Blogs from West, Ecuador, South America


South America » Ecuador » West » Manta September 28th 2015

It was a short journey from the border to Quito: about five hours. That this is now for us a short bus trip because it can be done without taking an overnighter is testament to the distances we have chosen to travel between places across this incredibly expansive region of the world. Nonetheless, in those five short hours, it was incredible to witness the almost instantaneous transformation of the landscape between southern Colombia and northern Ecuador. Despite political boundaries often bearing little relevance to the geography of an area, there was a distinct change in the contours of the hills and the hue of greens across their distant ridges. When there was green, that was. Dull brown hillsides were prevalent the length of the highway to Quito, once having had trees but felled for something very ... read more
Basílica del Voto Nacional

South America » Ecuador » West » Manta September 25th 2015

Between Cali and the Ecuadorian border we happened to stop at two very different but equally interesting places: Caldono and Ipiales. Caldono is a pueblito midway between Cali and Popayán, about an hour into the mountains and away from the main highway, along a dirt road that was in the process of being tarmaced for the first time when we arrived. After jumping off the minivan at the turning to Caldono, we got into the back of a truck carrying locals to and from the numerous little towns, villages, and farmsteads dotting the mountains. It took an hour to travel the 15km to Caldono. The town itself is comprised of a number of residential streets shooting from the central square as well as a few small shops, restaurants, and market stalls - as well as absolutely ... read more
On our way down to Las Lajas
Las Lajas from a Distance

South America » Ecuador » West » Puerto López September 16th 2015

Okay so my grandparents took me on a vacation recently to the coast and it was absolutely gorgeous there. We stayed in a small tourist/fishing town called Puerto Lopez and I loved it. We stayed a total of about 4 days in a little hostel that was beautiful. We also went whale watching twice and I saw not only 2 female whales , a baby, and two males but I saw dolphins, a sea turtle, and some of the famous blue footed boobies from the Galapagos Islands! It was incredible. I took lots of pictures and video so here they are, hope you enjoy! Also here is a link to my YouTube account where you can see the videos that I took! read more

South America » Ecuador » West » Puerto López July 23rd 2015

ALL BUSES ARE NOT CREATED EQUAL Puerto Lopez Bus to Guayaquil Bus Station Transfer to Guayaquil International Airport Place: My room in Alcazaba in Puerto Lopez, Ecuador. Activity: Purchase a ticket to fly to Buenos Aires I bought my airline ticket to Buenos Aires this morning. I wasn’t sure what day I would travel but as I perused the web sites I learned that the cheapest day to fly was tomorrow, so I sat down at the computer at nine a.m. to purchase a ticket. I didn't confirmation until noon. I looked at many ticket sites and chose the cheapest most direct route…twice. A message would come on the screen saying I had made a wise choice and once I filled in all the required information and my payment plans a message would come up saying ... read more
Puerto Lopez Bus Station
Guyaquil Bus Station
Another view of the Bus Station

South America » Ecuador » West » Puerto López July 18th 2015

DIVING PUERTO LOPEZ Day One I popped out of bed and made my way downstairs with my dive bag and underwater camera. Maria, the manager, and self-appointed Spanish instructor ordered me a moto, the trike, and the driver had no trouble finding the dive shop, even though I didn’t know the name. I needed a new mouthpiece for my regulator. I had been getting a bit of sea water with my inhalation and sure enough, when I inspected the silicone mouthpiece there was a small cut in it…just enough to let water enter when I breathed in. I wanted Jorge to exchange the damaged mouthpiece with the mouthpiece from my back-up regulator, my octopus. Instead he put a new mouthpiece on for me and wouldn’t accept any payment for it. A German man and his son, ... read more
Trumpet Fish
Model Fish

South America » Ecuador » West » Puerto López July 16th 2015

ON THE WAY AGAIN Ecuador, Quito to Puerto Lopez I wanted to get out of the city and do some more diving. I made plans to travel by bus to Puerto Lopez, below Quito on the coast of Ecuador. Sometimes called “The poor man’s Galapagos.” In the eleventh hour, I decided on a hotel…Alcazaba. I decided to leave plenty early because finding your way around a bus station can be challenging. My bus was at 10:10 a.m. and it was an hour to the bus station (Carlos, the concierge at my hotel, said to plan an hour) so I decided to be up at 6 a.m. and out of the hotel by 7. Instead, I overslept and woke up at 6:49. I hustled and was out of my room by 7:06. After I paid my bill ... read more
Arrival: Puerto Lopez Bus Station

South America » Ecuador » West » Puerto López May 11th 2015

It's hard to believe that it's been over two months since I published my last blog! I hope that my faithful readers haven't been too worried about me. I've been busy busy busy, working at the beach hotel once again and the weeks have just slipped away. As a result I have a LOT of photos in this entry, some throwback pix from my January travels to Esmeraldas with Sue (thanks for finally sending them to me!) and other images compliments of my photographer friend, Colin who has been visiting from Ohio. There's no way my narration will touch on so many pix, so please scroll down at the end to enjoy them all! It seems like my time at home is so limited --I had only a couple of weeks this last stretch in Banos, ... read more
Illusions Bookstore
with friends...
Outdoor Spa

South America » Ecuador » West » Puerto López May 2nd 2015

After the Inca Trail we were extremely satisfied, but also somewhat “done” with the mountains. Having traveled north during our trip, we were now also closer to pleasant climates and the warmer part of the pacific coast. So we decided to leave exploring the rest of Peru for future travels, and move into Ecuador. In a travel tour-de-force we went from Cusco, via Lima and Guayaquil to Puerto Lopez on the sunny Ecuadorian coast. With the help of some flights we covered this long distance in only one and a half day. When the bus from Guayaquil arrived in Puerto Lopez, it was dark already and we didn't have a hotel. We luckily have no trouble finding a place to stay close to the beach. After arriving in the dark, seeing a city in the morning ... read more
Masked nazca boobie
Courting male frigate bird
Cacao fruit

South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil April 19th 2015

We flew from Lima to Guayaqui, Ecuado. From the window of the plane we could see large houses sitting on canals, it looked similar to Fort Lauderdale. We rented a room through Airbnb and Manuel was waiting at the airport to walk us to his apartment. The neighborhood near the airport is not very good but we are only spending the night so it is convient for a short turn around. We decide to visit The Parque Historico, it is listed as the #1 activity on Trip Advisor. We grabbed a taxie but I do not think it was an official taxie because the driver did not know where the Parque Historico was, so we showed him where the park was on a map. We ask him how much the ride costs and he said $8.00, ... read more

South America » Ecuador » West » Guayaquil December 14th 2014

I woke up early at 8am despite a late night the night before staying up until 2am packing my things. I was full of excitement at the prospect of visiting South America for the first time and had a few things to sort before I departed. I left the house at midday and went to the shop to pick up some new hiking boots and a mosquito net for the rainforest as well as a medical kit. I had just enough time to sit down to have breakfast at my favourite bakery near the train station. With three hours until my flight I decided to leave, as I was excited to catch my flight to go travelling. However, upon arrival, the day took a turn for the worse. During the check-in, the flight assistant notified me ... read more

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