[av_three_fourth first min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_display=”]
[av_heading tag=’h3′ padding=’10’ heading=’Darwin’s Land’ color=” style=’blockquote modern-quote’ custom_font=” size=’40’ subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=” color=” admin_preview_bg=”]
My 111th country welcomes me with the familiar faces from my days in NY, with its Notre Dame looking Basilica del Voto Nacional, lively colorful streets, music coming from the cozy bars, the best preserved colonial buildings with the Spanish style architecture in the entire Latin America in Quito.

Moving from Quito to the unique Galapagos Islands, it is a complete change of environment and feeling. It is the land of many animals that is probably surviving only in these series of islands. It is the land that reminds you how the world once was like (same feeling I had in New Zealand). It is the land that makes one thing, all these Iguanas were our ancestors. It makes you feel humble. It makes you realize and remember 6 billion creatures have been extinct since the start of life on earth and we are just another one, passing by. It is the land that makes you feel you are just another creature among the billions. It is the land of Darwin.

Quito

Basilica del Voto Nacional, La Compania de Jesus (church with gold interior).

Galapagos Islands

Isola san Cristobal: 2 hrs by ferry from Santa Cruz. Tijeretas beach (hike for 15-20 min, swim with the turtles), Playa Mann (10 min walk from the port, swim with the sea lions)

Isabella Island: Flamingo lagoon, snorkel at Concha de Perla with sea lions, iguanas and sea turtles all at one place (2 min walk from the port), Las Tintoreras (to see the reef sharks), Las Grietas (water filled crevice in the rocks, canyon. Snorkel with the colorful fish and amazing light coming through the canyon into the water)
[/av_textblock]

[av_slideshow size=’no scaling’ animation=’slide’ autoplay=’false’ interval=’5′ control_layout=’av-control-default’]
[av_slide slide_type=’image’ id=’873′ video=’http://’ mobile_image=” video_ratio=’16:9′ title=” link_apply=” link=’lightbox’ link_target=” video_controls=” video_mute=” video_loop=” video_autoplay=”][/av_slide]
[av_slide id=’917′ slide_type=” video=’http://’ mobile_image=” video_ratio=’16:9′ video_controls=” video_mute=” video_loop=” video_autoplay=” title=” link_apply=” link=” link_target=”][/av_slide]
[av_slide id=’918′ slide_type=” video=’http://’ mobile_image=” video_ratio=’16:9′ video_controls=” video_mute=” video_loop=” video_autoplay=” title=” link_apply=” link=” link_target=”][/av_slide]
[av_slide id=’1277′][/av_slide]
[av_slide id=’1278′][/av_slide]
[av_slide id=’1276′][/av_slide]
[av_slide id=’1274′][/av_slide]
[/av_slideshow]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=’custom’ color=’#000000′ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_textblock]
[/av_three_fourth]

[av_one_fourth min_height=” vertical_alignment=” space=” custom_margin=” margin=’0px’ padding=’0px’ border=” border_color=” radius=’0px’ background_color=” src=” background_position=’top left’ background_repeat=’no-repeat’ animation=” mobile_display=”]

[av_heading tag=’h3′ padding=’10’ heading=’Top Experiences’ color=’custom-color-heading’ style=’blockquote modern-quote’ custom_font=’#dd0b00′ size=’40’ subheading_active=” subheading_size=’15’ custom_class=” admin_preview_bg=”][/av_heading]

[av_textblock size=” font_color=’custom’ color=’#000000′ admin_preview_bg=”][/av_textblock]

[av_iconlist position=’left’ iconlist_styling=’av-iconlist-small’ custom_title_size=” custom_content_size=” font_color=’custom’ custom_title=’#000000′ custom_content=’#000000′ color=’custom’ custom_bg=” custom_font=’#dd0b00′ custom_border=” admin_preview_bg=”]
[av_iconlist_item title=’Galapagos Islands’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue837′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
base yourself in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz. Isola San Cristobal, Isola Isabella. See the animals, snorkeling, scuba diving.
[/av_iconlist_item]
[av_iconlist_item title=’Quito’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue837′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
old town: basilica del voto nacional, la compania de jesus..
[/av_iconlist_item]
[av_iconlist_item title=’Otovalo’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue837′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
market town 2 hrs from Quito.
[/av_iconlist_item]
[av_iconlist_item title=’Quilotoa Loop’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue837′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
3-4 day hike, crater lake in the Andes.
[/av_iconlist_item]
[av_iconlist_item title=’Baños de Agua Santa, Tungurahua ‘ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue837′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
adventure activities like white water rafting, mountain climbing, hiking and hang gliding.
[/av_iconlist_item]
[av_iconlist_item title=’Cotopaxi Volcano’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue837′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
day trip from Quito possible.
[/av_iconlist_item]
[av_iconlist_item title=’Cuenca’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue837′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
UNESCO World Heritage Cultural Site.
[/av_iconlist_item]
[av_iconlist_item title=’Restaurants or bars in Itchimbia’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue837′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
(i.e. Cafe Mosaico) in Quito. Go there in the evening for the view of the old town.
[/av_iconlist_item]
[av_iconlist_item title=’Try “Locros de Papas”’ link=” linktarget=” linkelement=” icon=’ue837′ font=’entypo-fontello’]
potato soup with cheese and avocado.
[/av_iconlist_item]
[/av_iconlist]

[/av_one_fourth]