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a trip to the fascinating Galapagos Islands off Ecuadorís coast
Galapagos Islands are a UNESCO World Heritage site, situated in the Pacific
Ocean around 1,000 km off the Ecuadorian coast. The archipelago of islands
and the surrounding huge marine reserve has been dubbed a unique "living
museum and showcase of evolutionĒ ... read
of Galapagos Islands
a Paradise for the lovers of Photography
Tours - 5 Mistakes To Avoid
Tourist Attractions of Guayaquil in Ecuador
delight Quito Ecuador travel
close and personal: best wildlife holidays
a Paradise for the lovers of Photography by Hugo Sandoval
I am a hardened photographer
and I have more than 15 years in this area and I want to tell you that
visiting Ecuador in South America, was a wonderful experience, mainly because
I had the aid of GRAY LINE TOURS and because I could take the necessary
time to admire and to photograph its Four Regions, and is that Ecuador,
in spite of being a relatively small country, with a 98,985 Mi2 of territory,
it has "Four Worlds" clearly marked, for delight of its visitors: Ecuadorian
Coast, Ecuadorian Highlands, Amazonian Jungle and the Galapagos Islands.
|I had the opportunity to
photograph great part of those Four Worlds and is why I want to share with
you my experience.
I initiated my trip by Ecuadorian
Coast, in city of Guayaquil - Ecuador, where is one of two international
airports that this beautiful country has, and I had the opportunity to
take one of the Tours of Gray Line Tours, in which I could appreciate and
photograph this beautiful and great city, that is second in importance
of all Ecuador.
Because Ecuador co pretty
by the West with the Pacific Ocean, has a large extension of beautiful
beaches in which I could catch with my lens a numberless of beach landscapes
with impressive views of sea, rocks, vegetation, animals, people and sunsets
worthy of the paradise. Also I can say to you that, in the zone of the
Ecuadorian Coast, not only exist beaches like tourist attraction, also
we can found in this one zone several cities and towns full of spectacular
colorful and traditions and with the aid of the Ecuador Tours that Gray
Line Tours offered to me, I could photograph each detail of these wonderful
In the same way, I could
photograph a lot of Ecuadorian history, since the Ecuadorian coasts, are
rich in cultural treasures since on its lived, among other cultures, the
Indigenous Culture of Valdivia, very important for the Formative Period
of Ecuador, therefore we found many museums in which we can observe vestiges
of this culture, mainly of the "Venus de Valdivia", who are a representation
of a woman, her activities and live cycles, as well as several types of
ceramics and rest leaved by these cultures.
|As I had the opportunity
to travel in the month of August, I take a tour to the Plata Island, that
is located 2 hours in boat from the continent, and in the way I could capture,
in my lens of course, some Humpback Whale, that jumped one and once again
of the water, filling us of emotion to all of that we were in the boat.
When we arrived at the Plata Island, my admiration did not finish, be cause
I could appreciate many species of birds, that I thought only I will going
to find days later of my trip, when I should arrive at the Galapagos Islands.
I continued my trip by the
Ecuadorian Highlands, arriving at the other one International Airport of
Ecuador, in the city of Quito - Ecuador, the Capital and more important
city of Ecuador, located to a 9,300 Ft. above the sea level and near to
the Middle of the World (length 0º), place where the planet Earth
is divided in two equal parts by the Equatorial Line, for that reason when
I arrived, I asked for my kindly guide of Gray Line Tours make a City Tour
& Equatorial Monument, one of products of Ecuador Tours that offer
Gray Line Tours and with which I could know why, UNESCO named to Quito
- Ecuador and its Historic colonial downtown like Human Cultural Heritage,
I almost could say that I photographed each centimeter of this Cultural
Heritage as well as the Famous Middle of the World city and its monument.
In the central part of the
Ecuadorian Territory and crossed by the Mountain range of the Andes, we
found the most beautiful mountainous places, full of culture and tradition,
Archaeological Ruins, like the Incaís Ruins of Ingapirca (Incaís Ruins,
second in importance of the entire world), big lagoons, some of them within
old extinct volcano craters, volcanoes, snow-covered mountains, majestic
mountains, colorful cities and populations, landscapes that I was capturing
one by one with my camera, in the day, in the afternoon, or in the night,
I never let to be admire myself with the spectacle of this particular beauty.
