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Ecuador: Galapagos Islands Quito, and the Amazon
One of the most interesting ecotravel sites in the world is
Ecuador. This small country is divided into 4 regions, which represent the
coast, the Andes, the Amazon basin, and the Galapagos Islands. What is really
outstanding, is that in two weeks, you can visit all four of these scenically
and culturally diverse regions.
We suggest you begin by exploring the fascinating Galapagos Islands with their
unique flora and fauna. Next return to the continent and visit Quito, the
capital city of Ecuador and one of the most attractive cities of South America
with its Spanish colonial district and modern area nestled in the Andes
Mountains. While there you should consider taking a journey through the Avenue
of the Volcanoes to visit one of the famous Indian markets of the Andes
Another truly captivating experience is the journey to the Amazon jungle, to
visit and stay at the ecological reserve of Kapawi. This project demonstrates
how a tourism enterprise can work with an indigenous group by sharing benefits
and respecting the land and traditions of the people. The Kapawi project, a
joint venture with the Achuar Indians, provides a new trend of Ecotourism with a
minimum of cultural and environmental disturbances. The comfortable bungalows(
not one nail was used!) and solar energy operated site, creates an inspiring
venture deep in virgin Tropical Rain Forest.
After the Rain Forest consider a visit to the pristine coastline of Ecuador and
Bahia de Caraquez, a beach town located a short distance from the Equator in one
of the most scenic areas in coastal Ecuador. Bahia de Caraquez combines the
remains of an ancient and rich cultural history with the activities of a
20th-century Latin American resort.
From Bahia de Caraquez you can explore other points of interest. Take a boat
tour to The Bird Island Sanctuary, home to the largest colony of frigate birds
on the continent. As a result of the convergence of the two most important ocean
currents of western South America (the Humboldt and the Niño), this
coastal region shares a similar ecosystem with that of the Galapagos Islands.
There you can find fauna like whales, frigate birds, blue-footed boobies (a
colony of these exist in the Caves of the Aposentos) and other species.
You can get to Ecuador via direct flights from Miami,
Houston, and Los Angeles in the US and from Europe with stopovers in Venezuela
or the Caribbean. Saeta Airlines, an Ecuadorian based company with high quality
service provides connections inside the country and has a very good tariff to
the Galapagos Islands from Miami
To get to the Kapawi Ecological Reserve) you can either take a flight straight
into the jungle or take a bus through the Andes. The bus trip starts in Quito,
and goes through Latacunga, Ambato, Baños before eventually arriving in
Shell. On the bus trip you will pass by the snow covered volcanoes, like the
Cotopaxi ( the world's highest active volcano) , and visit one of the famous
Indian markets of the Andes. After reaching Shell, you will board a 30 minute
flight to Sharamenza on a 30 passenger plane. The flight rise high above the
Amazon at 3500 to 4000 ft. and offer a unique view of the Primary Humid Forest.
From Sharamenza you take a beautiful journey (1 and a half hours) in a motor
canoe down to Kapawi.
From Quito it takes you an hour and a half to be on the Galapagos Islands. They
lie on the Equator and are 600 miles (1000 km.) west of continental Ecuador
In Quito, you should stay at the Hotel Quito which has a
beautiful view of the valley surrounding this colonial city, capital of Ecuador
and provides easy access to the most important sites of the city.
At the Kapawi Reserve, you will stay at the lodge which offers excellent hotel
facilities such as double rooms with private bath, illumination and hot water
produced by solar energy.
In Bahia you can stay at comfortable hotels or beachfront bungalows.
At the Kapawi Reserve, there is even haute cuisine, in
which native foods are combined with sauces from continental recipes.
The Galapagos archipelago is famous worldwide for its
fearless and unique wildlife. During our visit we stopped at different islands
daily and our cruise ship groups were divided into small groups which were
accompanied by a naturalist guides.
At Kapawi, you can hike through primary virgin forest, canoe down the jungle
rivers, view wildlife and visit, interact and learn with Achuar Indian
communities and isolated families about their ancestral culture. The special
location of the project guarantees the presence of extinct animal species in
other areas, like the pink dolphin, the giant otter, the capibara and hundreds
of bird species.
From Bahia you should visit Chirije (Chee-ree-hey), one of the most important
archaeological sites of Ecuador. Surrounded by mountains and Dry Tropical
Forest, Chirije was an ancient seaport (dating back to 300 B.C.), the remains of
which can still be seen today. Now a center of permanent archaeological
investigations with on-site museums and excavations, Chirije also offers
secluded beaches and nature hikes catering to all types of tourists. Bahia also
offers tours to the middle of the World, where the first monument was laid for
the marking of the Equator, by the Geodesic survey team of scientists back in
1736. There are many other things to do, but basically it comes down to the time
Lots of exercise if you want it hiking, canoeing and swimming.
For more information feel free to contact Patricio Tamariz Dueñas,
Manager Bahia Dolphin Tours.
Edif. Dos Hemisferios.
P.O. Box # 25
Bahia de Caraquez
Tel: 593.5.692097 or 593.5.692086
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