Thank You: ¡Gracias
Currency: U.S. Dollar
This was one of the most incredible trips I have ever taken for its blend of culture, activity, and wildlife. I recommend spending a few days in Ecuador and the highlands to see the mountain forests and the spectacular hummingbirds. Because I like to have lots of activity on a trip, I enjoyed the kayaking, biking, snorkeling, and hiking to see the animals and islands of the Galapagos.
What to See and Experience:
Good to know:
How I traveled: I booked this trip with REI Adventures (The Galapagos Island and Otavalo Highlands Multisport trip) and a friend from Australia met me in Quito for the trip. It was one of the best planned trips I have ever encountered. Our guide, Tomas, was from Ecuador and his overall knowledge gave us an excellent experience. He took us to small quality restaurants away from the other tourists where the food was incredible. He even brought us fresh fish while we were on Isabela Island which the hotel chef prepared as sashimi.
This was a land based trip which gave us an opportunity to explore the islands on foot and by bike. We had very good quality accommodations. One of my favorites was the Iguana Crossing hotel on Isabela Island.
Memorable Moment: One afternoon, after spending the morning snorkeling with blue-footed boobies dive bombing fish around us, and curious sea lions swimming alongside, we took the boat out to an area known as Kicker Rock. It was a huge rock formation dropped in the ocean, but split to create a long channel between rocks, reminiscent of a canyon. And it was massive. It took several minutes to swim through the opening and I felt as if I was entering a long tunnel hollowed out by dinosaurs.
The boat deposited us on one side and as we milled around in the water waiting for our small group to assemble and begin our journey through the canyon, we could see hammerhead and Galapagos sharks swimming about 50 feet below us. We thought that was the moment of excitement. But as we began our swim through the channel, I spotted several eagle rays in front of us. The sun acted as a spotlight, illuminating the seven rays swimming in a staggered triangle formation in front of us as if leading us through the water logged canyon. Just watching their soft grey speckled bodies and the fluid beauty of their movement, while glowing in the sun, was peaceful and surreal. It was amazing to be part of the raw beauty of nature.
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