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Reviews for Ecuador Discovery 4.5 out of 5 based on 7 ratings.

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Tour notes

Each departure date has it's own dedicated tour note, detailing all you need to know about that tour. Whether you've already booked, or weighing up your options, please choose carefully the relevant itinerary for you.

We have the following different versions of the Ecuador Discovery tour available at present.

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4.5 , 30/01/14

Name

Jo (Explore Staff)

Tour Name

Ecuador and Galapagos

Tour Code

EC

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

The whole of Ecuador! Although the Galapagos was amazing, as exepected, it ws the mainland that surprised the most. A beautiful country with such amazing diversity of landscape, flora and fauna.Cotopaxi NP was beautiful as was the amazing drive along the waterfall route to Banos. Banos itself was a lovely town in the shadow of a very impressive (and often smoking) volcano which gives heat to the incredibly relaxing Banos hot springs – what a lovely way to wind down and chill out. Although the Amazon was not the wealth of wildlife people might expect, the birdlife was stunning and the micro life, fascinating. Ecuador really does have a great wealth of wildlife, astounding scenery and truly, lovely people – along with some really rather yummy food.

Tour Leader Name

Johanna Herrera

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

She was brilliant. A wealth of knowledge, really organised, very friendly. Always happy to help a great leader.

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

Don't think about it, book it!

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Ecuador is under sold as a destination and sits in the shadows of the Galapagos - it shouldn't. One of the most diverse countries (expecially for its size) in terms of landscape, flora and fauna and indigenous people - a great destination.

 
4 , 08/10/13

Name

John Crisp

Tour Code

EC

What Was The Highlight Or Most Memorable Moment Of Your Tour

"The Ecuador mainland was a real, and very plea sent, surprise having previously toured in Chile, Peru and Bolivia. The ever-changing vegetation as we climbed and lost height, all set amongst the spectacular Avenue of the Volcanoes, made for a truly green country. The respect given to the 'first nations' of the country whose cultures and markets, we enjoyed. The Galapagos were all that we had ever heard and expected"

Tour Leader Name

Johanna Herrera

How Was Your Explore Tour Leader

"Johanna was a lovely person whose knowledge of her own country was impressive. However she overstated risk and therefore created apprehension when none should have existed. She could benefit from learning that when, giving explanations, sometimes 'less-is-more' ! We would also have enjoyed a bit more freedom to explore on our own, and less regimentation. In the Galapagos the naturalists were not Explore leaders. They were very knowledgeable but lacked the organisational quality and professionalism we have learnt to expect from an trained Explore leaders."

What Tips Would You Give To Someone Else Booking This Tour

" Mindo is a growing centre for 'adventurous' activities. Find what is available if that is more your thing. Not explained in the Tour notes or offered. If Explore still using the boat the Monseratt , check that your tour is not sharing it as your chance of an deck cabin is severely limited. Explore described allocation as an open lottery but book the 4 lower deck cabins before the upper deck [cheaper]. The engine deck cabins are noisy [as stated] take ear-plugs, but also claustrophobic, felt damp and the bathroom is 'basic' [not stated, take travel sickness tablets] Sleeping on deck during August is not an option! If a nervous snorkeller, ensure your first experience is off a beach rather than the 'inflatable dingies but do snorkel Take an under- water camera! "

Do You Have Anything Else To Add

Despite some negatives, the whole experience through Ecuador and in the Galapagos was positive and a tour well worth choosing.

 
5 Mary Guiver Gregory , 31/12/12

What was the highlight or most memorable moment of your tour?

"Difficult to pin down a favourite.  Ecuador was a complete surprise, it is so diverse I hadn't realised so I loved all of it from the Cloud Forests right through the central Volcanic Belt.  Only disappointment, cloud over Cotopaxi, just my luck !!!!

Galapagos - what can I say, anyone that goes there and doesn't appreciate these islands and the wildlife must have their heads in the sand.  Most memorable - being so close to the wildlife who have no apparent fear of humans."

