What stands out to us about Ecuador was the easy access to hiking, parks and the outdoor activities available. Our experience was much different than Colombia as we spent much more time in nature than cities. In Ecuador, buses are cheap, people are friendly, and Magnum ice cream bars are widely available. Often, popcorn was served with the standard “menu del dia” which made Cami very happy. Not much to note food-wise, though we did have some delicious cheese in Chugchilan, and good international food like crepes, Pakistani curry and burritos in Vilcabamba.
We made our way from the north to the south of Ecuador. We started in Quito, then headed north two hours to Otavalo for the famous Saturday market. Looping back through Quito to hike around Volcano Cotopaxi, we then headed into the hills for more hiking in Chugchilan of the Quilatoa Loop at the wonderful Black Sheep Lodge. Our legs got a bit of a break in Banos while rafting and biking before we headed to the coast to catch our Galapagos flight. After 10 delicious days of sunshine it was back to the mountains in Southern Ecuador through Cuenca, Vilcabamba and Loja, then a full days travel to reach Trujillo, Peru. Overall we spent just over a month in Ecuador, with about a week of down time. We had a great time, and Otavalo, Chugchilan and the Galapagos at this point are among our best South America experiences.
Here are a few of our favourite Ecuador shots: