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Trip Report Trip Report- Galapagos, Rafting, Biking, Climbing

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Just a trip report of our April trip to Ecuador. My husband and I are 30's and rather active. We booked through Columbus Travel with Maria Antoinetta. She was great. Did everything by email. Crazy enough, I had to either pay through pay pal or send a check to miami bank. When I got to Ecuador she called the hotel to be sure everything was ok. Then she called again when we got back from Galapagos-- really great service.

First we went to Galapagos-- stayed the first night in Quito at the Swissotel, which was nice. Then we flew Aerogal to Galapagos. We stayed on a first class boat-- Coral I. The boat was big, but not huge. Even in slightly choppy seas, the boat really rocks. I would not go during rough seas. I think that is the cool season-- like in June/July. Our guide said April was the calm season, and for the most part it was very calm. We did a 4 day, 3 night cruise. We saw sea lions, iguanas, birds, tortioses (not in the wild), dolphins, and sharks (circling around our boat!). It was a great time.

Next, we returned to Quito, stayed downton at Patio Anduliz, which was a fabulous hotel! Best food we had the enitre trip! We were picked up by our biking guides-- Biking Dutchman. We drove to Quilatola Crater and then biked down from the crater. I would probably pass on the crater as it is a LONG drive and kind of out of the way. We stayed at La Cinenga, which was a run down hotel.

Next morning we drove to Cotopaxi park, which was GREAT! We hiked up to the shelter at 15,000+ feet and had tea. Then we hiked almost up to the glacier 16,000 feet. We previously climbed Kilimanjaro and really enjoyed the hike. We rode our bikes down for a few miles then traveled to Banos- which was a great resort town. Stayed at Samari, which was awesome! Great food, spa, nice facilities.

Got up and did some biking from Banos to Tena-- there is a road called Avenue of the Orchids, which was really cool. Beautiful pictures down to the rainforest town of Tena. We stayed at Casa Del Suizo near Tena-- again nice property. We did a very interesting jungle tour and saw Coco, Yams, and visited a native house. Really great experience! The next morning we went rafting with Rios Ecuador- the river was really cold compared to a rafting trip we took in Costa Rica. We stayed the night in Tena at very simple jungle lodge. The next morning we drove back to Quito and enjoyed going on a waterfall hike on the way.

Overall: great trip. We seemed to be wet the entire trip-- nothing seems to dry out on the ocean at night (Galapagos), or in the mist of the cloud forest, or in the rainforest! Overall, great trip, I'd recommend it.

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