Equador & Galapagos Tours & Travel



Galapagos Islands - These beautiful islands off the coast of Equador are one of the most memorable holiday destinations in the world. This is a pristine paradise with beautiful beaches and breathtaking scenery has an emphasis on wildlife tours. A Galapagos cruise is essential for every visitor to Equador.




Alternatively, get off the beaten track - visit us and see a different rural Ecuador - adventure trekking, birdwatching and eco-tours, cultural tours to ancient sites, horseback riding and rafting in replica design ancient Ecuadorean rafts. If you seek adventure, visit:

Piedra Blanca



Piedra Blanca Homepage



Various other Equador & Galapagos cruises info:

Galapogas Islands Cruises - excellent resources for cruises and tours to the Galapagos Islands.

Spanish School in Quito Ecuador - Learn Spanish in Quito at the Ruminahui Spanish school - a highly recommended Spanish School.

Folklore Hostal - Bed and breakfast in Quito.

TheEcuaTraveler.com - Detailed information and reviews regarding hot travel spots, the Galapagos Islands, Spanish education, volunteer work, and paid work in the country of Ecuador..

My Quito - Short stay holiday apartment in Quito, plus visitors guide to Ecuador - travel, sightseeing, activities, restaurants and places to stay..

Luxury tailor-made tours to destinations across South America and your best bet for cheap flights to Equador from the UK.

Ecotrackers Foundation - works to preserve the cultural and biological diversity of Ecuador.

Galapagos Cruises - Galapagos Islands tours and cruises, more than 50 boats to the Galapagos Islands, hotel reservations and guide services..

GoEcuador.com - Ecuador and Galapagos Travel Guide - A travel guide and general information about Ecuador and Galapagos Islands and operates South America's only EarthCam...

Latin Trails - South American tour operator with 20 years experience of travel to the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon and other travel destinations in Ecuador...

Galapagos Islands Cruises - information on cruises to the Galapagos and Galapagos tour operators...

Galapagos Islands Vacations - a travel guide to the Galapagos Islands with maps and information on the islands...

 

The CIA World Factbook - various geographical, climate and weather information, and other facts about the culture of Ecuador, South America.




Adventure Travel Eco-tours at Piedra Blanca







Visit Equador:

This country in South America is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world - so it is not surprising that tourism is growing in popularity. Tourism attractions include the biodiversity and rainforest tours, volcano tours, kayaking, hiking tours, Equador vacations, fishing vacations, rafting, adventure travel, mountain biking, horseback-riding tours, mountaineering, moutain-climbing, the friendly people, horseriding tours and the surf. You also find culture in the capital Quito, with great restaurants and excellent food, the Galapagos islands and the Amazon rainforest. These are the main places to visit for luxury holidays. Jungle trips to the rainforest are popular, as is the colonial city of Cuenca, nature trips, the history, the amazing geography and topography, the music and culture, bargain holidays and discount vacations with good weather and a pleasant climate, the food, real estate, the list of holiday possibilities is endless.




Tourism, and particularly eco-tourism and wildlife tours are therefore popular. Here you find links to various other tourism, hiking vacation and adventure travel related sites, as well as other information and facts about adventure tours, tailor made tours, package holidays, romantic vacations, honeymoons, and other South America tourism, real estate and travel sites. Birdwatching is very popular due to the immense diversity of birds in the country. The best place for birdwatching is certainly the Mindo area, which has a range of birding lodges. The altitude changes rapidly, so your birdwatching experience high up in the upper part of Mindo will be very different that that in lower Mindo.




Most tourists in Ecaudor usually visit the tourism hotspots such as Quito (for its luxury hotels, cultural musuems and colonial centre), Guayaquil, Banos (hot springs), Tena (for kayaking and rafting), the Amazon (nature and wildlife tours), Otavalo (indigenous markets and hiking), Cuenca (a colonial city), the Galapagos Islands (for cruise vacations), Cotopaxi (volcano climbing tours, mountain biking and hiking), Montanita (surfing), the galapagos islands (for nature tours) Salinas (a resort popular for beach vacations) and Manta (also for beach holidays). Whale watching is also a popular activity when the season is right. Tena is a great place for organising jungle trips and visits to indigenous people to experience their culture. Indeed, the culture of the indigenous tribes proves very interesting for tourists. Markets are held throughout the country, the most famous being the Otavalo market, though this is increasingly touristy. Otavalo market is held every day, but the main market day is Saturday. Another popular activity is surfing. Surfing is of course done on the Pacific coast, known also as the sunshine coast. Surfing is best done from beach destinations such as Salinas or Manta.

