My Ecuador Trip | Blog

Mountains, Gods, and the Tupacs (not the rapper)

iSeptember 7jPeople in Ecuador

After Sunday morning yoga class today where the inspiration was the strength of the mountains, I was inspired to discover more about the spirituality of the Andes in the Incan culture. The Andes is the longest running continental mountain range in the world spanning 7 countries from Venezuela to Argentina.   At its height, the Incan empire covered a large percentage of the Andean rang... read more

Cuy- That’s Spanish for Guinea pig and it’s what’s for dinner

iAugust 30jFood

In this part of the world, we tend to think of Guniea pigs as pets. Every time I hear the word “cuy”, Spanish for Guinea pig, my mind tends to make an association with my pet chinchillas rather than my dinner. Quwi, as they are referred to in Quechua, one of the main indigenous languages of the Andean region, were actually domesticated circa 5000 BC as a food source in the regions of p... read more

Repunte: The Ecuadorian Cowboy

Feeling a little tired of the same ol’ same ol’?  Burnt out from your 9 – 5?  Then why not fulfill a childhood fantasy and sign up to drive some cattle?  That was never your fantasy, you say?  Well, I didn’t say you were the child in question.  A little egocentric, aren’t we?  Anyway, why not make like Billy Crystal, wrangle some cattle, ... read more

Montañita

iJuly 18jNature

I once read that Montañita is a party town with a surfing problem. The surfing in Montanita has earned a spot on the international surfing circuit. Montañita also has a lot to offer its visitors, but seems particularly dedicated to attracting those who may be interested in partying. It seems like the kind of place that LMFAO or Andrew W.K. would just love; the kind of place where they could just... read more

Guayasamin: The Picasso of the South

In 1919 one of Ecuador’s most famous sons was born.  Oswaldo Guayasamín was born in Quito to a poor Quecha father and Mestiza mother.  Guayasamín would later grow to become a phenomenal artist.  He used his humble beginnings to bring light to the life of his ancestors and people - much of his work focusing on class segregation, racism, and political oppression found in much of L... read more

Whale Watching in Ecuador

iJuly 1jNature

Wait a second!  Don’t go for a glass of water or a bathroom break.  This is not a commercial for Pacific Life insurance.  This is the real deal, and you can join us in Ecuador to enjoy this amazing spectacle.  Between June and October, Humpback whales are spending their time off the coasts of Ecuador and not in the waters near Antarctica.“Scientists” claim that Humpback w... read more

It is Time for FUTBOL

iJune 11jNews

Guess who’s heading to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil this year?  Well, 32 teams are going! Not too mention the millions of fans showing up to Brazil, and the perhaps billion or so that will tune in to watch the final match (if you can believe FIFA’s estimates of the last World Cup).  We are also glad that Ecuador has once again made it to the world’s largest stage!  Ecuador is ... read more

Best Place to Retire in the World in 2013. Guess where?

Ready to retire?  I know I am.  If you don’t have two and half minutes to spare, here’s the important stuff.Nearly 350,000 Americans get their Social Security benefits overseas- up 46% from a decade ago.  4,000 Americans are now living in Cuenca, Ecuador.  Not to mention the rest of the country.  I didn’t know you could get your money overseas.  I think I’m re... read more

A Magical Train Ride in Ecuador

iApril 29jNature

Hey Travellers!  Ready for a train ride?  I know you saw this train and thought to yourself, “What?  I thought that Hogwarts was in Great Britain!?”  Then you probably said, “That shade isn’t exactly scarlet…  Oh, and this is a blog about Ecuador, so that really doesn’t make any sense.”  You’re right.  That wouldn’t make any sense.This bad boy i... read more

Holy Week in Ecuador

In honor of Semana Santa “Holy Week” beginning today, I thought we could discuss how this tradition takes place in Ecuador. In a country with an overwhelming Catholic faith (over 95% of locals), Holy week is a time that brings to life several unique traditions.Central to the purpose of celebrating Holy Week, festivities start with the procession of Jesús del Gran Poder “Jesus the Almighty.... read more

If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?

Hey Travellers! Remember when you were a kid and your mom said, “If everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you do it, too?” Then you had to back down from whatever you were about to do because your mom was right? She always was, even though you told her she wasn’t, you hated to admit it, and you usually told your friends that you didn’t care what your mom said; you were going to do what ... read more

Que Viva el Carnaval

Hey travellers! This past week was Carnaval. Now, when you think of Carnaval, you probably think of Brazil, and no one would blame you for that. Most of us have heard about this impressive celebration! But if you wonder about what happens in other countries, today you can learn about how to have a great time and celebrate Carnaval in Ecuador. For a week before Lent begins, towns all across Ec... read more

Who will get the Oscar this weekend? Everyone!

iMarch 2jNews

Well, not the 8.5 lbs, gold-plated one. Wolfgang Puck and his kitchen will be making five thousand smaller chocolate Oscars for the guests of the Academy Awards to chow down on after the event is over. Let’s be realistic, they’re going to need it. They have to show up early, walk the red carpet, get stopped by ten kinds of paparazzi, make uncomfortable small talk, sit uncomfortably for a few h... read more

