Latin America Reservation Center - LARC ©
Latin America Reservation Center, Inc. ®

1982   -   Celebrating 34 Years of Superior Service!    -   2016


Travel News,
Notices, and Articles

Latin America


Call, FAX, or Email
to book your dream vacation, get a price, or just ask a question.

This page is updated frequently, so visit often.

UPDATE: Update on Cotopaxi Volcano Alert
- May June 24, 2016

As of June 22, 2016, the Ecuadorian Risk Management Secretariat, announced its decision to reduce the alert of the Cotopaxi Volcano from yellow to white.  As per its latest report, the activity of the volcano has fallen to the levels considered normal before its reactivation in April 2015. 

For the time being, we will continue operating full-day visits to the Cotopaxi National Park and overnight programs with accommodation at Hacienda La Ciénega will be resumed. 

If you have more questions, please contact your Destination Expert. 

( Update courtesy of Metropolitan Touring )

UPDATE: New 6.7 magnitude tremor hits coast of Ecuador 35 km from coast of Muisne
- May 18, 2016

The coastal area of Ecuador near Muisne yet again felt the earth tremble today with a 6.7 magnitude tremor at 2:57 A.M. local time (07:57:05.00 UTC) that the USGS categorizes as probably being a strong aftershock from the massive earthquake that occurred one month ago. The tremor, which registered at 32 km deep, could be felt in Quito but not in Cuenca or Galapagos. There is no tsunami warning in effect. 

[Metropolitan Touring's] emergency committee swung into action within seconds and immediately checked on passengers and employees. At this time, we can report that all passengers are fine and operations continue normally. 

No evacuations were necessary in Guayaquil or Galapagos and guests in Mashpi and Galapagos sleep calmly. 

We will keep you updated as more information becomes available. 

( Update courtesy of Metropolitan Touring )

UPDATE: Update on Ecuador Earthquake
- May 04, 2016

Dear Judy,

We would like to share this update with all the friends of Casa Gangotena and Mashpi Lodge, following the earthquake that affected coastal areas of the country on Saturday 16th April. 

We wanted you to know that the humanitarian medical center that our holding group of companies* established in the town of Canoa on the Ecuadorian coast has been running for the last week. 

We are pleased to report that the center is staffed by 30 dedicated doctors and support personnel from our sister organization, Veris Medical Centres.  On Monday, the third shift of healthcare professionals arrived in Canoa.  To date, we have attended 1,400 patients, performed 600 laboratory tests and provided 28,000 doses of medication.  We even witnessed the joy of having our first healthy baby boy born on the 26th!  Truly something to celebrate amid so much sadness and grief.  Thank you to every member of the team for making this aid effort possible! 

The health professionals at the center will be available 24/7 for the next 6 months and can attend up to 300 patients per day in various specialties, including orthopedics, gynecology, pediatrics, psychology, and general medicine. 

Beyond the immediate medical treatment we have been providing, we will also work to mitigate latent infectious and epidemiological diseases and have identified serious environmental health issues such as solid waste disposal in the aftermath of the earthquake.  We have therefore started to review effective solutions for these problems. 

Dozens of friends, past guests and clients of the hotels contacted us about how they could help.  We wanted to organize our response comprehensively and responsibly before reaching out to you, thus ensuring that your generous offers of assistance will make a difference. 

Although the medical project is fully funded by our group of companies for the next 6 months (for now), external funds will allow us to expand both the scope and reach of the project, as well as allow us to work longer with local communities. 

If you would like to make a donation, please feel free to make it to the following accounts. Please note that all donations to Fundación Futuro will be audited by Price Waterhouse Coopers and reports will be sent to donors on a quarterly basis.

Option 1

ABA: 026005092
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 2000191000754
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 2100122384

Option 2

ABA: 021000080
ACCOUNT NUMBER: 2100122384

Thank you so much for your offers of help, messages of sympathy and support for us and our country in these challenging times. Together, we are confident Ecuador can emerge from this sad chapter. Together, we can continue to make tourism part of Ecuador's brighter future. 


Verónica Sevilla

Sales & Marketing Director ( Mashpi Lodge and Casa Gangotena )

UPDATE: Update on Travel in Ecuador
- April 22, 2016

Map of Ecuador showing affected areas of 2016 Earthquake

As can be seen on this map , the area hardest hit by the earthquake is located on the Pacific Coast. The Highlands (Quito, Otavalo, Cotopaxi, Avenue of the Volcanoes and Cuenca) and the Amazon region were unaffected and operations are normal. While Guayaquil suffered some damage, its airport, hotels and tourism sites are functioning as usual, with an occasional need for alternate routes based on temporary road closures. 

