Member Postcards

Family Time in the Galápagos

Indagare member A.L. recently returned from a family vacation to Ecuador, where they spent time in the Andes and the Galápagos Islands. Here, she gives us a rundown of the highlights of her trip and tips for future travelers.Why I went:

We wanted to take our children to the Galápagos before they became full fledged teenagers and didn’t want to go with us.

Who was on the trip: My husband and our three children and two other families.

Where we stayed: Swissotel in Quito, Hacienda Cusin in the Andes, and aboard the Galapagos Explorer II in the Galapagos.

Who it’s right for/wrong for: Unless you book a customized trip, you may end up with people whom you wouldn’t normally vacation with.

What I’d go back for: We plan to go back to spend more time in the Andes, specifically at Hacienda Zuleta, where we will arrange for several days of horseback riding. Hacienda Zuleta is spectacular. It hosts a Condor rehabilitation project, is owned by the family of an illustrious former Ecuadorean president, and operates dairy and horse breeding farms. Hacienda Zuleta is comprised of over 5000 glorious acres consisting of valleys and mountains. We will probably tack on a trip to the Amazon in Ecuador.

What I wish I knew in advance: I wish I knew that it is virtually impossible to get exercise in the Galápagos!

What to skip: Nothing.

What not to miss: Going to the markets at Otavala in the Andes. The Otavalans are famous for their weaving, but the fruit, vegetable and livestock markets in Otavala are a sensory feast. And arrange for a hike around the crater Lake Cuicocha. The volcano under the lake is still active and you can watch the gases bubble up from the lake’s floor!

What we loved (highlight): Our favorite part of the trip was riding in the foothills of Volcano Imbabura with a view of Lake San Pueblo below.

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