trip!

Margot Almond, Tim Spence and Matthew Spence, GUEST LETTY, August 2012.

Flamingo

The Galapagos Holiday Cruise exceeded our expectations. Our naturalist guides, Karina Lopez & Ivan Lopez, were extremely knowledgeable (wildlife, geology, history) and enthusiastic about the Galapagos Islands. The crew (Marlon, Jorge, Maria, Diego, Jimmy, Eduardo, Julio, Rene and , of the “Flamingo I” was great. They worked together to meet our every need, making this an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime adventure. The wildlife and snorkeling were exceptional. We swam with penguins, sharks, rays, turtles, sea lions and countless tropical fish. The cabins on board “Flamingo I” were cozy and comfortable. The food was great and the activities were incredibly enjoyable, filling our cruise days with continuous hours of delightful excursions on land and in the water. I would recommend this trip, this crew, and these naturalists to anyone who loves nature and is interested in the Galapagos Islands. We enjoyed a party on board one night, had a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner and received a very special slideshow gift from Karina at the end of the cruise.

Dave Runker, GUEST FLAMINGO, December 2011.

Eric & Letty

See comments and photographs on Catherine S. Spikkerud’s blog, November 2011, Eric
https://catspace-cathrine-photo.blogspot.com/2011/12/pilgrimage.html

Catherine S. Spikkerud, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, November 2011.

Eric & Letty

As a repeat customer I have been impressed by the improvements Ecoventura has done between my last two trips.  The trip in 2006 was great the last trip was awesome.  Keep up the good work, all passengers left reluctantly the yacht but happy.  I think there are many details of the trip to be mentioned and credit due to the respective party:

  • Assembly of groups in the three yachts: Eric had the hard core photographers and nature interested persons, Flamingo families, good job by the office staff in assigning people to yachts based on interest.
  • M/Y Eric: Nice upgrades with alternative energy but also the new main saloon layout seems more functional and looks less cluttered.  The staff really took care that the vessel looked at its best and all worked.  Also emphasis was made on conservation and environmental impact.
  • Naturalists: Either Ecoventrura has a good staff or I’m lucky to get always great guides.  In my first trip I had Renato Perez, this time Cecibel and Alexis, both excellent naturalists and crowd pleasers.
  • Food/hotel services:  this is the area where I saw the most improvement between my two trips, every meal was great and Apple strudel in Galápagos, out of this world.
  • Boat crew: all very professional and helpful.  One crew member was commenting he left another company to join Ecoventura since Ecoventura provided him with career development opportunities. I think the willingness of this individual to learn is an asset that Ecoventura should consider seriously: career development fosters a happy crew and creates a good reputation for the company in this area.
  • Captain: My second sail with Peter Vallejo and as usual he glided the Eric safely through the archipelago.

Friends and coworkers have been asking about the trip and the operator, and I stated I will tell them after the trip since many things can change over time.  With the experience of last week I have no hesitation to recommend Ecoventura to any associate.

Keep up to good work, I think the approach that Ecoventura is taking is the proper one. Muchas gracias, Feliz Navidad y a ver cuando cruzo caminos con el Eric nuevamente,

Sinceramente.

Uwe Haller, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, November 2011.

Eric & Letty

Just wanted to thank you Paulina & Irma for the GREAT service. I was on Eric and my two guides, Malena & Karina, were amazing. They were above and beyond expectation, as was the entire crew, and made this trip very special. True professionals- Lovely People-Extensive Knowledge-Excellent Customer Service. I will most certainly refer this operation to my friends.
Best regards.

Julie Lane, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, August 2011

Eric & Letty

We really liked Ecoventura’s organization. The Eric was excellent and our cabins were what we expected. It was nice to be on the upper deck. The crew was fantastic– they liked each other and work as a unit. Peter, the captain, was entertaining and helpful. Luis as our waiter and bartender worked hard and was excellent. Our tag team naturalist guides were perfect —they were exceptionally knowledgeable and friendly and we hope our friends can go on a trip that they lead in the future. Of course, we are referring to Harry and Cachito (Pepe). We also enjoyed the mix of passengers on the boat. It was truly international with people from England, France, Switzerland, Israel, Alaska, Colorado and California. The age mix was also excellent.
Thank you, Irma, for putting us on the Eric with this group.
We loved the Galapagos– It was a very special experience for all of us.

