Ecuador and Galápagos tour

By Janet Landfried
This item appears on page 31 of the March 2013 issue.
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With 22 other people, I took a “Landlubber’s Galápagos” tour of Ecuador and the Galápagos with Adult Customized Tours (Palm Springs, CA; 888/605-8280), June 20-27, 2012.

The cost of $2,635 included airfare (Los Angeles-Quito-Galápagos-Guayaquil-Los Angeles) and two nights in Quito, four on Santa Cruz and one in Guayaquil. Breakfasts were included, but we were on our own for other meals. There was a fee of $10 to fly to the Galápagos and a fee of $100 for the national park. Optional tours were available to Guayaquil and the Andean town of Otavalo.

Our hotel on Santa Cruz was the Solymar in Puerto Ayora. We walked the little town, ate at lovely restaurants and relaxed. A grilled-fish dinner with vegetables and potatoes, rice or plantains cost $6-$10.

Sea lions, seals, manta rays, sharks, marine and land iguanas, gulls, noddies, frigate birds and blue-footed boobies all were observed near our hotel, which was right by the ocean. We encountered giant land tortoises in the highlands on the way from the airport to town. On Isabela we also saw flamingos and penguins.

Local tour operators will take people on day trips. Another woman and I went an all-day trip to Isabela for a tour of the tortoise facility, lunch and snorkeling. We paid $110 plus a park fee of $5. The trip took 2½ hours each way on a small boat that carried 20 people.

At both the Darwin center in Puerto Ayora and at another facility on Isabela, we saw the success of the tortoise-breeding centers.

JANET LANDFRIED
Redlands, CA

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With 22 other people, I took a “Landlubber’s Galápagos” tour of Ecuador and the Galápagos with Adult Customized Tours (Palm Springs, CA; 888/605-8280), June 20-27, 2012.

The cost of $2,635 included airfare (Los Angeles-Quito-Galápagos-Guayaquil-Los Angeles) and two nights in Quito, four on Santa Cruz and one in Guayaquil. Breakfasts were included, but we were on our own for other meals. There was a fee of $10 to fly to the Galápagos and a fee of $100 for the national park. Optional tours were available to Guayaquil and the Andean town of Otavalo.

Our hotel on Santa Cruz was the Solymar in Puerto Ayora. We walked the little town, ate at lovely restaurants and relaxed. A grilled-fish dinner with vegetables and potatoes, rice or plantains cost $6-$10.

Sea lions, seals, manta rays, sharks, marine and land iguanas, gulls, noddies, frigate birds and blue-footed boobies all were observed near our hotel, which was right by the ocean. We encountered giant land tortoises in the highlands on the way from the airport to town. On Isabela we also saw flamingos and penguins.

Local tour operators will take people on day trips. Another woman and I went an all-day trip to Isabela for a tour of the tortoise facility, lunch and snorkeling. We paid $110 plus a park fee of $5. The trip took 2½ hours each way on a small boat that carried 20 people.

At both the Darwin center in Puerto Ayora and at another facility on Isabela, we saw the success of the tortoise-breeding centers.

JANET LANDFRIED
Redlands, CA