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Amazing cultural and natural discoveries!This trip was overall an amazing experience. The food was very good, and I liked that we got to taste the traditional foods of the islands and Quito. It was also really nice because we had a small group composed of 3 schools, meaning we got to meet new people as well. Our tour guides were really good, and extremely knowledgeable, but also made the tour interesting. The only negative thing was the amount of traveling we had to do. I would have preferred that we go to less islands for longer periods of time or that the trip was just overall longer. However, aside from that, I thoroughly enjoyed the trip and would recommend it.
The trip of a lifetimeThis was an amazing trip. It exceeded everyone's expectations. We saw so much and learned more about the indigenous culture of Ecuador and the people and animals of the Galapagos. There is a lot of travel involved, we had 6 flights round trip and 3 2 hour boat rides. Whether you are 16 or 60 you need to be in fairly good physical shape , as this trip is more demanding. Climbing in and out of rocking boats, getting in and out of high trucks, snorkeling in coves, all require some agility. That being said it is worth it. The people are friendly and happy to talk to you. Our only suggestions are to have more time on San Cristobal and Santa Cruz. Also more variety in meals-a lot of tuna and chicken. Most students want to experience the local food and only had that opportunity on their own time. But overall this was a great experience !
Educational and just fun!We had a caring and wonderful tour director who made sure our Ecuador and Galapagos Tour was perfect. It truly was.
Great Trip!!!The trip was a great life experience, that opened up my eyes to another part of the world. Experiencing life out of the United States was wonderful. The food, hotels and people were great. I would love to travel the world more with EF and also privately. The trip was a 10/10, and I would definitely recommend.
Experience of a Lifetime!This trip was amazing! All of my students had so much fun and we saw all the wildlife we could have asked for! Our EF rep planned an extra excursion that ended the trip off perfectly with hot springs. Our local guide on the islands gave us so many opportunities to interact with wildlife. Way more than we thought we would have. Snorkeling was the absolute greatest! How many times in your life can you say you snorkeled with Sea Lions and Sea Turtles? Now everyone of my students and myself can say we have. My only recommendation would be to pack water shoes.
Great TourOur main tour Guide was fantastic. He knew all his info, very informative and any problem that came up he took care of in seconds. He made sure that when the kids wanted more empanadas he some how got them for the kids at another restaurant we ate at. He was funny and patient.
We had two other guides in the Galapagos.
They were also knowledgeable and funny and informative. They waited to make sure we were always together and made sure we had a good time.
All three of these gentlemen were fantastic. The food was great. Most of the hotels were great except the Hostel Insular. The accommodations were fine but the breakfast was not what the other meals were. It would have been better to find a restaurant on this island for breakfast.
I would recommend this trip to anyone and hope one day to maybe be able to do it again. Once in a life time trip!
Best Vacation I Have Ever TakenI have never wanted to stay in a country as much as I wanted to remain in Ecuador at the end of this tour. It was absolutely phenomenal, and I could not imagine a better trip. Our tour guide was fantastic, well-informed, and obviously loved his country and his job. Our time in Quito was short, but we still managed to see quite a lot; we even climbed these super steep stairs to the top of a church and got to look over the city, all the way to the mountains. A lot of us thought that would be the highlight of the entire trip until we reached the Galapagos. Once we saw the unique animal life and volcanic formations there, we quickly realized that we were wrong. I have never been to a more interesting environment in my life, and I might never go to one again. If you are considering going on this tour, I HIGHLY recommend it. I've been many places over the past few years, but I have never been anywhere remotely comparable to Ecuador and the Galapagos, and I honestly think that going there is an opportunity no one should pass up.
WonderfulI overall would say this was an amazing trip. The tour guide was incredible and taught us so much.
The Galapagos Islands were beautiful. The only suggestion I would make is limit the visits to 2 islands and stay longer on the islands. The traveling between islands were rigorous and often times would take up 1/2 a day. On the day we flew from Quito there were 10 different transfers between point A to Point B. This took ONE whole day.
plane to Galapagos
City bus to port
port to water taxi
water taxi to speed boat
speed boat to water taxi
water taxi to bus
bus to hotel
I would say most meals were good. I would have preferred not repeating restaurants. For a country with so many exotic fruits. We were never served mango nor bananas. I thought this was odd. Finally toward the end of the tour...we finally got fresh fruit.
Overall, we had a great time.
Life Changing Trip!Our trip was amazing! We had no issues with travel, other than it was way too much! Our tour guide was super knowledgeable, kind, had a great sense of humor and I think we'll be friends forever! I didn't expect so many travel transfers from planes to boats to buses. Knowing about that before hand may have been helpful. Also, the restaurants seemed to try to cater to "American" meals rather than making authentic meals that would have been better. Hotels, were on a scale from poor to very good. Water was an issue for showering and washing up in two of the hotels. One hotel didn't provide us with towels or blankets, which was an inconvenience. The naturalists who accompanied us to the various parks and lead snorkeling and hiking were fabulous. They were knowledgeable, fun and energetic - and most of all, professional and friendly. I expected more nature and less city - that could have been minimized to make the tour more fitting with it's marketing.
Once in a lifetimeWhen else would you get the chance to stand at the equator, interact with giant tortoises, hike a volcano, and snorkel with sea lions! Students were awestruck watching the water drain different ways within a few feet of the equator. I couldn't believe how close we could get to the tortoises at Manzanilla Ranch! Sierra Negra caldera was a one-of-a-kind geology lesson. Standing where Darwin first landed and seeing the species he described was any biology enthusiasts dream. The capstone experience was at the Papallacta Hot Springs.
We were so fortunate to team up with another school. The group from North Carolina welcomed us and made it so that the adults could rotate responsibilities. Our guide was knowledgeable about the economy, biology, and history and shared that information in a way that students really understood.