An archipelago some 1,000km west of the South American continent, the Galápagos Islands are the land that time forgot. Its unique landscape and fantastic range of wildlife inspired Charles Darwin and, today, great efforts are made to preserve its rich biodiversity. Of course, any trip to the islands isn’t complete without a visit to the cultural delights of Ecuador.
Landing in the mountainous Ecuadorian capital, Quito, I was met on arrival and transferred to my home for three nights – the beautiful Casa Gangotena Hotel set overlooking Plaza San Francisco in Old Quito. It’s perfect for exploring the city’s bustling markets and open-air concerts. The next morning I got to know it better with a city tour of its monasteries, museums and churches, designated by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site.
The next day, I was driven through rising volcanic valleys lined with Ecuadorian rose farms on