We are very excited to be taking Barrie Chamber members on not one, but two trips this coming winter! The first one departs Canada on Saturday, January 28th – an 11-Day Trip through Ecuador – our specialty. We will be there to meet the group as they arrive in Quito’s brand new Canadian-designed airport. We will then spend a few days touring around the capital – the first city in the world to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s absolutely beautiful.
Next we will traverse up over the Andes and down into the Amazon basin to stay with an Indigenous community there – a Kichwa community, to be more specific. This will be a fascinating opportunity to learn all about the Kichwa culture and traditions, and will provide us with an opportunity to experience the biodiversity in the jungle first-hand.
Then we will move onto the spa town of Baňos, which is full of international dining options, so many different kinds of activities, and medicinal hot springs. After Baňos, we move onto the cloud forests of Mindo where we will go on a butterfly garden tour, chocolate tour, and deep nature excursions, including through EarthTreks’ reforestation project. We will also venture into the artisan markets of Otavalo.
We will be accompanied by wonderful Ecuadorian people the whole time, including friends, family, and ecotourism partners, providing an authentic off-the-beaten-path experience. This trip can only be outdone by…
The Chamber’s 8-Day Trip through the Galapagos Islands leaves right after the trip through mainland Ecuador (and there is a discount if doing both trips together). We will be staying on two different islands – which is a different (and in our opinion, superior ) way to experience the islands. It allows more time to do what you like, such as snorkeling. It gives you the unique opportunity to get to know the culture of the Galapagos. It allows you more time with the wild and wacky animals that can be seen everywhere. And it is also more environmentally friendly.
As is the rule on the Galapagos, we will be with a certified Galapagos National Parks guide for the duration of the trip, as well as EarthTreks’ Founder, Alison Braun. We will time with many of the unique animals the archipelago is famous for – such as the Giant Tortoises we will be visiting a breeding centre. It is nothing short of amazing to see how these giants start out as tiny little babies that can fit in the palm of your hand! Seeing Galapagos Marine Iguanas – the world’s only marine lizard – is another amazing creature we will see lots of. Swimming with the Galapagos Green Turtle may be one of the highlights of this trip though. Then again, there are so many!
Some non-animal exploring we will do is a visit to the Charles Darwin Research Station, and we will also go for a hike up and around the second largest volcanic crater in the world.
CONTACT US for more information about either or both of these trips, or to ask questions. We are always happy to talk about Ecuador & the Galapagos!
You may choose also to WATCH A VIDEO ABOUT BOTH TRIPS to get a feel for some of the sites we will see along the way.