Ecuador has been on my bucket list of places to visit. J’s perception of Ecuador, having never traveled there before, was not favorable. He viewed it as a third world country with many problems, painting a dark picture.
It is our practice, for the most part, when we visit a new country, we usually take a cruise. This allows us to determine if we would come back again on our own. In this case, a guided tour was needed.
8 Days in Ecuador
I found a package through Gate 1 Travel for Ecuador. Their package included a guided tour seeing different parts of country. Our trip included our airfare, transportation, hotels, most meals and a tour guide. J would not have to do anything except go along for the ride. He agreed and I began to plan for the trip.
Our itinerary was for 8 days featuring highlights of Ecuador with an active schedule. Our days started early with a fabulous breakfast then taking a bus for a long day of sightseeing before arriving at our hotel in the evening. We would visit Quito, Otavalo, Papallacta, the Amazon, Banos, Hacienda La Cienega and return back to Quito. We were looking forward to our trip.
When we checked in 24 hours before our flight, we found that the airline changed our flight time. We were not notified of this change. We had a scheduled flight out of BWI to MIA. Then MIA to Ecuador. Originally the time between flights were adequate. Our first flight, BWI to MIA was moved from 6:00 a.m. to 6:20 a.m., making the connection very tight. If any delays would have occurred we would have missed our second leg of our flight. This would put us on the evening flight to Ecuador, not arriving until midnight instead of 1:00 p.m. as scheduled, wasting a whole day. After contacting the airlines, it seems that Gate 1 Travel was notified in March of this change, but did not advise us. I called Gate 1 Travel about the flight change, but they advised they were not notified and still showed us leaving at 6:00 a.m. There was nothing anyone could do for us, so we just prayed we would make the flight. 🙄
8 Days in Ecuador
TIP: Check flight times several times before you actually leave on your trip to avoid surprises.
While waiting for our flight to board in Baltimore, they announced our flight was overbooked and they asked for volunteers. They got enough people to take their offer and the flight left on time. Luck was with us and we landed in MIA 10 minutes early. We were scheduled to arrive in MIA when they started boarding our flight to Ecuador but the 10 minute early arrival gave us a break. We literally ran from Gate 16 to Gate 47. If you have ever flown out of Miami, you know how big this airport is. The airport was not that busy, and we had a straight shot to our gate without running anyone over. When we arrived at the gate, they were calling our group to board. Settling in our seats, it was a 4 hour flight to Ecuador. They served a sandwich and drinks about an hour and a half after take off. It was a pleasant flight and before we knew it we were landing.