Rosemary and I travelled with Naturetrek to the Galapagos Islands, Quito and the Amazon Rain Forest to celebrate a significant birthday.  Yes she had birthday cake in the Galapagos Islands.

Each day, apart from Day 1, has its own photo collection, see below, and if you scroll way down this page, you will then find what I call the Star Photographs of the holiday.


Ecuador Day 1 Heathrow – Miami – Quito

Monday up bright and early for the Virgin flight to Miami. M25 a breeze, terminal 3 was a doddle. No waiting at check in, no problems at security, just a 3 hour wait for the flight. Why do they ask you to check in 3 hours before the gate closes? Note to self, leave to the last minute.

Flight arrived at Miami, where we had a 1 hour wait to get through security, but they were quite a friendly. Now to get to the AA flight to Quito. Had to check in again, despite bags making their way between the planes without our aid, and seats already having been assigned, then the long queue to get through security. 3 hours was ample time. If we had only 2 hours to make the flight we would have been panicking.

Met a few other Naturetrek punters at the AA flight to Quito, they had not been so lucky, they had flown on an earlier flight to us by AA. Different set of immigration officials in a different immigration hall. Two hours to get through, and some very unfriendlyofficials.

Note to self, never fly AA, and never, ever pass through Miami.

Arrived at Quito 11pm ish  local time, and into hotel at midnight. That would be 5am UK time. Quite a long day all in all.

After a long time I have managed to get around to editing the video I took on the Galapagos and Sacha Lodge rain forest trip.  I only started to edit the video after Rosemary brought back some ballet dancing video she took of a friend Ann.  I hate to say it, the ballet video proved to be the stimulus  to finish the record of the Ecuador 2012 holiday.  I have divided the video into two.  The Galapagos Islands, and Sacha Lodge. They are both available in full HD.

Galapagos Islands.

Sacha Lodge.

Photo Albums by Day

The previous day had been a travelling day from Heathrow, through Miami to Quito. Today was a sight seeing tour of Quito. We saw the Basilica, the old quarter including the presidential palace and a quick tour of the Botanical gardens in the rain.

Flight from Quito to the Galapagos Islands, tour of the Santa Cruz Island, visit to the tortoise breeding centre and Lonely George before joining are ship the Cachalote.

Thursday we visited two islands, the small South Plaza Island off Santa Cruz, and then an afternoon cruise to the island of Santa Fe, where we landed amongst a colony of Sea Lions.

San Cristobal Island, Panga trip, beach walk and swimming, followed by cruise to the port and a bus ride to the highlands to see a permanent fresh water lake in a volcano cone.

Overnight cruise to Espanola Island (Hood), quietly slipping anchor at around 2.00am. Here we landed on another white beach, punctuated at each end with a rocky section. This time the rocks were wet and slippery. Our first sighting of the large Cactus Finch, and a Galapagos hawk did us proud with a flyby.

Sunday was Floreana Island, the Charles Mocking bird, swimming with rays, our first sighting of the Galapagos Penguin. Posting cards home from Post Office Bay.

Walk inland where at Cero Dragon where we spotted Flamingos and Stilts. On board the Cachalote we set sails. Various clients went chasing dolphins as we made our way to Santiago and the Lava flows and Galapagos Penguins.

Crossing the Equator to Tower Island, and the rather tame wildlife. A beautiful display by dolphins as we were sailing home just before sunset and crossing the equator again.

Last few minutes on the Galapagos saw us wake just outside a mangrove swamp on Santa Cruz Island. Afterwards flight back to Quito.

Back in Quito, and two trips, the traditional market at Otavalo (R) and Antisana National Park (S) .

Arrival at Sacha Lodge in the Amazon rainforest

First full day at Sacha, no pictures for the morning because of the rain.

Second day at Sacha lodge

Star Photographs



Galapagos Islands Ecuador Naturetrek holiday 2012 — 4 Comments

  1. We have thoroughly enjoyed the photographs, they are excellent as is the commentary. Perhaps you should put it all together and publish!

  2. Star Photos – definitely the way to go. You’ve got some very nice shots. I particularly like the nicely posed lizard with the red throat. the flight shots of the gull with black wing tips and the first pelican shot are also excellent (nice clearly focussed eyes).

    Just indulge an old Odonata softie and add the Striped Saddlebags with the wasp cloned out.

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