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Travel News and Articles -
Ecuador, Galapagos Islands, More

Call Today For Prices, Information, or Reservations!
LOCAL / INTERNATIONAL: 1-863-439-1486     FAX: 1-863-439-2118

This page is updated frequently, so visit often.

NOTICE: Orange alert for Tungurahua volcano's increased volcanic activity - 15 July, 2013

After a strong explosion in the Tungurahua volcano yesterday, the Ecuadorian
Geophysics Institute has changed the alert to orange.  The volcano activity remains from moderate to high. 

The experts are currently on a 24-hour vigilance, receiving the scientific
information generated by the instruments installed on the volcano, so that
they can monitor the evolution of the volcano and be prepared for change. 

Villages near the volcano on the eastern Andean range were evacuated.  Our
Operations Department will provide masks, if needed, to guests traveling
through the area. 

Information courtesy of Metropolitan Touring

NOTICE: Baltra Airport Tax Increases (in the Galapagos Islands)
- 25 March, 2013
UPDATED: 16 May, 2013

New Baltra Island Airport - Galapagos

Effective 25 March, 2013, the new airport at Baltra Island began operating.  The new airport has increased its taxes as follows:

Residents (of Galapagos) US $5
Ecuadorian non-residents US $10
Foreigners US $19.50

Information courtesy of Andean Travel Company

NOTICE: New Tax/Landing Fee for Puerto Villamil, Isabela Island (in the Galapagos Islands)
- 25 March, 2013

Effective Immediately,  the local authorities in Puerto Villamil , Isabela Island, have started charging a new tax / landing fee of US $20.  Those traveling on vessels with itineraries including Puerto Villamil will have to pay this tax upon arrival there. 

NOTICE: Changes To INGALA Procedures (Concerning Travel to the Galapagos Islands)
- 06 March, 2013

INGALA Transit Control CardWe have been informed of important changes to the INGALA (Instituto Nacional Galápagos) procedures for guests traveling to the Galapagos which we need you, and your clients, to be aware of.  The authorities have not yet confirmed the date of the implementation of the new procedure.  We will be sure to inform you as soon as it is officially announced. 

The INGALA involves the control of people traveling to and from the islands – in effect, an immigration control.

From the confirmed date onwards, [travel service providers] will no longer be able to pre-check guests for the INGALA system as [they] have been able to do in the past.  The authorities have established two means of registering travelers to the islands:

1)  Travelers pre-register online [we will post the link as soon as we have it] and fill out all their personal information.  Once at the Quito or Guayaquil airports, they need to go through a process of identification, which includes fingerprinting, and will then be issued with their INGALA transit document with which they can proceed to the airline counter. 

2)  Travelers will have to register their information in person at the Quito or Guayaquil airports at a first counter and then go through the identification process (above) at a second counter, before proceeding to the airline check-in. 

The fee for the transit document is currently $10, subject to change, payable in cash only at the departing airport.  

This information was provided to us by Metropolitan Touring. 

New Marsical Sucre Airport - Ecuador
NOTICE: New Mariscal Sucre Airport to Open Near Quito, Ecuador
- 07 February, 2013

As you may be aware, the new Mariscal Sucre Airport is scheduled to open on 20 February, 2013.  The last flights into the old airport will occur about 5:00 PM on 19 February and the first flights out of the new airport will depart around 9:00 AM on the morning of 20 February. 

Please note that the new airport is located outside of the city of Quito, in the area of Tababela.  With the road and traffic situation, it will take approximately 1.5-hours to bet there from Quito. 

Also, the airport has increased the taxes of US$8.10 for domestic flights and US$15.86 for international flights. 

Read: Following in Darwin’s footsteps in Galapagos visit
by Kim Gamel

- 30 August, 2012 (originally published: 16 August, 2011)

Kim Gamel wrote this article about a visit to the Galapagos Islands for the Associated Press which was published in numerous publications. 

Read it on the Palm Beach Press web site.