Samuel Pearl, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, September 2010.

Eric

I am writing to let you know what a delightful time I had on my recent Galapagos tour with your company. My family and I were passengers aboard the Eric from Feb 14-21, 2010, and at the end of the trip, I was so busy saying goodbye to everyone and packing that I did not have time to call out how great your staff was in the written evaluation. The entire crew was friendly and accommodating. Both I and my brother-in-law have restricted diets, and I was very impressed with the quality and the diversity of the customized meals your chefs prepared for us. The guides went out of their way to help everyone have a good experience. Lourdes was particularly great about helping those of us who walked a little slower than the rest of the group. Both she and Alexis were incredibly knowledgeable and enthusiastic.
They were able to explain everything from biology and geology to human history and conservation efforts. My whole family has never had so much fun while learning so much. We are all absolutely recommending Ecoventura to our friends!
Sincerely.

Robin Mayes, GUEST ERIC, February 2010.

Eric & Letty

I wanted to write and express my appreciation for the wonderful cruise that I enjoyed last week on the M/Y Eric. It was my second trip to the Galapagos in three years, and I enjoyed this voyage even more than my initial visit. (Which I didn’t think was possible since I had an amazing time in 2006 with Lindblad Expeditions.)The crew was wonderful and took excellent care of us. Captain Peter was very gracious and welcoming to us. Hugo worked endlessly to ensure that our meals were enjoyable and that everyone had all the refreshments they wanted. The kitchen crew was amazing and made us an unforgettable Thanksgiving dinner. Probably the best turkey I have ever had….I wish I could cook my turkey to perfection like that!

The naturalists, Alexis and Pepe, were amazing. The ship had a wide range of passengers, from a 7 1/2 year old to a 65 year old, and yet they were able to explain things in a way that was interesting for everyone. Their knowledge and interaction was fun and kept the group interested. They were kind to everyone and made sure that each passenger had an amazing experience.

The zodiac drivers and stewards were also terrific. Luis and Diego made sure that every landing was smooth and that everyone got a chance to take a photo if we were on zodiac cruise. They did an excellent job.

Thanks to all for an unforgettable Galapagos adventure!

Sincerely.

Julia Simpson, GUEST ERIC & LETTY, November 2009.

Letty

The trip was FABULOUS and far exceed our expectations at every level! The Letty was so comfortable and inviting that we didn’t want to return to land. We were really pleased and impressed with how you managed to get us on a boat where every family was traveling with teens. Our sixteen year old LOVED having so many other kids her age on board. They played cards to the wee hours while Jorge provided them with drinks and snacks.
Now our daughter has Facebook friends in Denmark, UK and Germany. We couldn’t have dreamed up a better group of fellow travelers. We especially appreciated Jorge making sure the kids were entertained, nourished and hydrated. Efran (the boat man) always had the warmest smile when we boarded his Zodiac. Our guides, Harry and Pepe,were great. We appreciated that they both grew up on the Islands. They were knowledgeable, entertaining and fun. Harry in particular was extremely engaging, and just has a great way with people. Most of all, we loved Harry’s wake up calls “the voice of the Galapagos Islands.”

We felt the tour was extremely well-organized. Most of the time we had an island or a snorkel spot to ourselves and only occasionally had to share with another boat. Again, the way Ecoventura broke the passengers into groups for each of the 3 boats was inspiring. While the Letty was the designated teen boat, we noticed the ERIC had families with younger children, and the FLAMINGO had all adult couples, so that was very well organized. The food was great and plentiful. Our daughter is a vegetarian and Jorge made sure she always had great things to eat. We had a good choice of entrees for most dinners. We loved the Ecuadorian dishes, especially the ceviche with popcorn.