Among other cities of importance,
we found the third city more important of the Ecuadorian Territory, the
city of Cuenca - Ecuador, Also we found the population of Riobamba - Ecuador,
well-known by its famous " Devilís Nose Train ", Otavalo - Ecuador and
its Indigenous Market, etc. All of them constitute a gold mine for the
photographers like me, cannot maintain the finger taken off from the shutter
of the camera.
|After my stay in the Ecuadorian
Highlands, I continued my trip towards the Amazon Jungle is one of the
tourists most desired destinies, for the who enjoy of the adventure and
the old cultures, to completely far away of the comforts and the noise
of the great cities. For the lovers of the green tonalities, let me tell
you that here you can find thousands of these tonalities, from the darkest
green, to clearest and pale ones.
Beautiful landscapes of a
pure and virgin forest or borders of rivers, that in their majority are
affluent of the Great Amazonas River, spectacular photos of black water
rivers and its igapos, where inhabit piranhas, pink dolphins, Caymans,
boas, anacondas, etc and its sunsets with the sun being reflected in their
waters, photos which I am sure will astonish to all that could see them,
and donít by my photographic abilities, but rather by the images shaped
in them and the facility that I had to catch them, I am sure that any person
without experience in the photography could catch photos better than any
expert, by the landscaping that this jungle displays to us.
Before finalizing my trip
to this wonderful country and with the aid of Gray Line Tours and its Ecuador
Tours, I could know another one, according to UNESCO, Biosphere Natural
Heritage, like are the Galapagos Islands and is that speaking of the Galapagos
Islands, it is to speak of another completely different world, where you
can photograph Marine Wolves, Iguanas, Boobies, Penguins, etc, to few meters
of distance, you could even touch them, but that it is not allowed of course.
Each one of the islands and
their submarine territory, has a flora and a different fauna, which makes
a paradise for the lovers of the photography and mainly for the open waters
divers like me, since, if they have luck will be able to dive and to photograph
the greatest Shark of the world, the Whale Shark, that is very difficult
to see in other places, also I had the opportunity to photograph a large
number of hammer sharks, rays eagle, morays, dolphins, tropical fishes,
At least, to speak of Ecuador
and its Four Regions, is to speak of a country incredibly rich landscapingly
speaking, that complemented with their biodiversity, habitats, human heat,
etc, make it perfect for the photography and the tourism.
- Ecuador Hotels
About the Author: Hugo Sandoval
is chief editor of Grayline Ecuador. If you are planning to visit Ecuador
of Galapagos Islands by Todd Sarouhan
Located some 1000 km from
the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are a fascinating group of
tiny islands to explore. Pristine and remote, these islands are perfect
for nature lovers who get to see some of the most rare and endangered wildlife
species on the planet, roam free and unafraid amidst the rugged volcanic
landscape here. The wildlife in the Galapagos is indeed unique as most
of the animals here wander without fear even around human visitors because
of the lack of natural predators.
|Birds are the most common
residents of the Galapagos, with over 58 species of birds found here. While
28 of the Galapagos' birds are endemic, the other 30 are migratory species
that visit the islands at different times during the year. If you are an
avid bird enthusiast, or enjoy bird watching then the Galapagos Islands
is a great place to come and see birds fly uninhibited in their natural
habitat. If you are a keen observer, you can note up 40 bird species as
you tour the Galapagos.
Galapagos Birds - Sea
A wide variety of sea birds
can be found in the Galapagos Islands, the most magnificent of which is
the Waved Albatross. The largest bird in the archipelago, the waved albatross
has a wingspan of 2.4 meters. A joy to watch while it is flying, the courtship
of this bird is also something special.
The Flightless Cormorant
is endemic to the Galapagos Islands and is the only flightless seabird
in the world. Found on Islas Isabel and Fernandina, these birds have small
wings and strong powerful legs.
Boobies are the most common
birds in the Galapagos though they are not endemic to these islands. The
blue footed booby, the red footed booby and the masked booby can all be
seen on Isla San Cristobel.
|The Magnificent Frigatebird
and the Great Frigatebird are a treat to watch with their incredible acrobatic
flying. With their huge wingspan, both these birds can be easily spotted
by their red skin that hangs under their necks.