NOTICE: Restriction on Visits to South Plaza Island
 - 19 November, 2012

The Galapagos National Park authorities have issued a notice that visits to South Plaza Island will be restricted from 17 November until 17 December, 2012. Itineraries that include visits to South Plaza Island will be modified to substitute other locations and/or activities during the stated period. 

No reason was specified. 

Please be aware of this when planning your Galapagos visits. 

NOTICE: Kayak Service Ends onboard M.C. Anahi
 - 17 August, 2012

Motor Catamarn M.C. Anahi - a.k.a. Galapagos Journey I - GalapagosFYI: We have been informed that as of August 10, 2012, the motor catamaran M.C. Anahi (also known as M.C. Galapagos Journey I) will no longer offer kayaking on its cruises. 

Please be aware of this when booking your cruises aboard Anahi.

La Selve Lodge - Ecuador
UPDATE: La Selva Jungle Lodge to Re-open
- 28 June, 2012

We have learned that La Selva Amazon Ecolodge and Spa will re-open on July 2, 2012.  Some renovations will continue. 

During July, traditional huts and family suites will be available.  Superior suites will be available starting in August. 

Renovations to the Canopy Tree Tower are scheduled for completion by September.  La Selva is negotiating with another community to visit their tower. 

The butterfly spa is scheduled to re-open in September. 

All work at the lodge will be done while our guests are in the forest engaged in activities that are offered. 

La Selva had closed for renovations on 14 March, 2012. 

Lonesome George - Galapagos Islands
NEWS: Lonesome George has Died
- 26 June, 2012

We learned some sad news today.  Over the weekend, Lonesome George died at his home at the Charles Darwin Research Center on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Lonesome George was the last surviving La Pinta giant tortoise.  He is estimated to have been at least 100-years old.  His species in now extinct.  It is a sad day. 

Read: Our Trip to the “End of the World” - Patagonia
- October 17 to November 3, 2011 by Jan H. and Jamie R.
(- Received: 08 December, 2011)

This was a surprising and wonderful trip. Oddly enough, however, there are only a very small number of relatives and acquaintances to whom we would honestly recommend this trip. 

In terms of the surprises, the biggest is that we left at all. Jamie had a very bad bike accident 10 days before we were scheduled to leave (serious concussion, 2 broken ribs, multiple bad abrasions and bruises etc.).  He wasn’t even able to sleep in a bed until after we left. Given that this was intended to be an extremely active trip (lots of hiking, horseback riding etc.), we weren’t sure whether he would be able to participate, either partially or fully, in our intended activities. As it turned out, recovering on vacation was better than staying home and going to work. By the time we got to our first destination, he was able to do almost everything. The only thing we excluded was horseback riding (for Jamie). Even a small risk of falling off a horse with broken ribs and a sore head made riding too obviously stupid to even contemplate...  For More Click Here

NOTICE: Galapagos Flights Fare Increase
- 07 December, 2011

Dear friends and agents

As you might have heard already, the Ecuadorian government has decided to stop subsidizing the cost of jet fuel for the airlines in 2012.  As a result, airlines will face a 15 to 20 percent increase in the cost of fuel starting January 1st.  Local airlines have not yet said anything regarding how these costs will affect ticket rates but we are expecting to see a resulting increase of 15 to 20 percent which will result in price adjustments from January 1st, 2012.  We would appreciate if you could pass this information along to your customers planning to come to Ecuador and the Galapagos in 2012.  We will keep you aware of any news on this issue and notify you immediately as soon as we have the new flight rates.  We thank you for your continued business. 

Kind regards


NOTICE: Runway Maintenance at Jorge Chavez International Airport - 03 October, 2011

Lima Airport Partners, operators of Jorge Chavez International Airport, have announced that maintenance work on the runway will take place 3 October, 2011 until 31 January, 2012.  During that period, the runway will be closed daily between 1:00am and 7:00am.  There will be no flights during these hours - flights have been rescheduled accordingly. 

The Lima Airport will not be closed during the runway maintenance works. 

IMPORTANT: Passengers are strongly recommended to arrive early at the airport:  at least three hours before departure time for international flights and at least two before departure time of domestic flights to avoid inconveniences. 

