Archive for the ‘TRAVEL NEWS’ Category
As we have apparently become a popular and trusted source for breaking travel-related news for mainland Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, we have decided to change (improve) the manner in which news is presented and updated.
From October 1st, 2011 this service is now being aired on this dedicated channel
Sky News contacted us during for their Ecuador President Hurt During ‘Coup Attempt‘ report on September 30th, 2010
Our popularity arose during the hour by hour updates relating to the tsunami alert issued for the Pacific region, the political uprisings on September 30th 2010 (aka 30-S) against President Rafael Correa and our continual coverage of the frequent eruptions of Mount Tugurahua Volcano.
The comments of gratitude and thanks for this spurred us to improve our news desk system.
By news we do not refer to deals, offers and such. What is presented is travel-related news that may be important for you (or family members) to be aware of.
Examples include erupting volcanoes & natural disasters, airport closures, safety news, strikes & protests. Basically news-worthy material that foreign travelers should be aware of (and for family & friends back home) to be informed as accurately and up to date as possible.
We have broken the news into relevant sections:
- Breaking News …. the latest news flashes
- Health & Safety News
- General (travel) News
- Flight-related News
- Galapagos Islands (travel) News
- Quito (travel) News
On Friday, September 16th at 19h00 a TAME airline airplane (Embraer 190), flight no.148 from Loja to Quito, crashed into the far north safety extension region of the Quito International Airport of Mariscal Sucre. Aboard were 97 passengers and 6 crew. No victims were reported, and 11 people received medical attention.
The TAME plane ended up some 300 meters beyond the extreme end of the runway. Airport operations have been irregular subsequently due to the fact that the ILS radars, which assist inbound air traffic for runway approximation, were damaged. As a result, pilots are forced to use VOR (Voice over radio) for approximations in the meantime.
If climatic conditions (low or poor visibility etc) present themselves, flights may be forced to land at the nearest alternative airport. For this reason flights have been irregular since Friday evening.
New National Park regulation for tortoise corals visits at the Darwin Station Research Station (Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz Island)
Effective September 1st 2011, visitors to the Charles Darwin Research Station in Santa Cruz, will no longer be allowed to enter or walk inside the interior walls of the tortoise corals.
Guides have reported that passengers are not following rules prohibiting them from touching or feeding the tortoises. Passengers will only be able to view the tortoises from outside the corals walls.
For a more in-depth report, please go to http://www.sangay.com/ecuadorguide/galapagos-islands/2457/
AUGUST 11th, 2011 13h30
The Ecuadorian government has issued an “Orange Alert” for the southern Pacific Coastal region (where waves could reach between 2 to 4 meters – according to local news sources, and has just included the Galapagos Islands (where waves could reach 2 to 3 meters in height – according to local news sources here in Quito).
The timing is not ideal as we head into a holiday long weekend, and a good majority of the major city inhabitants tend to flock to the coast during this period.
Spanish news link: http://www.elcomercio.com/pais/Vigente-alerta-naranja-ecuatorianas-oleaje_0_533946603.html
14h30 INOCAR (National Oceanographic Institute) is predicting the strong possibility that the strong waves that hit the coast of Chile & Peru yesterday will arrive on the coast of Ecuador later this afternoon, with waves 2 to 2.5 m. Forecasts for August 12 predictstronger and larger waves (>2.5 m), while those for August 13 predict that the waves will start to diminish and end in the evening of August 14th.
15h03 From local media source Telegrafo: COEN (National Emergency Operations Committee) has started limited evacuations of southern coastal regions of Ecuador, particularly the province of El Oro. In addition, the government is permitting people to visit the coastal regions during the holiday long weekend (Friday to Sunday) but swimming in the sea will not be permitted .. along with any aquatic sports, fishing or whale watching.
Any further updates will be posted here:
Original Spanish news source: Parque Nacional Galapagos (PNG)
A Total of 357 sharks were counted aboard the ‘Fer Mary I’
357 sharks were found aboard the FER MARY I
Technicians and authorities of the Galapagos National Park (DPNG), Navy, National Police conducted an inspection of the fishing boat ‘Fer Mary I’ detained for illegal fishing in the Galapagos Islands.
