Blogs from Santa Cruz Island, Galápagos, Ecuador, South America - page 3


We spent the last 5 nights of our Galapagos adventure on Santa Cruz island, the most populated of all the islands containing many travel agencies, shops, restaurants and houses. Our first day was spend visiting the highlands in a taxi with Miriam from our cruise, she happened to be spending a couple of days in the same hostel as us. We payed $35 for the taxi for the day and split it three ways. Our first stop was the twin craters, two very large craters in the earth that had been created when old lava tunnels collapsed due to erosion and movement of the earth, opening up gaping craters. The land is lush and green in the highlands, and we felt again like we had stepped into the Jurassic period, the trees smothered with moss and ... read more
Lava tunnel

April 10 – 14 … Home in Calgary for a few days. It was just long enough wash everything in my pack, pick out some different clothes to take on the next leg of my trip and get the tax returns I needed to complete done and filed. I was also able to catch up with a few friends and family. Tom the cat has been very well taken care of in my absence – I think I was just a temporary disruption to his usual routine for the few days I was at home but at least he didn’t shun me! I wasn’t unhappy to leave – it snowed on the 14th, quite a shock to my system, which had been used to warmer temperatures for the prior few months. April 15… Off to Quito, ... read more
Galapagos Map
Tortoise Collage
Hammerhead Shark

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island March 29th 2013

At the beginning of March my family flew out to meet me in Ecuador for what must have been our first long holiday together for nearly 15 years! We had “agreed”, that we would look to take advantage of my Spanish language and do the trip in a manner more akin to the way I travel – i.e. not having any fixed plans apart from the start and finish dates, and organising things as we go along according to what we hear is good. Obviously there was a little more pressure on getting things reasonably well organised, as I didn't think my parents would take too kindly to sleeping a night in a cockroach infested fleapit because we turned up late in a town that was fully booked because we hadn't realised that it was the ... read more
Male frigate bird in flight
Is he thinking "lunch" or are they just good friends??
Fighting for deckchair space

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island March 14th 2013

Here are a few ideas if you are looking for some budget options that may not be in the guide books. Firstly, always try to negotiate on price! Almost everywhere will charge you "gringo prices" which can vary wildly from person to person. We heard of the exact same room going for $10 per person to us, and $25 per person to someone else. I bought the same medicine from the same pharmacy for $10 first time an $8 second time. The locals are used to bartering, and are not offended, they will just say no if you go too low. Santa Cruz (main island) Puerto Ayora is the main town in Galapagos. It has about 22000 people, and is small and very walkable. It mostly made up of accommodations, restaurants, and souvenir and craft shops. ... read more
La jungla
Los grietas
On day trip to highlands Santa cruz

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island March 13th 2013

Galapagos wrapped up... It's been more than amazing to fulfill the childhood dream of visiting the Galapagos. Being here one can directly see the importance of conservation and regulation efforts. To play with and encounter such a unique variety of sea life, land life and birds has been an honour. On top of it, we were lucky to meet some fascinating travellers and lovely locals. As a reality check, between the both of us, we've had our share of stomach ills, flu/cold, wasp stings, other bites (not the marine iguanas, they're sweet), blisters, sprained thumb, and sleep deprivation. Like with everything in the world you take the good with the setbacks. Choose to see the beautiful and that's what you can experience. Next entry will list some of our finds for people travelling here that may ... read more


South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island February 14th 2013

I know it’s been awhile since I wrote, time is flying by. These past two weeks in the Galapagos has been great, even when I am totally overwhelmed and challenged I am grateful for each moment. Every morning Isabel and one of their housekeepers Abigail, greets me with “Buenos Dias, quieres desayunar? “ which translates to “Good Morning, you want breakfast?”. Breakfast is usually coffee with milk, watermelon, a grilled cheese sandwich and eggs, sometimes fresh juice or a batido (milk and fruit).As I wait for breakfast, I sit at their large table with my Spanish homework. During that time I usually see Gabi on her way out to work, Aturo, the father, walking around always looking for something he lost and Mattias, the five year old, running by in his pajamas. Every morning ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island January 30th 2013

Well I am now in the Galapagos…this is a whole different experience than Quito. If I wrote this blog the first day I would have sounded a bit disheveled but now on my third day I think I have adjusted to the change. Getting off the plane and seeing the beautiful landscape of the Galapagos again was so exciting. I am staying on Santa Cruz Island with the Lopez’s. I apparently picked the hot season and it’s hot; VERY humid and the sun is crazy strong. Though after three days I think I am adjusting; I just have to relax into it. I bought a sun hat and try to walk very slow. J As for the family they are very nice and chill, though I do feel a bit misplaced at times. Not ... read more

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island January 28th 2013

This morning we woke up at about 0630, ate a quick breakfast, and ran to Tortuga Bay, about 3 miles from the center of town. There was a beautifully cobblestoned running path that lead through a forest of Giant Cacti trees filled with several varieties of Darwin finches. Tortuga Bay beach is a beautiful wide stretch of sheer white sand, with numerous marine iguanas basking in the sun on the beach, and body surfing the waves in. We swam alongside some in a sheltered cove surrounded by volcanic rock. It was just us and the iguanas in complete isolation, feeling like we had been transported into a land before time. We then walked to a saltwater inland bay, seeing dozens and dozens of iguanas along the way. Once we reached the bay we saw two blue ... read more
Blue footed Boobies
Hero in a half shell...Turtle Power!

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island January 27th 2013

We caught a flight to the Galapagos Islands at 1005. To our surprise, confusion and sheer delight we were issued tickets in first class. I could fly all day like that, but sadly it was a short 1 ½ hr. flight to travel the 600 miles off the shore of Ecuador to reach the islands. We arrived on Baltra Island, which is a small uninhabited barren island which basically only has the airport on it and nothing else. It was a US military base during WWII, and used to be home to a unique species of iguana that was eaten to extinction by feral dogs and hungry soldiers. After a short bus ride, We took a small boat crossing across the channel onto the main island of Santa Cruz, where we will be spending the next ... read more
The man, the myth, the legend...
giant in training

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island January 26th 2013

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines, sail away from safe harbor, catch the trade winds in your sails, explore, dream, discover. -Mark Twain And so Dennis and I are off again, on another trip of a lifetime. This time we are headed south of the equator, to Ecuador and Peru. We namely plan to visit the Galapagos and Machu Picchu, two places that we have both dreamt of visiting for many many years. The price and the amount of tourists in these two areas are skyrocketing by the year, so we decided better sooner than later. We flew into Guayaquil, Ecuador last night, a 4 ½ hr. flight from Miami. As soon as we exited ... read more

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