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New York Times

" The 44 Places to go
in 2009 "

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GALAPAGOS:
chosen as number 3rd by
The New York Times

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Reader's comments:
23. "I had such a wonderful time last summer at Galapagos Islands. Definitively I would recommed Galaterra...
www.galapagosislands.ec"

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Reader's suggestions:
4. "...You will find excellent support in the following website:
www.galapagosislands.ec"

Travel Handbook

ECUADOR VACATION BUDGET

In general terms, Ecuador is one of the cheapest countries in Latin America. Here you’ll find good quality food, lodging and transport at low costs compared with other countries of the region.

DAILY BUDGET

You can survive in Ecuador with:
Low-budget: from USD 30.00
Mid-budget: from USD 50.00 to USD 100.00
High-budget: from USD 150.00 and upwards

FOOD BUDGET

You can get a good meal in a good restaurant for an average price between USD 5.00 to USD 7.00. Still you can find good quality meals for lower prices but then you may sacrifice comfort. Nevertheless you may find some places where you can get a complete meal between USD 3.00 to USD 5.00. Of course, there is the luxury stile, fancy restaurants may charge USD 15.00 and upwards for a meal.

LODGING BUDGET

There is a great variety of hotels and hostels in the Country which means that there is a great variety of prices too. You can find surprisingly clean and comfortable places for a range of prices between the USD 8.00 and USD 20.00; however, price may be a good warranty at the moment of choosing a place with all the necessary services. Most of the good hotels are between USD 40.00 to USD 70.00; better facilities and comfort at these places is assured. You will find also top-end hotels from USD 80.00 and upwards.

TRANSPORTATION BUDGET

Maybe transport is the cheapest service in Ecuador. A bus ride will cost USD 0.25 and a taxi ride will cost between USD 1.00 to USD 10.00

TRANSPORTATION IN ECUADOR
Getting around Ecuador and its cities is pretty easy, however, you should know some tips for traveling in a fast and safe way.

Urban Buses

You may get anywhere in a big city by just taking a bus. It’s a really cheap service (USD 0.25) and there are a lot of “only seated” units. Buses begin to circulate early in the morning (06 a.m.) but they do not stay in the streets too late (9 p.m.). Even though it’s a popular way of moving around, it has some negative aspects. Bus drivers, not always respect the bus stops and sometimes they stop anywhere.  There are many new buses, and there are another many that aren’t so new which means comfort is not always guaranteed.

Trolebus & Ecovía & Metrobus
It’s the most modern and efficient urban transport in the country. Big articulate buses run through exclusive ways and still bus stops. The service is cheap (USD 0.25) and it runs along the city from one side to the other. You can use also the integrated bus service (units that work exclusively for the trole, ecovía and the metrobus). Buses are new and the bus stops are well distributed in the city. You may be a little bit tight in the rush hours. This service exists only in Quito from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Taxis
Cabs are also a very popular way to move around in big cities. In a general way, the service is good, cars are new and drivers are pleased to help tourists. The cost depends on the taximeter, but an average ride will be between USD 1.50 to USD 2.00. At night will be hard to find a taxi driver using the taximeter so the will not charge less than USD 2.00 (even though it’s illegal). If you come from or go to the airport, they will charge some extra money (between USD 3 to USD 5.00). It’s safer to use a radio taxi at night; these units work with radios and you must call them from a telephone. The cab will be there in no more than 5 minutes with no extra charge. Taxis work 24 hours a day.

Buses for provinces
The easiest and cheapest way to travel inside Ecuador is in a bus. You may get anywhere in the Country just by taking one or two buses. Costs may vary due to distance and the quality of service. There are some express buses which mean that they would not stop in any town until you get to your destination. Many transport companies have new units, with bathroom, TV and comfortable chairs. Some even serve some snacks during your travel.

If you want to take one of these buses, you should locate the ground terminals in each city. There you will find a huge offer of companies for any destination in the Country.

Some transportation companies have their own ground terminal…frequency of the trips are wide and they work 24 hours a day.

Airplanes
Ecuador has one of the best domestic air transportation system in the region. Twelve cities have their airports and are served by local air companies. Costs vary depending in distance and service. The longest flight inside Ecuador may take 45 minutes, with the exception of the Galapagos Islands which may take like an hour and a half.

ECUADORIAN TAXES

Good quality restaurants and hotels will add a 12% tax to your bill, and another 10% for service charge.
As for international departure air taxes, this cannot be included in your airline ticket price because you are required to pay them directly. All taxes are subject to change without notice and have to be paid in cash in US dollars

From Quito: USD 40.28 per passenger
From Guayaquil: USD 25.00 per passenger


TIPPING

The amounts of your tips are optional for your trip. However, here are some guidelines for tipping the people who help make your trip enjoyable, based on what past travelers have done.

It is customary to express a personal “thank you” to your Company’s trip leader (the person who organizes your trip and takes care of all your request and needs), especially if he/she has provide you with individual assistance. We recommend USD5.00 per person / per day.

During your tour, you have the opportunity to participate in included tours (land programs). A tip to your local guide and motor coach driver is customary. Here are the following suggested amounts.

Motor coach driver:  USD 2.00 per person for each full day tour
Local guide:  USD 5.00 per person for each full day tour  

At the Galapagos Islands guides and crewmembers are highly remunerated, but it is customary to give a common tip that will be divided equally among guide and crewmembers. It is normally around USD 5.00 to USD 10.00 per person/per day. Again; all the amounts you give are strictly your own decision and therefore confidential
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GALATERRA TRAVEL AGENCY AND TOUR OPERATOR
info@galapagosislands.ec

Address: Libertador Oe5-202 and Santa Teresa
Telefax: 593 2 2537-198 / mobile phone: 593 92 340 521

Quito - Ecuador