WHY ECUADOR ??

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WHY ECUADOR ??

Postby jaycw » Mon Nov 14, 2011 1:52 am

So its been a few years since I have been on the Ecuador Experience trip and I often think about it and how amazing it was and wonder why its not a subject of any topics.

I understand how some other countries in S.America have a lot of draw for people such as Peru, but if you want a truly amazing experience, go to Ecuador!

I will try to make this post short so people can ask questions if they want but let me touch on a few main points.

Firstly, the guides that run this tour are second to none!! Our guide while I was there was Marcelo who was more so our friend than a guide. This guy was unreal!! He knew everything about everything!! He could tell you the history of anywhere we went but also kick back and have a drink with you and talk to you about girl problems haha He was just one of those rare individuals who changes lives!

Secondly, diversity!!! Ecuador is a country where you start off at a high altitude in cool Quito and then drive a few hours and watch the landscape change to rainforest. Than you drive another few our and the land shape shifts in volcanic mountain ranges and checkered hill sides of local farmers. Than a few more hours and you see banana plantations and the ocean where you literally can watch whales swim within feet of you boat!

Thirdly, the people! Very reserved and respectable people. Safe places to travel and a great night life with salsa dancing, live bands and karaoke. Ecuador has so many ethnic minorities that you will be amazed at the different ways of life and how diverse they are throughout such a small country! My favorite was in Santa Anita at the base of the Chimbarazo, the subsistence farming community which has no electricity and very little running water was home to the nicest people I have ever met. I truly loved it there!

So to wrap things up, if you are considering a trip and a country, do the Ecuador Experience!! It's a trip that feels like an adventure with friends more than a tour and will leave you feeling like you didnt leave anything out and full satisfied! :)
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Re: WHY ECUADOR ??

Postby JaliscoJudy » Mon Nov 14, 2011 9:19 am

Hey jaycw. I couldn't agree with you more! In addition to what you said, I enjoy the birds of Ecuador. There are more than 1600 species of birds here -- over 125 species of hummingbirds! And, you just have to love a country that produces good coffee AND chocolate. :D
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Re: WHY ECUADOR ??

Postby whitling2k » Wed Nov 16, 2011 5:05 pm

I have got to agree too - Peru and Bolivia are very cool places, but there is something about Ecuador that's just amazing! Our GAP guide through Ecuador (Johana) was second to none, and she really enhanced the trip.

It was either being in places with no other European/American tourists; or the crazy bus rides, or the colourful culture and contrasts. It somehow felt more authentic.

I think the part of the trip in Ecuador was truly life changing and the rest was 'only' amazing.

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Re: WHY ECUADOR ??

Postby serendipity » Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:32 am

So glad to have found this post - I just booked Ecuador Inland and Amazon in January, followed by 4 days at Yachana Lodge and a few days in Quito. I was wondering how come there aren't too many people talking about Ecuador (other than the Galapagos)!

We're going to Cayambe, Tena, Banos, Cuenca, plus Quito and Otavalo, and the rainforest lodge at the end. Anything you can suggest / advise on any of those locations would be great!

I am trying to wrap my mind around the weather and the clothes I need... Particularly grappling with finding long pants to wear in the rainforest. Again, happy for any advice! :-)
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Re: WHY ECUADOR ??

Postby whitling2k » Tue Nov 29, 2011 4:42 pm

Hi there,

From my experience in the Ecuadorian jungle...

We were glad to have:
Long trousers
open mind (important - such as eating ant's bums when offered!)
strong stomach
camera with plenty of memory/films
waterproof bags (the Exped sort - http://www.expedbags.co.uk/)
baby wipes - it got dark too early for a shower and was very dark!
headtorch
sun cream

and we found these useful:
long-sleeved top
cap/head cover (stop creepy crawlies getting in your hair!)
silk sleeping bag liner (not because the bedding was dirty, but it too warm for the supplied blankets or PJs)
Alcohol gel for cleaning hands before eating
pack of cards for the evenings

We regretted taking:
Hiking boots - we were provided clean wellies
mosquito nets - the beds were well protected!
so much luggage!

As for the other places:

Tena - we only stopped to change transport so can't really say much other than the set menus are great value meals from the places your CEO will take you

Banos - The hot baths are a must - especially the ice cold plunge showers. The zip-lining is great fun too. Banos was quite good to wander around - it felt very safe to us, and we got some really good supplies for the night bus from the market!

Cuenca - There is a Tourist Information in the main square - check to see if they've got anything on; we caught a free trapeze act as part of an art festival in one of the parks. It was just as much fun absorbing the Ecuadorian spirit as it was watching the show. Also, take the city tour on the open top bus. just duck when you hear the siren on the bus.. If you get chance to watch a football (soccer) match, do - the stadium was just around the corner from our GAP hotel but we realised too late - so ask your CEO to check beforehand. The Pumapungo Inca ruins near the Central bank are free, and they have a mini aviary. They close at about 4-5pm though.

Quito - If you fancy a hike, you can get the cable-car up to the mountains - and just follow the main footpath upwards. I can't remember the names I'm afraid, but it was a good walk! There is also the centre of the earth monument which is worth a look if you're into geography!


I felt really safe in Ecuador, but follow your guides advice - they really know their stuff!

Have a great time!

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Re: WHY ECUADOR ??

Postby jaycw » Thu Dec 01, 2011 2:39 am

Don't stress too much about anything. Pack light. Amazon you will be good with some regular old cargo or whatever pants.. seriously.. you won't be like on some survival missions or anything so just whatever you feel comfortable in is fine and shorts are fine to. You might get a few bites from sand flies but oh well its nothing.. bugs are not too bad in that area. As for warm clothes for higher altitude areas, just bring 1 long sleeve shirt, 1 fleece pull over and 1 water proof/wind proof jacket and you willm be fine. There are plenty of places to do laundry so dont stress :)
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Re: WHY ECUADOR ??

Postby serendipity » Sat Dec 03, 2011 11:01 am

This is awesome, thank you guys!
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