1 month to spend in Ecuador
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Nov 29, 2012 4:14 PM Last Post By: barnye1989
Nov 22, 2012 10:42 AM
1 month to spend in EcuadorHello travelers,
my boyfriend and I are going to Ecuador for 1 month in half of December. We have so much on our list that I am sure we will not be able to see all. As I read more and more posts and information about Ecuador I feel like 1 month is actually not enough at all.
My biggest question is: Galapagos Islands - to go or not to go.
We are a couple who loves backpacking and hiking in not very touristy areas, preferably no guides even though I know that would be kind of difficult in Ecuador.
Galapagos Island are very beautiful and I think that to be able to see them you have to spent let’s say 8 days on a boat which will take you to a different island each day where you'll have some time to take pictures, walk around and see the wildlife and beautiful scenery. At the end of each day you'll be back on a boat. If I am wrong please do let me know.
Galapagos are also very expensive and I would like to hear your ideas about what would you personally prefer : to stay the whole month in Ecuador to see the everyday life there, volcanoes, Amazonia, etc....and still to try to squeeze Galapagos to the itinerary or would you prefer to do Galapagos as a separate trip?
Thanks so much for your replies!
Edited by: bellafly
Nov 22, 2012 5:28 PM
1The Galapagos was easily the highlight of our trip to Ecuador so I'd say go, even though it is expensive.
Yes, the best way to see the islands is to do a cruise, and you sleep on the boat and travel to different islands.
Nov 22, 2012 7:19 PM
2Agree wholeheartedly with Joolz, but frankly, if you have to ask whether to go or not, perhaps it's not the place for you. The Galapagos are overcrowded with tourists fulfilling their bucket lists or ticking off destinations in the 1000-places-you-must-see kind of books. I suggest waiting until you have a true desire to see the islands and understand what makes them so special.
As a consolation, you can visit Isla de la Plata easily from the mainland (specifically from Puerto López); known as the "poor man's Galapagos," you can get a little sample of what a Galapagos trip would be like: boat ride, disembarking, guided tour, three types of boobies, Magnificent Frigatebirds, among other species. The boat will provide lunch and snorkeling gear after the walk. It's actually quite a fun trip.
Nov 22, 2012 7:57 PM
Nov 22, 2012 8:09 PM
4Yes, I agree with the others: do the Galapagos.
It's expensive but you'll regret it if you give it a miss then don't get an opportunity later to return. I did the the 4 day cruise on the Cormorant II (Saturday start to include Bartolome Island) and had a good time (check reviews in tripadvisor.com).
The advantage of a 4 day cruise as opposed to say 4x1 day boat trips is that you will be the first people in the morning at each island.
Nov 23, 2012 5:40 AM
5Puerto López is a pleasant, authentic fishing village. If you decide to go, spend a bit of the money you would have had to spend simply flying to Galapagos, and stay at Hostería Mandála. Beautiful artistic individual cabanas with porches and hammocks, each in its own private garden, hammocks for beach ramadas, and the best ceviche in Ecuador.
Nov 23, 2012 10:41 AM
Nov 24, 2012 7:11 PM
7If I had to choose between everything else in Ecuador and the Galapagos, I would do the Galapagos.
There is nothing else in Ecuador, or in most other countries, that remotely compares to the Galapagos.
Work out the best deal you can. Spend the money. Spend the time. Most people only go once in their lives and the place is off-the-chart amazing.
Nov 24, 2012 8:26 PM
Nov 24, 2012 10:06 PM
Galapagos are not expensive at all! It is a big lie. I have been in Galapagos not spending more than 30 dollars a day, excluded the excursions.
First of all, if you come on an indipendent trip, I would strongly suggest you to visit just Isabela and eventually San Cristobal. Isabela has all the animals you can spot in Galapagos. Actually some of them are only found in Isabela. As well as volcanoes, they are the only active in the islands.
I flew into Baltra Airport, a free bus brings to you to the harbour, 1 dollar to cross the small channel, plus 1.80 for the bus to Puerto Ayora, 40 km, about 50 minutes. If you get to Puerto Ayora before 2pm you can board a boat to Isabela, (+593 52 524859, +593 93 821083, phones of the agency selling the boat tickets), after 2 hours of a quite jumping boat trip, (if you suffer, bring some dramamin), you arrive in Puerto Villemin. I stayed in a lovely hotel, Cerro Azul, room nr. 5, air conditioning, hot water, big room, terrace with a table and 2 chairs, right behind the city center, 15 dollars per night (they have a web page, but at the time, it did not work, www.hostalisabelagalapagos.com, but here is their phone number +593 52 529229), Nelton, the owner of the hotel organized for me the tours: Tintorera, 25$; volcanoes 35 and the Tunnels 60! 2 blocks away from the hotel, Kellita restaurant serves you a filling breakfast for 3 bucks and lunch or dinner for 4, those prices include a lovely fresh fruit juice. One block away I rented a bike for 2.50 a hour. I have been spending for lodging and food, less than 25 per day. I spend much more back home in Switzerland.
Don't do the cruise! I met some people on the islands, they wasted lot of money, lot of time and they did not see half of what I saw on my own.
After Isabela I went to San Cristobal, via Santa Cruz, I found a lovely hotel, same price, Chana hostal, no aircon, but hot water and breakfast included in the 15. People on the island of San Cristobal are less friendly than the ones in Isabela, but still loving and caring. The excursions have different prices, from 20 to 100 dollars, depends on what you do. I only took 1 to Lobo dormido rock, because as said, all I had to see, I did on Isabela. In San Cristobal you can see the sea lions roaming around you with no probs, they might lie next to you on the beach or sit near you on a bench, it is normal over there, it makes this place special.... My budget in San Cristobal was the same.
In total for my 12 days in Galapagos I spent 280US$ in hotel, food and drinks, 100US$ boat: Santa Cruz - Isabela - Santa Cruz - San Cristobal - Santa Cruz, plus 150US$ in excursion, mainly on Isabela, and I would say another 50 dollars miscellaneous, some water taxi, 1 dollar, some bike hiring 10/15 and others.
You can be in Galapagos 12 days for less than 600 dollars, enjoying, and living a beautiful experience. Wit no stress.
I paid for my airline return ticket 580 US out of Bogota. Good deal.
Have a pleasant trip.
Nov 29, 2012 4:14 PM
10I going to Ecuador with my girlfriend too , she and I we love to walk and explore new places, our trip star in the middle of december and will be for 16 days so our plan is visit the Galapagos Islands for only four days and after that explore the Ecuador continent and we star from Guayaquil to Quito, Banos de Ambato , the rain forest , La Nariz del Diablo in Alausi , Otavalo , Cotopaxi, I high recommend Cuenca and the small towns around there are nice places to see, you say from Cuenca to Guayaquil you wanted take a airplane i don't recommend because Guayaquil is only a two and half hours away and the fly ticket cost around $100.00 dollars and if you take small bus from Cuenca you only pay $12.00 dollars per person and you see lot of good scenarios in your way down, be in Ecuador many time's and I know may more places to visit if you need more ideas please contact me and I be more the happy to help you
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