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Boat travel is quite a common means of transportation on the both Ecuador’s Coast and Amazonian regions as well as in the Galapagos Islands.
In parts of the oriente, dugout canoes navigate the tributaries of the Amazon and function as a bus system, stopping at villages along the way. These canoes can be quite large, carrying up to 36 passengers in one boat. Slather on the sunscreen and wear insect repellent. Also bring a daypack with a jacket and whatever else you will need (stored in plastic bags, of course). The boats have extra-hard wooden benches so that bringing something padded to sit on is a good idea. Prices vary so make sure to ask the price before getting on.
The coastal region often necessitates boat travel as well. Of course, jumping from fishing village to fishing village and exploring the mangroves are easiest by boat, and wide meandering rivers inland lead to numerous eco-travel destinations.
Most people decide to explore the Galapagos Islands by boat. If you fly in from the mainland and have paid for a tour of the Galapagos Islands, you will be traveling the islands on anything from an eight-person boat to a luxury cruise ship. Boats are usually categorized as Economy, Tourist, or Luxury. Make sure you know what you are paying for ahead of time.
To sail in the Galapagos a permit is necessary and these are only given to boats with a licensed guide onboard and after a National Park fee of several hundred dollars per person per day. Therefore, if you have sailed there on your own it’s more economical and much less of a hassle to moor your own boat and hire a local tour boat to take you from island to island.