 

The Hot Springs in Banios are another major tourist attraction. Popular with Ecuadoreans and travelers like, the springs in Banios are said to have healing properties, and are particularly busy over Easter / Semana Santa. Semana Santa is a big event - culture is important to the people.

 

Food from Equador: The staple food is rice, often accompanied by chicken. Traditional recipes can make the food delicious, if not spicy.


What time is it? The time difference between Ecuador and Europe is 6 hours. A good phone card to use is that of Bellsouth.

 

Family holidays also might involve birdwatching tours, climbing mountains and volcanoes, hiking tours, eco-tourism, community tourism, surfing, adventure and active travel, listening to music and indigenous markets, great musuems in Quito, Galapagos island cruises and nature trips, cloudforest tours or mountain biking. The list of cheap package holidays and travel oppurtunitiesin this beautiful country is endless - kayaking tours, surfing (Montanita recommended), scuba diving in the Galapagos, Spanish schools and travel programmes, volunteer work and jobs, conservation tourism and more. Mountain biking and kayaking are growing in popularity, while trekking, hiking and climbing have always been popular. Panama hats can be should be bought in Montecristi, along with any other traditional clothes. Real estate is proving a wise investment for many companies.

 

The main religion is Catholicism. Much of the population pracice their religion, with church attendance high. There are diamond mines in the country. Spanish schools are popular in Quito, and finding a good school in which to study is best done befire arrival in the capital city. Spanish Schools can be found throughout the Mariscal area and beyond


Fact: Equador flights can take up to 15 hours from Europe. For cheap airfares use the airlines that fly to Equador that include LAN Equador, Iberia, KLM, Lufthanza, Continental Airlines, and American Airlines. If you fly internally it is with LAN.




Weather:

The climate of Equador is also a big draw for travellers - the capital, Keyto, has a pleasant spring like climate with great weather all year round. The climate higher in the highlands can be cold while the weather in the lowlands can be humid at times, depending on the seasons. The seasons vary geographically, as our travel guide will tell you. The weather can of course be unpredictable, and the year of 2007 saw a rainy season extend a good two months longer than it usually does in the coastal areas. On the whole, the weather is coller the higher one is in the Andes.




Travel Tips:

Travel tips - top tourism destinations include Quito (for history and great food), Galapagos Islands (scuba diving, wildlife viewing and beach holidays), the Oriente/ Amazon (nature trips), Cuenca, Salinas (a popular beach resort), Guayaquil (largest city on the coast), Loja , Banios (in the highlands, and famous for its hot springs), Otavalo (just north of Quito), Cotopaxi, Mindo (and rainforest tours), Tena (and whitewater rafting tours and kayaking), the Cuyabeno reserve and numerous national parks and protected areas. A Travel guide will tell you much about this interesting country. But here's our travel tip - get off the beaten track! You could opt for an all inclusive vacation package, but to see the real Ecudor - visit the Piedra Blanca community eco-tourism project for trekking and hiking, rafting, horseback riding, eco-tours, birdwatching and accommodation in our ecolodge.




In fact, many tourists visit Equador to learn Spanish - there are many Spanish schools throught the country, most are in Quito or Cuenca, though some can be found by the beaches...These language courses are worthwile. Study abroad in Equador and you won't regret it. Coast travel in Equador is popular - many tourists visit to surf or relax on a beach on the pacific coast. Learn some traditional Manabi food recipes while visiting. There are many beach holiday destinations, the most popular being Salinas and Montanita - Montanita particularly so for "gringos". Car hire is an option for travel, though the buses are generally quick and reliable.




Throughout history, the country has been quite famous for its roses - roses are exported globally. The music is also a popular attraction for many visitors - locals are passionate about theirculture and music (salsa etc). Cheap airfares and bargain vacations can easily be acquired. Visitors should note that the currency of Equador is now the dollar - it was changed recently and the local population isn't too happy about it as prices have increased for them. Your embassy will be found in Quito - there are also consulates in other cities such as Guayaquil. You do not need a visa unless staying longer than 6 months. One of the best things to do if visiting this fantastic South American country is to enjoy the food. The food here can at times be spicy, and on the whole is of excellent quality. Local dishes can be cooked up, often using rice as the main ingredient. The food is a great tradition of the local people, and is their fondness of music. In the Andes, the local music is often of indigenous type.




For vacations: equador hotels, villas and accommodation range from budget hotels or hostels, to accomodation to 5 star luxury hotels with excellent food with traditional recipes. The Piedra Blanca Eco-lodge is budget priced yet very comfortable - a cheap bargain! So visit - adventure travel and eco-tourism at the Piedra Blanca Community Ecotourism Project. This project was established in conjunction with CRACYP.

 

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