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The Galapagos Islands: Through the Words of One REI Member

I recently came across a travel article from an REI member who went on REI's Galapagos Islands & Otavalo Highlands Multisport tour. The article, written by a reporter for the Minnesota's Star Tribune, Pam Louwagie, is a fun read, perfectly depicting the imagery of that extraordinary place. Reading through it, I felt like I was right there, experiencing these amazing encounters with her. Pam discusses the advantages of seeing the Galapagos by land, which gives guests a more off-the-beaten-path experience as opposed to by boat, the way most tourists see the islands. The full article can be read on the Star Tribune's website. 

Here are a few of my favorite excerpts:

Hiking next to a steam vent along Chico Volcano in the Galapagos Islands"We walked atop giant ribbons of multicolored lava that had cascaded down the mountain's side. Our national park guide squatted down in one spot and motioned for us to come over. One by one, he invited us to stick our hands inside a small hole in the sharp rocks. Hot! We were feeling the Earth's inner fury."


Snorkeling with sea lions in the Galapagos Islands

"As we snorkeled near the shores of San Cristobal Island, slightly older sea lion pups frolicked in the surf, zooming up face-to-face with our masks underwater. Even with a snorkel in my mouth, I couldn't help but laugh as they played keep-away with a stick. When one pup dropped the stick in front of me underwater, I grabbed it and waved it like a wand, tempting my new friends to snatch it away. Just as I let go, one did."

"Scientists estimate some giant tortoises have been around more than 150 years. I couldn't help but wonder as I stared at it: What had this tortoise seen? How much did the islands change around it? Could it have come face to face with Darwin?"

There are many more great stories in Pam's full article. Check it out for yourself and tell us: What are some of your favorite experiences while traveling?

Posted on at 10:56 AM

Tagged: Galapagos Islands, REI Adventures, Travel and wildlife

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PJ Duran

As an Ecuadorian one's always proud to see its country's beauties portrayed internationally. It's also kind of sad though that most of the tourists coming to our country only get to see a tiny part of it. Most international tourism companies only offer packages that include Quito, Otavalo (which is nearby) and Galapagos and they do it in a very "controlled" environment. This leaves out a lot of interesting stuff, many amazing places such as Chimborazo and Cotopaxi, and wonderful cities like the colonial Cuenca. I recommend you visit them if you come to Ecuador. Finally, when in Galapagos, try to go SCUBA diving. The sight of hammerhead sharks, UFO looking golden rays and the massive whale sharks (them you'll see only if you're very lucky) is something words cannot describe. Welcome to Ecuador!

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