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11

After hearing about negative experiences at the Huaquillas crossing from several people, I decided to use one of the other border crossings. I also wanted to visit the small town of Vilcabamba south of Loja, which is on the way to the La Balsa crossing. The town is famous for the high life expectancy of its residents, but also offers great hiking in the ...


10

I was back-packing in Latin America for 20 months and took my camera everywhere. But it was only a 400 dollar point and shot which fits in my trouser pocket. I used that camera everywhere maybe except inside the favelas in Brazil. Some friends of mine had bigger SLRs with them and used them a lot too. In Bolivia I met a guy who was there for National ...


9

A 45 min bus ride from Quito (any local can tell you which bus) will get you to the Equator monument. However as Peter mentioned, it's a bit of a cheesy place. On arrival, there's a huge monument which costs to see, and costs more to go up. However, you can take photos and jump back and forth between "Spring" and "Autumn" or "Winter" and "Summer" as you ...


9

There is actually a monument called 'Mitad del Mundo' (Middle of the World) in Ecuador. However they claim this is based on being on the equator (it turned out later they were off by 240 meters when choosing the spot). Why the place is more special (middle, centered) than any other place on the equator I don't know. It is a bit of a cheesy place but makes ...


9

I went to Cotopaxi, several hours south of Quito: Image source: Peter Hahndorf It is not active and you can go all the to the top. I know people who did this themselves but it is recommended to do it with a tour. Most people however just drive up to a parking lot and then walk about an hour to a mountain refuge. From there it is another 30 minutes to ...


9

I used that road on a public bus in 2009, it wasn't that bad at all. It should be no problem to drive it yourself. Public buses stop a lot for passengers and also do lunch and toilet breaks, that why they are usually much slower than a private car.


8

You can't hitchhike to the Galalpagos. If you are trying to do things on the cheap your best bet is to turn up to Guayaquil in Ecuador. From here they have boats cruises that depart on tours around the Galapagos. If you have time on your hands you can hang around and wait for a boat tour where they haven't sold all of the spaces. Depending on demand, you ...


7

It seems the boats are leaving from Guayaquil and take 3 to 4 days. A page of the Galapagos Voyagers web site, gives some information about this. These are cargo boats that supply the islands with food and other goods required for all the tourists. One of the two companies that run these boats was the owner of the oil tanker that caused the 2001 Galápagos ...


7

In the Andes regions of Ecuador, Colombia and Peru I've been to several restaurants where they served cuy. There was no need to search for special cuy eateries, I just saw them randomly on people's plates. However I did not see any in restaurants in the low lands along the coast, but this could just be because they are not so popular there. I imagine that ...


6

Last year Ecuador closed its borders for a few days while the President was being kidnapped and all that. Sounded pretty hectic. But by the time I got there (two weeks later) everything seemed fine and easy. You haven't said which way you're going (Peru->Ecuador or Ecuador->Peru) so I'll assume the former, since it's what I did, and you can reverse if ...


6

One thing to add to Kizzle's answer is that Tourism to the Galapagos is highly regulated. The number of visitors is limited and all tours visiting the area are counted, registered etc, since 98% of the land is national park. You cannot visit those areas by yourself, you need a certified guide. So even if you own a boat, you cannot just travel around and ...


5

I spent 3 weeks in Peru last year, mostly in Lima, Cusco and the Sacred Valley, and Colca Canyon and Arequipa. Among our fancier possessions, I had a Canon camera with me and my husband had an Asus laptop. We're not physically intimidating people by any means (I'm just 5'2"), but I think we also carry ourselves confidently when we travel (e.g. no looking at ...


5

I am a native from Ecuador. I have been in the Galapagos with my nieces and nephews and I think it will be a great experience for kids (6 and up) if they are young explorers that want to have fun while having activities with an educational approach. Young kids could learn about endangered animals and habitats, and about Darwin and his theory of evolution. ...


5

Think about it as least wet rather than driest. That would be January to February then but do expect rain at least every other day. Because the ground and roads are mostly dirt, paths can get extremely muddy and due to the shade provided by tropical trees, they remain that way long after it has rained. Keep in mind that climate varies from year to year and ...


4

The road is actually very good. The problem is Andes. It's full of mountains and curves so everyone has to drive slowly. The bus takes 10 to 12 hours but if you go in your own car it might be less time.