The Galápagos Islands, located approximately 1000 km (600 miles) off the coast of Ecuador, has seen no impact from the event at all. 

We thank you for your support and concern and will keep you updated regularly. 

( Update is courtesy of VIP Expeditions )

UPDATE: Update on Ecuador Earthquake - Central and North Coast
- April 22, 2016

There are so many tragedies and stories to be told about last Saturday's terrible earthquake and its aftermath; some dozens of victims were lucky to have been rescued alive, and Ecuador and the world show warm solidarity out off their hearts. 

Victims of Ecuador Earthquake 2016

This Thursday 587 dead victims and over 23,500 homeless people have been officially reported.  At the central/north coast about 100 hotels with over 3,000 beds in Pedernales, Canoa, Bahía de Caraquez, Portoviejo and Manta are damaged or lost.  Yesterday 3 strong aftershocks (5.9, 6.2 and 6.2 on the Richter scale) mercifully haven't provoked more casualties and damage; frequency and power of meanwhile 621 aftershocks is decreasing. 

A first rough estimate is that "total damage can be up to $3 billion", but the official figure is expected in about six weeks.  Tourism annual revenue reaches half of this amount and will be an essential contribution, especially now that crude oil prices have dropped even further, this week.  As mentioned before: we need tourism more than ever!  Quito and the Andes from north to south, the entire Ecuadorian Amazon, Guayaquil and the south coast as well as Galapagos can be visited as normal and all tourist infrastructure is fully operational. 

( Update is courtesy of Andean Travel Company )

UPDATE: Update on latest aftershock: Operations Normal
- April 20, 2016

The Instituto Geofísico del Ecuador reports that the country, already suffering from Saturday’s 7.8 magnitude earthquake, experienced two significant new aftershocks in the same coastal region. The first one, of magnitude 6.1, occurred near Muisne at 3:33 a.m. local time (08:33:48.00 UTC) on April 20, 2016. The second one, of magnitude 5.9, took place at 3:35 a.m. local time (08:35:48.00 UTC) on April 20, 2016 in the same area.  The aftershocks were felt in Pedernales, Bahía, Manta, Santo Domingo and to a much lesser degree, in Pichincha. 

As has been the case since the first and largest earthquake, the location of the events has affected the coastal region terribly but has had no direct effect on our operations, which are centered in Galapagos and the highlands.  All guests are safe and operations continue normally. 

We keep working as individuals and as a Company to find the best ways to support our brothers and sisters at this tragic time and will keep you informed as more information on the situation becomes available. 

( Update courtesy of Metropolitan Touring )

NEWS and NOTICE: Update on Ecuador's Tourism Infrastructure & Services Following Saturday's Earthquake
- April 17, 2016

Ecuador suffered a 7.8 earthquake on the evening of Saturday April 16, 2016 with an epicenter near the coastal town of Pedernales in the state of Manabi.  The coastal provinces of Manabi and Emereldas, closest to the epicenter, were most affected by the quake. 

The Ministry of Tourism can report that the tourism infrastructure located in areas not significantly affected by the earthquake, such as the Amazon, Andes, and Galapagos; including all airports, accommodations, tour operation and ground transport remain open and fully operational and catering to tourists. 

Following is a brief update and news regarding the tourism infrastructure and services across Ecuador's four regions:

Amazon - All airports in the area are open and operating normally. The tourism infrastructure [have] not been affected and remain open and functioning. 

Andes - All airports in the Andean region, including those in the cities of Quito, Latacunga, Cuenca, Loja, and Tulcan, as well as ground transportation and accommodations are fully operational and spared of any damage.  The city of Quito is currently evaluating any possible damages to its historical center. Other popular [tourist] destinations including Otavalo, Cuenca, Banos, and areas around the Cotopaxi and Chimborazo volcanoeshave not reported any major damages and tourism services including hotels and tours are operating.

Coast - The port city of Guayaquil is reporting damage to roads, streets, bridges, and other infrastructure across the city.  However its airport and hotels remain open and fully operational.  The municipality of Guayaquil has asked for the limitation of transit through tomorrow [Monday April 18] in order to conduct a thorough assessment of the damage caused by the earthquake.  This may impact the mobility of tourists. 

The cities of Manta, Pedemales, Bahia de Caraquez, and Portoviejo have suffered extensive damage, including the collapse of several buildings and hotels, and most roads leading to these cities are closed. The Manta airport is closed to commercial flights until further notice, but remains open for flights carrying humanitarian assistance.  The port of Manta remains in operation.

