My Great Galapagos Trip – Days 1 & 2

This summer, I had the opportunity to go on the trip of a lifetime. In fact, I had the opportunity to achieve my my biggest bucket list item and life goal. You see, from the age of six, all I wanted to do was visit the Galapagos Islands. For as long as I can remember, I have been obsessed with animals. I found my passion with reptiles, specifically tortoises. All I have ever wanted was to see a giant Galapagos tortoise in the Galapagos Islands.

My chance came when I transferred to Palm Beach Atlantic University. They offered a “Natural History of the Galapagos” course which includes a 10 day trip following the school year. I never thought I would be able to go based on finances, but I was able to obtain a scholarship that covered nearly all of the expenses.

Day 1 (Travel Day): I left the day after graduation (not the best timing, but well worth it). I went with my entire class and our professor. There were 19 of us in total. We flew out of Miami, and after a 2-hour flight delay, we made it to Quito, Ecuador. After quickly clearing customs, we hopped on a tour bus to take us to our hostel.

We stayed at the Solera House Adventure Hostel. This was my first time staying at a hostel (I had always wanted to but never got the chance). It was beyond incredible. There are not enough nice things I can say about this place. They had a “chill out” room with a movie theater set-up, a ping pong table, and a plethora of games. They had reading areas, several rooms, extremely clean bathrooms, etc. They also had free wifi, which was made it easy to tell my friends and family that I had made it safely. I would honestly stay here again in a heartbeat.


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Day 2 (Quito): We spent our second day walking around and exploring Quito. The morning was spent exploring “Old Town Quito.” We had the opportunity to explore a few different churches in the area, my favorite being “La Iglesia de la Compañía.” The church was designed during baroque era, which is evident from the beautiful golden interior design. Unfortunately (but understandably), they didn’t allow cameras inside the church, so I was unable to get my own photo.


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Following our church tours, we walked to the Palacio de Gobierno (Presidential Palace) to witness the changing of the guards, an event that happens every Monday. The Ecuadorian president comes out for this event, so we were able to see him as well.


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After the city tour, our next excursion was to La Mitad Del Mundo (The Middle of the World A.K.A. The Equator). Having the chance to stand in two hemispheres at the same time has been a big bucket list item for me. It was a little bit cold here, so I was glad to have packed a sweatshirt and some longer yoga pants. We ate lunch here, and I don’t think you could go wrong with any of the restaurants here. Everything I ate was absolutely delicious!


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After we returned to the hostel, we had free time to explore the city on our own. My friends and I went to Cheztiff Pastelería, a chocolate shop on La Ronda (one of the streets in Old Town Quito) right next to our hostel. If you are ever in Quito, you seriously MUST go to this chocolate shop. The chocolate is incredible and the owner is the nicest person you will ever meet.


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We had dinner at a café at la Plaza de la Independencia. Unfortunately, I cannot remember the name of it, but they had the best tamales I have ever eaten. We also got some ice cream at one of the shops at the Plaza. I picked one that was tangerine flavored, and it was wonderful. We finished the night at a bar called Happy Rock. I ordered a mojito, and it was hands-down the best mojito I have ever had. Just be careful about having ice in your drinks if you are not used to the water!

Quito is an incredible city with even more incredible food, and I would go back in a heartbeat if I ever got the chance.

Up next, Day 3: San Cristobal Island!

Day 1 and 2

66 thoughts on “My Great Galapagos Trip – Days 1 & 2

    1. In Quito, we were unable to see anything more than pigeons and some other birds. However, one we got to the Galapagos, we saw a ton of amazing animals! Pictures of them will be coming in the next few days when I continue this series of posts! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. angelanoelauthor

    Imagine having to come out every Monday at the changing of the guards! I love how low-key you mention this in your post, but that feels like a really interesting tradition. I wonder where it started?
    What’s chocolate from Ecuador like? Does it taste different than in the US? I’m looking forward to reading more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, the changing of the guards was one of the coolest things I witnessed in Quito. The president comes out every Monday and waves to everyone that comes! The tradition is really amazing. They never told us where it started, but it would be very interesting to find out!
      The chocolate in Ecuador does taste A LOT different than the US. It doesn’t have paraffin in it, so it doesn’t have that waxy taste that our chocolate has. It tastes a lot richer. It is absolutely delicious!
      Thank you for reading! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. angelanoelauthor

        If you do find out where the tradition began, I’d love to know more (though I’m sure I can just ask my friend Google–she seems to know everything. 🙂 ) I now have a craving for Ecuadorian chocolate!

        Liked by 2 people

      2. I did a real quick Q&A with Google, but I wasn’t able to get a straight answer from her. She is a little bit tricky at times. But I’ll keep harassing her to try to get an answer! 😉 You have me craving Ecuadorian chocolate too!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Susan Meade

    I’m so glad you came to PBA… I know you girls had a fantastic time on the Galapagos Trip. What an amazing experience for you all. One of many to come.

    Liked by 1 person

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      1. You’re welcome. Quito was such a great city. The best food I had in that city would be in the Hotel Quito’s restaurant. They had a nice breakfast bar in the morning and a great dinner menu at night. I also liked one restaurant that was near the equator line, but I forget the name.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sweet! Those sound like great places. I agree about New Zealand, Canada, and the UK (especially Scotland for me). I’d also love to visit Japan, Uruguay, Peru, Serbia, South Africa, Thailand, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Ireland, and/or Argentina.

        Liked by 1 person

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