Galapagos & Ecuador

 

Please join me in the GALAPAGOS….

The Galapagos Islands are probably the most famous wildlife-watching destination in the world. And no wonder – it’s almost impossible to exaggerate the sheer spectacle of the place that provided inspiration for Charles Darwin’s ground-breaking theory of natural selection.

Please sit back and enjoy my video and enjoy this journey through the Galapagos Islands as I experienced it. Every island in the Galapagos has its own allure. The more time you have, the richer your experience will be, but even if you have only a few days, I can help plan in the best way and you’ll come home with a lifetime of memories. The best surprise of all are the two wonderful land based camps on Santa Cruz… Galapagos Safari Camp and Pikaia Lodge. Please contact me for full details and a new way to experience this wonderful part of the world.

 

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A great way to end your trip after a visit to the Galapagos is on the continent Ecuador at the family owned Hacienda Zuleta, which is a two hour drive from the Quito airport. It is one of Ecuador’s most famous haciendas and still a working farm to this day.  This estate has been in the family of the former Ecuadorian president Galo Plaza Lasso for over 100 years.

Zuleta is known for its thoroughbred Zuleteños, a gentle hybrid perfect for trail riding in some of the most gorgeous countryside I have ever experienced. On the vast property are an embroidery workshop, an Andean condor rehabilitation project, a cheese factory and, of course,  a stable full of Zuleteño horses.  A highlight for us was the daily milking of the cows with a local Andean woman and the wonderful home cooking offered daily with fresh organic vegetables, trout, and dairy products that are all produced on the farm.  Hacienda Zuleta affords a true sense of “home” and is a place I look forward to returning to.

South America’s oldest Indian market is in Otavalo, a lovely two-hour drive north from Quito (or one hour from Hacienda Zuleta). Indigenous craftspeople from nearby villages have converged here for more than 4000 years, selling their handiwork, produce and even live animals.  The animal market takes place early every Saturday morning and is worth a visit.  Who would have known that guinea pig was a delicacy!  Otavalo has always been the social and economic center of the northern highlands and now it is a principal stop on the tourist trail. You can pretty much shop till you drop as prices are low and bargaining is expected – a great way to end a trip to an inspiring and beautiful country that is calling to me to return.

The people, countryside, history and easy access from the USA make Ecuador a destination you should think seriously about adding to your bucket list.

 

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