Quito, Eucador’s capital was huge. It has a noticeable western influence to it with more modern shops, chains and designer brands. The tourist areas are split between La Mariscal and the Old Town. The majority of my time in Quito was spent in the Old Town, away from the more modern bars and shops. Churches are aplenty in Quito and with the city surrounded by mountains it leads to great views from various viewpoints. You can read more about what to do in Quito from the link below.
Banos has the reputation of being the adventure capital of Ecuador and during our time there its reputation was tested as much as possible. Mountain biking, quad biking, mountain swings and bridge jumps were all experienced but Banos is also a beautiful, relaxing town complete with public thermal baths enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. After Banos, we took a detour to Tena and then to Misahualli. Misahualli is a small town which has been one of the gateways to the jungle from Ecuador. We didn’t see a lot of the town but instead enjoyed our time at our extremely relaxing hostel, Banana Lodge, just a few minutes walk from the town. To read more on Banos or Misahualli, click below.
Canoa is a lovely little beach town. We were there during the Christmas and New Year period so enjoyed its night life as well as its more tranquil side. It’s a popular destination for surfers at the right time of the year but is also just a great place to enjoy the beach. Isla de la Plata is known as the ‘poor man’s Galapagos’ due to its easy and cheap accessibility and its abundance of wildlife. We were unlucky and bought a bad tour but I’ve heard a lot of positive things about the place. Laguna Quilotoa is a beautiful lake in the crater of a volcano. It can be reached from a number of small indigenous villages, all at high altitude and all cold. As well as the photos you can learn a bit more about each of these places by clicking on the links to the relevant blog posts below.
Cuenca is a beautiful, colonial city in the southern part of Ecuador. In comparison to other big cities in Ecuador, it has a laid back, slower paced feel to it. Known as La Ciudad de Arboles (The City of Trees) there are plenty of green spaces both within the city and around. Loja doesn’t always make it on to the tourist route, except for people taking buses across the border to Peru. It is in fact, a pleasant city, with a more local feel to it and where it is easy to experience Ecuadorian culture. Vilcabamba is famous for its natural beauty, its delicious spring water and the story that locals regularly live well past 100. How true the story is, is questionable, however it is certainly a beautiful and relaxing town. That may perhaps explain the influx of expats and in particular Americans, to the area. Enjoy the photos or to read more about any of these places, click the link below.