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Old 03-16-2012, 11:07 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by familygoboston View Post
Thinking back on all my research; Im pretty sure it's been mentioned in reviews that HP has been a "stop" during the "highlands" part of the tour, and I know I ve read at least one review (was it yours Tuffbuff?) that speculated they'd rather stay at HP than HC, and wondered why not.
Yup, that was me. I think Pinsaqui is more serene and they have a beautiful garden. There is also an option to go horseback riding within the premises if there is free time.
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Old 03-18-2012, 04:49 PM   #17
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Seeing the change on the website now...

It might have changed while I was looking! I did some research earlier and was still seeing HC, but now am seeing HP for night 2 and 3. So it appears to be for all their upcoming departures.

If tuffbuff is right ( and I can't see why not) maybe this is an improvement? I also see the Otavalo Market is listed, and I'm not sure that was on my itinerary printed from this summer? So maybe a few tweaks here and there; but I'm sure it'll be a great trip in any case!

I did not get a letter, but haven't spoken to my TA in a few weeks. I was researching Quito day trips so I can call her early this week, I'll update with any new info I get.
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Old 03-19-2012, 07:28 AM   #18
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familygoboston, please do post about your Quito research. Looks like we will be staying an extra day or two, so will be interested in what you find out!
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Old 03-20-2012, 06:57 AM   #19
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familygoboston, please do post about your Quito research. Looks like we will be staying an extra day or two, so will be interested in what you find out!
Will do!
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Old 03-21-2012, 09:07 AM   #20
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cabin size? as well

alvernon90! Thanks delighted to hear we are on the same trip and yes our TA received the letter yesterday.
I did also call to check and took the opportunity to ask how many junior adventurers on our trip - an amazing 12 (4x11/ 4x 10/ 2x9 and 8 and a 7 year old) My son who is 9 is over the moon!! Am sure they will have a ball.

Look forward to meeting you
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Old 03-22-2012, 07:03 AM   #21
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alvernon90! Thanks delighted to hear we are on the same trip and yes our TA received the letter yesterday.
I did also call to check and took the opportunity to ask how many junior adventurers on our trip - an amazing 12 (4x11/ 4x 10/ 2x9 and 8 and a 7 year old) My son who is 9 is over the moon!! Am sure they will have a ball.

Look forward to meeting you
Is that the Aug 14 Departure? I left a message for my TA and she's home with the flu, so it may be another day or two before I hear, but if thats the kid tally for that date, she won't need to ask about that. Actually, that doesn't include mine, who are teens and if you asked about kids, maybe they didn't mention how many teens there are? I'll bet with demographics like that there would be at least 4-5 teens including mine. Lots of kids anyway!
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Old 03-22-2012, 04:18 PM   #22
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Oops!

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Originally Posted by familygoboston View Post
Is that the Aug 14 Departure? I left a message for my TA and she's home with the flu, so it may be another day or two before I hear, but if thats the kid tally for that date, she won't need to ask about that. Actually, that doesn't include mine, who are teens and if you asked about kids, maybe they didn't mention how many teens there are? I'll bet with demographics like that there would be at least 4-5 teens including mine. Lots of kids anyway!
I can see now you are all on the July 17 dep...so I will have my TA check the Aug 14 dep for us, and report back for anyone else on that Adventure. I haven't seen anyone on this board yet mention it, so maybe our fellow adventurers are not on Dis boards (yet! They will be after they hear the great stuff I've learned here)
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Old 03-25-2012, 11:06 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pipch View Post
alvernon90! Thanks delighted to hear we are on the same trip and yes our TA received the letter yesterday.
I did also call to check and took the opportunity to ask how many junior adventurers on our trip - an amazing 12 (4x11/ 4x 10/ 2x9 and 8 and a 7 year old) My son who is 9 is over the moon!! Am sure they will have a ball.

Look forward to meeting you
Look forward to meeting you as well. My daughter is the 7 year old on the trip, she will be excited to hear this information. Thanks for posting it!
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Old 03-26-2012, 09:05 PM   #24
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My TA did confirm the letter from ABD about HP as a replacement for HC for our Aug 14, so it appears to be all departures.

