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We've booked a trip to Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands for September. Does anyone have any advice as to what to pack (hiking boots/waterproofs etc) and any tips for things we must see or do? Thanks
You are presumably flying to Cusco. It’s a fabulous city with great Spanish built churches to visit. You can also go to the Avenue of the Volcanos and Cotapaxi. There is another great day trip to Otavalo with its great hand craft market and look into a visit to an estancia too. We also did a standard market with fruit, veg, animals etc. Only tourists there! Amazing roast pork!
The Devils Nose railway is now running and the Cloud Forest is definitely worth it. We also went to Sacha Lodge in the Amazon basin and that is truly amazing. My DD swam with piranhas.
The Galápagos Islands are wonderful. I assume you are cruising around for a time. You need to check the weather in September. We went in April and it was hot all the time and no rain. The rainforest of course might be wet if you go. Your boat operator should have a packing list. Ask if you need a wet suit.
You will do short hikes and some of the rocky areas are sharp! Most paths are in good condition though and you must stick to them. Take a wide brimmed hat as there’s little shade. Sun tan cream as well. Shorts or hiking trousers and walking boots (you don’t need really chunky ones) and Teva sandals for wet landings from the zodiacs. Boat wear is just t shirts and shorts/chinos. Whatever you are comfortable in.
You cannot bring anything into the Galapagos Islands that will compromise their ecology so no dirty boots, food etc. It’s such a fantastic experience. You won’t forget it. Decent cameras too!
What islands are you going to? This determines what you see and what you do. Don’t forget snorkel kit.
Take your own wetsuit ( a 3mm shortie is fine) and your own snorkel and mask. Basic kit is provided on most boats but tends to be old/leaky/one size fits no one etc. A good camera, remember it is the equator so sun protection (although it doesn’t feel super hot).
Sea sickness remedies in case it gets a bit choppy ( especially if you are on a small boat.)
On the mainland, head up into the cloud forest/avenue of the volcanos- near Quito. If you like horses then check out haciendalaalegria.com
Masses of advice on here
www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ShowForum-g294310-i6637-Galapagos_Islands.html and you will get answers very quickly.
I was very glad of my folding hiking pole on the islands; gave me another leg when climbing over boulders. You don’t need as many clothes as you think you do. Binoculars. Stout trainers and Teva type sandals. A hat that you can tie under your chin (it’s windy on the Zodiacs). Factor 50. A plug adaptor (there’s are US type).
Think about taking some acetazolamide with you if you are going to altitude. I took a travel clothesline and a few pegs. All the other passengers (all US) laughed at me......then wanted to borrow it.
Also, a spare pair of sunglasses just in case, and those cords that you secure to sunglasses. The sun decks can get breezy too!
So sorry! I meant Quito! Brain not fully engaged yesterday.
Just thought of another one.
Most flights into Quito will be connecting (depends I suppose on where you are coming from?) and luggage isn’t always transferred properly. Pack as much as you can in your carry on. Packages normally allow a few days in Quito at the start of the trip, partly to help people be reunited with their luggage but it can be a few days!
Make sure you include suncream ( small container obviously) as I found this almost impossible to find in Quito and although Quito feels cool at 10,000 feet, it is still almost on the equator. I ended up with just the clothes I was wearing and got terrible sunburn as a result (bad blisters meant I had to cover up for the whole 10 days of my galapagos trip.) Ecuadorean knickers don’t cater to the larger European backside either!
Very jealous of your trip OP. There is nowhere like it!
These tips are really helpful...we've just booked for April 2021.
We've 2 nights Quito, 3 nights mashpi, back to Quito, Galapagos boat 3 nights, finch bay 2 nights and then back home. I've ended up booking myself as tour companies were astronomical.
Did either of you take medication for either seasickness or altitude sickness during your stay?
No. Quito is 9300 ft so you might consider medication for altitude sickness. We didn’t have problems. I’ve had altitude sickness twice but it kicks in at around 13,000 with me!
3 days on the boat isn’t that much. We went in April and it was hot and calm. I’m not sure what Islands you will go to but boats usually sail at night so you do your guided walks during the day. Take something if you get seasick. The boat might have something on board.
We didn’t lose luggage flying in from Madrid.
In Quito I noticed some shortness of breath.....my room was on the first floor and I was puffed out after one flight, but that was all.
On the Galapagos boat there was someone who had been in Machu Picchu who had been hospitalised with altitude sickness. I don’t think it’s a big worry in Quito.
Also, I didn’t get seasick but most others did to some degree.
It was lovely nodding off at night to the sway! It was truly the best week of my life! So I have sold my second kidney and going back later this year. This time I’m flying via Guayaquil with Avianca.
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