Galapagos Islands - Located some 1,360 kilometers (847 miles) from the mainland, the Galapagos have not been affected by the quake or aftershocks. 

All airports, hotels, and cruises in the area are fully operational and all derision activities including guided tours and excursions are running. 

The tsunami alert was lifted yesterday.  All parks, nature reserves and public tourism sites across the country have been closed for 24 hours in order to conduct inspections and evaluate any possible damage to their infrastructure. 

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to families who have lost loved ones," said Fernando Alvarado, Ecuador's Minister of Tourism.  "Ecuadorians are resilient and hardworking people and have joined forces to help their countrymen in their time of need. We are looking forward to collaborating with our tourism industry partners and friends across Ecuador and from around the world to help rebuild the areas most affected along Ecuador's Coast and restore tourism to the region.  Visitors traveling in Ecuador or planning a visit to unaffected areas can feel confident that their trips will not be impacted end feel secure to continue with their plans to visa our country. 

For more information regarding the the tourism sector contact life department of Tourism Welfare at the Ministry of Tourism at

For information regarding victims and missing persons please contact:

For donations toward earthquake relief, please direct them to:

Banco Central del Ecuador
Beneficiary: Secretaria Gestion Riego/Planta Central (Risk Management Secretary)
Account #: 101602
Swift Code: FLARCOBB
Intermediary Bank Bank of America (New York)
Intermediary bank Swift Code: BOFAUS3N
Intermediary Account#: 01121807

( Information courtesy of Ecuador Ministry of Tourism )

- February 04, 2016


As you have probably heard in the press and travel advisories, the Zika Virus has been reported in various Latin American countries including Ecuador

Although this virus was declared by the World Health Organization WHO as a public health emergency, we would like you to note the following facts:

  • The capital, Quito, and the Andes of Ecuador are not risk-areas, since the mosquitoes cannot survive in altitudes over 2200-meters / 7217-feet above sea level. All other areas on the Coast and in the Amazon are undergoing fumigations in order to avoid and control the spread of the virus and prevention campaigns have been initiated around the country. 
  • The possibility that infected mosquitoes reach the Galapagos Islands is remote, but not impossible.  The Galapagos Quarantine & Inspection System SICGAL has permanent quarantine measures in place to protect the islands from alien species and they intensified the disinfection process in aircrafts and ships that arrive to the archipelago. 
  • If the virus reaches the islands, it will be very difficult for it to spread to non-inhabited islands, making a Galapagos cruise a safe travel option. Please remember that the majority of our itineraries are spent within the protected non-inhabited areas of the National Park and Marine Reserve. 
  • The most common symptoms of Zika are fever, rash, joint pain, and conjunctivitis (red eyes). The illness is usually mild with symptoms lasting for several days to a week; the virus is cleared from our blood after 1 week, just as a common cold or flu virus, and is not life-threatening. 
  • Pregnant women however should take precautions and check with their doctor. Detailed information about the Zika
    virus infection and pregnancy can be obtained at

It certainly does not hurt to take precautions when traveling to Ecuador & Galapagos and we don't want to downplay travelers' concerns, but we also would like to ask you to please critically analyze any released information. 

We hope that the distance of the Galapagos Islands from the mainland will keep them sheltered, as they have been spared from other mosquito-borne diseases in the past.

( Information courtesy of Ocean Adventures / Land Adventures )

New Transportation Fee on Baltra Island in the Galapagos
- January 14, 201

We would like to inform you that beginning today, a new fee is in effect for transportation service on Baltra Island, Galapagos.  For passengers traveling from the Baltra Airport to Itabaca Channel or to the pier on Baltra Island and back to the airport is $5 each way, or $10 round trip.  Please note that ECOGAL is the entity collecting the fee, and NOT the airlines.  ECOGAL will have a fee collection booth located at the immigration area or Baltra Airport, just before the National Park fee payment area. 

(This information has been provided by Enchanted Expeditions.) 

Conde Nast Johansens Awards 2016 - Finalist

NEWS: La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa - finalist of the 2016 Condé Nast Johansens Awards

We are delighted to announce that La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa was a finalist of the 2016 Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence in the Best Hotel with Spa category for South America. 

Our congratulations go out to La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa!

Created to acknowledge, reward and celebrate excellence across the hotels in our collection, the annual Condé Nast Johansens Awards for Excellence are a trusted mark of quality, recognized by luxury consumers and travel professionals alike.

Cotopaxi National Park Reopens 12-14-2015 - Cotopaxi Volcano, Ecuador

UPDATE: Partial Reopening of Cotopaxi National Park
- December 14, 2015

122 days after closing Cotopaxi National Park, government officials in Ecuador announced today the reopening of the protected area to visitors. 

