Blogs from Ecuador, South America - page 8


South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Puerto Ayora December 26th 2015

We hope you're all having a fantastic Christmas! We have to be honest and say that we have missed our families a lot... but if you're going to be away from home for the festive season, this is the place to be! The Galápagos Islands are simply spectacular, and the wildlife that we've seen here has blown our minds. We spent yesterday at Tortuga Bay - one of the most beautiful beaches I've ever seen, and then had some amazing Galápagos seafood for our Christmas dinner! Today has been a very lazy Boxing Day spent wandering around posh tat shops in Puerto Ayora and planning the next leg of our trip, to Chile and Argentina. We'll write a (far too detailed) blog about The Galápagos in the next few days, but for now, Merry Christmas everyone! ... read more
Spot the crabs

South America » Ecuador » Galápagos » Santa Cruz Island December 25th 2015

My excitement as we flew into Santa Cruz Airport on the Galapagos Islands meant that I could barely stay in my seat. Visiting Galapagos was the culmination of childhood dreams fed by naturalists including David Attenborough. My mind was racing through hopes and wishes. Would I see the Giant Tortoises? The Blue Footed Boobies? What would I make of the landscape? I hoped against hope that I would not be disappointed. The flight landed then it was a bus ride, a ferry and another bus and we arrived in Puerto Ayora where within moments of arrival we saw blue footed boobies, frigate birds and pelicans (completely different to home pelicans) diving beak first into a bay where sea lions played. I was speechless. We wandered from tour agency to tour agency in search of the best ... read more
Handsome Pelican
Highland View swing
Highland View Camping

South America » Ecuador » South » Cuenca December 22nd 2015

There is a very good reason for Cuenca´s reputation as being Christmas (Navidad) Central. Nowhere greets the festive season with greater enthusiasm. The city seemed to be completely infused with the Christmas Spirit. We arrived in Cuenca in the early evening to find a bus terminal with a helpful tourist office which was able to provide a map and public transport information. We quickly found the bus that could take us to the historic centre, taxi charge successfully avoided thank you lovely tourism lady! Cuenca is a beautiful colonial city with all the mod cons that the daily lives of Cuencanos demand (eg. Anime and comic stores) We couldn’t help but admire the colonial architecture juxtaposed with Honda, Superman and advertising. The location of our hotel was perfect. With a roof top terrace that overlooked the ... read more
King for the Dance
Colourful and high enery twirls
The star over Bethlehem... Cuenca

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Baños December 19th 2015

After another long bus ride (this time comfortable thanks to a recommendation made by Walter our Cuybeno guide) and a fairly unpleasant encounter with a taxi driver who charged us a taxi fare and dropped us nowhere near our hotel we felt that Banos may not be the best place to be. How wrong we were!! Our hotel room at Backpacker Balcones was fantastic and beautifully situated within earshot of the river which soothed us to sleep each night of our stay. After we cleared our minds we bounced into Banos centre to see what activities were on offer. The short answer being if you love adventure sports then Banos is the place to be. Bungy jumping (called puenting here) tick! White water rafter double tick! If you can imagine it then in all likelihood there ... read more
Playing with the candles
Tuppence boldy takes the first swing
Half Sloth

South America » Ecuador » North » Otavalo December 18th 2015

We headed out for Baños leaving from the now familiar bus terminal at Latacunga. We were told to change buses on the outskirts of Amato which was more like just the edge of a busy road. On the second bus, as there were no seats left Vicks got to ride up front with the driver in the seat of the chap that usually goes round collecting the money. For the hour and a half journey Vicks was mainly being quizzed over the differences between Ecuador and England with the driver and the sellers of food that jump onto the bus at any given stop. We arrived at Baños to find out that it was the build up to “Baños Day” which meant that the town was extremely busy. We also arrived on a weekend and it ... read more
Waterfall near the town centre
View from Bellavista
Vicks on swing

