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My Research Notes from Planning Galapagos Trip

Discussion in 'South America' started by drrich2, Jan 29, 2020.

  1. AlvaroDiver

    AlvaroDiver New

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Spain
    4
    1
    Hi, I am scheduled for a trip at the end of October, so I am checking all the info being published in the Ecuador media about the new protocol for tourists.
    What I've red is that if you have a PCR done in your country that tested negative and that was done on the 96 hours before arriving to Galapagos, you don't need to do am extra one in Quito, so, in my case, I can do it, for example, wednesday evening on Spain, travel to Quito on Saturday and depart to San Cristobal Sunday morning, since the 96 hours won't still be complete.
    Isn't that correct?
    I will probably try to to communicate with the Ecuatorian embassy here in Spain on September before booking the Galapagos flight, because, like you said, they plan to change the schedules and frequency of the flight after this first opening in August, depending on the demand.
     
  2. Dom@DiveAdvice

    Dom@DiveAdvice Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: South of France
    531
    114
    Hi Alvaro - sounds exciting and it should be a good time to be there. The new regulations that were published by the ministry on Thursday this week, require that everyone has a PCR test in advance of arriving in Ecuador and I was first told that it had to be within 10 days but yesterday I was informed it must be within 7 days of arrival in Ecuador. In addition, you must have a 2nd PCR test at the arrival airport in Ecuador and must quarantine at a local hotel for 24 hours while you await results of test. That means a minimum 2 nights hotel are required. They will then issue you a note that your result is negative (hopefully), which you must present at checkin for the flight to Galapagos. I understand that without that note they will not permit you to board the flight. This is the latest and it might change again but I would not risk staying for just one night prior. Quite honestly, there is a huge amount of disinformation going around and even some Govt websites do not show this information. We have clients flying from the US for a trip departing Aug 27 and we have informed them of this and they are flying in 2 days prior. I would suggest that you contact the agent or boat that you have booked this thru and ask them to check it and confirm the new protocol. They may not even know as I was just sent a mail by a boat today telling me that one had to quarantine for 48 hours but not mentioning the 2nd PCR test and I had two agents from Ecuador who contacted me to ask what the new protocol was - and they live and work in Quito !! I should know more after the Aug 27 trip so feel welcome to send me an email if you have any questions - dom@diveadvice.com - here is what I got from one of the top dive liveaboards last night and no mention of the 2nd test. Its the wildwest out there and you need to stay on top of a lot of restrictions as they may change without notice. Good luck and most important - enjoy.


    Galapagos information update:

    Galapagos is now open to foreign and Ecuadorian visitors. It will gradually return to normal.

    Travelers upon arrival must present a negative result of the COVID-19 PCR swab test (which has been taken within 7 days prior to departure), sign a declaration form and a 48-hour quarantine prior to visiting the Islands. It is only 48 hours; those are the statements of the Minister of Tourism of Ecuador. The information is dynamic, so this APO will change for future trips.
     
    SSC-uba and drrich2 like this.
  3. AlvaroDiver

    AlvaroDiver New

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Spain
    4
    1
    Thanks for the info!
    I will then count on those 2 nights in Quito but let's see how the trips in August go, I hope in September everything gets clearer.
     
  4. Dom@DiveAdvice

    Dom@DiveAdvice Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: South of France
    531
    114
    You are welcome Alvaro - I believe that once the machine gets going and they all understand their roles, that all will go smoothly. The real issues will be the domestic flights and I recommend that you buy them from someone locally in Ecuador or Galapagos, that have a contact with the airlines. Online can be tricky and I have heard from clients in the past that bought flights thru a Spanish online agent, who could not change the flights when there was a change in their itinerary. I can give you a contact for a reliable agent in Galapagos, with whom I have worked with for 15 years and who can help you with those - just email me when you are ready.
     
  5. Meggie

    Meggie Registered

    23
    3
    Hi in terms of marine life did you enjoy Galapagos or Malpelo more? My husband is a DM with about 150 dives and i got a rescue witb about 100 dives. We've dived caribbean, fiji,belize, bali. Bali has some challenging dives in terms of water temp and current. But we obviously haven't been to some of the most challenging such as Galapagos, Socorro and Malpelo. Would like to get to Malpelo at some point since diving sounds amazing. What was challenging about Malpelo and when you say not recommended for inexperienced divers, do you mean in terms of air consumption and buyoncy that would be an issue? Any tips and recommendations for preparing for Malpelo trip would be appreciated :) Thanks!
     