It was the perfect size vessel for a perfect adventure. We saw some bigger boats disgorge their 80 or so passengers at one island and thanked our lucky stars that we booked a smaller vessel. We watched the sunset on the sundeck every night while frigate birds flew along side (when they weren’t perched on the railing) and whales and dolphins breached in the distance. I have seen pictures of the wildlife on the islands of course but I was simply blown away by how close we could get to courting boobies and baby sea lions —not to mention life in the water. I’ve been on trips that say they have “snorkeling opportunities” but this was a snorkeler’s paradise: we snorkeled with sea lions and sea turtles every day. We swam with penguins, sharks, rays and huge schools of fish. We timed a marine iguana eating under water. He stayed there over 5 minutes. It was truly fantastic!

Patricia Perkins, GUEST LETTY, July 2009.

Flamingo

I wanted to thank you for the excellent service you provided re: our recent trip to Ecuador. You were organized, efficient, knowledgeable and responsive to my questions and concerns. Your attention to everything allowed us a worry-free vacation. The Hotel Oro Verde was great- wish we had planned more time in Guayaquil than just the one night. The shuttles worked smoothly, and we were met at the airport by your Ecoventura representative as promised. Our guides, Ivan and Harry were wonderful: informative, skilled, caring, prepared, and funny; and their command of the English language was perfect. My daughter and I appreciated you assigning us to an adults only boat, and we were very happy and grateful that you upgraded us to the Dolphin Deck. The Flamingo crew were terrific: all of them were warm, friendly, proficient and showed a genuine concern for making sure that all onboard had a great time. This vacation was one that my daughter and I have talked about since she was a little girl.
It was a once-in-a-lifetime amazing experience! I took 1031 pictures!
Again, thank you for everything!!

Dr. Susan Albert, GUEST FLAMINGO, July 2009.

Flamingo

 

I have been sorting through all the photos from our trip and remembering the great time we had on the Flamingo with our guides Harry and Ivan. The Flamingo was a beautiful boat and exceeded my high expectations. The naturalist guides, Harry and Ivan really made the whole trip very delightful and memorable. I have attached a photo of me with our guides that really sums up the relationship that they managed to foster with every passenger on board the Flamingo. I enjoyed all the food – especially the soup each evening and the yucca balls that the chef served us after each snorkel dive.
The whole tour was well organized and very professional.The birds, iguanas, and marine life that we experienced on this trip is better than anything I’ve seen on six continents. We even saw a mother sea lion give birth to a pup right in front of us! I have been diving on the Great Barrier Reef, the Mediterranean Sea, the Caribbean, Hawaii, and the California coast and have never seen anything like the varied marine life around the Galapagos Islands. We had sea lions, penguins, and sea turtles swimming right along with us in the clear water. I have already recommended this trip to friends and family and have had many ask me about the trip after viewing my photos on my gallery. The whole trip was arranged by my son, Nathan Cannon and it was a great father and son experience. Thanks for the wonderful memories!

Russ Cannon, GUEST Flamingo, June 2009.

Flamingo

Our holiday fully lived up to expectations – it was absolutely fantastic. The Galapagos Islands were stunning – we had no idea that all the beasts were so tame and allowed one to approach so close. Ecoventura & Flamingo 1 were really excellent. This size boat was ideal as we visited several islands where larger ships weren’t allowed. The crew & naturists were amazing and worked so hard 24 hours a day.

Mr. John Crafts, GUEST FLAMINGO, May 2008.

Letty

I thoroughly enjoyed my cruise on the Eric. The crew was competent and friendly and a did a great job. The guides, Lourdes and Karina, were super knowledgeable and pointed out flora and fauna that I might have missed. My only complaint is that the week seemed to go so fast! I chose Ecoventura based on what I read in guidebooks and on internet travel sites. The great itinerary was also another prime consideration. I would heartily recommend your company to anyone who is planning a Galapagos cruise.

Mr. Charles Lewis, GUEST LETTY, May 2008.

