Guest Name: Steve T.
Trip: Galápagos Unbound
What was your top motivation for visiting the Galápagos Islands?
For us, the Galápagos Islands are one of the planet’s great unique destinations. We wanted to see it now in part because we were up for kayaking, snorkeling, hiking, diving, and one can never be sure how long that will last. And in part we wanted to see it now because of concerns about the impact on the Galápagos of climate change, and continued increases in human habitation on the Islands. We wanted to see as much of the Galápagos Islands as close to their pristine state as possible.
Were you familiar with ROW before this tour?
Yes we were; we had taken a river rafting trip with ROW in the states. We liked ROW because we felt it would provide just the right combination of being outdoors, engaging in activities, and comfort in a local setting.
What emotion comes to mind when you think back on your time there? Can you reflect on that a bit?
Deep satisfaction from being in such a unique part of the world. The Galápagos met our every expectation.
What has been your favorite memory to share with friends and family once you returned?
Visiting Los Tuneles. That was a place where the phrase “only in Galápagos” jumps immediately to mind. That day was our best day; taking the boat to the site; running the waves to get into the Los Tuneles area; snorkeling and seeing the underwater wildlife; hiking and seeing the boobies, the amazing lava / desert landscape that had been shaped and tunneled out by the ocean; penguins and other land wildlife, then our boat ride home where we encountered a “boil of fish” with birds diving to grab them. Just a very very special day and again – something you’d only see in the Galápagos.
What was something you were surprised by on your trip?
How ubiquitous some of the wildlife was, frigate birds, seals and marine iguanas almost everywhere. Surprised may be too strong a word, but we were pleased at how friendly the Ecuadorians we met were.
Do you have any recommendations or tips for guests who are planning a trip to the islands?
I would say leave your concerns about traveling in Galápagos at home. We had normal concerns about traveling to a new place, along with specific concerns about going to the Galápagos – concerns about the Zika virus or the effects of El Nino. We found these concerns unfounded, and traveling to Ecuador and the Galápagos so easy. People were friendly and our limited Spanish worked just fine. The wildlife is everywhere and the accommodations were very comfortable. Travel to Ecuador is uniquely easy for Americans as the dollar is official currency there, the power grid uses 110 volt electricity, and they are on the same time zone as sections of the US. Be mindful of the sun and be aware of the thermoclines in the water; a comfortable swim can get cold quite quickly. But overall just a pleasant magical place to visit; one that is quite easy for Americans to enjoy.