Adventures by Disney forums

Go Back   The DIS Discussion Forums - DISboards.com > Disney Trip Planning Forums > Adventures By Disney
Register Chat FAQ Tickers Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 12-02-2012, 03:57 PM   #1
CastlesandDreams
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Harrisburg (Charlotte),North Carolina
Posts: 81

Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands- Trip Report- November 2012

DAY ONE
I arrived to Quito, Ecuador, on Monday, November 5, 2012. The tour with ABD was to begin on Wednesday, but I decided to arrive one day early. Quito is 9,350 feet above sea level and I wanted to get used to the altitude. Thankfully, I did not suffer any affects from it, but one person on the trip did and it was not pleasant. After a 3-hour layover in Houston, my plane arrived to Quito at 10:40pm and I passed through customs with ease. I was met by an ABD representative who took me to the hotel– the JW Marriott— and I was in my room before midnight.

The hotel is really nice. There are plenty of television channels in English, but I enjoyed watching the Disney Channel in Spanish.

Internet access is available for $15 for 24 hours.

I booked the extra night through ABD at a cost of $230, including a buffet breakfast and taxes.
__________________
Next Disney trips: Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World, November 16-20, 2014 and Ambassaor Hotel at Tokyo Disneyland, April 2-6, 2015

Recent Disney trips:Disney Wonder to Alaska, August 11-18, 2014, Adventures By Disney- Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, November 5-14, 2012 and Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawai'i, July 21-25, 2012


Me46 , DS17 , DS13 , DD12 and DM74
CastlesandDreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 04:59 PM   #2
kristilew
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Coastal NC
Posts: 1,890

oh, oh, oh, so excited to get one more trip report before we head out two weeks from now! Please be sure to share any packing tips, or general tips! Thank you!
kristilew is offline   Reply With Quote
|
The DIS
Register to remove

Join Date: 1997
Location: Orlando, FL
Posts: 1,000,000
Old 12-02-2012, 05:32 PM   #3
CastlesandDreams
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Harrisburg (Charlotte),North Carolina
Posts: 81

DAY TWO
Despite trying to sleep in, I woke up around 8am on Tuesday, November 6, 2012. The hotel offers a yummy breakfast buffet so I did have to get ready by 10am so I would not miss it. Fruit, queso fresco (fresh cheese) and eggs. Yummy. After breakfast, I met one of the two ABD Adventure Guides, Laura. On each ABD escourted tour, you have two Adventure Guides. One is from the United States and the other is from the country in which you are touring. This is one of the “Disney Differences”- two guides. When we toured Italy with another tour company a few years ago, we only had one guide and we were a group of 40. With two guides, the group can be split into two smaller groups, making for a more personal experience.

I was on my own this day and my mom arranged for a tour of Quito. I met my tour guide in the hotel lobby at 1pm and we were on our way. Our first stop was the Bascilica del Voto Nacional. It took over 100 years to build and the neo-Gothic architecture stands out.

Next on the tour was the El San Francisco Church. It takes up nearly two blocks and is more than 400 years old. After a walk through Plaza Grande, we arrived at La Compania. This church is one of the most significant works of Spanish baroque architecture in South America. It is the best know church in Quito because almost the entire interior is profusely decorated with gold-leaf.

Next was a quick stop at La Ronda Street. This street is the oldest in Quito and the city has gone to great lengths to restore it back to its original colonial charm. For expample, when the street was torn up to modernize the sewage system, each of the 18th century cobblestones was numbered and replaced in its original position.

