Often when you are traveling you are limited on where you can go and what you can do depending on how much money you have, and Ecuador is no exception.

When I found out I would be spending a few months in Ecuador I was fully committed to going to the Galapagos Islands, but when I arrived and found out the price of actually going to the islands my decision was swayed.

Instead I opted to take a day trip with a friend out to Isla de la Plata, which is quite a bit further south and much more accessible from the mainland.

Isla de la Plata is dubbed the ‘Poor Man’s Galapagos’, and for good reason. A day trip to Isla de la Plata is only $40 (includes: snorkelling, guide, lunch, transportation, and boat ride), while a similar 4 day trip to the Galapagos is roughly $1,500 or more.

The hiking on Isla de la Plata was invigorating and we got to get up close and personal with one of my favourite birds, the Blue-Footed Booby. There were virtually no crowds on the island, which was a treat in itself!

Just being away from the busy mainland and able to hike in peace was already well worth the price of the tour.  I would highly recommend Isla de la Plata to anyone who wants to get a feel of what it would be like to be on the Galapagos without actually going.

TIP: Make your way to Puerto López and book a tour from there. There are numerous operators, so you can play them against each other to get the best price for yourself or your group.