It’s Time for Adventure. It’s Time to Visit Ecuador
AgentImage | December 11, 2017
Ecuador is a place of variety. From the abundance of life inhabiting the great Galapagos Islands and the lush vegetation of the Amazon rainforests to the awe-inspiring peaks of the Andes Mountains and the cultural rich city of Cuenca, Ecuador has a little something for everyone. Each one of these distinct regions offers a wider variety of different types of adventure and in my opinion; it is hard to ever say you are bored here.
I would call myself an adventure seeker. It isn’t always the purpose of my travels but I love new experiences and am not afraid to try anything (unless it deals with insects, I hate insects). I have done so many exciting and new things in Ecuador and each experience teaches me something about the world and about myself, and this is what makes traveling so enriching.
My first trip I took within Ecuador was to Mindo and talk about a beautiful little city. We visited a butterfly farm with butterflies in all colors of the rainbow and some the size of your hand. I saw the largest number of hummingbirds that I have ever seen before in my life all clustered around one birdfeeder. I got my first experience of a zip line cart across a valley where hiking to hidden waterfalls waited on the other side. Everything was absolutely magnificent and it made my first impression of Ecuador a great one.
Next on my list is Quilotoa, a 2 mile wide crater lake located in the Andes. I traveled there with a few friends and as soon as I saw the lake, I was astounded. Such beauty radiated from the crystal blue water and the surrounding mountain landscape;so still, so smooth. We spent the night in the town drinking canelazo (a typical serrano alcoholic beverage made from orange and cinnamon) before we made the hike down the mountain the next morning. Hiking down took about 45 minutes and below we rented kayaks to get up close and personal with the volcanic water. After making a few puppy friends we took the hike back up by foot and I realized how out of shape I was. 2 hours later we finally made it to the top and I felt stronger physically and mentally knowing that I hiked a mountain! I could have rode a donkey up but I am too proud to do that and to this day, I still question how the livestock leaders climb up those mountains like it is nothing.
Bañoswas my third trip in Ecuador and this is an adventure filled town!! Every block is lined with tour companies offering different activities such as rafting, biking, zip lining, canyoning (repelling down waterfalls), bungee jumping, this list goes on and on. We decided to do the rafting and canyoning because we love rafting and canyoning was something we had never done before.
You know how they say you don’t know if you like something until you try it? Well this statement has never been truer for me and canyoning. I LOVED IT! It was so much fun and such a rush! I remember my body trembling and my heart pumping as I repelled down the first waterfall. However, as soon as I landed at the bottom a huge smile came across my face because I had just experienced the most fun thing in my life! Each waterfall became easier and I now think that canyoning is one of my favorite things to do!I loved it so much that I’ve done it twice more since that first trip.
The rafting was also grade A fun and the guides were excellent. My dad said that the rafting in Bañoswas the best he had ever experienced and coming from a man who as rafted in almost every location he has visited, that is saying a lot.
Bañosis also home to the famous Casa delArbol, a famous tree house that has a swing that lets people swing out over the side of a mountain with the active Tungurahua Volcano as the background. The perfect photo op. Visiting here was breath-taking and so much fun and something that would never be allowed in the states as there aren’t many safety measures in place for this swing haha. All in all, still a lot of fun.
We rented bicycles the last day of our trip in Bañosand cruised down the waterfall trail. It is a very easy ride along a downhill road and bike path that leads you to see thepowerful Pailon de Diablo Falls. Along the way there are also other impressive waterfalls where you can stop, take pictures, and even zip line across the river to get a better view. After getting all the pictures we wanted, we hopped in the back of a truck and headed home. A great trip overall and a place that I know I will continue to return to.