The ‘Fer Mary I’ and its six smaller fishing boats were detained 20 miles within the archipelago, to the east of the northern island of Genovesa, by the Galapagos National Park boat ‘Sea Ranger 02′ – with assistance from the Ecuadorian Navy. The captured vessel was escorted to the port town of Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island) in the evening.
The smaller vessels detained accompanying the ‘Fer Mary I’ were F/M Siempre Virgen de Monserrate, F/M Narcisa de Jesús, F/M Keyla Yeannely, F/M Heyder Josue, F/M Nuevo Destino II and F/M Siempre José.
At 17h30 local authorities conducted inspections to identify the catch aboard. The final inventory determined the following: 357 sharks, 11 dorados, 9 albacores & 1 sword fish. The species of shark identified were:
- 286 Bigeye Thresher (Alopias superciliosus);
- 22 Blue sharks (Prionace glauca);
- 40 Galapagos sharks (Carcharinus galapaguensis);
- 6 Hammerhead sharks (Sphyrna lewini);
- 2 Tiger sharks (Galeocerdo cuvieri);
- 1 Mako shark (Isurus oxirrinchus)
The Galapagos National Park authorities have initiated the respective legal and administrative processes to determine the corresponding sanctions, destination planned for vessels etc.
The Galapagos Marine Reserve prohibits the capture, commercialization and transportation of sharks.
The Ecuadorian National Aviation Authorities (DAC – Dirección General de Aviación Civil) temporarily suspends Air Cuenca operations due to technical problems that do not guarantee the safety and security of the passengers (according to an article published in El Comercio on June 21st, 2010.
According to this news source, Air Cuenca can only start operating again once the aircraft is checked.
In the Quito airport of Mariscal Sucre, the personal at the airline counter of Air Cuenca commented that they are not selling airline tickets and that the aircraft will go to Miami to be checked.
According to the latest Galapagos National Park resolution (No.033-2011) the island of Santa Fe will be closed off from June 5th to 7th, 2011.
According to the resolution, this temporary closure of Santa Fe Island is to realize a monitor/study of emblematic species such such as iguanas, rats, marine birds, Opuntia cactus, species in danger and other aspects of the current conditions on th island.
Boats that are scheduled to visit this island during this period (June 5th to 7th 2011) will visit the Fausto Llerena Breeding Center.
April 27, 2011
Having picked up on unconfirmed and very vague news (via local television) that a vessel in the Galapagos Islands got stranded off the coast of Isabela Island, I started to get my feelers out there.
As I keep my ears to the ground, I have managed to ascertain & confirm with the direct operator of this vessel (Eric) that indeed there was a minor incident that occurred off the coast of Isabela Island, causing the boat to get “stranded” (the actual Spanish term used was varado). All passengers and crew were efficiently and safely removed from the vessel without any incidents.
The boat will apparently be out of commission for approximately one month to make the necessary repairs.
Details on this particular boat [LINK]
- Galapagos Islands Tourist Boat ‘Eric’Gets Stranded
April 28th update (original Spanish article in El Universo)
“Galapagos boat ran aground with 31 people”
The tourist boat Eric, carrying 31 people on board, including 20 passengers and 11 crew, ran aground early yesterday morning in Punta Cordova, north of Santiago Island in the Galapagos archipelago.
Until the closure of this edition the ship remained trapped in a rocky area where it ran aground at 01:15, said Lt. Edwin Aguilar, in charge of the Port Captain of the island of Baltra, who said the incident caused no injuries .
The strandings took place because of ”fatigue” of the crew, said Aguilar, as they did not realize what could occur in this rocky area.
But at the moment a final report is pending, said the official.
“At the moment we take steps in saving human lives”, citing Aguilar.
Passenger in hotel …
The 20 passengers on board were brought to Puerto Ayora (Santa Cruz Island), where they were staying in an undisclosed hotel, whose name was not released by the officer.
