I finally got to go to this amazing place, longtime item on my bucket list. Of course, the first thing you go for is the wildlife. I got to see nearly everything I hoped for...Sea Turtles, tortoises, blue footed booby, flamingos, sea lions, marine iguanas, sharks (white and black tipped), and, of course, penguins. The only thing, really, that I missed was the whale shark, but that is rare, and not in this season. But, beyond the wildlife, the scenery is amazing. I spent a morning on Tortuga beach just swimming, and hanging out, and got to the center of Santa Cruz Island, where it is wetter and greener. What a great time. Next up...out to Tena, Ecuador for the western end of the Amazon Jungle.
Some little travel tips;
You can fly into Baltras island or Cristobal Island. To improve your trip, consider flying into one, and out of the other. You can hop islands in the middle of the trip.
When flying into Galapagos, you will pay 2 fees...$20 and $100 per person. cash only. Have some cash with you when you fly.
Before going from Quito to Galapagos, you will have bags inspected. And, also again when you arrive on Galapagos. There are serious about keeping out anything that will hurt the environment...mostly plant life, and some food items, is what they are looking for. Don't expect to be able to keep that apple in your carry on.
Flying into Baltras means a bus, a short ferry, and another bus (or taxi) to Puerto Arroyo on Santa Cruz Island for your hotel or Hostel. It is easy, and not that expensive. Bus is $5 each, and ferry is $1.
Wifi...barely. It is very slow on the islands. Everywhere. Don't expect to be able to stream anything while there.
You don't need everything planned before going. I had nothing planned ahead of time. In Puerto Arroyo, go down to Charles Darwin Ave and walk. There are at least 20 your operators to help you out.
Scuba Diving - if you go to Gordon Rocks, be prepared for a strong current. This may be true on other dives also. I don't recommend this for beginning divers. It can be a real struggle to keep in place. You will be keeping a really strong grip on the rocks.
Spring is the slow season. It picks up from June through December (with a slower September). The good news about being there in May is less crowds. The bad news is some shops are open limited hours, or downright closed. But, if I were to go again, it would be in the spring. The weather is still great.