Go Like a Pro

Fiji, Ecuador

Nov 1, 2003
Outside Magazine

Attending school in Fiji's clear blue wonders

REALITY TECH: TECHNICA PACMOC Do you really need to haul all those shoes? The short answer: no. Save space, and boost your hipness, by bringing the PacMoc—nylon-mesh slip-ons that stuff down about as small as a folded T-shirt. Rubber soles can handle your river trip one day, and the comfy kicks will look smart in town the next. ($50; 603-298-8032, www.tecnicausa.com)

PRICE: $1,460
10. Island-Hop/Snorkel/
THE DEAL: Spend seven days pretending you're a rescued Crusoe, cruising around Fiji's Yasawa and Outer Mamanuca islands on a motorized catamaran and the 83-foot schooner Sea Spray. At night, you'll snooze onshore in a thatch-roofed beach bure. Days find you snorkeling over pulsating sea clams and other marine life, sea-kayaking Kuata Island's slender peninsula, or hiking its interior, where you might just spot a many-colored fruit dove. Feeling lazy? Laze around in the vodka-clear pools and turquoise bays that you may have first seen in The Blue Lagoon and Cast Away. Package price includes round-trip airfare from Los Angeles, six nights' accommodation, and most meals and gear. A round-trip flight to Fiji by itself typically costs a grand or more.
THE FINE PRINT: Travel at the end of March, the tail end of the rainy season, to get the good airfare. On some of the remote islands, electricity is on only from sunset to midnight.
CONTACT: Outdoor Travel Adventures, 877-682-5433, www.otadventures.com

PRICE: $1,621
11. Paddle/Sail/Hike
THE DEAL: Sure, the Galápagos are cool. But so is Ecuador proper. Spend 18 days paddling the Amazon in a dugout canoe, hiking through rainforests to waterfalls, beachcombing near the coastal town of Machalilla, and motoring to Isla de la Plata, a.k.a. the poor man's Galápagos, home to masked boobies and humpbacks. Add on other adventures as you like, including a guided climb up 20,561-foot Chimborazo for $170. Price above includes sample round-trip airfare from Phoenix ($678) and a tour package that includes 15 nights in local hotels and inns and a two-night homestay with an indigenous family in the Amazon. Guided climbs of Chimborazo alone can run as high as $1,000.
THE FINE PRINT: Meals are extra, as are activities such as mountain biking and rafting.
CONTACT: Intrepid Travel, 866-847-8192, www.intrepidtravel.com