Meanwhile, efforts to remove the ship, about 25 meters (length), were unsuccessful. During the day, the work of the Port Captain of Baltra and the National Directorate of Aquatic Areas (DIRNEA) focused on “lightening” the boat to get out of the site. This involves removing heavy objects such as furniture and other combustible materials. For this purpose, several barges are being used.
Towing the vessel pending …
At 18:00, Aguilar said they would wait until 23:00 to try to tow the boat, because at that time the tide would be high. ”If not, between 10:00 and 11:00 tomorrow (today, April 28th),” quoted the officer.
According to sources, the boat (Eric) left Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal Island) on Monday. A few hours before the grounding the boat sailed from the northern island of Genovesa in the direction of Puerto Egas on Santiago Island, east of Isabela Island.
Staff of the Galapagos National Park (GNP) also went into action at the site of the accident to realize a report of what happened. Meanwhile, relevant official authorities – which control the operation of tourism companies – realized that the registration of the ship is TN-00-00123.
You probably have already heard the news, the Ecuadorian government has announced new measures effective this month (April 2011) that will increase the cost of diesel nearly 30% only for certain vessels operating in the Galapagos Islands.
We will keep readers up to date as official, confirmed details become available. In addition, we will inform readers which Galapagos Islands cruise operators are directly effected and the associated measure they are taking.
For example, the operators of the sister boats Eric, LEtty, Flamingo have just communicated the following …
You probably have already heard the news, the Ecuadorian government has announced new measures effective this month that will increase the cost of diesel nearly 30% only for certain vessels operating in the Galapagos Islands. Instead of tacking on a “fuel surcharge” (we abhor that word and assume you do as well), and in an effort not to pass along additional costs to the consumer, we at Ecoventura prefer to revise the structure of our promotions offered going forward. Additional savings has been eliminated entirely, some departure dates have been removed and the amount of discounts have been reduced. All confirmed reservations are locked in and have received a really good deal by booking early. All cabins under option have until April 12 to confirm and receive the former discounts.
According to Resolution no.0071 issued by the Galapagos Islands National Park Directive on December 30th, 2010, the Island of Rabida will be temporarily closed to tourists from January 7th through to January 28th, 2011.
De acuerdo a la resolución 0071 emitida por la Dirección del Parque Nacional Galápagos con fecha 30.12.10, se dispone el cierre temporal para uso turístico del sitio de visita Rábida durante el periodo 07 al 28 de enero del 2011.
As we quickly approach the National Census Day [Censo de Población y de Vivienda - link] here in Ecuador – November 28th 2010 – only partial information is currently available mixed with a great amount of suppositions and rumours.
According to latest unofficial available information [NOVEMBER 15/2010] Galapagos Islands flights, along with International flights only will be operating as normal on November 28th, 2010.
El censo se realizará en el horario de las 7h00 hasta las 17h00, y la población debe permanecer en sus hogares ya que existe prohibición de salir ese día. Inclusive permanecerán cerrados puertos, aeropuertos y terminales de buses. Las fronteras con Perú y Colombia también serán cerradas impidiendo de esta forma la libre entrada y salida de personas. Estan suspendidas también todas las actividades comerciales y los espectáculos públicos, como los partidos del Campeonato Ecuatoriano de Fútbol.
The census will run from 07h00 until 17h00, and the population must remain in their homes as no one is permitted to leave this day. In addition, all sea ports, airports and bus terminals will also remain closed and nonoperational. The borders frontiers with Colombia and Peru will also be closed, restricting the the entry and exit of individuals. Commercial activities and public events will also not be permitted.
According to informal / unofficial sources on November 15th, 2010 there has been a slight change (from the previous notification that all tourism activities – including the Galapagos Islands – would be forced to suspend activities) in that the Government apparently is permitting normal tourist air traffic to/from the Galapagos Islands, in addition to regular International flight traffic.
As official information becomes available, we will keep our readers updated.
Forewarned is forearmed. Happy travels.