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Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands (Lonely Planet Travel Guides) [Paperback]

Rob Rachowiecki , Danny Palmerlee
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Paperback, 1 Aug 2003 --  
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Lonely Planet Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands (Travel Guide) Lonely Planet Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands (Travel Guide) 4.2 out of 5 stars (8)
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Book Description

1 Aug 2003 Lonely Planet Travel Guides
special section on the Galapagos' unique wildlife - adventure-travel goodies: from scaling mountians to running rivers & jungle treks - up-to-date briefing on responsible tourism, conservation issues & eco-tourism efforts - Practical, region-specific Spanish language guide helps travellers get chatty - Ecuador offers the traditional sights of South America - jungle, mountains, wildlife, indigenous culture and colonial cities - in an area roughly the size of Nevada or New Zealand. - Ecuador is an incredibly popular bird-watching destination - half of all South American bird species can be found here, and the country has twice as many birds as all of North America.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Lonely Planet Publications; 6th Revised edition edition (1 Aug 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1740594649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1740594646
  • Product Dimensions: 20.1 x 12.9 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,118,760 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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For sheer global reach and dogged research, attention must be paid to Lonely Planet...' --Los Angeles Times, February 2, 2003
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Most histories of Ecuador begin with the Inca expansion from Peru in the 15th century. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
67 of 69 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Is this what you're looking for? 21 Jan 2003
I bought this guide before I travelled around Ecuador and other parts of South America last summer. Although it was helpful, well presented and laid-out, I found the guide disppointing in two main ways:
The maps used are sometimes inaccurate in terms of where the symbols for bus stations, hotels etc have been placed, and some street names do not match those given in the guide;
The guide has been badly edited in a few places, meaning that it is difficult to understand what point the author is trying to make.
I also found that a lot of information in this edition is long out of date (if you are buying this, make sure to print of a copy of Lonely Planet's updates from their website, although I don't know how useful they are either).
I would recommend this guide to someone who might be travelling around Ecuador on an organised tour or something, but for a backpacker or someone who likes to do everything on their own, I'd recommend the Footprint for S.America instead. You get a lot less general and historical info. but it is much more accurate in terms of maps, hotels etc. which is all you need a guidebook for anyway...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Ecuador Lonely Planet Guide 10 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is just perfect before I travel to Ecuador. I have learned quite a bit about the approaching holiday.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.1 out of 5 stars  22 reviews
75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great All Around Source Book for Travel in Ecuador 13 Mar 2002
By S. Miska - Published on
If you have used some of the more popular travel guides like Frommers or Fodors, you will be pleasantly surprised by the depth and coverage of Lonely Planet. Lonely Planet guides are marketed for backpackers, but my wife and I spent two weeks traveling throughout Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, and this book served us well. We stayed in Quito in both a hotel and hostel, ate in some of the classiest restaurants and some of the best value restaurants, and traveled to several towns and cities. We had a fantastic time, due in large part to the planning we were able to conduct from this book.
For example, while on a four-day cruise of the Galapagos, we were able to use the book's Galapagos wildlife section to identify many of the birds and other animals we spotted. With full color photos and short descriptions of each species, we could catalog all of our sightings on the handy checklist provided. Given that my wife is an avid bird watcher, the book did not have the same level of detail as a standard birding guide. However, considering that this is a travel guide, we were glad that we didn't need to carry several books to identify animals, as well as find our way around some of the more obscure places in Ecuador.
Because of the tips included in the book, we enjoyed many of the nuances of the country. For instance, the author recommended that it was cheaper to rent a taxi for a day to travel to surrounding markets, then to rent a car and drive. Driving risks accidents, getting lost, and incurring costs for fuel and insurance. As a result of the author's suggestion, we split the taxi fee for the day with a couple from Venezuela and traveled to the market in Otavalo, San Antonio de Ibarra (famous for wood carvings), and another small village that sold leather. My wife and I were able to get great quality leather jackets, a woodcarving, and some tapestries as part of a wonderful day of touring the country north of Quito. We would not have had as good of an understanding for what to do and see without this book.
If traveling to Ecuador or the famous Galapagos Islands, I highly recommend Lonely Planet. The book is specifically geared toward hikers and mountain climbers, but we found it extremely useful due to its depth and richness of ideas. Well worth the money.
28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as other Lonely Planet Guides 22 Mar 2001
By David Light - Published on
Having used Lonely Planet guides in Africa, Australia, South America, and Asia, I expect a fairly high level of quality within the confines of their "backpacker" emphasis. I was disappointed in the Ecuador guide; it seems not to be as in-depth or accurate as other Lonely Planet guides. For example, I noticed some street name misspellings--probably not disastrous--open hours incorrect, maps not quite right, etc. Not fatal, but enough to be annoying and to make me question the validity of all the rest of the information presented. (In contrast, the Lonely Planet guides for Chile and Bolivia seemed to be uniformly excellent.) This guide is still quite good--better than most of the competition, although I thought the Ecuador chapter in the South American Handbook (unwieldy to lug around if you are just going to Ecuador) was better and more consistently dependable. I give it four stars ONLY because of the dearth of good competing offerings for Ecuador.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars New 7th Edition Offers Important Updated Information 15 Dec 2006
By Chris Luallen - Published on
I purchased the latest edition of this book shortly after it's release on November, 30 and was very impressed with it's significant improvements over the 6th edition. I bought the previous book 2 years ago and, even at that time, was struck by how out of date and inaccurate some of it's information was. My wife grew up in Ecuador, still has family living there and goes back every year to visit (I go there with her every 2 years). So we, especially she, have a pretty good idea about what is happening in the country in terms of politics, prices and other information relevant to travellers. But we were disappointed how the previous book barely mentioned the major impact of dollarization on the Ecuadorian economy and the substantial increase in prices it has caused. So much so that most Ecuadorian families now have at least one or more family members working overseas in order to send money home just so the family can survive.

