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Ecuador and Galapagos Itinerary Needed

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My friends and I are planning to visit Ecuador for 3 weeks in early May. We have 8 people in our group, with age ranging from 50 to 60. Since we’ve seen Machu Picchu and other Inca ruins in Sacred Valley in Peru, we want to focus more on the natural beauty of Ecuador. Any suggestion for the 3-week itinerary, with or without Galapagos?

We visited Ballestas Islands (the Poor Man’s Galapagos) in Peru two years ago. We all agreed that the 2-hour boat trip was a truly memorable experience. We are thinking of including Galapagos in our Ecuador itinerary. However, we are not sure if it’s a good idea, as most of us are prone to sea sickness (here I mean very serious nausea, dizziness and vomiting. One of my friends even got nauseous when snorkeling). Gravol and pulse point bracelet didn’t help much according to past experience. Galapagos is expensive. We have to make sure that we won’t regret it.

We’ve thought of hotel based islands tours, but that mean we’ll need to ride on small boat to do excursions. We think the larger cruise ship will be more stable in rough sea. However, sleeping on a rocking ship is a challenge to us.

We are eager to see black iguana, penguins, sea lions, giant tortoises, we a…. Can we get close to abundant wildlife elsewhere in Ecuador? Perhaps 2 tor 3 days with wildlife is already good enough for us. If Galapagos is the only option, which islands should we visit based on the following facts:

We are either very weak swimmers or non-swimmers but we’d love to grab every opportunity to snorkel with a life jacket under safe circumstances.
We are not into bird-watching.
We can do easy to moderate hikes (1-3 hours). Some of us need to use hiking poles.

Please share your experiences and suggestions with us. Thanks.

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