Travel

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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We are about to leave Knoxville, Tennessee to return to our home in Ecuador, and this time it is a little bitter-sweet. You see, the sun may be setting on our Ecuador adventure. We have our oceanfront condo on the market now, and if all goes well, we hope to have a buyer before the high-season is over. Salinas, Ecuador It is not that we don't love it in Ecuador. In fact, after living there for five years we love...

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Once you have made the decision to move to a foreign country, the next thing most people start to think about is “what should I bring with me?” This is an important question, but like most decisions when it comes to moving abroad, the answer is different for different people. When we decided to move to Ecuador, my wife and I shipped a 20-foot container. But I know several expats who brought only a couple of suitcases and are just...

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There's a moment of clarity, just before you begin, when you think calmly to yourself, "Why am I doing this?" Then the calm is shattered by sheer terror as you are flung out over the abyss. Now your brain is screaming "WHY AM I DOING THIS?!" This was my experience with the "Casa del Arbol" in Baños, Ecuador. Sometimes called "the Swing at the End of the World", this site was made famous by a 2014 photo taken for a...

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It looms like a doorway between two worlds, or a portal between two different times. I’m standing in front of the Puerta de la Ciudadela, the Gate of the Citadel, on a sunny afternoon in Montevideo, Uruguay. As I slowly take in this latest wonder that I’ve found in Uruguay, I realize that in many ways, this Gate really is a crossover point between the old and the new. When it was built around 1742, Montevideo was an important Spanish...

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Before I continue with our two weeks in Uruguay, I want to clear up some confusion from the previous post. Rita and I traveled to Uruguay in September of 2017, in the last two weeks of a five week journey that included the Andes in Ecuador; Inca Trail to Macchu Pichu, the Sacred Valley, and Lima in Perú; as well as a weekend in Buenos Aires. On our return, I had a lot of writing to get caught up on...

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