My Travel freak friends, Backpackers, I know most of your list is filled with exotic places like Europe, Cape Town, NYC, Bangkok, Bali blah blah. But have you ever thought about including this teeny-weeny Country called Ecuador? If you love crazy adventure, have fascination towards breath-taking active volcanoes, wanna explore that beautiful Amazon Rainforest with plethora of animals ranging from pink dolphins to Blue butterflies and if you want to party hard with some cool Spanish people who love to swing around with sexy Columbian salsa steps, bro, book the ticket to Ecuador right now 😉
This small but extremely beautiful and adventurous Country is almost unexplored by faraway places from it like India. I was so ecstatic when my passport got stamped with two years of Work permit Ecuadorian VISA by my Employer for a Project. It was 2011 and I had to travel somewhere in the mid of December.
Holy cow! Our flight stopped in the middle of nowhere in some really tiny Island and got delayed by 24 hours. It was so fucking small Airport that all the passengers of KLM airline had to somehow pack themselves on top of each other to rest for a while. Weary, sleepy, it seemed like, everybody was too tired to fight with the airline and had to accept one night stay in that seemed like no man’s land till the next flight arrives.
“We are really sorry for the delay. We are further sorry to state that we won’t be able to arrange a big hotel for all of you as Bonaire is a very small Island!”
“We would like to say that all of your stay will be arranged by KLM with an additional allowance of $20 as food expense”
Fuck you KLM! I was so bloody exhausted to even think what was happening. In no time our Passports were taken away from us for issuance of temporary Netherlands VISA.
In a few hours after all the chaos, we headed towards the so-called small hotel arranged by the Airline along with a few co-passengers.
Are you kidding me! This was the reaction as soon as we entered that hotel. It was actually a beach resort, an exotic and beautiful resort beside a pristine blue Beach. It had numerous Villas and we were allotted around four of them.
In no time as soon I entered the Villa, I started reading the tiny booklet describing this Mystery Island. It is actually one of the Caribbean Islands known as Caribbean Island of Bonaire in Netherlands. It was one of the most popular travel destinations of Europeans. Duh! For the first time in my life I fell in love with “flight delay”. I wish many of my flights to come get delayed in similar manner and my Passport gets random but beautiful VISA stamps like this.
Next day early morning our new flight came from Amsterdam and we finally headed towards Quito. For the first time in my life I was in a foreign country, people around who didn’t speak English at all. There was a Cab sent by office to pick us up. It was a strange feeling when I landed that city for the first time. As the Cab headed towards our destination amid the city, I could already feel that fresh welcoming Spanish air around.
I was too home sick in the first few days. Nevertheless, it took me less than a month to fall in love with Quito, Capital city of Ecuador. I loved my luxurious pent house in a beautiful locality around 6-7 kilometers from my office, Banco Pichincha. I started loving everything about this city. The people, the drive from my home to the office, Weekend shopping in Super maxi, Joker’s Casino, Visit to Plaza Foch, I really fell in love with this beautiful and really cool place.
You can read my Quito experience in the link given below:
After reading all of the above I guess you are already tempted to book a travel package for Ecuador. Per my experience, I recommend a few crazy things to do and a few must places to visit when you happen to step to this amazing Country. See below to find out more:
Cities to Visit:
Quito is a mesmerizing cute little valley, capital of Ecuador where I had my address of resident during my stay in Ecuador. Pleasant weather, interesting colonial architecture, friendly locals, hearty food, and vibrant nightlife exemplify the real Latin American spirit.
While in Quito, you can visit the Church of the Society of Jesus, Walk around the colonial Architectures in down town and enjoy the beauty of Quito from the top of El Panecillo. You can also enjoy the ride in Teleferico and in the evening you can hog that authentic Ecuadorian Food in a rooftop traditional café with essence of Latin American music around. If you are a party freak, you can go to Plaza Foch and party hard till wee hours of the morning till you go crazy.
While Quito is the capital and political city of Ecuador, Guayaquil is the business capital of the Country. It is in fact the largest city with more than 2 million people living in the city. Guayaquil is modern city, with high end hotels and lavish restaurants. It also boasts of 9 de Octobre shopping district and the historic Las peñas and Cerro Santa Ana neighborhoods.
Cuenca enjoys World Heritage site status coupled with an interesting Incan history. This is the largest city in Ecuador’s southern highlands, tucked into a mountain valley at 8000 feet. If you are a big fan of history and archeology you will love to wander through the archaeological site Ingapirca, which includes ruins from Incan and pre-Incan eras.
Want to have some real wild fun? Visit these crazy and sexy places:
- Galapagos Islands and Amazon Jungle
You might have heard about those famous sea tortoises. Galapagos Islands are home to those sea tortoises. This very interesting location, 600 miles off coast of Ecuador had actually inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. If you plan to visit Ecuador, this is definitely one of the must visit destinations.
- Party in the beaches like Montanita and Esmeraldas.
- Trek to Cotopaxi
Cotopaxi is an active Volcano in Andes Mountains and has erupted almost 50 times since 1738. It is located in Latacunga Canton about 31 miles from south of Quito. It is one of the World’s highest Volcanos. It looks elegant with snow-covered all around.
You have to trek to the highest peak which is extremely adventurous and fun-filled, accompanied by mild snow falls sometimes. There is a tea point in the middle where you can warm yourself a bit with hot tea and Ecuadorian snacks. Don’t you dare miss this trek or else you will end up repenting till your next visit.
- You can take some selfie in the Equator (Mitad del mundo)
In 2011-2012, we were least aware of the word, Selfie. We missed it then. However, you can enjoy taking some pout selfies whenever you go there with the Ecuator sign board in front of you. It is located in the outskirts of Quito. And yes, we happened to go there during Carnaval and managed to have some fun enjoying the performance of some Chicas Latinas muy calientes 😉
- Get real wild in Banos
Are you an Adventurous sports freak? Love jumping from heights and love to float in the air. Or don’t you want to take a soothing dip in that natural hot springs and thermal pools. This is definitely the place for you. Located 100 miles south of Quito, extremely adjacent to active Tungurahua Volcano this place, town of Banos de Agua Santa can make you go crazy.
This place is one of the World famous places for Adventurous sports like, canoeing, Kayaking, bridge (Bunjee) jumping, white-water rafting, horse riding and many more. I did my adrenaline rush Bunjee jumping of 100 meters for the first time in my life from the San Francisco Bridge, and extremely rough and exciting white water rafting down the Pastaza River with combination of Class III and IV rapids. We ended our trip with nice Chinese massage after full day torture of our body, breaking almost all the bones with activities like, canoeing, Paragliding, bridge swings along with aforementioned Bunjee jumping and white water rafting.
6. Last but not the least, shop at Otavalo Market
Most of the Travelers, especially crazy ladies like me do not consider a trip complete until and unless we make ourselves lighter with respect to money and heavier with respect to shopping 😉 There is this colorful Market known as Otavalo Market located about a three hours bus ride north of Quito. This Market is South America’s largest market place and a perfect place to pick up authentic souvenirs for your friends and family and for yourself too if you wish to.
Enjoy your Ecuador visit 🙂