Insight Guides Ecuador Week

Galapagos Marine Iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) resting on rocks in La Espanola island, Galapagos
Galapagos Marine Iguanas (Amblyrhynchus cristatus) resting on rocks in La Espanola island, Galapagos


Ecuador is one of the most rewarding countries to explore in all South America. Small but geographically varied, the country’s incredible natural diversity has made it the focus of worldwide biological research. For visitors, there is a wealth of attractions, including smouldering volcanoes, rainforest reserves, native markets and, of course, the Galápagos Islands. Cruises on board the M/Y Beluga to either the eastern or western islands offer the perfect way to get up close to the fascinating creatures that inhabit the islands.

Outdoor activities are the biggest draw for tourists looking for things to do in Ecuador. Within a day’s drive or flight from the capital city of Quito you can experience virgin Amazon jungle, snow-capped peaks and tropical sandy beaches. Trekking, jungle canoe trips, mountain biking, rafting, paraskiing, scuba diving, and horseback riding are just some of the adventures on offer. There is also immense cultural appeal: colonial architecture, artisan villages and a calendar full of fiestas.

Insight Guide Ecuador and the Galápagos is a comprehensive full-colour guide to the culture, history and wildlife of this diverse and fascinating country. The book is illustrated throughout with hundreds of beautiful, specially commissioned colour photographs.

Book it: Completely Galapagos 
Read more: In depth: Life and Lore in the Sierra
Buy a book: Insight Guide Ecuador and the Galápagos
 



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  • Vita

    By Ngo Date: 03 Nov 2015

    To get the best deal in the Galapagos, it is important to understand that the government limits the number of tour boats that are permitted in the islands. A few years ago when we went, the number was about sixty but not all of them were operating. What this means is that all the travel agencies are reselling the same boats and taking a markup on the sale. To get the best deal, you want to deal directly with the boat operator. Using the boat's name, search the web and try to find the operator's web site. Some are easy to find, some are not. I found about 20 direct operator sites when I was searching. Pick 2 or 3 of the boats you like and begin negotiations. If you can wait until a month or so ahead of sailing, the operator will be desperate to fill all of his cabins. Here is an abbreviated but verbatim dialog from our planning emails:

    Me: "Thank you for your prompt response. Sorry to say we were hoping to
    see one of your "FOR EVERY GUEST BOOKED, THE SECOND TRAVELS FREE" offers on
    your very interesting yachts. We will keep you in mind, however, and watch
    your web site for updates."

    Them: "Let me check with our Sales Manager and see if there is anything more we can
    do for you."

    This conversation ended a few days later with about a 40% discount on the trip.

    The other thing to understand about the trip is that you must compare apples and apples. In addition to the boat cost there are significant park fees and there is the airfare. Know what is being quoted!!