Go Wild in the Galápagos Islands

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Located on the equator, just 600 miles west of mainland Ecuador, the Galápagos Islands enjoy beautiful weather all year round, making it an ideal spot for communing with the great outdoors. Fly into Quito, Ecuador's capital city and then catch a discounted flight to the islands via TAME airlines. Set sail around the Galápagos to see the hundreds of animals on each island, from playful sea lions to the giant sea turtles that gave the islands their name. You can also go biking or snorkeling to fully take advantage of the main reason to visit these pristine and protected islands; getting up close and personal with Mother Nature.

TOUR OPERATORS

Galacruises Expeditions
Offer a variety of cruises with varied accommodations, plus full-service tours around Ecuador and the region.
02-2509-007; galacruises.com

Butterfield & Robinson
Specializes in the luxury market.
866-551-9090; butterfield.com

Metropolitan Touring
Runs two high-end ships and a luxury hotel, and is one of the largest tour agencies in Ecuador.
02-2988-200; metropolitan-touring.com

Surtrek
Quito-based tour and adventure operator.
02-2231-534; surtrek.com

WHERE TO EAT

On Santa Cruz:
Garrapata Restaurant
The restaurant of choice for expats, this open-air dining room serves a variety of seafood, meat dishes and pastas.
Corner of Ave. Charles Darwin and Charles Binford.
05-2526-264

Ristorante Dolce Italia
Serves wood-over pizzas and standard Italian fare, including fresh, homemade pasta.
Corner of Ave. Charles Darwin and 12 de Febrero.
09-9848-666

Angermeyer Point
With amazing waterfront views and tasty grilled seafood, this is a must-visit location on your trip. Take the water taxi at Puerto Ayora, on the southwest side of the island.
05-2526-452; angermeyerpoint.com

On Isabela:
Casa de Marita
Restaurant on the premises of the hotel of the same name in Puerto Villamil. Offers prix fixe meals and an unfettered oceanview.
05-2529-301; galapagosisabela.com/english

El Encanto de la Pepa
Serves up fresh seafood and cocktails in the center of Puerto Villamil.
Avenida Antonio Gil, in front of the Parque Central; 05-2529-160

El Carabali
Stop in for fast food, Creole dishes and milkshakes in Puerto Villamil.
Corner of Ave. Antonio Gil and Ave. 16 de Marzo; 05-2529-310 / 426

—Lisa Loverro & Kenrya Rankin Naasel

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Mariela Rosario,

I'm a raging opinionista and I love to share my ramblings on everything from pop culture to food to stuff that makes me laugh & cry! I've worked in all types of media (TV, film, print) and was previously the online editor at Latina magazine before joining Mamás Latinas. On most nights you can find me working my way through my library of cookbooks or playing with my puppy Lola (my only child so far). I have a wonderful hubby who shares my passion for any and all kinds of travel. Together, we've formed a semi-professional wine drinking team.

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