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Avoiding Problems and Frustrations - Galápagos Tours - Adventure Tour - Ecuador

Since there is always the possibility that things go wrong on any vacation and the potential for rough sailing in the Galápagos exists, it is impossible to make a comprehensive section on how to avoid any negative situation. However, we've tried to cover the basics and address the most common problems that travelers face in the Galápagos Islands.

In order to better guarantee you will get what you pay for, especially if you are booking from abroad, make sure the agency you are using gives you a detailed contract outlining payment schedules and refund policies and that it, or its Ecuadorian counterpart, is registered with the government with a specific RUC-number. It is also a good idea to do your homework: search for information published in written or electronic form and ask for references.

Many tourists with combination tours have complained that the hotel, dive center, or day-tour company associated with their package offers a sub-standard service relative to what is provided by others in Puerto Ayora. By organizing your trip outside of the tour context, you can avoid feeling locked in to any aspect of your vacation that may prove to be dissatisfactory. However, you should recognize that seeking out the perfect set of options will require more time - even though the services and accommodations are generally concentrated on one street in Puerto Ayora. It may also take a bit more money although you will have the benefit of not paying for things you don't want.

People have also criticized economy-class cruise tours for bottom-of-the-barrel services and accommodations, so if you are not willing to chance it, pay the few hundred extra dollars for a nicer, more comfortable, medium-class boat. This is a small upgrade, considering the total price of the trip.

Even people traveling on more expensive boats have reported problems—anything from sinking ships to sexual harassment. The most common complaints are last-minute boat changes - which the fine-print of the contract allows; overbooking and/or last-minute cancellations; changes in the itinerary; a poor crew; mechanical trouble; and general dissatisfaction with the quality of the experience relative to the price of the trip.

If you experience problems once you are on your trip, register your complaints with the port captain at the capitania or at the Cámara de Turismo (Chamber of Tourism; in Puerto Ayora. They will take your reports seriously and make sure the problems are not repeated on subsequent tours.


Adventure Tour

Here are other activities in and around The Galápagos Islands that may be of interest: Galápagos Sub-Aqua and Land-Based Galápagos Tours .

16 May 2011

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