Flamingo

The trip was amazing and went far beyond our expectations! It was something that we shall never forget. The yacht was very comfortable, the crew was so kind and accommodating and extremely knowledgeable. They left nothing undone, no matter what we needed they made sure we were comfortable and well taken care of. The cabin was comfortable and well tended. The dinghy rides were so convenient to get us ashore. Ivan and Lolita were great guides and Victor was a wonderful captain. To sum it all up the trip was FANTASTIC!!! Ivan as not only knowledgeable but also quite charming. He entertained us with his singing and his guitar playing. He made sure we were always safe and he taught us so much about the flora and fauna. He also instilled in us a love of the Galapagos Islands and a true respect for nature.
The food was always delicious and plentiful. Having snacks available to us upon our return from an island excursion was such a treat. Having fresh cold drinking water always available was such an important touch. We have recommended the trip to many of our friends, I can’t think of anything else you could have done to make the trip better for us. The outings were well organized. The use of the snorkeling gear was great an the way to organize the life vests was clever. Not a single detail was missed. You could also feel the happiness of the crew and their camaraderie thanks to the leadership of Victor. This made our trip even happier because everyone got along so well and looked after one another.

Cathy Swami, GUEST FLAMINGO, May 2008.

Flamingo

“The trip was everything and more than we could have expected. First of all, our guides—Ivan and Jaime were sensational. They really are Galapagos naturalists rather than guides. Their knowledge of the islands and its fauna and flora was outstanding. Their patience and ability to get along with everyone was remarkable. They gave you the feeling that they were seeing things for the very first time—even though they obviously had led many trips. Ivan particularly had a personality and sense of humor that is rare and refreshing. This aspect alone was worth the price of admission! The rest of the crew—Luis, the bartender, Maria, Pablo, the captain, both Jorge and the everyone else were very polite and helpful. There was nothing they were not willing to do for you.”

Arnold & Joanne Miller, GUEST FLAMINGO, May 2008.

Letty

The Letty exceeded our expectations. Everything was well maintained and kept very clean. Claudia and Jorge stood out, but everyone was just great. Lourdes was an absolute delight. She was clearly passionate about the Galapagos and was really fun, too. We were not expecting the food to be nearly as good as it was. The quality, freshness and preparation were all great. We especially enjoyed the Ecuadorian meal. We would recommend Ecoventura without any hesitation. We already have and will continue to do so. From the phone call to our hotel the day before departure to the return to Quito everything was well organized and thorough. We were delighted with all aspects of our trip. We cannot imagine a better Galapagos experience. We did a lot of research before choosing Ecoventura and it really paid off. You turned out to be a great choice!!!!

Joe Lane, GUEST LETTY, March 2008.

Letty

“The Letty was FABULOUS!!! I keep telling everyone that if you can only take one vacation for the rest of your life, go to the Galapagos Islands and go on an Ecoventura boat. I especially loved the 20 passenger limit. The small boat experience can’t be beat. Another thing I found to be so impressive were the ecologically responsible policies you adhere to. I can never say enough positive things about your company.”

Valerie Morillo, GUEST LETTY.

Letty

“This turned out to be the trip of a lifetime. I cannot say enough good things about the quality of the Ecoventura staff. Everyone from the booking agent, to the crew on the Letty, to the naturalists who accompanied us on all our adventures, were truly extraordinary people.”

Jennifer Rennet, GUEST LETTY.

Flamingo

“We just returned from celebrating our honeymoon on the Flamingo I in the Galapagos. Besides having a phenomenal visit with the wildlife (in and on the water) and reveling in the scenery, we also thoroughly enjoyed the social life.We’ve never toured with a more across-the-board delightful group of employees than we found on the Flamingo I.”

Maria Doyle & A.J. Rogers, GUEST FLAMINGO.

Eric & Letty

“We enjoyed the luxuries of the Eric, the good food and great level of service provided by all the crew. More importantly, the manner in which Ecoventura makes it possible for visitors to experience nature in small groups when traveling on the Flamingo I is a rare and greatly appreciated experience.”

Emilie Barber, GUEST ERIC & LETTY.

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