The Cañar Province of Ecuador is most famous for the Cañari-Incan Ruins of Ingapirca. They are the best preserved Incan ruins in Ecuador. These ruins originated with local people, the Cañari, and the Inca built on top of them during their short occupation in Southern Ecuador.
Few visitors know that other ruins are dotted across the Cañar Province and that a tourist could spend several days exploring the area.
When we visited Puerto Chino, we weren’t sure what to expect. I imagined a small port and evidence of a long-gone fishing village, probably founded by the Chinese. I couldn’t have been more wrong.
Hike Puerto Chino
Heaven knows why I didn’t read up on Puerto Chino before we went. There was an unexpected hike, for which we came unprepared. The trail is in the full sun. Water is a necessity for this trail, especially in hot weather.
But the trail is great for seeing birds like Galapagos Finches, Mockingbirds, and Yellow Warblers. And the hot sun encourages Lava Lizards to sun on rocks directly along the trail.Read More
The Yanacocha Reserve is a real treasure of the Pichincha province and deserves to be recognized on its own.
I have probably visited the Yanacocha Reserve more than any other place in and around Quito. Part of me just loved the drive – a graveled road in fair shape that meanders through high altitude farmland and provides views of the Andes, chain after mountain chain. And part of me just wanted to walk the path through this high altitude cloud forest to see the small hummingbird garden about an hours hike in. Every visit was an escape from big city life.
The Interpretation Center on the island of San Cristobal in the Galapagos is much more than rooms full of maps and photos. In fact, although the exhibits are worth seeing, we recommend spending much more time walking the trails.
The day of the annual Cacería del Zorro horse race is guaranteed to be action packed from morning until night. The excitement begins with a parade down city streets, continues on to the race track at Yahuarcocha, a high altitude lake nestled into the base of the volcano, Imbabura, and ends with parties in bars and clubs all over town.Read More
When I was choosing photos for the book, Ecuador Por Mis Ojos, I had so many of the Napo Province that I had some tough decisions to make. I had to think carefully about how to describe this place that is both part of the Ecuadorian Sierra (the mountains) and the Ecuadorian Oriente (the Amazon Basin to the east).
In fact, the Napo Province helped me decide that the book should be presented by altitude, starting with the highest places then descending high Andean slopes to the west coast and the Amazon basin to the east. Such a presentation could help show the diversity of geography in this small country.
In late August, I had a free day in Guayaquil. A friend of mine, who came down to Guayaquil with me to help an American Football team start up, mentioned that a great museum to go to would be the Firefighter’s Museum. I had never been to a firefighter’s museum, so it sounded like a nice change-of-pace place for me.
The Pichincha Province of Ecuador is home to so many wonderful places that I dedicated many different sections of the book, Ecuador Por Mis Ojos, to this single province. The first set of photos focuses on the diversity of geography and people.
Parts of Pichincha are very rural, even wild. The province spreads out across a wide area and includes the third highest mountain in Ecuador, Cayambe, high paramo (tops of all the mountains in the area), mysterious cloud forests (slopes near Mindo, Nanegalito, and Tandayapa), high-altitude desert (Parque Jerusalem) and low river valleys, like that near San Miguel de Los Bancos. There are thousands of small farms and hundreds of tiny villages.
We know the weather in the Andes of Ecuador is unpredictable. Sometimes when we wake up with plans to go one direction, we end up going in another. And that’s how we happened to end up on the backroads to the Ilinizas.
Ecuador Por Mis Ojos
Recently, the Instituto Geografico Militar of Ecuador and I released a book of photography, Ecuador Por Mis Ojos. This post shares photos from that book.
It is impossible to truly know a place in only 9 photos, but I hope my choices encourage you to visit the province and discover Cotopaxi Province for yourselves.