Canadian Bus Trip Vacation – Value & Experience

Canadian Bus Trip Starr ToursIn deciding what to do for summer vacation last year, friends Mark, Karen and their daughter, decided on a Canadian Bus Trip where they could relax, and let Starr, a local bus tour company, do the planning and driving. This post is a result of an interview with them that discusses the 6-day trip, and its pros and cons.

Selecting the Canadian Bus Trip – Quebec City and Montreal

MOverlook of Montreal from Mount Royalark’s friend had recently used Starr, and Mark liked the idea of having someone else do the driving (sounds good to me!).  Mark hadn’t been to Montreal and Quebec City so it sounded like a good choice. The Canadian Bus Trip description sounded inviting – “Explore the rich culture and Continue reading

Ecuador’s Quilotoa Loop Adventure

A top spot on my Ecuador Bucket List was our Quilotoa Loop Adventure.  The draw was the many colorful indigenous populations and their markets, the perfect turquoise blue Quilotoa Lake, the art of the Tigua people, and the surrounding snow-capped Andean volcanoes.  Get the picture?  Here are a few.

The Quilotoa Loop

The Quilotoa Loop is a route around the lake’s remote back country towns off of the Pan-american Highway and Continue reading

Ecuador’s Andean Highlands Part 2 – Cotacachi, Papallacta, Atahualpa

Ecuador’s Andean Highlands – Part 2 – Cotacachi, Papallacta, Atahualpa

Not only do Cotacachi, Papallacta, Atahualpa offer exquisite views, local culture, and outdoor activities – both up close and at a distance – but there are also a series of micro climates that enable different types of farming at different altitudes. The micro climates enable production of everything from roses to Continue reading

Ecuador’s Andean Highlands – Part 1 – Otavalo, Ibarra

Ecuador’s Andean Highlands – Part 1

In Ecuador’s Andean Highlands, you are surrounded by a patchwork of green beauty all the way up the mountainsides. Ecuador’s Andean Highlands are located between the western and coastal lowlands and the eastern Amazonian jungle. They offer diverse nature including volcanoes – live and extinct, hot springs and thermal baths, and unique flora and fauna.

We made several different trips to Ecuador’s Andean Highlands, either day trips from Quito or 3-day weekends. It’s so easy to get to these areas. Buses are plentiful and cheap. Here is an overview of Continue reading

Choosing Galapagos Land Accommodations

Courtyard at Galapagos Suites

Courtyard at Galapagos Suites

Before choosing Galapagos Land Accommodations, select the islands where you want to stay. If taking a land-only trip, I recommend splitting your time between Santa Cruz, staying in Ayora, and Isabela. Then you must decide if you want a 5-star hotel with all of the amenities, a hostel, or something in between.  Another big consideration is Continue reading

Choosing Galapagos Excursions

What Galapagos Excursions and Activities do you prefer?

For your Galapagos Excursions, decide if you want to see the Galapagos by motoring between islands and living on a boat. Or would you prefer staying on one or two islands and taking day excursions?  You can do some of each; we did both.

How to decide – a cruise, a land package, diving?

Our boat - our Galapagos excursions

Our boat – First Class Cat

 

A cruise will be much more expensive than a land trip. However, it is not possible to see the remote islands if you do not go on a boat cruise.

[TIP: You will visit the more remote spots only …

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Galapagos a Bucket List Trip

Why go to the Galapagos?

Galapagos Lava and Ocean with wildlife

Lava and Ocean with wildlife

In the Galapagos, it’s all about the animals, the many volcanic islands, and how the wildlife live.

 

Arriving on an uninhabited island in Galapagos, our first sight was ...

Arriving on an uninhabited island, this was our first sight

 

 

 

The Galapagos is a national park and has specific regulations and rules.  Personally, I loved watching the animals.

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Ecuador’s Diverse Distinct Regions

 Amazingly Diverse Distinct Regions in Ecuador

Peguche Waterfall - Ibarra

Peguche Waterfall

Ecuador is tiny. In the diverse distinct regions in Ecuador, you will find extreme beauty from its historic Andean cities to its nature. The nature of Ecuador consists of micro-climates from snow-capped peaks (there are 44 peaks with 14 active volcanoes) to humid jungles to warm coastal beaches.

It is home to: Continue reading

Traveling Ecuador

2 months Traveling in Ecuador

ecuador quito teleferico

Tom and I spent 2 months in 2015-2016 traveling the small but diverse country of Ecuador. On Tuesday of this week, as I was leaving the gym, a woman from my dance class asked, “Why did you choose Ecuador? It is an unusual choice.”

We loved the variety of experiences and enjoyed many of the local people we met in Ecuador.

Why choose Ecuador? 

Here are the reasons to visit Ecuador:  Continue reading

International Travel, Part 2, 10 Key Things

This is Part 2 of our post on International Travel and the key things we have learned to do during travel to make it more enjoyable.

[Click here to see Part 1 of this post]

International Travel – To get the most from the local environment

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