  6. Dom@DiveAdvice

    Dom@DiveAdvice Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: South of France
    531
    114
    Hi Meggie - as I was part of the thread, I thought I should caste my two cents. As an overview, I would probably suggest you dive Galapagos first - it has more variety and at any time of year, it can offer you unbelievable encounters of huge masses of marine life. However there are two main seasons and the marine life can vary with each. Dec-June is sometimes known as Ray season - warmer waters, blue skies and hot sunshine, calmer seas and often better viz - all the rays including manta, mobula and eagle, plus all the usual cast of characters - Hammerheads, Galapagos sharks, Dolphins, schools of jacks, tuna, sea lions, mola mola, marine iguanas and more. July thru November brings in the cooler nutrient rich waters from the Humboldt current - cold water temps, overcaste skies with cooler temps, potentially agitated seas, variable viz, but the piece de resistance, multiple giant whale sharks as big as juggernauts 12-17 meters long, and in your face. At any time at Darwin and Wolf, the currents can vary from light to ripping so that you cannot turn your head without water coming in the seal, but in the ripping currents is when you get the most life. You can always drift off in the blue and go with the current and with the Nautilus Life Lines, unlike in the past, feel that even if you drift a mile from the pickup point, you are still safe. For GPS you need the following skills - negative entry backroll off the tender and immediate descent to the protection of the boulders where you can regain your breath and composure - ability to multi-task and stay calm when your mask is full of water, your reg is free-flowing and you are in a current - in most cases these could happen at the beginning of a dive when you are all backrolling and someone kicks your mask off, but always remember you can abort at any time, the tender will pick you up and you do it again. The magic is to stay calm.
    Malpelo is slightly different - you are their only boat out there and nothing within hundreds of miles - so the Nautilus Lifeline is imperative - at best currents can be strong and at other times they are a roller coaster that can turn you round and lift you up and down. You have to have confidence in all your skills, and know your equipment, but the rewards of when she is at her best, make her the Everest of diving.
    This year is an El Nina year so water temps are cooler along the whole of the West coast of the Americas, and bringing with it some of the best marine encounters in years. It also helps in GPS that there are fewer divers and some of the best deal ever offered to attract people back after the corona virus. Some boats offering as much as $2000 off regular rates and the new CALIPSO offering $1700 + free nitrox + hotel night in Quito or Guayaquil. Some are limited time offers but you can find them all on our website. We have offices in France and the US and are happy to chat with you about any questions or specifics.
    FYI for Malpelo - the best boat by far is the FEROX and for such a destination, I would not consider any other boats. Good luck and stay safe.
     
    Dan, drrich2 and paolobl65 like this.
  7. Meggie

    Meggie Registered

    23
    3
    Thank you so much for this feedback. It's very helpful. I will let you know if I have any further questions :)
     
  8. pelan-pelan

    pelan-pelan Contributor

    476
    102
    Late to this thread - or maybe early for actually being there. A very simple question - where/when/what are the warmest sea temperatures? I understand that Galapagos is not the warmest destination - islands in the ocean, of course they're not cosy warm. But someone mentioned diving somewhere at was surprisingly warm. I didn't make a note of where/when. I can accept that a "warm" location may not yield the big pelagics etc and not be seen as a premier dive location.
     
  9. drrich2

    drrich2 ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    8,628
    6,400
    Here's the section compiled dealing with temp.s. I pay attention because I prefer warmer over colder water unless there's a clear advantage to enduring the colder conditions (and exposure protection requirements).

     
  10. Dom@DiveAdvice

    Dom@DiveAdvice Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: 2,500 - 4,999
    Location: South of France
    531
    114
    I think pretty well everything hs been answered for you above but you can find more info on the islands on our website at Dive Advice Travel - Your Liveaboard Specialists - World's Finest Diving - Dive the Galapagos | Liveaboard Scuba Diving | Dive Advice Travel but maybe most important you will find the most comprehensive list of both live availability at Dive Advice Travel - Your Liveaboard Specialists - World's Finest Diving - Find available spaces, book a trip on a dive liveaboard | Dive Advice and charters and special trips at Dive Advice Travel - Your Liveaboard Specialists - World's Finest Diving - Find available spaces, book a trip on a dive liveaboard | Dive Advice

    Happy to advise you if you have additional questions Cheers dom
     
    drrich2 likes this.

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