240 Photos

Viva Ecuador

Quito, Sacha Lodge and the Amazon rainforest; The Galapagos

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parrot clay lick Yasuni National Park
Author
Stuart White
Groggily we deplaned at dawn in Atlanta. Connections after this point were pretty routine, As we flew homeward I reflected a bit on our travels. It occurred to me that had we made the same trip a …
briefly stuck on a Napo R. sandbar
Author
Stuart White
It's hard to believe we're spending our last day in Ecuador, the conclusion of a spectacular adventure. At breakfast Gloria gave us directions to a sporting goods store, where we bought Liga …
squirrel monkey foraging
Author
Stuart White
Those of us leaving the Coral went with Jose to the Principio tortoise reserve where we borrowed Wellingtons to slog through the mud in search of the lumbering giants. It brought to mind my personal …
tropical blossom, related to banana trees
Author
Stuart White
We awoke to sunrise over Bartolome and soon were hiking the boardwalk across its barren landscape. Vegetation is sparse, mostly the scraggly gray Tiquilia scattered thinly over brown volcanic …
formidable tree bark
Author
Stuart White
Having crossed the equator twice in the night (first, northbound, then southbound toward Fernandina) we piled into the Zodiaks right after breakfast. We were greeted by a welcoming committee that …
Snail kite on our night canoe trip
Author
Stuart White
After an opulent breakfast we Zodiaked along the shore of Rabida island, where we (nearly) rubbed elbows with blue-footed boobies, brown noddies, a striated heron and fur sea lions for an hour or so. …
cacao fruit in the Amazon jungle
Author
Stuart White
A morning of varied transportation. We took a cab ride to the north end of Santa Cruz, a ferry across the strait to Baltra, a bus to the airport. We met up with our guide and fellow cruisers, then …
smoothe billed ani in silhouette
Author
Stuart White
I continued my practice of getting up before dawn, this time to go for a run. I had known that on this trip my running opportunities would be limited, but today we were on our own with no scheduled …
the jungle from Sachas observation tower
Author
Stuart White
Our hiking companions needed to leave early to make their flight from Baltra so we left Isabela in a speed boat at 6:45. It was a remarkably bumpy 90-minute ride; a few times we smacked the water …
Our private jungle balcony
Author
Stuart White
Our van driver had to bob and weave all over the heavily rutted road that took us 3,000 feet up into the highlands to the trailhead for the Sierra Negra volcano. We hiked for a mile or so as the …
Down the Napo R. to Sacha Lodge
Author
Stuart White
We rose at dawn for a quick return visit to the Darwin Station and a glimpse of Lonesome George. This time he was snoozing at the back of his compound. A two-hour small boat ride took us to …
Quito botanical garden
Author
Stuart White
A visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station was first on our agenda. We looked in on the tortoise nursery and were introduced to ''Super Diego'' a male of the Santa Cruz tortoise species that had …
at the Quito botanical garden
Author
Stuart White
After breakfast we transferred to Santa Cruz via a three hour ride in a small boat. We stopped briefly off shore from Santa Fe island to admire the Opuntia forest. We had lunch at a restaurant …
Garden and basilica
Author
Stuart White
Not about to waste any daylight, I got up just before sunrise for a little pre-breakfast scouting on the waterfront. A couple of ruddy turnstones foraged among the sleeping sea lions. A great blue …
approaching the basilica
Author
Stuart White
Our plane was a little late boarding in Quito so we had a chance to start getting to know the other three couples who would be our companions on the Hike Galapagos tour, and Andres, our guide, who …
seafood salad at Mia Culpa
Author
Stuart White
We heard heavy rain in the night and awoke to continued rain. As we departed we were issued ponchos for the lake and river legs. Halfway back to Coca we left the rain and stopped to pick up about …
Helen enjoys Mia Culpa Restaurant
Author
Stuart White
After another early wake-up and breakfast we canoed and hiked to Sacha's other above-the-canopy lookout, this one built like a tree house 150 feet up in a 700-year-old kapok tree. In an …
Helen on Panecillo
Author
Stuart White
A full day in the Amazon means we use every last ray of daylight. Because we're so close to the equator the sun comes up at 6 a.m. (plus or minus a couple of minutes) and sets at 6 p.m. Today we …
Statue of Our Lady on Panecillo
Author
Stuart White
After breakfast at the hotel, and with the assistance of staff from the hotel, Adventure Life, and Sacha Lodge, we made the quick flight to Coca, where we had lunch in the Lodge office while staff …
A street vendor peddles brooms in downtown Quito
Author
Stuart White
Our gracious hostess Gloria gave us recommendations for some of the nearby attractions and we set out to sample the flavor of la Mariscal and the historic district. We wandered through a crowded, …
Gloria and Brownie at La Rabida
Author
Stuart White
Technically we're only traveling half-a-world (a hemisphere), but from Great Falls to Quito it is a world away in perception, and it's a little bit shocking that we can be transported from the high …

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