Also she checked the kids, it skews a little older than the July 17 departure which is good, even though my two are the older, they hang with younger cousins all the time, so they were happy with this many 12-14s! Any one on this thread on this departure? We feel lonely

They have given me ages 8/14 (they do not know if male/female at this time).* The trip is 70% full.* *1-17 year old, 1-15 year old, 1-14 year old, 2-13 year olds, 2-12 year olds, 2-11 years olds, 1-10year old, 1-9 year old, 2-8 year olds.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:55 PM   #25
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familygoboston, please do post about your Quito research. Looks like we will be staying an extra day or two, so will be interested in what you find out!
Ok, here's what I've got so far for Quito day trips and touring.

pre day 1 ( full or more likely 1/2 day): We are planning a pre night at the JW Marriott and have the whole day before we go with ABD, so my TA is suggesting a car with driver ( no guide) for 10 hours $200 ( for 6 of us) Our plan is to have him take us to Teleferiqo (sp?) for a ride up to the Pichincha volcano for views over Quito,(about 15 min ride out of Quito, then possibly to the Museode la Ciudad in Old Town which is a restored building with historical exhibits and chapel and catacombs and/or Museo Banco del Centro del Ecuador, which is human & natural history and art of Ecuador. We think this would give us a good "overview" both literally and culturally of Ecuador before we head out with ABD.
We are also pricing a 1/2 day driver, 10 hours after the long flight in the thin air seems unlikely to me! These quotes won't include any meals, formal guiding, or entrance fees, but would provide a driver with passable English and a car at our demand. Although we could piece these things together with taxis, we feel that the driver provides a measure of comfort ( wait in the car if tired) and security (no waiting for a taxi or finding a safe one on the street) for our party of 6 which includes two elders and 2 teen girls!

Post day 1 car and driver from JWM to either Mindo Cloud Forest (2 hours each way) or Bella Vista (1 hr 45 min) for $115 pp inclusive of travel, driver, lunch and entrance fees which include guided activities. We are debating which to do...any advice from those who have been to either would be most helpful! Heres my impressions and thinking for each-
BV: is more " wild" possibly rougher hiking, with fewer other activities, but less touristy, a more prisitne nature experience. Thinking the paths may be more challenging for my mother.
Mindo ( which I think is called El Monte): has more " activities" such as butterfly farm, hike to water falls, rafting and hiking. Seems like the trails here are less wild, more accessible. So this is tempting for appealing to the greater group, even if the nature experience is a little less pristine and more touristed.

Post day 2: Old Town Quito 3 hour tour with car and guide inclusive of entrance fees $100 pp (I need to ask about this, the multiple on 6 people seems high to me!) But I have read that guides in Ecuador are legally required to be educated etc, so costs are high for them, and should be worth it for a good one. So will check with the TA about that price and weigh if 3 hours is worth $600 bucks! Or should we go with another driver and just self tour (our Spanish is passable, but I think we will miss a lot!)

The next day we head home...probably exhausted!

So that's what we are thinking...any ideas? Thoughts? Will keep updating progress on our plans
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Old 04-13-2012, 11:05 AM   #26
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Although we could piece these things together with taxis, we feel that the driver provides a measure of comfort ( wait in the car if tired) and security (no waiting for a taxi or finding a safe one on the street) for our party of 6 which includes two elders and 2 teen girls!
Make sure you verify this with the driver. I know in Rome, a lot of the drivers would drop you off & then come back for you at an agreed upon time. They wouldn't necessarily park the car & sit there for an hour or two.

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Old 04-13-2012, 11:12 AM   #27
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We did the Galapagos trip December 2011. We did not do exactly what you are looking at but did do one pre day and two post days. We did not "go to" the cloud forest, but we drove through a portion of it on our way to go mountain biking and it was pretty amazing even just passing through. We considered going back after biking but we were too tired. It was our opinion that speaking Spaish is very beneficial to get the most out of Old Town. I do - so we had no problem getting around on our own and seeing what we were interested in. We took a taxi from the hotel down there and then one back. The taxi to get there charged us almost $20US, which I was suprised was so high. Then, the driver tried to talk us into hiring him for the afternoon, but we declined. The taxi on the way back cost us about $5. So, you can probably do Old Town for less than $100pp. You may be able to take a taxi there and hire a guide once you get to that part of the city? Others may know better on that. The price for the colud forest seems in line with what we paid to go on our biking trip and also our white water trip rafting (other post day adventure).



