Galapagos Islands are located in the Pacific Ocean 600 miles off the west
coast of Ecuador in South America. About 12,000 people live there. The
weather is sunny and warm from January to June and cool the rest of the
time. I was there in September and it was cloudy and damp. I washed a
pair of wool socks one evening and they were still wet two days later!
Since September, 2000, Ecuador has adopted the US dollar as its currency
and the old sucre is no longer accepted. Beware that heavily worn or
slightly torn dollar bills are not accepted. Other currencies can be
exchanged in the major cities (Quito, Guayaquil and Cuenca) but if
traveling beyond these bring a good stash of small-denomination dollar
bills. Change for large bills is hard to obtain.
Some shops on Santa Cruz accept MasterCard, a few Visas, almost none accept
American and Continental fly to Quito and Guayaquil from New York, Miami and
Houston, with connections to Galapagos.
Major tour operators on the islands are Cosmos, Kleintours, Globus,
Nuevo Mundo and Metropolitan Touring. Our tour through the Galapagos
Island's was with Metropolitan Touring. It is an established company with
twenty-five years experience on the islands. They offer many options. We
chose their Land (Hotel Delphin) and Sea (Delphin 11) tour. The benefits:
We could go for a walk at dawn, explore the islands by day, and swim in
the pool at dusk. The downside is the time spent going back and forth
between Santa Cruz and the other islands.