Arriving in Quito you could be forgiven for thinking you were in a European city, the old part of the city is fascinating with cobbled streets and plazas and lots of street cafes.
No stay in Quito is complete without a visit to the Middle of The World – the photo has to be taken of 1 foot in each hemisphere! There is plenty to do outside of Quito, the market in Otavalo, the Mindo cloud forest are both well worth a visit and an extended stay on the mainland is recommended before heading over to the Galapagos Islands.
A couple of hour’s flight takes you into Baltra to join your chosen vessel. The best way of seeing as much of these islands as possible is on a cruise – there are so many options and choosing carefully is important as a visit should be a minimum of 4 nights but ideally 7 nights. Small or large, basic or luxurious there is something to suit everyone. Most cruises will finish in Santa Cruz and the Darwin research station, you also get an opportunity to see their recycling programme in action – all the glass from the ships is crushed and much of it turned into bricks which constructs the roads and pavements. Good to see that the authorities are doing their best to preserve this unique environment. The wildlife is not bothered about humans visiting their islands so you can walk amongst iguanas, sea lions and a variety of birdlife at very close quarters.
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