South America » Ecuador » East » Cuyabeno Reserve December 15th 2015

The lead up to our adventure in the Cuybeno Reserve was nothing short of painful. After enduring a late night (made bearable by the hospitality of Gina, her husband and his delicious spiced tequila) we rushed onto an overnight bus to Lago Agrio which we reached earlier than expected (3am) in a location that was definitely not their central bus terminal as we had hoped. We staggered down the street eventually finding a bus stop right next to the Hotel where we would later meet our tour group. Now Lago Agrio is not somewhere any sane person wants to be during daylight but sitting at a bus stop in the dark pretending to wait for a nonexistent bus in an effort to look less conspicuous and therefore less of a target, all the while hoping that ... read more
Branches of the 2nd largest tree in the world
Tuppence, first to swim in Laguna Grande
Beautiful laguna Grande

South America » Ecuador » East December 13th 2015

Part of me selfishly wants to keep Baeza a secret from you dear readers as I have fallen hopelessly in love with this place. I am sitting here wondering to myself whether “if I share this place will I lose something from it?” nevertheless I promised to blog and blog I shall maybe you will see why I so desperately want to keep Baeza for myself. The bus ride there presented us with turn after turn of mindblowing scenery. The mountains rose up to meet the road as far below rivers pounded around seemingly every turn. Eventually around another corner and a small bridge we arrived in Baeza central. First stop for us was the convenience store, water on our thirsty minds. The owner was incredibly helpful offering to assist us with absolutely anything we needed ... read more
Cloud Forest
Humming Bird Garden
San Rafael Cascada

South America » Ecuador » Centre » Quilotoa December 11th 2015

The Quilotoa Loop is a circuit through the Andes in Ecuador, starting and ending in a town called Latacunga. We wanted to walk as much of it as possible, but this still involved a couple of busses – luckily these ended up being part of the adventure! The first stretch of the journey was from Quito to Latacunga. This meant an hour’s local bus journey - standing up with our bags - to Quito’s South bus terminal, on which a woman changed her 2 year old daughter’s nappy whilst standing up, impressive! Then it was 2 hours on to Latacunga, through stunning countryside. Latacunga itself is not an attractive place, and we came to hate the main bridge in town, on which the locals seemed to enjoy chatting whilst taking up the whole pavement and refusing ... read more
Lake Quilotoa
Post climb at the hostel (before it got FREEZING cold)!
Day 2, Lake Quilotoa

South America » Ecuador » North » Otavalo December 10th 2015

We arrived in Otavalo exhausted by the bus ride but excited for the markets on the following day. We quickly found accomodation in supurb hotel with a stunning view of the surrounding volcanic formed mountains. After a short rest we eagerly ventured out into Otavalo eager to get a feel for this well known town. We enjoyed some outstanding mexican food, discovered where the local panderia's were. Important information as fresh bread has quickly become our favoured breakfast when on the go. We walked through the market area full of questions about exactly what these famed markets would be like. We realised the following morning that our imaginings could not possibly have prepared us for the chaotic fiesta of the market. We hesitantly ventured out into the neighbouring street to our hotel which had almost by ... read more
Volcano Cayambe
Shoe Shine
Ice drinks

South America » Ecuador » North » Quito » Historical Center December 9th 2015

After 35 hours in the air and 11 hours of airports in general as the sun rose we caught our first glimpse of Quito. Snow capped, forest draped mountains like islands in a swirling sea of gold tinted clouds the sun rose as we touched down jet lag momentarily forgotten in the wonder of Green. A short walk through the terminal where Passport control and customs officers made great conversation partners upon whom we could practice our apparently dreadful Spanish skills. (I believe that they were very happy to see us leave!) Baggage claim was simply and Tommy was thrilled to see our taxi driver standing with a card with her name on it waiting for our arrival. We sat silently in wonder as we were taken to our hotel. Mountains, trees and winding roads. “es ... read more
First sunrise in Ecuador
Plaza Grande
Viva Quito

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