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
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.
La Mirage Garden Hotel and
Spa - Blog and Photos by
- June 10, 2014
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
[ Originally published at
http://ecuadoratyourservice.com/author/admin/ - reposted here
with permission of the author. ]
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:
open in a new window, so you may need to disable your
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,
they can monitor the evolution of the volcano and be prepared for
Villages near the volcano
on the eastern Andean range were evacuated. Our
Operations Department will provide masks, if needed, to guests
through the area.
of Metropolitan Touring)
NOTICE: Baltra Airport Tax Increases
(in the Galapagos Islands)
- 25 March, 2013
UPDATED: 16 May, 2013
Effective 25 March, 2013, the new airport at Baltra Island began
operating. The new airport has increased its taxes as follows:
|Residents (of Galapagos)
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.
Changes To INGALA Procedures (Concerning Travel to the Galapagos
- 06 March, 2013
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
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
The fee for the transit document
is currently $10, subject to change, payable in cash only at the
(This information was provided to
us by Metropolitan Touring.)
NOTICE: New Mariscal Sucre Airport to Open Near Quito,
- 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.
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
Read it on the Palm Beach
Press web site.
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.
Our Trip to the “End of
the World” -
- 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
New TSA requirements
- 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
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
The Transit Control Card for Galapagos was implemented some months ago to assist in the control of illegal migration to Galapagos.
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.
More. . .
PRESS RELEASE: La Mirage Recognized as 'Environmentally
by Conde' Nast Johansens Luxury Hotel and
- 24 February, 2009
Press Release . . .
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
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
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
happy traveler George Pike had to say about his visit to
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands during February and March
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
On a Magical Journey to Ecuador
(reprinted with permission from postcardsforyou.com - January, 2004)
what another traveler had to say about their visit to
and the Galapagos Islands in
Hand in Hand - Getting Destination Help
(reprinted from Travel Weekly -
September 22, 2003)