It's amazing the ground you can cover in just a few days traveling through Ecuador, one of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse countries from the Galapagos Islands, to the Pacific coastal lowlands, Andean highlands, and the Amazon rainforest.
There are many changes happening in Galapagos with so much land-based tourism; I'm convinced more than ever that yacht-based voyages are unquestionably the best way to experience the wildlife and this showcase of evolution that is Galapagos! Last year there were 170,000 visitors to Galapagos (more than twice the amount 10 years ago) and next year the new airport in Baltra will have a capacity of up to 300,000 visitors!
Another big change is the new airport in Quito scheduled to open October 2012. Located much further from downtown Quito, it is going to make it much more difficult and tiring to get into the city—a transfer of up to an hour or more after that long flight. That's one reason why I here exploring Cuenca as we are preparing to offer trips from the mainland out to Galapagos and back through the port city of Guayaquil instead of stopping in Quito. (All flights to Galapagos currently go through Guayaquil anyway.)
I have just spent several days exploring the beautiful colonial town of Cuenca and the highlands of this area of sounther Ecuador. It's only a 30 minute, $80 flight from Guayaquil to Cuenca and the area is so much less developed, more traditional, and more peaceful than Quito and the Otavalo region to the north.
Keeping it wild,
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