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Ecuador and Galapagos

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Ecuador and Galapagos

1. Posted by kathidi (Budding Member 51 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

My sister and I (two women) are planning a trip to Ecuador in June. After a week in Quito we'll head for the Galapagos. I am looking for referrals for a smaller, charter boat for a 7 day trip. We'd like a boat that carries between 10-16 passengers.

Also wondering if there are any specific islands that you particularly enjoyed. We will be snorkling and hoping to see lots of wild life.

Any advice regarding wetsuits? I understand that it is pretty cold in June. How available are rentals?

What can we expect in the way of prices and food on these boats?

After the Galapagos, we'll have one more week. We don't know if we should go to the beaches, to Cuenca for the ruins, or to the Amazon basin for adventure and wildlife. I know this depends on what we like most. But we would love all of these!

We would appreciate suggestions for lodging, small tour services, etc. We like rustic and authentic expreiences but also like to be safe and comfortable. Any advice or experiences that you'd like to share would be helpful. I speak Spanish fairly well.


2. Posted by brianoh (Full Member 48 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Hi there,
there were a couple of Galapagos threads last year, some good replies posted on them.

I was there in 2010. I don't swim so I think it was a mistake for me, also I didn't 'get' the uniqueness and special quality of the place.

I don't know that increased tourist numbers are doing any good for the eco system there.

The 'tourist tax' to enter the island was doubled to $200 in 2011. Our guide told us that a miniscule amount of the tax goes towards conservation. I don't know if he's right, but he had no reason to lie to us. The 'tax' is a charge to enter the National Park that the Galapagos Islands are designated as.

Flights to the islands are pretty high, flying from Ecuador, Quito or Guayaquil. There are 3 or 4 companies flying to the islands, and they all have surprisingly similar prices, there does not seem to be competition between them.

There is a lot of biodiversity in terms of seals, birds, butterflies etc to see in Ecuador itself without paying high prices and inflated prices of the Galapagos.

The boat I was on rented wetsuits, I think most boats do.

I liked Quito, some people speak of dangers there but I never felt threatened or under threat, it felt safe, so many police around and there is a good bit to see and do there.

Cuenca is a nice city, a couple of days is enough I'd suggest. There are some Incan ruins there, not a massive amount.

The market in Otavalo is a big draw for foreign tourists to Ecuador. In the north of the country the market is on every day, but is biggest on Saturdays, cloth, clothes, food, souveniers etc.

There is some more about Ecuador on my blog -snip-

Have a good holiday.

[ Edit: Sorry, no personal details please. ]

3. Posted by kdichirico (Budding Member 3 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!

Thanks, Brian. I appreciate your thoughtful comments and suggestions.

4. Posted by Bery Smith (Inactive 5 posts) 6y Star this if you like it!


I'm just returning from Ecuador, it was superb. You should get vaccinated for Hep A, Hep B, Yellow fever, and Typhoid fever. Then, you want to get a prescription for Malarone, which prevents Malaria. Another thing to keep in mind, if you're going to Quito and you're bad with altitude, take something for that. Remember you can't flush toilet paper and you can't drink tap water or shower water. And if you're eating fruit, wash it. When you go outside of your own country, you have to keep in mind that there are different diseases and stuff.

But don't worry; it's really fun!

Best Regards,
- Bery Smith -snip-

[ Edit: Sorry, no personal details please. ]