The last stop on the tour was Panecillo….. a hill that overlooks the city of Quito.
__________________
Next Disney trips: Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World, November 16-20, 2014 and Ambassaor Hotel at Tokyo Disneyland, April 2-6, 2015

Recent Disney trips:Disney Wonder to Alaska, August 11-18, 2014, Adventures By Disney- Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, November 5-14, 2012 and Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawai'i, July 21-25, 2012


Me46 , DS17 , DS13 , DD12 and DM74

Last edited by CastlesandDreams; 12-02-2012 at 06:23 PM.
CastlesandDreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 05:33 PM   #4
CastlesandDreams
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Harrisburg (Charlotte),North Carolina
Posts: 81

Hi Kristilew--- are you going on this trip (Ecuador)???
__________________
Next Disney trips: Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World, November 16-20, 2014 and Ambassaor Hotel at Tokyo Disneyland, April 2-6, 2015

Recent Disney trips:Disney Wonder to Alaska, August 11-18, 2014, Adventures By Disney- Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, November 5-14, 2012 and Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawai'i, July 21-25, 2012


Me46 , DS17 , DS13 , DD12 and DM74

Last edited by CastlesandDreams; 12-02-2012 at 06:09 PM.
CastlesandDreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 05:35 PM   #5
familygoboston
Mouseketeer
 
familygoboston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 339

Great start, looking forward to your report!
__________________
EuroDisney, Paris 1994
Disney Magic Bahamas Cruise 2002
ABD La Pura Vida Costa Rica 2007
ABD Andean Highlands and Galapagos Islands 2012
Photo Review: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=2987674
WDW- visits since 1976, lost count a long time ago.
familygoboston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 06:16 PM   #6
CastlesandDreams
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Harrisburg (Charlotte),North Carolina
Posts: 81

DAY THREE
The hotel phone rang promptly at 6:00am on Wednesday, November 7, 2012. Didn’t we just go to sleep? Oh well. Get up and get dressed. We had just over an hour before our suitcases had to be outside the door. (Then Tinkerbell comes and takes them to the bus. It’s called Disney magic).

The other people on the trip began to congregate in the lobby of the hotel. This was the first time that we were all meeting. We also got to meet the other Adventure Guide, Eduardo. He is from Quito so we were in good hands. We started the day with a welcome breakfast at the hotel.

Then it was off to the Equator. Ecuador means “equator” in Spanish. We did not go to the “Middle of the Earth” monument in Pichincha because that is geographically inaccurate. We went to the Quitsato Sundial, which is truly N 00*00’00″.

After the equator, we stopped at a rose farm. These roses grow more than 6 feet tall and come in every color. Ecuador is one of the top producing country of roses. We watched the process of how the roses are grown, cultivated, clipped, stored and shipped. It takes about 10 days for a rose to get from the farm to an American store. We also saw a llama attack one of the gals on the trip (Lori is fine, but now stays far away from llamas).

Then we went a famous flute maker. We even got to make our our flutes. Afterwards, we visited a weaver.

Finally, we arrived at Hacienda Pinsaqui, near Otavalo. The hacienda was built in 1790 and is very beautiful. We had a wonderful dinner at the hacienda that evening.
__________________
Next Disney trips: Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World, November 16-20, 2014 and Ambassaor Hotel at Tokyo Disneyland, April 2-6, 2015

Recent Disney trips:Disney Wonder to Alaska, August 11-18, 2014, Adventures By Disney- Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, November 5-14, 2012 and Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawai'i, July 21-25, 2012


Me46 , DS17 , DS13 , DD12 and DM74

Last edited by CastlesandDreams; 12-02-2012 at 06:24 PM.
CastlesandDreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 06:22 PM   #7
CastlesandDreams
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Harrisburg (Charlotte),North Carolina
Posts: 81

DAY FOUR
Thursday, November 8, 2012, was another day in the Ecuadorian Highlands. Our first stop was the Parque Condor, where they rescue and rehabilitate condors and other birds. We also saw a bald eagle fly over the Otavalo Valley.

Then it was on to an open field where we fly some kites. After many tries, I finally got my kite in the air. We had lunch at Puerto Lago and then did some shopping at the famous Otavalo Market. We saw many beautiful handmade items– scarfs, rugs, paintings. I bought a few items for my kids, but I could have spent a lot of money there.

