Exploring Ecuador

After our successful and enjoyable flight from Isla Baltra to Isla San Cristobâl, it was just a 5-minute taxi ride to our home for the next four nights, the Dolphin House. Once again, it helped to be able to speak some Spanish, as the young lady who checked us in did not have much English. She did show us on a map where we were in relation to the popular sites, and pointed out other areas of interest. Also once...

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In our quest to enjoy a trip to the Galápagos without spending a fortune, we did decide to splurge on one important step - getting from one island to another. Our plan, you may recall, involved taking advantage of there being two airports on separate islands; we could fly into one and out the other so we would only have to make one inter-island transfer. The cheapest and easiest way to do this is to book passage on a boat....

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Although much of Isla Santa Cruz is farmland or protected wilderness, there are many things to see and do there that do not involve a large investment. Some are right in the town of Puerto Ayora or a short walk away, and others you can get back and forth via either cab or with a rented bicycle without paying for a tour. For example, one morning we took a short walk out of town to explore a lava tube. We...

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Continuing our look at exploring the Galápagos economically, this post will take a look at a destination just outside of Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz that makes for a wonderful excursion, and can even be an all-day adventure if you are up for it. This is an area that has several attractions; a nice hike, a pristine protected beach, plenty of wildlife, and a protected lagoon for swimming and snorkeling. All of this is found along a coastal area known collectively...

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After spending part of our morning enjoying the Ruta de la Tortuga, we continued to stroll around the Darwin Research Center in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island. This is a working research lab so there are several buildings that are just for the scientists, as well as some areas where public lectures are given. Self-guided exhibits are available to learn about what goes on there, the indigenous plant life, the incredibly rich marine life, and more. We chose to...

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Our first full day in the Galápagos dawned a bit overcast, but a very comfortable 75 degrees F (24C). Our hosts at the Sueños provided us with a delicious breakfast of eggs, cheese, a slice of ham lunchmeat, fruit, granola, yogurt, papaya juice and coffee. Wonderful way to start the day! In keeping with our quest to enjoy the islands without spending a fortune, we filled up the hydration packs in our backpacks and set off for the short walk...

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We planned our trip to the Galápagos taking advantage of one of the tips I mentioned in the previous article about saving money and maximizing your time - we arranged to fly into the Seymour Airport on Isla Baltra, and back to the mainland from the airport on Isla San Cristobal. Isla Baltra is a small, rocky, and desolate little island, separated from the larger and more verdant Isla Santa Cruz by the narrow Itabaca Channel. Not that there are...

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For people around the world, a visit to the Galápagos Islands is a common “bucket list” destination. Unfortunately, visiting this unique but out-of-the-way spot can be a very expensive proposition. For example, a family of four visiting from North America may find that between airfare to Ecuador and then on to the Islands, entry fees, accommodations, tours, meals, etc., that the cost of a Galápagos trip can easily approach or even reach five figures, forcing it to remain a dream...

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Greetings all, and time for the update on the second leg of our practice high altitude hikes in preparation for the Inca Trail, now just 60 days away. Really getting down to the short hairs here! We are back in our home at sea level, on the coast of Ecuador, and ramping up the training. We had a great time in Quito, as we hosted an information table at the International Living: Fast Track Ecuador conference, and I gave four...

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Time to take a break from the Exploring Ecuador series of just looking at places to live, and take a look at places to enjoy life in Ecuador. If you like walking around in the great outdoors, then Salinas has a great place for you to get your hike on. The picture above shows the westernmost point of Ecuador (excluding the Galapagos), a national park called La Puntilla de Santa Elena. Opened in October of 2008, La Puntilla is a...

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