Traveling to the Galápagos Islands usually requires a stop in mainland Ecuador—with a trade-off. Quito has the best hotels, but at an elevation of 9,300 feet. By fall 2016, travelers will be able to skip altitude sickness and stay at sea level in Guayaquil at its first luxury hotel, the 44-room Hotel del Parque. Rooms from $380; Av. Rio Esmeraldas; 593-4/232-7999; hoteldelparque.com.ec.
Courtesy Oro Verde Hotels
Tranquil Guayaquil provides the perfect Galápagos stopover, sans altitude sickness.