EXPERIENCE OUTSIDE OF VIRGINIA: GALAPAGOS Islands and ECUADOR.


All of my life I have had the greatest experiences to travel all around the world. I am very blessed to have a well off family who loves to experience new places and make many memories. With that being said, I’ve had many great traveling experiences. One travel experience that has really stuck with me is traveling to the galapagos islands and Ecuador.

My mother, grandmother, and I went on this trip when I was in the sixth grade, we started off the trip exploring Ecuador and particularly Quito. My journey began in Quito, Ecuador’s capital. Mountains and snow-capped volcanoes surround the city. It’s also at a high altitude, at 2850 meters, so take it slowly and drink plenty of water when you arrive there. I was taken on a guided walking tour of Quito. The city itself is enormous, with plenty to see and enjoy, including ancient cobblestone streets, colonial churches, bustling plazas, and regal government buildings. The tour concluded with a hike up to El Panecillo, Quito’s Virgin Statue, which offers spectacular views of the city and is a fantastic photo opportunity. The colorful markets of Otavalo and the Mindo Cloud Forest, which is home to butterflies, orchids, and birds, provide a deeper look into life in Ecuador. We then continued our trip on a ship traveling all around the Galapagos islands and learning the history that really makes the island what it is. The Galapagos Islands, however, aren’t only about your boat and the food! The main highlights are the unique nature and fauna, as well as the great activities that allow you to engage with it. Every day, we went to a different island, each one unique. We went to the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn more about the islands’ protection and environment. As blue footed boobies sailed above, I paddled along the clean coastlines. Took a gentle climb to the Sierra Negra volcano, which was surrounded by lava rocks. Beaches featuring nesting sea turtles, giant tortoises, crabs, penguins, and other wildlife were visited. Snorkeling with playful sea lions was a magical experience as they attempted to engage in play with you. Sharks, marine iguanas, and colorful fish were all seen from the boat. Visitors do not bother the wildlife, and it is one of the few areas where little has changed since Darwin’s visit 200 years ago. Going on this trip with just anyone would be a fun and awesome experience, but the fact that I got to go on this magical and eye opening trip with the most influential women in my life made it even better.  This trip is a trip that I want my children to experience and I wou;d be more than blessed to take them there with my mother one day and give them the experience that I had. The memories of hiking around, snorkeling, trying new food, seeing animals that you wouldn’t see anywhere in the U.S., making friends among the ship, and so many more memories I get to share with my two favorite women.

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