Galapagos Islands and The Exumas Travel Information

Galapagos Islands, The Experience:

Only 13 main islands, out of which 5 are inhibited, form the Galapagos Archipelago situated 1000 km from the Ecuadorian mainland. The world’s top all around dive site, the top spot for best fish life, best big animal dive, best advanced diving awaits tourists who wish to pay a visit to the healthiest marine environment. Penguins swimming in the equatorial sea, iguanas eating algae meals in the saltwater, dolphins leaping in phosphorescent water are among the rare treats you can find only in Galapagos. You can expect to see amazing creatures crawling, flying or just lying off the shore line.

Adventure travel in Galapagos involves kayaking, mountain biking, riding horses or snorkeling next to the world’s most fearless wildlife. You can travel between the islands in small private planes or speedboats and enjoy spectacular wildlife encounters. Tower Island is one of the most spectacular of the islands where you can wind your way through a mangrove forest. Octopus, starfish and other sea life can be seen caught in tide pools on Santiago Island. Isabela Island offers spectacular views of lava files, a salt-water lagoon, volcanic formations and the ocean.

Bartolome island is the youngest and inhospitable for most plants and animals. Discover a moon like scenery with lava bombs, spatter cones and cinder cones while you hike through ancient lava fields, encountering prehistoric reptiles. You can explore Darwin’s laboratory, the Garden of Eden of evolution, while traveling with a luxury dive vessel.

When to go

The pleasant weather year round means there is not best time to visit Galapagos. During the hot season, the ocean temperature is warmer so you can enjoy swimming and snorkeling better.

How to get there

You can get to the islands from the main land by plane from Quito or Guayaquil airports. You can see most of the islands via a motor or sailing yacht. There is strict control on tourist access due to the effort made to protect the natural habitat and you must be accompanied by a certified tour guide.

The Exuma

The precious islands of The Exuma are a 120-mile island chain including 360 wonderful inhabited and uninhabited cays, the largest cay being the Great Exuma. This cluster of islands situated in the Bahamas enjoys tropical mild climate throughout the year and this accounts for the most gorgeous sapphire-colored water through which our vision can reach the inner depths of sand owing to its utmost clarity. The weather and water blend together in the finest way to popularize this island as amongst the best known sailing spots bundled with its rich unblemished beaches, offshore reefs and coves. The island hosts the Annual Georgetown Sailing Regatta and the Annual Family Island Regatta as the major yachting events every year. The beauty which lies in the inner depths of the islands and the incredible aquamarine waters attract a huge number of sailors, fishermen, divers, snorkelers and kayakers to this paradise and the city in every aspect is rightly called the Sailing Capital of the World.

The Ports: The Port of George Town is situated next to Elizabeth Harbor and is the main port of entry to the Exumas. The Tropic of Cancer runs through the place, hence, the climate is mixed with tropical and temperate effects, and thus becomes the unique spot famous for the yachting people.

The Marinas:

1) Emerald Bay: This marina offers a classy entry for yachts and provides extensive facilities like charters, boat dealerships and other major requirements.

2) Staniel Cay Yacht Club: This is a newly renovated and famous marina in Exumas known for its excellent full-services like electricity, water, ice and others.

The Sailing Companies:

1) Dive Exuma: This is a highly-equipped dive center with its general motto of providing the memorable diving experience keeping safety as its first priority and is the only one present on the Great Exuma.

2) Exuma Dive Center: This diving center is not merely a dive shop but provides unique opportunities to explore the clear waters and the shallow reefs allow the divers to watch the rich colorful fauna.

Himalaya Travel Information

About The Mountains

The Himalaya is the globe’s mightiest chain of mountains. No other mountain range features peaks of 8,000 metres (26,000 feet). In the Himalaya there are 14 of such mountain tops and hundreds of peaks over 7,000 metres (23,000 feet) high. The mountain chain stretches along 2,700-kms (1,700 miles).

The Himalaya is the beginning of numerous great rivers of the Indian subcontinent, such as The Ganga and Yamuna which are inextricably entangled with local myths and legends. The Indus or Sindhu also originates in the trans-Himalayan Tibetan Plateau, as does the Brahmaputra.

Preparation

Ahead of your trip you ought to have a health check to find out that you are physically fit and to avoid altitude sickness. You should always keep a first aid box with you, with basic medicaments to treat headache, fever, constipation, burns, diarrhea, sore throat and coughing. Include patches and eye lotion and diuretic drugs.

Cold cream which you can use generously prior to the day’s walk also protects from dryness of your skin. Use river water for washing. Most importantly you should know the place you are travelling to and carefully research it on the Internet.

When To Go

The best time to visit Tibet and the Himalayas is in summer (June-July-August). Then you can enjoy an intense sunlight, hot temperature, local festivals and an amazing scenery. It is ice-cold in winter which lasts from October till May – not recommended. But…

Winter is when I was there and although very cold, averaging between -10C to 5C, it is bearable. It is particularly dry in Tibet so remaining warm is a matter of protecting yourself against the very cold air as opposed to being concerned with snow and ice. When moisture is present, it is much more difficult to stay warm because moisture speeds up heat transfer.

The bonus of being there in Winter is the lack of tourists! So if really want to escape Winter in Tibet is the best time.

More Himalaya travel tips….

Light-weight clothes are best between May and October and warm layered wear from November to April.

Essential items you should take with you are a fine quality backpack, with wide straps to hold, foam mattress, sleeping bag, a Swiss knife, good quality trekking shoes, a raincoat (also in summer), matchboxes, umbrella, a water bottle, disposable bags and a flashlight.

Getting There From Abroad

Your Himalaya travel could depart from various locations. Many travel by air to Kathmandu, Nepal and use this as their starting point. Nepal has connections with many destinations abroad.

Want to visit Tibet? There are frequent flights from Kathmandu to Lhasa, though the exact number of flights per week depends on the season. It’s slightly more than one hour and gives you a great view of the Himalaya mountains. Note that normally individual travelers can get neither a visa nor a plane ticket, which are solely available to members of organized groups.

Alternatives are direct flights between Chengdu in the Sichuan Province, and Lhasa. You can easily obtain an air ticket through a travel agent in Chengdu, China. There is also a 2-hour flight twice every week between Chongqing and Lhasa.