The Galapagos penguins are
the only equatorial penguins in the world. As you dive and snorkel near
Islas Fernandina and Isabel, you can spot them gracefully swimming buy.
Some other popular sea birds in the Galapagos are the red-billed tropicbird,
the swallow-tailed gull, the lava gull, the brown pelican, Audubon's shearwater
and storm petrels.
Galapagos Birds - Wetlands
The Great Blue Heron is the
largest heron in the Galapagos. You can spot this huge bird on almost all
of the Galapagos Islands. The lava heron is the only endemic bird of this
species in the Galapagos and can usually be spotted hunting along the lava
Flamingoes, American oystercatchers,
stilts and sandpipers are some of the other common wetland birds found
Galapagos Birds - Land
The most famous land birds
in the Galapagos have to be Darwin's finches. With 13 species, these finches
are credited to have helped Darwin formulate his theory of evolution. The
Galapagos hawk is another endemic land bird. Extremely fearless, unfortunately
this hawk is now an endangered species, with just a few hundred remaining
in the wild.
The Galapagos Flycatcher,
the barn owl, the Galapagos mockingbirds and the dark-billed cuckoo are
some other well known land birds in the Galapagos.
- Ecuador Hotels
|About the Author: Visit
to get further comprehensive information on the incredible Galapagos Islands.
Aimed at providing tourists with the very best and most accurate travel
details, GoVisitGalapagos.com lets you see all that the Galapagos has to
Tours - 5 Mistakes To Avoid
If you're thinking about
visiting the Galapagos Islands, you're in for a treat. Made famous by Charles
Darwin's voyage on the Beagle in the 19th century, the Islands lie 972
km west of mainland Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. Undiscovered by mankind
until relatively recently, you'll see a fantastic range of flora and fauna
in ecosystems that exist nowhere else on the planet.
|However there are a couple
of pitfalls to travelling to the Galapagos Islands and also while you are
on your stay. Here are five things you are best avoiding.
1) Missing your plane
The vast majority of tourists
arrive at Galapagos by plane. It is only possible to reach the islands
by a flight from mainland Ecuador starting in either Quito or Guayaquil.
International flights do not go directly to the Islands. If you are flying,
make sure your seat doesn't get given away to someone else by:
- Checking in more than an
hour before take-off
- Planning your international
arrival to Ecuador at least a day before your departure flights to the
Galapagos to give yourself time between connections (If you miss the start
of your cruise there is no way to catch up!)
2) Taking a tour with
an unqualified guide
Conservation on the islands
is of critical importance, and the best people to maintain standards are
the tour guides. They should help keep you on the marked pathways and assist
in communicating and enforcing conservation rules.
Visitors to the Galapagos
Islands should be guided at all times by a qualified individual. In your
group shouldn't be more that 16 people, to allow good control and guidance
of tourists. They should also give you information about general water
safety and supervise all swimming and snorkeling.
3) Touching animals
It's tempting, but visitors
should not interact with animals on the Galapagos Islands. The majority
of animals on the Galapagos have no reason to fear humans, and consequently
will allow visitors to get very close without bolting.
|However, you should go no
closer than within two meters of animals, as in some cases they will follow
you, leaving their nests uncovered, exposing eggs or chicks to the sun.
Additionally, no animals should be fed or baited on water or land.
4) Introducing new species
to the islands
Introducing any exotic organisms
to Galapagos could have a devastating effect on the ecosystems that exist
in a state of delicate balance. Any food, animal and vegetable products
as well as seeds, plants or fresh flowers should be declared before leaving
the airport at Quito or Guayaquil so that a trained inspector can deem
if they are safe or not. Any form of live animals are also not allowed.
The same rules apply for
inter-island visits; each island is its own unique ecosystem, so introductions
between islands can be just as devastating to the natural process of things
as items from the mainland.
5) Lighting fires
In 1985, Isabel Island suffered
severe damage from negligence with smoking and fire lighting. Surprisingly,
in 1994, almost a decade later, the same thing happened again. Even though
a beach fire seems like the perfect end to a day on an exotic island adventure,
visitors should resist the urge to build a camp fire.
- Ecuador Hotels
|Escaped To Latin America
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