4

Cuy is NOT tasty ;) It was very rich and oily and just not that pleasant at all. Most backpackers I met in Peru etc had the same opinion (although as always, there's always one or two that claim to enjoy it). Still, it had to be done ;) I saw it in Puno (by Lake Titicaca) and in Arequipa as well, but I'd been trying llama, alpaca and any other animals that ...


4

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) has a list and information about health in Peru and health in Ecuador. You'll want to make sure your MMR, Polio and other regular ones are up to date. Tetanus too, because it's just annoying to have to get in a foreign country if you do injure yourself. Scroll down the list, and you'll see Hep A, B, Typhoid are also ...


4

Are you planning on taking a vacation in the Galapagos, and so looking to get your license while doing the vacation? Allow me to recommend against it. The scuba certification ( not technically a license, since most countries are quite willing to let you kill yourself by diving without it, though most dive shops are not willing to help you kill yourself ...


3

It was many years ago but that is what I did. After having seeing Galapagos 3D on IMAX, I was amazed and wanted to go to the Galapagos and to experience it fully and make diving part of the experience, despite having never dived before. The main consideration is how much time you have in the Galapagos. I only had three weeks there and so I took my course at ...


3

Neither Peru or Ecuador require you to have a Yellow Fever vaccination before entering (see http://www.passporthealthusa.com/vaccinations/yellow-fever/ for a list of countries that do require it such as Bolivia). However there is some Yellow Fever in the Amazon areas of both countries (see map of Yellow Fever infected areas in above link). So if you are ...


3

So Rabies is suggested? Before I started traveling I thought I don't hang out with animals I don't need that, in the end I still took it, better safe than sorry. I was bitten by a street dog in the hills around Cusco (near Machu Picchu). I was just walking down the street when a bunch of them attacked me. So you need three rabies shots and they are not ...


3

According to Wikitravel it's separate to airfare, like many South American airports. It doesn't have the latest value, but does state that: International departure airport tax was just recently increased in Guayaquil and is exactly $29.75 (January 2010). About 15$ cheaper than Quito airport.


3

Unfortunately this site is only in German, but maybe you understand some basic information, because there are also lot of pictures in it: http://www.hauser-exkursionen.de/amerika/eck12von_den_anden_zum_amazonas.php It is a 18 day tour in Ecuador that leads from the Andes until Amazon. I know you have only time for 4-7, but maybe you can get some ...


3

It depends! I am sure you can travel in a way that is super interesting and not too stressful for you son. This would mean flying the long distances between southern Peru and Ecuador, staying in nice hotels and don't travel too far overland every day in a rental car. But of course, all that has it's price. If you want to use public transport and stay in ...


3

You've essentially asked where is it dry except where it's dry? Galapagos and coastal provinces are usually dry around this time of the year. The rest of the country expects moderately rainy weather in March which means a higher probability of rain. You may be lucky some days, while others not. Jungle trips are possible and you should expect rain there any ...


2

First off, it's never going to be 'cheap', unfortunately. There are a few reasons for this. (*these prices correct as of November 2010) The Base If you fly, there's no way around the fixed fare of USD$420 to fly return from Quito or Guayaquil. Then there's the $100 National Park entrance fee. And another $10 for taxes. So we'll ignore all that and ...


2

Thought I'd come back and give this question another try. http://www.gapadventures.com/trips/exploring-the-amazon-rainforest/SEL4D/2011/ is GAP Adventures' sole Amazon tour IN Ecuador if you just search tours less than 7 days. 4 days in duration, it takes you from Quito to Coca and their jungle lodge, and back. Includes motorized canoe, caiman hunting by ...


2

All that is changed, TOTALLY. Both governments have change their offices, outside of town, in the middle of nowhere, super simple, super safe. All in one building, exit from Ecuador / entry to Peru, in all one room. 24h attendance, 3 security guards, and cleaning persons. There is a board with the different destinations and related costs, from this point on, ...


2

I'm from Peru, and i have to tell you that it is dangerous to bring such an expensive camera. However not all the zones are dangerous, i suggest you try to keep it hidden while you are in the city because most of the thieves always check on the foreigners. Some tips to avoid these dangerous situations is that you hire a taxi from the hotel to transport you, ...


2

Getting a scuba certification in Galapagos is not hard to do. We teach it at our dive center located in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz. It takes three days and you can register with PADI to do the eLearning portion of the course via the Internet from anywhere. This allows people to get the knowledge review portion of the course completed from their ...



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