You asked for a "little review"-well, I will try to be brief, but the vacation was so amazing, I don't know how to keep it short.
First, your help was invaluable in creating this vacation-your patience with setting up different itineraries for me was great (it is somewhat ironic that I ended up going with the first one you sent me! :) )
This trip was the trip of a lifetime for us-we all went on this vacation with extremely high expectations (honestly, I was a little worried before going because there was such anticipation, I didn't see how it was possible to meet or exceed my expectations). I shouldn't have worried, this trip so far exceeded my expectations, I don't know how it could have been any better.
The tour company, Klein Tours, was exceedingly well organized and the guide & driver they assigned to us were wonderful. Dulce, our guide for all our tours in & around Quito was enthusiastic about sharing her love of her city & country. We couldn't have asked for a more knowledgeable or fun guide (and her recommendations for two of our dinners were fantastic)!
I had never really thought of Ecuador as a travel destination, but the country is stunningly beautiful, and everyone we met was friendly, open and genuinely excited we were visiting their country. I feel that there is much more there to see & experience and I would definitely consider going back because I enjoyed it so much.
I would HIGHLY recommend the Galapagos Legend ship as the way to see the islands. The service on board was impeccable, the guides extremely knowledgeable & interesting and the accommodations great. I was somewhat worried that 3 nights wouldn't be enough in the Galapagos, however, the itinerary covered a wide variety of ecosystems in the islands-no two we landed on were alike.
I would recommend Kline Tours to anyone traveling to Ecuador-every aspect of their tours was fantastic.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Renee, for helping us have such a fabulous Ecuador/Galapagos experience! :)
The islands, to be honest, were very similar in feel. Four nights was plenty on board the boat, although it meant that we didn't get to the islands where the albatrosses live. Ah well. The three-night itinerary would have taken us there, but then we would have missed something else. It's always a tradeoff.
How was the visit to the Hacienda?
It was quite lovely, and a second night wouldn't have been all bad. I'm attaching more photos of it. For people more interested in shopping than we were, who were going to be at the Otovalo market on Saturday, a second night stay would be a good idea.
Was the ship comfortable?
Comfortable, yes. Not lavish, but that's fine. We all joked that we wondered where they were standing to take the photographs of the cabins, because the photos DID make them seem considerably bigger than they were. But it's a boat, for heaven's sake. Nobody expected lots of space!
Did you need a wetsuit for swimming?
We both wore long sleeved shirts for snorkeling, and the extra thin layer provided some welcome insulation.