Fortunately, the 7th edition provides much more up to date information on this subject and others. Of course, prices for travellers are also more accurate since this edition is "hot off the presses". The book does a good job of covering all regions of the country - the Andes mountains, the Pacific coast and the Amazon rainforest. Lonely Planet, as usual, includes not only the big cities and major tourist attractions. But also small towns and other "off the beaten path" places that may be of interest for those exploring the tremendous natural beauty and cultural diversity that Ecuador has to offer.

Lonely Planet is still among my favorite publisher of travel guides. But, this book, like many LP guides, seems to have moved away from the free-spirited, adventurous approach to travel that characterized it's early years. Nowadays, the guides seem much more inclined to politically correct lectures - no hitchhiking, no intoxicants, be a good little backpacker, blah, blah, blah. Of course, I understand the importance of being respectful towards the environment and local culture, making safe and responsible decisions, etc. But I also feel that LP's writers sometimes have their own political agenda to push and take an overly self-righteous tone that is more indicitative of Western values than Ecuadorian ones. Heck, I'm part of an Ecuadorian family myself now and I know that they would find alot of LP's advice and commentary about "how to behave" to be exaggerated and ridiculous. Ecuadorians are generally a very laid back and fun loving people. Of course, you should be respectful of Ecuador's beautiful nature and diverse cultures. But also relax, enjoy yourself and don't let LP's excessively "politically correct" attitude bog you down.

Still the 7th edition is a big improvement over the 6th and I recommend it for those travelling to Ecuador in the near future.
27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 6th edition 3.5 stars... time for update, guys 26 Mar 2006
By Renee Thorpe - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm a Lonely Planet addict who knew better than to blindly buy this edition (if you order one now -6th edition, as I did, you'll get 2003 info), but addicts usually are not known for using their heads.

Quito is rather different nowadays, bus lines are new, and there are different security issues.

At least I can say that 6th ed authors err on the side of caution (eg it's risky to expect to book last minute space on Galapagos boats; or take a taxi at night even if you're going one block), but the exceptions to these dicta are too great to accept that this edition is up-to-date. The errors in museum hours and bus info (Mitad del Mundo, for one) need revision.

Worst thing about ANY Lonely Planet is their system of maps. Reader never gets text of an attraction or restaurant or hotel referenced to map location. AND if you need reading glasses, just forget about using these maps when you're in a dark taxi or dark restaurant (often the places you need to read them). Bringing a magnifying glass is not always easy.

Another grouse... while authors want to tell the traveler that the most conveniences are in the Mariscal Sucre area (gringo landia), they don't leave it at that. They list almost no restaurants & resources outside that area. I thank the authors for including my fringe area hotel in the book, for I can walk to grungy backpacker-ville any time I want to, BUT there is a true pressure towards a kind of "this is where you will stay because most travelers do." Get off the beaten path, fellas!

So, thanks for the tips, but I'm glad I used and other resources. Lonely Planet system may be a thing of the past soon.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pick of the litter 28 Jun 2004
By Carl Warren Gilmore - Published on
This book was recommended by a friend who had been to Ecuador, and for good reason. The descriptions are give just enough information without missing the key points. I tried some of the more obscure places that were recommended by the Guide and found all of them to be worth the trip. The comments were pretty good and accurate, so if the authors tell you not to miss something, don't miss it and vice versa.
The historical notes are accurate. Combine the book with a trip to the US State Department websites to get a good, rounded background.
I also visited the Galapagos, and the book was too skimpy and rudimentary. The animal pictures are fine but quite incomplete. Don't rely on this guide if you are going to the Islands.
Overall, a handy book. I read or skimmed a few other books in preparation for my trip and this one was equaly to or better than the rest.
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