Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Adventure Planning

I am excited to say that we are planning to spend part of Winter 2016 in  South America.  Specifically we plan to partake in Ecuador and Galapagos travel adventures and in areas outside of Quito Ecuador both Land and Sea. Although Ecuador is a small country, it is ecologically diverse, from the Andes to the Amazon, to the Galápagos Islands – all bucket list adventures for us.

Choosing Central Location

We chose to stay in Quito to access Ecuador and Galapagos travel adventures. There are so many places close to Quito for Adventures in addition to the Galapagos Islands – the Amazon, volcano, Manta, Esmeraldas, and Otavalo, Ecuador.

Researching apartments in Quito included using 3 sites – Trip Advisor, Airbnb, and Homeaway.  In the end, we booked one of the highest priced apartments for a number of reasons.  

Accommodations Criteria 

If you are going to South America, specifically Ecuador in this case, it is important to know why we chose the high-priced apartment, and the criteria we used to select it.  What are your criteria?  Here are some things to think about:

  1. Are you taking any valuables, like cameras, computers, dive equipment that you might leave in your room?
  2. Are you concerned about safety (meaning do you prefer 24/7 security in a locked and protected building)?
  3. Does it make a difference if you are staying in the heart of the historic district? Or would an area where the historic district is easily accessible by local bus (which is only $.25 in some cities) or within walking distance be acceptable?
  4. How important are newer modern accommodations with American-style bedding? 
  5. What type of furniture is in the apartment and how comfortable will it be for aging bodies when you need to relax from all of your adventures? (This was the main reason we booked the particular apartment we chose.  Most of you baby boomers know what I mean.) 
  6. What will give you easy access for transport for day trips, or weekly trips elsewhere, at a reasonable cost? 
  7. Is there a supermarket, restaurants, or other services that you require nearby?
  8. Do you prefer to be in a quieter area (we do) or in the midst of the bar and restaurant scene, or in the country outside the main town? 
  9. Would you like access to a gym or pool?

Staying in Quito, we chose a more modern looking, upper floor unit with newer furniture in a high-rise building with 24/7 security. It is in an area with markets nearby, in walking distance of the the restaurants. It has accessible transportation to the historic district, and is not far from the airport.  We have used Airbnb so often that I trust them the most and we booked through them this time too.  

Previous Trips to Ecuador

In 2011 we spent 2 weeks in Cuenca, Ecuador, in the Andes. We took trips in the lower elevations surrounding Cuenca. Then we spent another week split between Guayaquil, Ecuador’s largest city, and Salinas, a Pacific Coast beach town.  It was a great trip and we have been talking about going back ever since.  However, we plan to go to totally different areas in our next trip. We are renting an apartment in Quito, the 2nd largest city in Ecuador, in the Andes at 10,000 feet.  With Quito as our home base, it is centrally located near the places we will travel within South America. There are roads or flights to each destination from Quito.

A Galápagos Adventure has been on my bucket list for awhile. It is a priority on this trip. While we have not yet booked Galápagos, we plan to go.

Galápagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands, a volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, is a province of Ecuador, lying about 1,000 km off its coast. Galapagos Islands are considered one of the world’s foremost destinations for wildlife viewing. Its isolated terrain shelters a diversity of plant and animal species, many found nowhere else. Charles Darwin visited in 1835, and his observation of Galápagos’ species later inspired his theory of evolution. 

Click on the link for the non-profit website for Galápagos trip planning.

After reading many blog posts, it sounds like booking a Galápagos Adventure will yield a much better deal if we do it from Quito.  If anybody has gone and has advice for me on what to see and do, and not do, or best ways to book, please share that in comments below.

Next up …

So stay tuned as we experience these places – I will share them with you in photos and descriptions.  

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2 thoughts on “Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Adventure Planning

  1. Pingback: Ecuador's Andean Highlands - Part 1 - Otavalo, IbarraAdventurous Retirement

  2. Pingback: Ecuador's Andean Highlands - Cotacachi, Papallacta, AtahualpaAdventurous Retirement

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