Like we told you two weeks ago, we are planning a Trip to South America, Starting in Ecuador. The day is getting closer and closer. We are getting all the things we need ready. Figuring out what to do with all the stuff we have in Berlin, selling some stuff… So we have a lot to do.
With only 23 days left until our adventure starts, we still have a lot of things to plan. But first things first, and since our first stop is Ecuador, first we are going to talk to you about it.
My mother is from Ecuador, so I have been there a couple of times, but for Oliver is going to be the first time. Even though I’ve been there, there are a lot of places I haven’t been and others where I don’t really remember and want to go back.
So we are going to list you a couple of places that we are going to go, and that you should consider when going to Ecuador.
So our first stop, and longer stay is going to be Guayaquil. Not because we think is the prettiest in the country, but because my family lives there.
Guayaquil, with over 2 million inhabitants, is situated close to the coast. Usually people stop here on their way to Galapagos, or because they are travelling somewhere else.
Guayaquil is not know for being a nice city, but it has also some places worth visiting. Some of those places are: Malecón 2000, Cerro Santa Ana, Las Peñas, Puerto Santa Ana, Parque Seminario and the Cathedral, Isla Santay and if you want to do some shopping, La Bahia or the Mercado Artesanal for some typical ecuadorian stuff.
Montañita is one of the most famous places in Ecuador. This little town it’s known for surfing and partying. During the 1960’s it became the meeting point for local and international people with interests for surf or other alternative interests, for fun, chilling and getting in contact with nature. This people began to settle there and turning Montañita into what it is today.
This fisherman town has turned into Streets full of restaurants and bars for all budgets, but keeping the same old houses style. It is famous for surfing, but it offers other water sports opportunities such as bodyboarding, scuba diving or windsurfing, as well as paragliding.
3.Baños de Agua Santa
Baños is located in the foothills of the Tungurahua volcano. Is the last big city located in the mountains before reaching the Amazon. It’s known for it’s natural beauty and the huge amount of waterfalls it has.
The name of Baños comes from the thermal baths this city has to offer which have reputation of having healing properties. It is also known for the many different extreme sport opportunities it offers. Here you can enjoy rafting, kayaking, canoeing, bridge jumping, hiking, biking, paragliding and horse back riding. Here you can also find the famous “Casa del árbol”, where you can take your picture in the swing.
The capital city of Ecuador, at an elevation of 2700 meters above sea level. Quito, with Krakow, was one of the first cities to be declared World Heritage Site by the Unesco.
Some of the places to visit in Quito are: the historic center of Quito, one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in Las Americas. El Panecillo, a hill 3016 meter above see level, where you can find a monument of Virgin Mary and beautiful views of the city. In the city you can also find “La mitad del mundo” (the middle of the world), the monument. As well as what is the “real middle of the world”, the Intiñan Solar Museum, couple of meters away. Here you get demonstrations like the clockwise rotation of sink water a few meters south of the equator and a counterclockwise rotation a few meters north.
Ecuador has 98 volcanos, from which 31 are active or potentially active or in eruption. So if you are into mountains and volcanos, here you have plenty of them.
The two biggest ones are Chimborazo (6.268 m) and Cotopaxi (5.897 m). The Chimborazo is, because of it’s location along the equatorial bulge, the farthest point on Earth from the Earth’s Center. It’s the closes point to the sun, with 2 Km more than the Everest.
You can take tours and go up the different volcanos around the country, now you only have to chose your favourite.
The historical center of Cuenca was declared World Heritage Side by the Unesco in 1999. It is considered the most European city in the country due to it’s Spanish colonial architecture. Cuenca is about 2500 m above see level.
Here you can walk along the Historical center. Take a tour bus, that will take you all around the city with a nice explanation, and all the way up to the Mirador del Turi. Here you will have wonderful views from the city. Being up there during sunset is probably the best time.
If you are up for more nature, go from here to “El Cajas”, between 3100m and 4450m above sea level offers a tundra vegetation on a jagged landscape of hills and valleys.
Ecuador not only has the beach and the mountains (the Andes), it also has the Amazonas. Here you can find the Natural Park of Yasuni, the National Park of Podocarpus and the Cuyabeno Wild Reserve, as well as cities like Puyo, one of the biggest ones.
The Amazonas offers huge variety of species. There are 8000 species of medical plants, 85 species of fish, 47 amphibians and reptiles, 95 birds and 80 species mammals in extortions danger.
8.Nariz del Diablo / Devil’s Nose
From Alausí you can take the train to La Nariz del Diablo. It is a small section of a large train line connecting the Sierra region to the Coast of Ecuador, and the most popular one. It is one of the steepest rides, 500 m in only 12 km and a true engineering work.
The train will take you to the Devil’s Nose, and will stop in Sibambe. Here you will be able to eat something, experience some typical dances and visit a museum. After that the train will take you back to Alausí.
I did this ride over 10 years ago, I was still a little girl. But I remember by that time you could still sit on top of the train. I know, that wasn’t the safest, but it was so much fun. Now it has changed, there are new trains, and it is safer. I can’t wait to go and experience it again.
Quilotoa is a water-filled caldera and the most western volcano in the Ecuadorian Andes. If you are into hiking take a 3-5 day hike to get there. Starting in Latacunga and passing through small Andean communities to reach the Quilotoa Lagoon.
The Galapagos Islands consist of a couple of volcanic islands located 906 Km from the continental Ecuador. Galapagos offered a big variety on endemic species. 1978 it was declared World Heritage Site and in 1985 a Marine Reserve.
Go and discover for yourself all the animals and plants this island have to offer.
We hope you enjoyed our post, and that you follow us in our adventures through Ecuador and South America. If you want tips on how to travel the world on a low budget after you found the best flight then you should download our FREE E-Book with the best tips on How to Travel the World with 30$ a day.