I’m writing this with barely-contained excitement: Last night Andrei and I bought tickets for our next big voyage, and it’s time to start warning all the animals, because…
…we’re going to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands this summer! Eeeeeeee!!!
As we start to get into the nitty-gritty of planning the trip details (and by “we,” I mostly mean Andrei…), I’d love any feedback you guys might have. I always love gleaning travel gems from people who’ve been there and done it, rather than limiting ourselves to guidebooks and sticking only with places that have websites. Word of mouth is so much more exciting!
Have You Been?
If you’ve been to Ecuador — especially to the Galapagos Islands, then tell me:
- What should we do while we’re there?
- Where should we eat? What should we eat?
- How do I find that baby seal so I can give it a hug?
- Where should we stay?
- What’s the best way to get around?
¿Vives en Ecuador?
Aún mejor, si vives en Ecuador, díme: que deberíamos hacer allí? (Y después díme que terrible ha crecido mi español sin práctica…!) Me encantaría practicar conversar con ustedes en los comentarios en esa entrada!
P.S. I snagged all these photos from Ecuador’s Bureau of Tourism.
Alright! Here we go–so I traveled to Ecuador and the Galapagos 5 years ago! Ah, but it was such a memorable trip. I suggest everyone goes at some point. It’s a trip for the adventurous who love to hike and explore the various climates there.
In Ecuador I stayed in Quito, Mido and near Cotopaxi National Park. If you go to Cotopaxi I would suggest staying in a hacienda in the páramo (we stayed at Hacienda San Agustin De Callo) and definitely visiting the mountain and do some hiking. It’s an intense hike with the elevation, so just be prepared! You can also go horseback riding there too! Quito is fun for shopping, you can visit the museum on the equator and tour the various churches/old city at night. I really liked Mindo, it’s a small town but there are opportunities to do zip lining, hiking and eat some great local food.
For the Galapagos I traveled on the cheap with a bunch of students so we stayed in hostels that were really funky. I would recommend hooking up with a cruise sort of group if you want to spend a bit more. We would go between the islands on small boats which were rough for those that get sea sick. That being said, I would visit two islands at least if you want to take advantage of what each offers. The trip to the Darwin Museum was fun, but I really liked hiking by old volcanos! You HAVE to swim with the sea lions, it’s incredible. I went snorkeling one day and we were swimming with sharks–no thank you–so check in with what you might encounter if you worry about that.
Also note, people may try to help you with your luggage at the airport, don’t let them. They’re basically looking for a tip, but just firmly tell them no. Be careful of the water, make sure it’s filtered at the hotels you stay in or drink bottled water. Salads are sometimes washed with sink water, so I would be careful with those. At some point most people on my trip got sick from accidental exposure. The weather is really different from place to place–so if you do go to Cotopaxi you may want a hat/gloves/warm coat even in the summer, and then shorts/t-shirts in the Galapgos. It’s still a conservative country, so I wouldn’t wear tank tops or short shorts.
Phew! Have so much fun–you’ll be talking about this trip with everyone for years to come! Feel free to reach out with more questions if you have any.
Thank you SO MUCH, Emily! This is fantastic and so helpful! I’m dreaming of swimming with sea lions now! We swam with whale sharks and nurse sharks in Belize a few years back, and I loved that, too! 🙂