NOTICE: New TSA requirements for bookings
- 13 July, 2010 

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is now requiring by law from all airlines that all passengers traveling within or originating in the United States and its territories to have the Secure Flight Passenger Data in the reservations booked for travel November 1, 2010 and beyond. 

The TSA allows no exceptions; compliance is mandatory. 

Under Secure Flight Passenger Data American Airlines and most of the domestic and international carriers are already collecting and transmitting this data to the TSA.  Therefore, as airlines are starting to implement this new phase on different dates prior to the November 1 deadline, we strongly recommend that starting with the receipt of this communication - when requesting reservations for your clients it is important that you provide to us the following accurate information from each passenger at the time of booking.  

  • Name exactly as it appears in passport or Government Issued ID
  • Date of Birth
  • Gender (Female or Male)

To learn more about the TSA Secure Flight program, please visit  


Galapagos Transit Control Form

NOTICE: Transit Control Cards To Galapagos
- 23 April, 2010

Please note that the INGALA (Instituto Nacional Galápagos) is no longer issuing a card to guests going to the Galapagos Archipelago, and have substituted the plastic cards for a paper form, a more environmentally friendly material.   

The new form, which will have the information of the guests already printed (same as with the previous card) has two parts; one to be handed to the INGALA authorities upon entry to the islands and the second part, which should be kept by the guest to be handed in upon departure.  Additional information should be completed by the guests before their arrival to the Galapagos.  

There has been no change in the cost (US$10) nor in the information to be provided to INGALA.  

The Transit Control Card for Galapagos was implemented some months ago to assist in the control of illegal migration to Galapagos.  

Read: Argentina Trip Report by Jan and Jamie
- 21 October - 05 November, 2009 

We’d probably give this trip a 7 or 8 on a scale of 10.  Some real good stuff, excellent food and places to stay, some really fun activities and touring.  It was a more relaxing trip than some of our recent ones - less scheduled, less activity oriented. So, definitely worthwhile and fun, but not in our top 10 trips.  Read More. . .

La Mirage Garden Hotel and Spa - Cotacachi, Ecuador
PRESS RELEASE: La Mirage Recognized as 'Environmentally Friendly Hotel' by Conde' Nast Johansens Luxury Hotel and Spa Guide
- 24 February, 2009 

Read Press Release . . .

Motorsailer M.S. Sea Cloud - Galapagos Islands
Read: A Personal Account of a Trip to Mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands  
- 12 - 29 August, 2005

[Last names withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]

100 US Dollars
Travelers to Ecuador Advised Not to Bring US $100 Bills - August 2005

LARC has been receiving reports that a large number of near perfect counterfeit US $100 bills have entered Ecuador from a neighboring country.  To prevent the circulation of these bills, Ecuador’s commerce and banking system is no longer accepting $100 bills.

We advise all persons traveling to Ecuador not to bring US $100 bills with them because these will not be accepted, cashed or changed even at banks.  Travelers are advised to carry smaller denominations of US bills instead.  (The US dollar was adopted as the official currency of Ecuador on March 14, 2000.)  

Small Map of Galapagos Islands
Read: A Personal Account of a Family's Visit to the Galapagos Islands and Guayaquil, Ecuador - 12-24 June, 2005 

[Last names withheld in compliance with the LARC privacy policy.]

Read what happy traveler George Pike had to say about his visit to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands during February and March 2004 in:
It's Ecuador, By George! 
   | Part-1 | Part-2 |

Text and pictures used with the permission of the author.  

Read what one happy traveler had to say about her visit to Ecuador in 
On a Magical Journey to Ecuador

reprinted from - January, 2004

Read what another traveler had to say about their visit to Ecuador 
and the Galapagos Islands in 

Hand in Hand - Getting Destination Help

reprinted from Travel Weekly - September 22, 2003

More articles will be added here as they become available

Call Today For Prices, Information, or Reservations!
LOCAL / INTERNATIONAL: 1-863-439-1486     FAX: 1-863-439-2118





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