PUERTO LOPEZ – ISLA DE LA PLATA
Ahhh Puerto Lopez, my home. But it wasn’t always my home. I first visited Puerto Lopez on weekend vacation from Quito to go visit the famous humpback whales that migrate to the area every June. With my roommate and a tour group, we took the 1 hour boat ride to the Isla de La Plata (also known as the poor man’s Galapagos) and along the way GIANT humpback whales were jumping out of the water left and right! I always thought that whale watching tours were kind of a scam, that most of the time you probably wouldn’t see a whale but rather spend your hours staring at the water with no luck, but with this tour, I was pleasantly surprised! So many whales, so close to the boat! It was so cool and fun! The island was also a great, getting up close and personal with the infamous blue footed boobies and the fragata birds. Not quite the abundance of wildlife that the Galapagos offers but still an amazing place. The tour ended with snorkeling and I found myself playing with giant sea turtles, colorful fish, and even a Manta Ray! Isla de La plata and Puerto Lopez are mustsees in Ecuador. I fell in love with this beach town and decided to make it my home. I moved here in January, opened my own discoteca, DiscotecaWett and have never been happier J Talk about an adventure.
IT’S NOT JUST ME WHO THINKS THIS PLACE IS GREAT, I PROMISE
At this point in my story you’ve heard a lot about my experiences but I want you to see that other people have also enjoyed the many wonderful things this country has to offer. I reached out to my fellow expats and friends to see what some of their favorite adventures have been and here is what they said:
Robert Marcom “We have had several once-in-a-lifetime adventures in Ecuador. But the top of the list must go to our stay with a wonderful and generous Achuar family with whom we spent a week at the invitation of my friend and brother, NapoleonUyunkar. It was an opportunity to meet and spend time with a traditional family living in the splendor and majesty of the Amazon rainforest, which they call Ikiam. We met the people of the community of Mashian, learned about the bounty of la selva and had a mystical experience of restoration and revelation. We are forever grateful for the opportunity to participate in their lives.”
Jo Reason “A 6 day canoe trip To Yasuni”
Dave Ward“My most memorable experience was a balsa raft trip on the Napo river. We were with a tour group (Gate One) on our first trip to beautiful Ecuador. The guide tried to push me off the raft into the river just for fun, but I managed to grab him and we both went overboard! Next thing you know, everybody is splashing about in the river as we floated downstream. I couldn’t believe how warm the water was. It was a memorable trip.”
Judith M Hirschman “The hike AROUND the quilotoa crater is awesome too, but you need to be in shape and have hiking experience. 4-6 hours, moderate-strenuous.”
TresaDanleyKonderla “Paragliding in La Crucita”
Doug Moench “A 9 day motorcycle tour of the Andes, Amazon and Pacific with Ecuador Freedom Bike Rental. Saw a lot of the country, many of its attractions, wonderful lodges and hotels and hostals, zip lining in Banos, banana plantation, Mindo and chocolate farm & tour, monkeys in Misahualli, Amazon lodge, cloud forest and Vicuna on the slopes of Chimborazo. On a motorcycle, did I mention that? Awesome trip.”
Siru Y JotaCe “Definitely Galápagos, tour de losTúneles on Isla Isabela was awesome, but all of it really, the animals, snorkeling with sea lions, sea turtles, sharks, penguins, sea horses, mantas, marine iguanas etc… all the birds, even flamingos, giant tortoises, cactus trees…hiking to Muro de las Lágrimas on Isla Isabela where you can see giant tortoises especially when there´s garúa, hiking on San Cristóbal in the rain and mud on slippery lava rocks ????. Listening to the silence and bird song. I´d go every year if I could.”
Luis Bailon Castillo “Bungee jumping off of a bridge in Baños. I have never had so much adrenaline in my body at once!”
See… It’s not just me who thinks this country is great J
I find this country absolutely wonder, mystical, and refreshing. Life is short and we need to take full advantage of the many opportunities it gives us. I am gratefulevery day that I have been able to fulfill my dreams, experience new things, and continue my quest for knowledge. I dare you to try something new every day, to learn something new every day, to start living your life and enjoying it. It’s time for adventure. It’s time to visit Ecuador.