We were back to the Hacienda at 3:45pm. Unfortunately, I needed to check my email (I may have been on vacation, but I need to be there for my clients) so I missed a painting activity. It’s okay though because I am not an artist. My stick figures are pathetic. I can’t say much for my cooking skills either. At 6:15, there was a cooking demonstration and I made the ugliest empanada. It tasted yummy though.

At our BBQ dinner, they served an Ecuadorian delicacy— guinea pig. Most of the people on the trip (BTW- it was all adults on our trip) tasted it, but not me!
__________________
Next Disney trips: Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World, November 16-20, 2014 and Ambassaor Hotel at Tokyo Disneyland, April 2-6, 2015

Recent Disney trips:Disney Wonder to Alaska, August 11-18, 2014, Adventures By Disney- Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, November 5-14, 2012 and Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawai'i, July 21-25, 2012


Me46 , DS17 , DS13 , DD12 and DM74
CastlesandDreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 08:07 PM   #8
kristilew
DIS Veteran
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Coastal NC
Posts: 1,890

Quote:
Originally Posted by CastlesandDreams View Post
Hi Kristilew--- are you going on this trip (Ecuador)???
Yes! We are doing the Dec 18 departure that goes over Christmas time. So excited! We were just wondering this evening if Disney movie night will be the Muppet Christmas Carol.

Got a call from ABD today just to check on us. The rep told me they have 30 booked, and several teens near my DD's age.

Thanks for your trip report - I'm soaking up every detail!
kristilew is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 07:57 PM   #9
CastlesandDreams
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Harrisburg (Charlotte),North Carolina
Posts: 81

Some packing tips:

Hat. They tell you to bring a hat, but I hate hats so I didn't. My head got sunburned this first day so then I bought one.

Shampoo and conditioner. The shampoo and conditioner at the hacienda and on the ship leave much to be desired.

Comfortable shoes. Like hiking shoes or tennis shoes. The hikes on the islands are on uneven ground. They aren't difficult, just uneven ground.

Bug spray. And use it. I brought it and forgot to use it the first day. Then I itched like crazy.

Lightweight windbreaker. It did not get cold, but it got VERY windy. I do not get cold so I just dealt with the wind, but the windbreaker would have been good.

I'll keep thinking and add to the list as I remember.
__________________
Next Disney trips: Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World, November 16-20, 2014 and Ambassaor Hotel at Tokyo Disneyland, April 2-6, 2015

Recent Disney trips:Disney Wonder to Alaska, August 11-18, 2014, Adventures By Disney- Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, November 5-14, 2012 and Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawai'i, July 21-25, 2012


Me46 , DS17 , DS13 , DD12 and DM74

Last edited by CastlesandDreams; 12-12-2012 at 04:36 PM.
CastlesandDreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 08:13 PM   #10
CastlesandDreams
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Harrisburg (Charlotte),North Carolina
Posts: 81

Some general tips:

Arrive one day early. I am so glad I did this. First, the city of Quito is wonderful and worth a visit. And it is good to get acclimated to the climate and rest after a long day of travel.

Bring small bills (money). For more than 10 years, Ecuador has used dollars, but they like small bills such as $1s, $5s and $10s.

Oh boy, I am still thinking. I will add them as I think of them.
__________________
Next Disney trips: Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World, November 16-20, 2014 and Ambassaor Hotel at Tokyo Disneyland, April 2-6, 2015

Recent Disney trips:Disney Wonder to Alaska, August 11-18, 2014, Adventures By Disney- Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, November 5-14, 2012 and Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawai'i, July 21-25, 2012


Me46 , DS17 , DS13 , DD12 and DM74
CastlesandDreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-02-2012, 08:19 PM   #11
CastlesandDreams
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Harrisburg (Charlotte),North Carolina
Posts: 81

Thanks familygoboston. I will try to add some pictures.

I read your trip report before I went on the trip and it was very helpful! Thanks!

Poor Lori and the llama, but Laura had great reflexes and grabbed that thing right off her.

