Columbus
Global Village
Team

Ecuador 2008

This page is a collection of the planning & preparatory information that was disseminated before the short-term mission trip to Ecuador occurred. For pictures and reports of the actual trip experience, please visit the Trip Highlights page.

Optional Excursion
June 28 Through July 6

isthmus of land in a blue lake
Photo courtesy ofAchim Fried

Dave & Susi plan to take one of their all time dream vacations after completion of the Columbus Global Village Team mission to Ecuador: a tour of the Galápagos Islands. Team members are invited to join them, or they may make other extended travel arrangements if they prefer.

Dave and Susi are busy researching all the best that the Galápagos have to offer, and will be updating this page as they learn more and begin to choose specific accommodations, activities, etc. Dave & Susi's love of scuba diving and snorkeling will frequently take them below the surface, but they are also eager to explore the amazing geology, flora and fauna on the islands. They will actively seek out the comments and desires of any team members who choose to tour with them as they make the final selections.

Head & shoulders of iguana
Photo byIan Woodman

Nature Unspoiled

The Galápagos is an archipelago of 19 islands clustered about 600 miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean that was made famous by Charles Darwin whose work on evolution included extensive study of the unique species he found there in 1835. Five of the islands are home to a population of about 30,000 humans, and all of them are home to exotic species such as  the Giant Galápagos Tortoise, the Galápagos Iguana, the Galápagos Green Turtle, the Blue-Footed Booby, the Flightless Cormorant and the Magnificent Frigatebird to name just a few. At Galapagos.com we read:

With a Galapagos naturalist at our side, we set out each day in the early morning and afternoon, to remarkable ecosystems where the wildlife is most abundant and active.  Inching our way past lounging iguanas and sea lions, scouting for breaching whales offshore and pink flamingos at hidden lagoons, we marvel at the strangeness of the Galapagos creatures on these desolate volcanic isles much as Charles Darwin did nearly two centuries ago.

Looking up into a school of fishes
Photo courtesy of Becky Bezaire

World-class Scuba Diving and Snorkeling

Experienced divers find unique opportunities in the Galapagos, including a remarkably abundant ecosystem supported by the mixing of warm tropical waters with cool Humboldt currents. Without wanting to allow his expectations to soar totally out of control, Dave can hardly help himself when he reads thing like the following at Scuba Diving Magazine:

Whale sharks, a pod of dolphins, sea lions, a school of hammerheads, a large Galapagos shark, green sea turtles, hundreds of almaco jacks, blue jacks, bacalao, a school of leather bass, Pacific dog snappers, masses of bluestriped chub, yellowfin tuna and blue runners. A lifetime of sightings? Nope. A week's worth? Try again. How about a single dive? Such is life at many of the dive sites in the Galapagos archipelago.

Daily Itinerary

A brief preliminary schedule for the optional excursion is included on the Daily itinerary.

Accommodations

We will be staying ??

Each room accommodates ??

Our meals will be ??

To help safeguard our passports and valuables, we will bring a hard-sided suitcase with a bicycle cable and padlock so we can secure them in our room or the office.

Pricing Information

Although the actual cost of the optional Galápagos Islands excursion will not be finalized until we know exactly how many people join the group, we will update the following table as we continue to learn more specifics. We hope to keep the total price in the range of $?? to $?? per person.

Description
Amount
Payable To
Although we will negotiate a package through Twin Horizons Travel, you are free to make your own arrangements. (Dave & Susi are part owners of this agency.) TBD Travel agent
Transportation TBD TBD
Lodging TBD TBD
Travel health insurance TBD TBD
Food TBD TBD
Activity 1 TBD TBD
Activity 2 TBD TBD
Contingency TBD TBD
Other TBD TBD
Immunizations and malaria tablets TBD TBD
Tourist Card, visa, exit tax, etc. TBD TBD

Payment Responsibility, Cancellation, etc

Dave and Susi are researching the possible trips and making arrangements for themselves. They are very willing to include others, but their responsibility in doing so extends only to the convenience of facilitating their discussion with the travel agents and providers. Each traveler will have their own separate relationship with the agents and providers, and will individually be responsible for all payments, cancellation consequences, etc.

Climate & Weather

The current forecast is available at Weather Underground. Although the Galapagos are located on the equator, from June through December the Humboldt currents keep the daytime temperatures down to highs in the low to mid-70s, and it appears that nighttime lows are only a few degrees cooler. See more at Galapagosislands.com.