Christian G.

Our 14-day vacation started on the right foot with Alejandro picking us up at the Quito Airport and giving us an intro to the country’s history on the way to the hotel. He was also great helping us through the airport for getting to the Galapagos and going home. The Old Town Quito Suites apartments were a perfect oasis for our family to relax between activities in the busy city. La Teleferico afforded a neat ride up the Pichincha volcano over Quito on our last day.

Jose and Oscar were our guides for Cotopaxi National Park. Lodging at Tambopaxi was surreal with the volcano looming closeby. Our family bike tour along the flanks of the volcano was 12 miles and mostly flat with a 5 mile gwntle downhill section ending at the Inca ruins and lunch. We all made it!

Christian took us to Mindo and guided us to El Quetzal’s chocolate tour, the Tarabita and waterfall hike/swim, amazing lunch lunch spots, and San Tadeo birding, where we saw hummingbirds, a crimson-rumped toucans, and many pale-mandibled aracaris. The Terrabambu Lodge bungalows (deluxe and family) were so peaceful and the kids loved the pool and pizza with the view..
On the way back to Quito, Christian guided us to Pululahua Crater and Mitad del Mundo. We shared a lot if interests with Christian, especially a love for mountainbiking.

On Santa Cruz, Astrid met us on Baltra and was our guide, introducing us to Los Gemmelos, El Chato tortoise reserve, and the Charles Darwin Research Center. La Isla Hotel was an elegant and modern resting place.

Pablo was very helpful for the interns land ferry.
On Isabela, Ricardo guided us to Las Tintororas, where we saw blue footed boobies, penguins, a green sea turtle, and many fish. He was great especially with offering breaks with hot tea and cookies and for helping our boys set up for snorkeling.. Javier guided us up Sierra Negra and Volcan Chico… a long, but moderate level hike over staggering geologic features. His knowledge of the area’s history and geology was fascinating.

Every activity was different, exciting, yet hard to rank since each was so wonderful. Our family spent a good 6 to 8 months reviewing and discussing options for our trip with Linda, and what we ended up with was perfect for our family… not over ambitious and we had some downtime at the end of each day… even with a few last minute changes. Everyone we met was also a pleasant experience. We had the trip of a lifetime and will miss everyone and everyplace.

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