My Ecuadorian Experience...
Highs: Swimming with sea lions in the Galapagos; cruise in the Galapagos; observing different
wildlife in the Galapagos; horseback riding in Baños; real steam bath experience.
Lows: Unsuccessfully waiting at the Guayaquil airport for standby spots to open up for Galapagos
flights; bus ride from Ambato to Guayaquil.
Best Moment: My Galapagos trip (specifically - swimming with the sea lions)!
Craziest Moment: Watching one tortoise bite another tortoise in the neck while the 'bitee' was
getting it on with his lady tortoise friend.
Smells: Whiffs of freshly baked goodies at the pastelerias and panaderias; guano-like stuff in the
Sounds: Sea lions making their funny noises; blue-footed boobies doing their mating calls;
frigatebirds doing their mating calls; car horns honking; dogs barking; people yelling out the names of
different towns/cities at the bus station.
Sights: The colonial city of Cuenca; panama hats in Cuenca; unique wildlife and sea life (penguins,
sea lions, blue-footed boobies, iguanas, pelicans, frigatebirds, white tipped reef sharks, sea turtles,
eagle rays, etc.) in the Galapagos; starry nights from our boat in the Galapagos; cool-looking opuntia
Tastes: Ceviches (octopus, lobster, fish, etc.); sushi!!! (in Cuenca); all sorts of goodies at the
'pastelerias'; my beloved 'rambutan' fruit that I discovered in Asia; sugar cane candy (in Baños);
blackberry juice (aka jugo de mora); fresh pieces of sugar cane; tree tomato juice (Galapagos); wahoo
(fish); 'vavaca' fruit???; real hot chocolate.
Purchases: Two underwater camera; pair of earrings.
Street Food: Cut up tropical fruits; empanadas; humitas; plantain crisps; nuts; grilled plantains (in
Fun Food Finds: Sugar cane taffy (in Baños); pieces of sugar cane.
Western Companies Out Here: McDonald's; KFC; Payless Shoe Source.
Other General Info...
Visa needed? No. But there is a $38US departure tax upon leaving Ecuador on an international
Type of currency? U.S. Dollars (how easy!).
Wallet Friendly? Compared to Chile? Yes. Compared to Peru and Bolivia? Not as much.
Things Ecuador Is Known For: Galapagos Islands; the equator; the jungle.
Costs: $1700 for Galapagos cruise/flights/national park fees + $500