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Quito, Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

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  • Dec 6th, 2013 5:16 pm
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[OP]
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Jan 17, 2010
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Quito, Ecuador and Galapagos Islands

Im planning a trip out to Quito and then flying to the Galapagos.

Has anyone been to either place? Any recommendations or experiences?
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Nov 12, 2003
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They use the US dollar as their currency, but things are noticeably cheaper.

Stay in the Mariscal district in Quito, that is where the nightlife is.

If you are not going during high season, it is cheaper to book the tours/cruises once you get to the Galapagos Islands. The various tour operators booking tours in the Galapagos all share the same boats/ships, and there are tons of tour operators on the Island. Some people do the cruise, I found it boring since you don't get to see anything once it is dark, then you are just stuck with whomever is on the boat with you... the other option is to stay in Puerto Ayora and take day trips to the other Islands on speed boats, which is the more economical option.

Either way the Islands are amazing, and make sure to partake in snorkelling or scuba diving, that is where the true beauty of the Islands shine.
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Quito has a brand new Mirabel airport. But unlike Montreal, they are closing their Dorval.
No visa or entry fee required for Ecuador. Relatively safe (except for the border areas). Minimal jet lag for Canadians. I suspect many Canadians will be headed to the country of 15 million next Canadian winter.



There are no direct flights yet, but if you don't mind the indingity of transiting via the USA, this spring you can get there from Montreal for $765 ($800 from Ottawa).
Toronto is a very small part of Canada
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What do you want to know? You can check out my prior posts on this subject.

galapagos-ideas-vacation-nov-input-needed-936572/
peru-vs-ecuador-1099159/

I'll repeat some advice from those threads. Lonely Planet and some RFDers recommend carrying $3k cash and paying the captains at Puerto Ayora for the cruise. I say: Don't. Unless you are fluent in Spanish and are a master ninja, the risk of losing $3k cash is high. Quito is relatively safe, but carrying that amount of cash is dangerous anywhere. $3k is roughly 6 months pay for the average person. Minimum wage, when I was there 2 years ago, was $250/month.

Also, daily fastboat transits to each island really sucks. Depending on the island, it could be a 2-4 hour transit over choppy waters. All the other tourists I've met were always on ships. Also, if you want to do any kind of snorkeling, you pretty much need to go on a cruise. Bring your own snorkel and mask.
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MonctonMan wrote:
Mar 17th, 2013 3:24 pm
Quito has a brand new Mirabel airport. But unlike Montreal, they are closing their Dorval.
No visa or entry fee required for Ecuador. Relatively safe (except for the border areas). Minimal jet lag for Canadians. I suspect many Canadians will be headed to the country of 15 million next Canadian winter.

.........

There are no direct flights yet, but if you don't mind the indingity of transiting via the USA, this spring you can get there from Montreal for $765 ($800 from Ottawa).
You are clearly becoming the PackardBell of the Travel forum. Internet photos and videos and no real experience.
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I'm in Quito right now. Was in the Galapagos last week as part of a tour.

Just did some solo backpacking in the Ecuadorian Amazon, and other backpackers were staying on the mainland (all of them headed to Banos next). When I mentioned I was in the Galapagos, people asked if it was expensive, and were shocked to find the costs pretty reasonable. I was spending about $30-$50 per daily activity, while they thought the going rate was $80 in the Galapagos.
rf134a wrote:
Mar 19th, 2013 12:13 am

Also, daily fastboat transits to each island really sucks. Depending on the island, it could be a 2-4 hour transit over choppy waters. All the other tourists I've met were always on ships. Also, if you want to do any kind of snorkeling, you pretty much need to go on a cruise. Bring your own snorkel and mask.

Eh? I stayed on the islands and got to enjoy the food and nightlife in the evening. You can't beat a $10 whole lobster with salad and sides at that nighttime food street in Puetro Ayora. Still did 2 snorkeling trips (incl Kicker Rock), two kayak runs, and an afternoon of mountain biking. And I only spent 5 nights on the Galapagos.

Personally, 2 hrs transit between islands beats being stuck on a ship moored in the harbour (but not the actual docks) overnight.

Photos from my instagram.... http://instagram.com/travelhog

[IMG]http://distilleryimage7.ak.instagram.co ... ee0f_8.jpg[/IMG]

[IMG]http://distilleryimage0.ak.instagram.co ... 4746_8.jpg[/IMG]
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Madchester wrote:
Nov 30th, 2013 2:05 pm
When I mentioned I was in the Galapagos, people asked if it was expensive, and were shocked to find the costs pretty reasonable. I was spending about $30-$50 per daily activity, while they thought the going rate was $80 in the Galapagos.
When I went to Ecuador in 2007, week-long tours to the Galapagos were $1,000-1,400 CAD. It's nice to see that prices have come down.
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MonctonMan wrote:
Mar 17th, 2013 3:24 pm
Quito has a brand new Mirabel airport. But unlike Montreal, they are closing their Dorval.
No visa or entry fee required for Ecuador. Relatively safe (except for the border areas). Minimal jet lag for Canadians. I suspect many Canadians will be headed to the country of 15 million next Canadian winter.

There are no direct flights yet, but if you don't mind the indingity of transiting via the USA, this spring you can get there from Montreal for $765 ($800 from Ottawa).
I suppose there's no Google Maps street view of the Galapagos that OP could use to preclude all that nasty travel and actual going there? :rolleyes:
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Mulder and Scully wrote:
Dec 1st, 2013 8:05 am
When I went to Ecuador in 2007, week-long tours to the Galapagos were $1,000-1,400 CAD. It's nice to see that prices have come down.
My 11 day/10 night tour was $2900 incl. accommodations, 18-20(?) meals, and the AeroGal flights between the mainland and island. But we were only on the Galapagos for 6 days/5 nights, and some activities were extras (i.e., extra day of sea kayaking and snorkelling + tour of Tintoreras). I also had to pay for my flight from YYZ to South America.
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leaves wrote:
Dec 6th, 2013 12:44 am
Oddly enough, Google did release a comprehensive street view of the Galapagos just this Fall.

Woo Hoo, you beat Monctonman to the video LOL. He must be devastated someone else found a video.
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