The decision was based on monitoring reports and follow up by the Geophysical Institute of the Escuela Politecnica Nacional (IGEPN) which demonstrate a decrease in volcanic activity in the last few weeks.  In addition, the Risk Management Secretariat (SGR) has recommended that while yellow alert is on, visitors shall be accompanied by trained personel. 

The opening hours are from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM.  This is a partial reopening of the park, and access to the shelter or climbing to the crater is not allowed. 

(This information was supplied to us courtesy of Latin Trails.) 

ANNOUNCEMENT: Cruises to Cuba beginning in 2016
- September 14, 2015

LARC is now booking cruises to Cuba aboard the cruise ship M.S. Saint Laurent.  In 2016, the Saint Laurent will begin 10-day cruises from Miami to Cuba and back, with excursions to many points of interest in Cuba.  For more information, see the cruise itinerary for the M.S. Saint Laurent

NOTICE: Darwin Station announces partial closure starting August 31st
- September 10, 2015

For the next five months, the National Park will close one of the tortoise corals to visitors while they work on a new installation to house the Lonesome George exhibit.  Our guests will still be able to visit the station or "Centro de Crianza Fausto Llerena" and the corals that will remain open from 8:30 to 4PM as well as the captive breeding programs and Van Straelen Hall.

[ Information provided by Ecoventura ]

[ Be aware that some vessels will have altered itineraries to visit alternate sites during the closure. ]

NEWS: Irregular Operation of Quito Airport
- August 14, 2015

Due to volcanic activity from the Cotopaxi volcano. There is presence of ash and this has caused the Quito airport to cancel several flights. The airport is not closed, but the operation is irregular.

We have implemented a contingency plan and if any passengers have the probability of missing a flight we are rerouting them through Guayaquil.

Please note that our operations in Galapagos Islands and the Amazon basin near Tena are not affected. 

[ Provided by courtesy of Latin Trails ]

NEWS: Cotopaxi Volcano Registers Third Eruption
- August 14, 2015

Cotopaxi Volcano registers third eruption, alert level increased to "Yellow"

The 5897-metre (19,350 feet) Cotopaxi Volcano near Quito, Ecuador's capital, has experienced several eruptions since the early hours of August 14, according to the Geophysical Institute at the National Polytechnical
University. The last eruption ejected a plume of ash approximately five
kilometers (3.1 miles) in height. 

Authorities have increased the alert level from "white" to "yellow", indicating a medium response level.  Media reported some ash fall in the vicinity of the city.  Quito's international airport at the moment remains open.

The institute's volcanology experts monitor the situation 24 hours-a-day, receiving data generated by instruments installed on the volcano.

[ Provided courtesy of Metropolitan Touring. ]

NOTICE: Machu Picchu Closure During April 2016
- August 13, 2015

Machu Picchu, PeruFYI: The head of the National Archaeological Park of Machu Picchu, Fernando Astete, told that the maintenance works are running efficiently, however, the large amount of daily visitors does take a toll on the maintenance they are able to execute. 

"In April 2016 we will do comprehensive maintenance, for that we have
ordered the suspension of visitors to the mountain Huayna Picchu from April 1-15, and the mountain of Machu Picchu from April 16-30 of the same year," Astete told.

[ Provided courtesy of Peru Runa Travel. ]

NEWS: Wolf Volcano Eruption in Galapagos Islands
- June 01, 2015

Wolf Volcano eruption - Isabela Island, Galapagos - 25 May, 2015In early hours of Monday May 25th Wolf Volcano, the highest volcano in the Galapagos Archipelago, located at Isabela Island, started an eruption process, after 33 years of inactivity.  No visitors sites have been closed; local authorities does not consider dangerous for tourism activities, nevertheless advises and precautions have been transmitted to cruise operators.  This way passengers who are on board cruises covering the route to Fernandina and Isabela can enjoy this magnificent natural spectacle.  There are not populated sites in the surroundings of Wolf volcano, Puerto Villamil.  The capital village of Isabela Island, is located at 115 km to the south. 

[ Provided courtesy of Condor Travel. ]

NOTICE: Yacht Grand Odyssey is Now The M.Y. Galapagos Sea Star Journey
- April 07, 2015

LARC has just been informed that the Motor Yacht M.Y. Galapagos Grand Odyssey has been re-named the Motor Yacht M.Y. Galapagos Sea Star Journey.  The vessel is scheduled for a refit during August, September, and October, 2015. 

