Archive for the ‘MAINLAND ECUADOR’ Category

Ecuador Travel News: Air Cuenca operations temporarily suspended   4 comments

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.

Ecuador Tungurahua volcano re-erupts   2 comments

REUTERS/Carlos Campana


LATEST UPDATE (Dec.2/2010)

Volcanic activity has been reported in the Tungurahua (Throat of Fire) volcano in Ecuador, the second case sighted in the past few weeks.  The volcano spewed molten rocks and large clouds of gas and ash near Banos, south of Quito, Reuters reported on Tuesday.  The Tungurahua’s volcanic activity follows last month’s eruption, when a column of gas shot up seven kilometers into the sky.  No casualties have been recorded so far, but flight re-direction is being considered.

Tungurahua is located approximately 150 kilometers southeast of Ecuador’s capital, Quito.


After almost 6 months of relevate calm, Mount Tungurahua seems to be reawaking in the first days of 2010.

DEC.30 2009 – long-period earthquake followed by fumarolic activity with a steam plume reaching 300 metres above the crater.

JAN.01 2010 – beginning of emissions with low ash content, accompanied by rumbles that have gradually increased their intensity.

JAN.03 2010 – crater glow visible, lava fountaining begins, with the projection of incandescent material onto the upper slopes and intense rumbling sounds

JAN.04 2010 – increased ash emissions with eruption columns reaching as high as 2 km above the crater, ash fall reported to the west.

MAY.31 2010 – explosion (see photo series below)

Tungurahua volcano eruption process last night (May 31). Photo credits: Armando Prado/El Comercio

NOV.22 2010 – A sudden eruption of the Tungurahua volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes sent a column of ash more than 7 kilometers (4.3 miles) into the sky.

APR.27 2011 – A significant explosive eruption occurred, prompting evacuations of schools and villages near the volcano. Tungurahua produced a 7 km / ~23,000 foot ash plume, which is a bit surprising considering that last report from Instituto Geofisico in Ecuador from January 2011 reported “activity at Tungurahua continued to decrease and ash was absent from plumes.”  Hugo Yepes, a geologist from the IG, was quoted as saying (Spanish) this eruption was one of the largest at the volcano in the past 11 years and that the IG expects that this eruption might gone on for “several days”.  The Ecuadoran government placed the volcano on Orange Alert status, meaning mandatory evacuations for a number of villages near Tungurahua. Some air traffic in and out of Quito has also been effected by the eruption.

(Photo by Cecilia Puebla/AFP/Getty Images)

COTALO, ECUADOR – The Tungurahua volcano spews ashes and lava on January 11, 2010, in Cotalo, Ecuador, 135km south of Quito.

Posted April 27, 2011 by sangay in MAINLAND ECUADOR, PHOTOGRAPHY & IMAGES

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TAME airline increases flight rates for Galapagos Islands flights   Leave a comment

As is quite often the case here in Ecuador, it is not uncommon to get wind of official changes in regulations after the fact.  Much as is currently occurring with the ‘new’ national transit laws.  This is also the case with recent changes (apparently took effect on March 31st, 2011) that were made available today (April 7th, 2011).

According to official information from TAME airline, they have changed the rates for thier flights to/from the Galapagos Islands. Up until this date, all airline tickets were classified as ‘Y’ (or Yankie) class – both for high and low season flights.  Now TAME airline has dropped class ‘Y’ and replacing it for class ‘B’ (or Bravo) and class ‘W’ (or Whiskey) in high season, and class ‘H’ (or Hotel) in low season.  Furthermore, TAME airline now only considers the months of July, August & December as high season.

In addition, TAME airline is now charging penalty fees for such things as change of date, change of name etc.

It appears that one set rate is applied to low season flights (much like in the past) but for high season flights one of two tariffs will be applied (class ‘B’ or class ‘W’) depending on availability.

Here is how the fees pan out ….

HIGH SEASON: July, August & December


QUITO – GALAPAGOS – QUITO $418 (*B) / $463 (*W) $286 (*B) / $315 (*W)
QUITO – GALAPAGOS – GUAYAQUIL $395 (*B) / $440 (*W) $270 (*B) / $300 (*W)
GUAYAQUIL – GALAPAGOS – QUITO $393 (*B) / $438 (*W) $267 (*B) / $298 (*W)
GUAYAQUIL – GALAPAGOS – GUAYAQUIL $370 (*B) / $415 (*W) $252 (*B) / $283 (*W)
High season classes: (B) = SEAT CLASS B / (W) = SEAT CLASS WNOTES 

(a) Seat class subject to availability (*)
(b) ‘Child’ is anyone under 12 years of age / ‘Adult’ is anyone over 12 years of age.
(c) Copies of passports are required by airline for all passengers (adults & children).
(d) Rates do not include USD $10 per airline ticket issue fee charged by airline.
(e) Flight rates are subject to change without prior notice. 