Quote:
Originally Posted by familygoboston View Post
Ok, here's what I've got so far for Quito day trips and touring.

pre day 1 ( full or more likely 1/2 day): We are planning a pre night at the JW Marriott and have the whole day before we go with ABD, so my TA is suggesting a car with driver ( no guide) for 10 hours $200 ( for 6 of us) Our plan is to have him take us to Teleferiqo (sp?) for a ride up to the Pichincha volcano for views over Quito,(about 15 min ride out of Quito, then possibly to the Museode la Ciudad in Old Town which is a restored building with historical exhibits and chapel and catacombs and/or Museo Banco del Centro del Ecuador, which is human & natural history and art of Ecuador. We think this would give us a good "overview" both literally and culturally of Ecuador before we head out with ABD.
We are also pricing a 1/2 day driver, 10 hours after the long flight in the thin air seems unlikely to me! These quotes won't include any meals, formal guiding, or entrance fees, but would provide a driver with passable English and a car at our demand. Although we could piece these things together with taxis, we feel that the driver provides a measure of comfort ( wait in the car if tired) and security (no waiting for a taxi or finding a safe one on the street) for our party of 6 which includes two elders and 2 teen girls!

Post day 1 car and driver from JWM to either Mindo Cloud Forest (2 hours each way) or Bella Vista (1 hr 45 min) for $115 pp inclusive of travel, driver, lunch and entrance fees which include guided activities. We are debating which to do...any advice from those who have been to either would be most helpful! Heres my impressions and thinking for each-
BV: is more " wild" possibly rougher hiking, with fewer other activities, but less touristy, a more prisitne nature experience. Thinking the paths may be more challenging for my mother.
Mindo ( which I think is called El Monte): has more " activities" such as butterfly farm, hike to water falls, rafting and hiking. Seems like the trails here are less wild, more accessible. So this is tempting for appealing to the greater group, even if the nature experience is a little less pristine and more touristed.

Post day 2: Old Town Quito 3 hour tour with car and guide inclusive of entrance fees $100 pp (I need to ask about this, the multiple on 6 people seems high to me!) But I have read that guides in Ecuador are legally required to be educated etc, so costs are high for them, and should be worth it for a good one. So will check with the TA about that price and weigh if 3 hours is worth $600 bucks! Or should we go with another driver and just self tour (our Spanish is passable, but I think we will miss a lot!)

The next day we head home...probably exhausted!

So that's what we are thinking...any ideas? Thoughts? Will keep updating progress on our plans
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:17 PM   #28
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Make sure you verify this with the driver. I know in Rome, a lot of the drivers would drop you off & then come back for you at an agreed upon time. They wouldn't necessarily park the car & sit there for an hour or two.

Sayhello
Thanks , I'll check on that. If thats the case we may be better off with the 1/2 day, then having him drop us off at the museum and getting a cab home...I like price sjlsk got!
SJLSK - I would do the biking in a NY minute, but with the 'rents, I think hiking is safer...we will probably do that tour, pricing sounds in line and I like the idea of it being lodge based so my folks can relax in a hammock in the afternoon if they like. I'm not sure how the altitude will affect them. Both have had their hearts "repaired" and they do a lot of walking and exercising, so they should be ok, but I know it can be tough!
I'm still not sure what to do about Old Town...that price is high, but I know we'd miss a lot with our HS Spanish I'm going to push back on that price and see what happens! Also, I could book something through that on line company (if I could remember the name )that runs " excursions" all over the world. Someone on this board mentioned them for Ecuador tours, but I've forgotten the name now! Thanks for the advice!
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Old 05-10-2012, 08:53 AM   #29
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Smile Galapagos

We are also going to the Galapagos on July 17th. Our grandson, who is 10, can hardly wait. We got the notice of hotel change and I did some research online and the new hotel seems better than the other. If anyone has gone on this trip before, any tips, suggestions as to clothing, money, etc. Thanks
! We also have chosen to upgrade our cabin on the cruise around the islands to one with a balcony. I'm glad so many kids are booked for the trip. We have gone with Tauck Bridges on various trips and had only a handful of kids.

Last edited by wolffsusan; 05-10-2012 at 09:01 AM.
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Old 05-10-2012, 09:26 AM   #30
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We are also going to the Galapagos on July 17th. Our grandson, who is 10, can hardly wait. We got the notice of hotel change and I did some research online and the new hotel seems better than the other. If anyone has gone on this trip before, any tips, suggestions as to clothing, money, etc. Thanks
! We also have chosen to upgrade our cabin on the cruise around the islands to one with a balcony. I'm glad so many kids are booked for the trip. We have gone with Tauck Bridges on various trips and had only a handful of kids.
The unit of currency in Ecuador is the US dollar so you don't have to worry about exchanging any money. Bring small bills. Sometimes your change comes in US coins and sometimes in Ecuadorian coins.

Funny about your experience with Tauck Bridges. Mine has been just the opposite - more kids on the TB trips than on the ABD trips.
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