Hide and Seek: 43 Years to Rediscover the Tandayapa Andean Toad

iFebruary 25jNature

MORE GREAT NEWS FROM QUITO, ECUADOR – A team of U.S. and Ecuadorian scientists have rediscovered a population of the once thought extinct Tandayapa Andean Toad (Andinophryne olallai). The Toad was rediscovered in the remote cloud forests of northwest Ecuador, after 43 years. Experts shared that this remarkable find is the beginning of the creation of some concr... read more

Turns out bananas are no longer satisfied just lounging about in their pj’s all day.

iFebruary 21jFood

Turns out bananas are no longer satisfied just lounging about in their pj’s all day.When I think of the word ambassador, I usually think of someone running around the world spreading good will - trying to accomplish a certain task.  It’s not the kind of thing I usually associate with my mid-morning snack.  Turns out, maybe I’ve been underestimating these tasty little treats. T... read more

Happy Valentine’s Day from Ecuador

iFebruary 14jNews

Happy Valentine’s Day, travellers! Or, as they would say it in Ecuador, “ Feliz día de San Valentín!” I hope you’re all having a fantastic February the 14th. If, however, you find yourself alone today, don’t worry! In Ecuador Valentine’s Day is often called, “ el día del amor y de la amistad,” (the day of love and friendship). Valentine’s Day is, thankfully, more inclusive in ... read more

Winter is HERE

iFebruary 7jNature

So, it turns out that Eddard Stark wasn’t lying. Winter was coming (if you’re not sure what I’m talking about, check out Game of Thrones). Winter has had its icy grip on much of the United States for months! With more bad news coming in everyday about all of the cold that is still coming our way, wouldn’t it be nice to be someplace warm? Someplace that doesn’t require eight layers of clo... read more

Extinct Lizzard Found in Ecuador - Cloud Forest

iJanuary 22jNature

Scientists were amazed when discovering a creature that was thought to be extinct for decades. The lizard with a nose like Pinocchio is alive and is enjoying life in Ecuador's cloud forest. According to the lucky person that photographed the lizard, Alejandro Arteaga, many believed this was only a mythological creature. Reports date back to the 1950s describing the existence of the lizard in Mindo... read more

Front Row: Traditional Dance

Travelers worldwide have discovered that Quito offers great scenic lookouts, colorful markets, impressive cathedrals, and a great local cuisine. However, it is also a city where art and culture must be experienced.Quito has several interactive museums that will introduce you to the past of this colonial city. However, we cannot forget that its people is what makes Ecuador such a welcomin... read more

Quito - An Architectonic Marvel

Quito was declared by the first city declared by the United Nations as a Cultural Patrimony of Mankind in 1978. What does this mean?When visitors arrive in Quito, they will encounter a beautiful city nested in a valley and surrounded by the Andes mountains. Quito has gained world-class recognition as a destination in the past few years from sources such as National Geographic,the New York Tim... read more

The Top of the World

iDecember 10jNature

Ecuador is a land of volcanoes. For many, a visit to Ecuador will not be completed without being captivated by the astonishing natural beauty of its dormant giant guardians. Ecuador's scenery has plenty to offer with 20 volcanoes along the Andes Mountains making this a unique destinationTraveling along the Occidental highway, you can appreciate several elevations and major geographic ref... read more

Relax Relax Relax

iDecember 9jNature

Ecuador is a country that will captivate you and a place where you can relax and become one with nature. One of our favorite site visits is to travel to Papallacta, a small mountain village famous for its natural thermal baths and hot springs. This village is located 40 miles from Quito. Traveling to this destination will make you feel in the set of a movie with an impressive and desolated An... read more

The Enigmatic Cloud Forest

iDecember 7jNature

Ecuador's reputation as a worldwide epicenter for nature and biodiversity truly positions this country as a must see destination. One of its most precious ecosystems is Mindo Cloud Forest. Located 2 hours from Quito, this place brings together a  subtropical forest cloud mountain forest and the high paramo. This is a great hiking adventure. Be ready to walk among clouds, given the a... read more

Otavalo Handcraft Market

iNovember 5jPeople in Ecuador

Traveling north from Quito, you will reach the province of Imbabura. This hospitable region is depicted by it gorgeous lakes and its world famous Handicraft Indigenous Market. This markets which stretches many city blocks is considered one of the most important and largest indigenous handicraft markets in South America.The “Otavaleños” (Native group of this region) are one of the fe... read more

Ecuador A Top Destination in the World

iAugust 30jNews

We couldn't be happier for National Geographic to select Quito as one of the top 10 destinations to visit this year! Quito is a city that welcomes visitors and will captivate them with all it has to offer. This city is the second highest in the world, sitting at 9,186 ft above the sea level. Its astonishing natural beauty is only compared by Quito's cosmopolitan looks contrasting with its col... read more