(f)  USD $30 penalty for change of date
(g) USD $50 penalty for change in name
(h) USD $50 penalty for reimbursement refund

UPDATED: APRIL 7th, 2011

LOW SEASON: January, February, March, April, May, June, September, October & November


QUITO – GALAPAGOS – QUITO $373 (H) $254 (H)

Low season class: (H) = SEAT CLASS H


(a) ‘Child’ is anyone under 12 years of age / ‘Adult’ is anyone over 12 years of age.
(b) Copies of passports are required by airline for all passengers (adults & children).
(c) Rates do not include USD $10 per airline ticket issue fee charged by airline.
(d) Flight rates are subject to change without prior notice.
(e) USD $30 penalty for change of date
(f)  USD $50 penalty for change in name
(g) USD $50 penalty for reimbursement refund

UPDATED: APRIL 7th, 2011

Tsunami alert for Galapagos Islands & Ecuador: Continuous updates   3 comments

Tsunami alert Galapagos Ecuador

For news, details and updates on the tsunami alert in effect for Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands …

please go to live updating page

Ecuador culinary tradition: Colada Morada con Guaguas de Pan   1 comment

This tradition dates hundreds of years ago; and it is almost impossible to know its exact origin.  But without a doubt it is a result of the syncretism of indigenous rituals and traditions brought by the Spanish with the Catholic religion.

Recipes for Colada Morada can vary from region to region and family to family. Almost all versions contain basic ingredients like:

  • mortiño (i.e., “Blueberry of the Andes” or myrtle berry) [link]
  • mora (i.e., very similar to blackberry)
  • piña (i.e., pineapple)
  • naranjas (i.e., oranges)
  • canela (i.e., cinnamon)
  • clavo de olor (i.e., cloves)
  • panela (i.e., unrefined whole cane sugar)
  • maicena – corn flower base (i.e., cornstarch, black flour or purple corn flour)
  • ishpingo (Ecuadorian spice)
  • pimienta dulce (i.e., sweet peppercorns)
  • bundle of aromatic herbs (huerba buena, arrayan,  orange leaves, lemon verbena)

… some will include strawberries, blueberries, naranjilla juice (an Andean fruit), babaco (champagne fruit), allspice  and even raisins.

Ishpingo (from the Quechua ‘ishpinku’) is the native Ecuadorian cinnamon tree Ocotea quixos (Lauraceae), found only in a small region of Amazonian Ecuador and Colombia. It is in the same family (Lauraceae) as the common Cinnamon and has a similar aroma. It has been used locally as a spice and flavoring agent since pre-European times.

Colada Morada has its roots in ‘El Dia de los Difuntos’ or ‘Day of the Ancestors’ (November 2), a time to celebrate and pay respects to one’s ancestors.  In the small villages, families dress in their finest clothes and carry a meal to the cemetery. It is generally customary to leave one plate for the dead ancestor.  This traditional meal includes guaguas de pan and the colada morada.

Guaguas de pan literally translated means  ‘bread babies’.  The word guagua, pronounced wa-wa, is Quechua for baby or young child.) These bread babies can be up to 12 inches long and are decorated with icing and may have jam or some other sweet filling inside.

In the larger towns and cities, families no longer eat with their ancestors. They spend the day visiting the cemetery and laying flowers on the graves. They may make guaguas de pan and colada morada, but only for eating with their family at home. Nevertheless, the spirit of the Día de los Difuntos carries on as one of the important traditions of Ecuador.


Recipes for colada morada can vary from region to region and family to family. While all versions contain blueberry, blackberry, and pineapple, some will use naranjilla juice (an Andean fruit), babaco (champagne fruit), strawberries, and even raisins. 

Read more at Suite101: Colada Morada Fruit Juice Recipe: Traditional Ecuadorian All Soul’s Day Blueberry and Blackberry Drink

Posted November 29, 2010 by sangay in MAINLAND ECUADOR, PHOTOGRAPHY & IMAGES

We make your Galapagos Islands experience …. stand out.   1 comment

A recent Trip Advisor ( message in the South America / Ecuador / forum [link to original comment] back ups our efforts and mandates …

I just recently used SANGAY TOURS (Robin Slater) out of Quito.This firm has what it takes and Alejandro was so helpful, never missed an email responded at night and over week end fast response to my Problems, Conflicts, Lateness ect. I booked a cruise for the 2oth starting on the 10th and he helped from what ever I neede.”Lots of questions no decisions and ebverything was a panic on my end,

TOTALLY proffessional Know their end of the business!

These guys are so patient and professional They take care of you.

YOU. tell alejandro Laurie Rodgers sent you!!!!

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this firm Sangay Tours.any questions

Posted November 16, 2010 by sangay in GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, MAINLAND ECUADOR, OTHER

Ecuador: 5 worlds for you to discover   3 comments

Ecuador – for a relatively small Andean country – has a surprisingly wide variety of tourist attractions and activities … and all within a short travel of each other.  In fact, you can say that Ecuador has 5 worlds ….

Each of these ‘worlds’ has its own distinct features – weather, topography, cuisine, culture, flora & fauna and adventure. Each world is a little world in itself … come discover them (or rediscover them).

Whether you are seasoned off-road adventurer or a novice traveler, Ecuador has something for you.

Ecuador – para un país andino relativamente pequeño – con una sorprendente variedad de atractivos turísticos y actividades … y todo ello en un viaje corto de unos a otros. De hecho, se puede decir que el Ecuador tiene cinco mundos ….

Cada uno de estos “mundos” tiene sus características propias – el clima, la topografía, la gastronomía, la cultura, la flora y la fauna y el aventura . Cada mundo es un pequeño mundo en sí mismo … Venga a descubrir ellos (o redescubrir ellos).

Si usted es aventurero experimentado todo terreno o un viajero novato, el Ecuador tiene algo para ti.

Posted November 15, 2010 by sangay in GALAPAGOS ISLANDS, MAINLAND ECUADOR