NOTICE: Galapagos Transit Control Card Fee to Increase in 2015
- December 22, 2014

The cost of the Transit Control Card of the Galapagos National Park INGALA fee will be increased beginning March 1st, 2015.  The new cost will be US $20 from the initial US $10. These values are payable in Cash in Quito and/or Guayaquil airports or they can also be prepaid through LARC when bookings are made. 

UPDATE: LARC Website Completed
- September 12, 2014

We are happy to announce that re-design work on our website has been completed during the past week.  Tweaking and updates will continue as needed.  Our objective is to make our website "mobile friendly" and to generally improve its appearance and usability for all.  As always, LARC will continue to offer the finest in vacations in Latin America.

NOTICE: Temporary Closure of Tagus Cove *
- September 05, 2014

It was recently announced by the Galapagos National Park authority that land visits to Tagus Cove (on Isabela Island) will be suspended temporarily for maintenance.  Closure will be from 18th September to the 10th October, 2014.

* Information supplied, courtesy of Enchanted Expeditions.

NOTICE: Airport Fees Increase *
- August 20, 2014

Be aware that the airport fees for the following destinations have changed due to governmental measures, so for any additional charges on air tickets please contact your sales representative.

 Airport Past Rate Current Rate Increase
San Cristobal      
Safety Fee $1.10 USD $3.00 USD $1.90 USD
Airport Service Fee $4.00 USD $9.50 USD $5.50 USD
Safety Fee $2.20 USD $3.00 USD $0.80 USD
Coca Airport      
Safety Fee $1.10 USD $2.00 USD $0.90 USD
Airport Service Fee $4.00 USD $7.50 USD $3.50 USD

* Fee increase notice supplied courtesy of Latin Trails.

UPDATE: LARC Website Progresses - Galapagos Updates Completed.
- August 07, 2014

As previously reported, LARC - Latin America Reservation Center - continues revamping its website.  We are happy to announce that work on our Galapagos section has been completed.  Our objective is to make our website more friendly to those using mobile devices, and to generally improve its appearance and usability for all.  Work will continue on the (mainland) Ecuador section, and should be completed over the next few weeks.

Check back often for updates.

NOTICE: Latin America Reservation Center is rolling out a revamped website. 
- June 27, 2014

LARC - Latin America Reservation Center - is revamping its website.   In an effort to make it more friendly to users of smart phones and tablets, the new site will be "responsive" - page widths will appear differently, depending on the size and resolution of the users screen.  Text will wrap to fit the page width, and pictures will either move to fit or change size accordingly.  Some pages are being re-worked to make them easier to read and simpler to navigate for all site visitors, as well as some much needed updates. 

The roll out will be a phased one, with part of the pages revamped initially - the initial phase has now been launched - with additional portions being revamped over the following weeks.

Check back often for updates.

READ: La Mirage Garden Hotel and Spa - Blog and Photos by Ashley Rogers
- June 10, 2014
Peacock at La Mirage Garden Hotel and Spa - Cotacachi, Ecuador

There’s very few boutique hotels in the world where one can say they truly experienced first-class elegance. But recently, Michel Blanchard and I had the distinct honor and pleasure of doing just that, when we checked into the ultra luxurious La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa for two days of decadent pampering.


[ Originally published at - reposted here with permission of the author. ]


"Jungle" Jack Hanna
For years, Jack Hanna, star of Jack Hanna's Into the Wild and Jack Hanna's Animal Adventures has utilized LARC when traveling to Latin America.  See for yourself what Jack Hanna has to say about LARC in a short video he was kind enough to record:

320x240 (Mpeg1)  |  512x384 (MP4)  |  720x480 (Mpeg2)  |

(These open in a new window, so you may need to disable your pop-up blocker)


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 - EcuadorNOTICE: 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.

Lonesome George - Galapagos Islands - photo by Steven H. Spake © 2002 all rights reserved.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: 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 FormNOTICE: 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 
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 IslandsRead: 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.]


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

100 US DollarsLARC 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 IslandsRead: 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! 

(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 with permission 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)


|   Top   |   Contact Us   |

Copyright© 2000-2016  Latin America Reservation Center, Inc. ®  All rights reserved.

Latin America Reservation Center - LARC ©Latin America Reservation Center, Inc. ®

Call, FAX, or Email to book your dream vacation, or just ask a question:

TOLL FREE IN THE USA & CANADA: 1-800-327-3573
INTERNATIONAL: 001-863-439-1486
FAX: 1-863-439-2118


Copyright© 2014-2016  Latin America Reservation Center, Inc. ®  All rights reserved.