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.
What is a pajarero? It originates with the Spanish word pajaro, which means bird; pajarero means birdwatcher… and a new flock has recently been discovered in Cosanga, a small town in the Napo Province of Ecuador.
Many of you won’t have heard about Cosanga. It is not unlike Mindo, a popular destination for birdwatchers and adventure tourists on the West Slope of the Andes. Both towns are a couple of hours from Quito, both are surrounded by high altitude cloud forests, both have habitats rich in bird species, and both are home to the endangered Spectacled Bear. Cosanga just happens to be on the East Slope.
Cosanga is not as well known as Mindo… but a small group of local birdwatchers might change that.
Cabañas San Isidro is a nature lodge tucked into the East Slope cloud forest of the Andes in Ecuador. It sits at 2,050m (6,800 ft.) above sea level in a zone that is mostly blanketed by damp, lush forest. The reserve is home to hundreds of bird species, many of which can only be seen in this unique location. Careful observers might also catch a glimpse of rarer mammals, like the Andean Tapir or the Black Agouti. The lodge has even captured video of the rare Spectacled Bear walking their trails. Read More