Behind the Scenes of a RTW Trip – Month 13 Travel Review

Posted By Jeremy in South America

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Living the Dream made it to the equator!The end of the first month of Year 2 was quite an emotional one for us.  It reminds us of what it was like to end the first month of this trip a year ago and how much more we had to look forward to.  But now that we are as the opposite end of the spectrum, and our trip nearing its end, we have started thinking about the wonderful things that will be coming next.

Luckily for everyone here, we have huge plans.  But since we are still traveling for a few more months we have to hold on them for now and talk about the exciting adventures that we’re currently having!  So let’s take a look back on Month 13 and see what it was like for us, shall we?

As with our last report, each month we feature a travel review of the highlights, lowlights, and spending we had during the course of our adventure.  These are provided as a snapshot of what our RTW trip is like for your reference, although we know that every trip is different.


Gorgeous churches in Cuenca, Ecuador

During our thirteenth month of travel we spent our entire time in Ecuador (Guayaquil, Montanita, Cuenca, Banos, and Quito) and the Galapagos (Santa Cruz and San Cristobal islands).

Our total out-of-pocket spending for the month was about $4,840, or $161/day.  As surprising as it may sound, this is exactly what we were hoping for on a per day average as we spent roughly $250/day in the Galapagos (excluding airfare) and $100/day in Ecuador.  It is rare that our projections and actual targets match up so perfectly, but month 13 was spot on.

This spending includes the following breakdown on a per day average for the two of us combined (in USD).

Accommodation Food Transportation Sight Seeing Souvenirs Misc. Purchases
Ecuador $38.64 $34.79 $6.36 $10.46* $4.70 $5.48
Galapagos $45.71* $52.10 $9.71/$120.43 $101.07* $3.43 $32.19

*Notes: Our spending for sight seeing was reduced slightly due to a premium day tour partnership in Quito.  We also had some cost savings in the Galapagos by splitting rooms and taxi rides with our friends who visited.   The two transportation costs shown for the Galapagos are excluding/including airfare of $775 total (for two).

As always, our full spending log is available from our menu under “Plan Your Trip.”

RTW Tally Snapshot

Scuba Diving in the Galapagos - Do It!

Woohoo, I have now taken over 25,000 photos on this trip!  That was a pretty exciting milestone to roll over this month as I have now more than doubled the size of my photography collection since departing for this trip.

Other than images, we finally saw some decent rain in South America that stopped us from sight seeing for a day.  It seems odd to say that this is a huge deal, but considering the lack of rain we’ve had in 5 months, it was a pleasant change.  Something tells me that this next month will have significantly more rain if the upcoming weather forecast holds true!

Days Traveling: 396 (+30)
Countries Visited: 34 (+1)
Dollars Spent (USD): $69,243 (+$4,042)
Pictures Taken (Jeremy):  26,365 (+1,392)
Miles Traveled:  49,382 (+2,104)
Planes: 24; Trains: 45
Vehicles: 72; Ferries: 5
Days of Rain: 9 (+1)
Sick Days: 11.5 (+0)
Itinerary Changes: 4 (+0)
Arguments: 11 (+1)
Days Apart: 7 (+2)
Nights in a Dorm Bed: 39 (+0)
Combined Books Read: 45 (+0)
Bottles of Wine: 48 (+0)

Random Thoughts

Angie's Chocolate Stash from Ecuador

As with the last RTW trip covered on this site, these monthly updates are a great place to put in the little random details that we found interesting in the countries we visited that may not find their way into a full blog post.  The following are some of our favorites from the countries we visited in Month 13:

  • Generally speaking, the last month has been one full of some really fun experiences, but also a lot of burn-out.  We’re definitely feeling the effects of moving around so much and ready to take it easier as we go.
  • We have a higher opinion of Ecuador than we do of Peru, although most of the safety concerns are present here as well.  If we had to assign one reason for this opinion, it would be that it does not seem like Ecuadorians care about the tourists nearly as much as Peruvians do (in both the good and bad ways).  When you stop feeling like a target and more like just another person, good times are sure to follow.
  • When it comes to eating in Ecuador, only one thing can be said: sweet plantains.  If you visit, be prepared to eat a lot of them!
  • Angie bought over $100 in Ecuadorian chocolates to ship home.  Yes, she really did.
  • Although not destination specific, we were nominated for a 10Best award for best couples travel bloggers this month!  We normally don’t share these vote for us campaigns, but 10Best is affiliated with USA Today so it seems like this one is kind of a big deal.  If you’d like to help out, head over to 10Best and give us a vote!  You can vote once per day per household (ISP) and do not need to register at all.  This is truly one easy voting process!  (Voting is open until the end of July).

Ecuador and Galapagos Posts

This is how we feel right now.

Since each month is limited on the number of days, we cannot write our posts fast enough to fit them all in!  But don’t worry, we’ve got ideas for a lot of great posts for after this trip ends (if it ever does).  The following are a selection of some we’re thinking of!

Banos Ecuador – Breaking Bones While Waterfall Rappelling
Things to do in Banos Ecuador – Paragliding
3 Unique Snacks to Try in Quito, Ecuador
Ecuador Chocolate – The 21 Bars We Ate in Ecuador
Cuenca Ecuador‘s Downfall – Expats
Galapagos Island Travel – A Must for Relaxation
Galapagos Island Hopping – By Land or Boat?
Galapagos Scuba Diving – North Seymour
26 Galapagos Animals Who Had a Worse Day Than You
…and more!

So where will Month 14 take us?  As we publish this post we are hanging out in our last city in Ecuador: Mindo!  Once we finish our stay in Ecuador we will be heading into Colombia for the rest of the month, which will also be our final month in South America.  After that?  Well, the end of our trip is approaching fast, but you’ll have to wait for Month 15 to learn more about our plans.

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