Scouting Trip to Ecuador – November 2006
Volcanic landscapes, dense rainforests, haciendas rich in character and history, vibrant indigenous markets, a myriad of tropical fruits, ceviche and locro, tremendous variety in landscape and activities…. Unassuming, untrodden.
As I scouted out locations, activities and unique accommodations, I found many gems in Ecuador. In all my travels, Ecuador has to rank as one of the easiest to travel to and around, offering great diversity and beauty and… an unpretentious atmosphere. What a treat to walk through local markets and not have one person hassle us to purchase this or that. A true joy to the traveler.
Heidi Bixby and my husband, Peter Macy, accompanied me on this scouting trip. Enjoy their impressions and photos. And when you’re ready to explore Ecuador… get in touch! I’m thrilled to help you explore this special country.
Ecuador is one of those “best kept secrets”. Sure many know and appreciate what Ecuador has to offer, but in a relative sense, it’s still a secret to today’s explorers.
To me, Ecuador has an unpretentious spiritual nature to it, unlike Peru which pushes the spiritual nature of some of their sites. From the dense and unpopulated forests of Bella Vista to the majestically towering and snow capped volcanoes sitting on the earth’s equator I had a profound sense of nature and the spirit that lives within nature.
I found Ecuador diverse, unassuming, soothing and challenging all within 4 hours drive of the capital. The cacophony of rich green forests to bright red orchids and humming birds to brilliant white mountains and volcanoes against dark blue skies kept me captivated gazing upon the landscape no matter where we traveled.
Aside from the scenery were the kind, gentle, not “in your face” denizens of Ecuador, including those dependent upon tourists. I never felt like I had to buy anything or take any trips to point A or point B. If I wanted their services, they were ready to serve with kindness and a relatively rapid pace (for Latin America), but if I didn’t want their services, they were happy to go about their business doing something else.
Lastly, the food exceeded my expectations from the deliciously refreshing Ceviche to the stomach filling and warming Locro (potato) soup. Of course snacking on empanadas along the way was always easy and cheap.
So, would I recommend Ecuador? Unreservedly and emphatically yes! And remember, it’s the same time zone as eastern US and only about 4.5 hrs south by plane!
With just a week to visit Ecuador, one might wonder how much you could really accomplish . . . the answer is, a lot! This was a quick get away trip for me but we did so much with such diversity that it felt like I was away for longer. Not only was there the diversity of landscapes and weather, from the 14,000 foot hiking on Cotopaxi Mountain in the West to the Amazon river and jungle in the East, there is also diversity of food, people, transportation, and activities . . . all of it wrapped in the warmth of the people. It’s definitely a country to visit again!