 

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0 PB, 27/10/11
A most enjoyable trip around some extremely high mountains, a taste of the rainforest and an unforgettable sail in the Galapagos islands. Beware the state of the boat but the hotels on the mainland are often delightful. Not a trip for the novice, this tour is quite demanding. (EC -23rd July 2011)
 
0 NW, 16/05/11
This is simply a wonderful trip, well planned and taking in the very best of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. It is expensive but very good value for money. Our guide was excellent and thought of everything to ensure the trip ran smoothly. He was also extremely knowledgeable and enthusiastic which added greatly  to the experience. The accomodation, restaurants and food throughout was of a very high standard and chosen so we ate and stayed in places with real local character. Highlights? Where to begin because there are so many. Ecuador is a beautiful country and the people friendly and hospitable. Quito and the highlands are beautiful. The towns and markets are very interesting. The Avenue of the Volcanoes is breathtaking and we had some wonderful views. The walks were excellent- not too long but varied and fun with lots to see and learn about. A highlight for me was the time in the Amazon. I knew it was not the deepest Amazon but still a real feel for the jungle and the lodge at Misahualli was excellent. Decending through the cloud forest to get there was particularly scenic. We were fortunate the Devil's Nose Railway was restored and working and that was a great day too. The last was the best- a wonderful week in the Galapagos with the boat to ourselves. Lovely boat, great weather and food, professional friendly crew and the privilege of travelling from one island to another seeing a vast array of unique wildlife. I feel so lucky to have been able to do this trip. My best memory is walking in the highlands near Otavalo and coming across an old lady waiting to have her milk collected. She had milked her cow and the milk was in a bucket. She was wearing traditional dress with a beautiful embroidered blouse and glass beads and was embroidering while she waited. Do learn a few words of Spanish before you go. It was so nice to speak to her and ask her a few questions about her life and good to find people maintaining their traditional way of life.  I learned too that Ecuador, like all developing countries struggles with all the problems of the present- urbanisation, loss of habitat, pollution and the dichotomy of their oil industry. I learnt a lot and that is why I go travelling. (EC - 12th March 2011)
 
0 Jadwiga White, 11/02/11
Everything was better then expected. Thoroughly exciting and wonderful holiday. (EC - 20th November 2010)
 
0 Nick Ward, 21/09/10
A dream holiday. No, more than that. Three dreams in one. The Andes. The Amazon. The Galapagos. We travel the highlands, breathing cool mountain air, more than once breathless at twelve thousand feet or more. We meet Andean people and taste their food. Guinea pig anyone? We walk in the shadow of snow-capped volcanoes, wild vicuna stepping daintily across the altiplano. We're drenched by the mist from a thundering waterfall, turn pink in a hot-as-we-can-stand-it hot spring. We descend. Down through the cloud forest. From snowline to tropics in a days drive. Amazonia! A long narrow boat cuts through the muddy waters of a wide brown river. Ashore, we slide muddily through pristine rainforest. Huge trees, dazzling butterflies, occasional flowers amongst the green, massive colonies of bees. Whatever we ask - birds, insects, landscapes, our guide Diego has the answers. Modestly, he doesn't tell us about his awards. Back over the mountains we hit the steaming coast and fly west. Galapagos! Just the name raises pulses. But will it, could it, live up to expectations? Now a new routine. Each night the Monserrat sails. Each dawn, we have a new island to explore, lush and green, perhaps, or desert, or bare volcanic rock. Iguanas sit and stare, snorting salt. Comical boobies display their vivid blue feet. Prehistoric-looking frigate birds glide, black and menacing, overhead. And then there are the sealions. They're everywhere. Strewn about randomly on concrete, sand or rock. Put on a snorkel, get in the water, and they're with you. Lithe, agile and playful. Beautifully streamlined and incredibly fast. There's intelligence in those eyes as the give you the once over, before showing you what they can do. Around and around, twisting and turning, stopping to nuzzle a fin, then gone in a flash. You can only watch, amazed. And grin. In a trip of many highlights, for me this is the one. So that's it. A wonderful, amazing trip. A superb introduction to South America - mainland Ecuador is not to be missed - as well an incredible trip to the Galapagos. Now the down side -  there had to be one, didn't there - and because of it we can only rate this holiday 'Good' not 'Excellent'. The Monserrat, our transport around the Galapagos, has two very different sorts of cabin. The four upstairs have huge picture windows and are quite a long way from the noise of the engines. The four downstairs cabins have only one tiny porthole high up on the wall, and being wood-panelled are pretty claustrophobic. They're very noisy too, not just from the main engines but from the generator which runs continuously. It's very much first class against third class. Unfortunately, with Explore they all come at the same price and you cannot choose what kind of cabin you get - it's a lottery. So bring ear plugs and prepare for the possibility of claustrophobia! Or do as we did a number of nights - sleep on a sun bed on the upper deck, open to the moon and stars. That could be pretty magical too! (EC- 13th March 2010)
 
 
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