November 26, 2011

Ecuador and the Galapagos

 We recently took a trip down to Ecuador, a spanish-speaking and largely catholic country in equatorial south america. We landed in the city of Quito, the political but not economic capital of the country, located in the centre of the country. We spent slightly over a week in the galapagos and then 5 days in the amazon rainforest in the eastern end of the country.
 While they are 972km from the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are still part of the country and consist of dozens of islands and smaller rocks created by a volcanic hotspot. Though they look small on most maps, there were too many to visit in a single trip, so our cruise held predominantly to the east end of the archipelago, following a path similar to the one below.
The people of Ecuador were incredibly helpful and friendly throughout and we both encourage anyone considering a visit down there to prioritize it on their list. From mountain cities to volcanic islands to rainforest we saw a lot of variation, and Ecuador actually boasts the highest level of biodiversity per square kilometer of the country. The environment is a priority to the people as well and is legally protected by their constituion, though I'm sure that the reality on the ground is often different as they are also one of the largest oil exporters in south america.

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