Main things to remember when you travel, to surf or not, to Galapagos:
All hotels, flights, and other services, even food at restaurants, can be very difficult to get during the months of Dec-February (high season). So make reservations well ahead of time. Remember, Galapagos towns, specially San Cristobal, are small and they do not have large Hotels. A big Hotel at Galapagos have usually just 10-20 rooms at most. Reservations on Flights (specially TAME airline) are the most difficult to deal with. We recommend AeroGal airline to flight to Glpgs especially to San Cristobal airport (where waves are) be sure you head there and not to Baltra airport, so you can get to waves much easier, faster and cheaper.
Always make sure (3 times at least) and check your flight ticket(s) and code number reservation, to be sure you have a seat on plane.
San Cristobal island from Guayaquil all week except Tuesdays (Flights 030-036).
Leaves 11:15 hrs (am) Call for updates
1. AEROGAL & TAME airlines flighs 5 days a week. Flights are usually booked by regular tourist for charter boat companies and international agencies. So, flights get full anytime, especially December Thru February (SanCristobal Airport). TAME PHONES 2283808 (Arpt), 2310305 reservations commuter.
2. AeroGal and Tame airline flights frecuencies change depending on seasons, also does prices a little ($378 round). If you buy ticket outside Ecuador you ll pay about $100 USD more...but will get better available reservations dates. (2010 update)
EMETEBE INTER ISLAND FLIGHTS San Cristobal to Baltra or Isabela airports. Call Manager: Jaime Morales at 09-104003. Or at Cristobal Is. office ph# 5935-520793. Few boards are allowed on this crafts, so you may need to charter a whole plane aprox $ 140US/ per passenger.
Your luggage and boards will be checked by National Park officers from Agricultural Dpt. for introduction of species, etc. at mainland airports before checking. And you need to pay extra $10 USD for Ingala tax (local Galapagos institution)
3. Galapagos and especially Puerto Baquerizo M. has few hotels and rooms. So, make reservations in advance. Best recomended at San Cristobal is the hotels. The ones we recommend most are: Casablanca (by Pier with great rooms AC and great people talk to Jacqui and girls- daughters), Hosteria Pimampiro at hill back in town beautiful view of waves great service and people (talk to Juanita german manager), Casa Verde run my surfer guide Gevanny Sarigu of Hacienda Tranquila a well known resident of many years who knows the surf and runs the Hacienda at Hills of island a wonderful place to visit and see some green when sun is too hot at beaches. All this places have a link in our Links page
4. You will have to pay the Park Fee at arrival at airport. Take cash only for this.( $ 100 US!) And need to Pay $10 for additional tax. Totals $110 USD to get in Galapagos and you pay in mainland airports (Quito or Guayaquil).
5. Galapagos & the mainland can get very hot on "hot season" (Jan.-April). Take water with you on walks to surfspots, etc.There is little shade throughout coast of islands. DRINK ONLY BOTTLED WATER!..water in Galapagos can make you really sick as there is shortage of water. EVEN FOR BRUSHING YOUR TEETH!.
6. Exploring through the islands is not possible and prohibited and very easy to get lost especially after sunset(light goes very quick in the equator). People have died by finding themselves out of the trails!.
7. Locals, rationals and irrationals, are first here than anything and anyone. There are very few local surfers so, respect them. They are very easy going and like to remain that way. Surfing and Surfers are very recent. They are very welcome so far.
8. Surfing in Galapagos is new. There is very few people and operators that know about Surfing and surfspots. Check with someone who really knows about services, opinions, etc.
9. At San Cristobal dont pay attention to ("official prices on Sign by Pier") Taxis charge $1 all over town places. Loberia $2 (one way). Hiring boats to surf to Manglecito and other waves up north should be done with someone who knows surf, waves, and achorages. It can get big and you can capsize boats anytime. Also check for securities/safety equipment on Day tour boats. Boats we recommend are the ones by waterfront street like SharSky, Dive&Surf, and Martin a surfer(s) bros which you can call at 089728632 ask for Martin or you can talk to his Dad. They are great guys. Only spanish though. Also you can contact Geovanny if you dont speak any English and he can coordinate things for you (busy guy though running his other business) at 092-952847.
10. To easier access to "El Cañon", & "Tongo" (Navy areas) you better get your San Cristobal Surf Club ID Card which only costs $8 USD and you can get this done filling up a form at picture taken (takes a while to coordinate this) with people at "El Delfin" cyber call 097715305. This way you wont have to deal with Passports at Marines gate to get in..etc
To surf at certain areas within Puerto Baquerizo (San Cristobal island) you will need to get this Surf Club ID. It cost about $10 USD. Its worthed so you can get through Navy Base gate. As locals how to get it otherwise you wont be allowed inside Base or leave there your passport etc.
Take plenty of books, tapes, etc., there not much entertaiment In town.
Our Recommended Places
San Cristobal Island, Puerto Baquerizo M.:
Cabanas Pimampiro This place is our highly recomenden place with Buffet breakfast included in prices (around $35/night). Great people and great service and reasonable prices. This is located quite behind waterfront street but high enough so you can check from rooms balconies (if you get
Casablanca. Maybe best in town, and our most recommended medium budget $30 (with AC) p.p night, includes breakfast, right in front of main Pier over looking at bay and waves.
Cabañas Don Jorge. Nice cozy cabins on a hill looking to the bay, aprox price $ 15-20/night/cabin two queen size beds small fridge-small stove and view balcony. Also very close to "Carola reef" in fact a bit closer and on its way to it. Very recommended. No A/C but since it is on top of hill is very fresh.
Hotel Mar Azul. The most recommended at a very economical price, aprox $12 double-15 single room/night, clean and good service, no bay looking but easy and budget place. Tf 05-2-520-139, Mr. Manuel Romero Owner. No view of waves or ocean.
(Your recommendations are very welcome for updates or places missing)
LOCAL SURF GUIDES:
Toto Hidrovo (billingual)
Geovanny Sarigu (fully billingual)
Jesus (Lobo) not billingual :
To get to this restaurants find the back street big park of town area. Barracuda is right there on same street. Parrillada San Jose and Cactus are going up the street from Barracuda. Updated Map will soon be uploaded. Or write and ask for it.
Restaurant Barracuda, run by family with good dishes, encebollado and "almuerzos y meriendas" (fixed menu lunch and dinner) home made style great food
Restaurant Cactus, good home made food style and also great menu. Right besides this place they have a Taco and hambrugers place which also is good.
Parrillada (grill) San Jose, ones of best grills I ever tried. Food expensive but worthed. Try Shrimp and Fish dishes etc.
Cabaña El Grande (real good prices & fruit smoothies/shakes). On second story floor.
Our Recommended Reading
Odyssey Illustrated Guide
to the Galapagos Islands
If you want more info on books go to NATURALIST.NET
Pto. Baquerizo Moreno (Wreck Bay) Town & Surf Maps.
(Isla San Cristobal)
Waves Map (distances) at Wreck Bay and Sorroundings.
Ok. So you are coming to the mainland too. Great idea! and you won´t regret this desition. Here are main Tips to come surf the coast of mainland Ecuador.