No waterfalls trip, but that sounds like it would have been fun. I wonder why they changed that.
__________________
Next Disney trips: Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World, November 16-20, 2014 and Ambassaor Hotel at Tokyo Disneyland, April 2-6, 2015

Recent Disney trips:Disney Wonder to Alaska, August 11-18, 2014, Adventures By Disney- Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, November 5-14, 2012 and Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawai'i, July 21-25, 2012


Me46 , DS17 , DS13 , DD12 and DM74
CastlesandDreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 03:18 PM   #12
sayhello
Have Camera, Will Travel
 
sayhello's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 10,491
DISboards Moderator

Oh, cool! Looking forward to reading this when I get off of work!

Sayhello
sayhello is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-03-2012, 07:39 PM   #13
familygoboston
Mouseketeer
 
familygoboston's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 339

Quote:
Originally Posted by CastlesandDreams View Post
Thanks familygoboston. I will try to add some pictures.

I read your trip report before I went on the trip and it was very helpful! Thanks!

Poor Lori and the llama, but Laura had great reflexes and grabbed that thing right off her.

No waterfalls trip, but that sounds like it would have been fun. I wonder why they changed that.
Thanks, glad it was helpful! I think they may have eliminated the hike because the bridges were looking to be in very poor repair. They kept admonishing us "not to lean our weight on the railings" and there were huge rotted out gaps in the foot bridge part...easily big enough for a small child to slip through. The itinerary was already busy busy, so if something had to go, that was starting to look a little risky, and that may be what they were thinking.
Good luck with the photos!
familygoboston is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-11-2012, 02:45 PM   #14
pipch
Earning My Ears
 
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 69

Quote:
Originally Posted by CastlesandDreams View Post
Thanks familygoboston. I will try to add some pictures.

I read your trip report before I went on the trip and it was very helpful! Thanks!

Poor Lori and the llama, but Laura had great reflexes and grabbed that thing right off her.

No waterfalls trip, but that sounds like it would have been fun. I wonder why they changed that.
Hi there
We did this trip this summer with Laura and Eduardo and whilst it was fabulous it was also very very hectic. We never seemed to have longer than an 3/4 hour each evening to get ready for dinner and two nights that included the packing and unpacking too!! This is our fourth trip and the one that we came home the most exhausted. The highlands sections was just so full - I realised that they had reduced the itinerary by one night and when we asked the guides they agreed that was the case but that the decision had been made not to reduce the activities. This they have finally changed - there were several comments and several new families commented that they would not repeat if this was the non stop type of itinerary to be expected. The walk was fabulous but I would have apprecaited a more leisurely pace to the rest of the days.
pipch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-12-2012, 06:32 AM   #15
CastlesandDreams
Mouseketeer
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Harrisburg (Charlotte),North Carolina
Posts: 81

The trip is very go, go, go. We did Italy with Globus a few years ago and it was the same exact way so the pace did not bother me. My mom has done about 20 escorted tours (with a variety of tour companies) and she would be upset if there was any down time so I guess it is hard to please everyone.

One of these days, I will get some pictures up. Work. Christmas shopping. And the world is coming to an end in less than 10 days.
__________________
Next Disney trips: Coronado Springs at Walt Disney World, November 16-20, 2014 and Ambassaor Hotel at Tokyo Disneyland, April 2-6, 2015

Recent Disney trips:Disney Wonder to Alaska, August 11-18, 2014, Adventures By Disney- Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands, November 5-14, 2012 and Disney's Aulani Resort in Hawai'i, July 21-25, 2012


Me46 , DS17 , DS13 , DD12 and DM74
CastlesandDreams is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply



Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

facebooktwitterpinterestgoogle plusyoutubeDIS Updates
GET OUR DIS UPDATES DELIVERED BY EMAIL



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:54 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

Copyright © 1997-2014, Werner Technologies, LLC. All Rights Reserved.