Coming home to California is always a good time but it is especially wonderful this spring. Rainfall has been heavy in the Sierra Foothills and the trails at South Yuba State Park are just beginning to bloom! One of my favorite trails is the wildflower hike at Buttermilk Bend Trail. Starting in early March,, Read More
As the road drops down from the heights of the Papallacta pass heading towards the lower slopes of the East Andes, there is a small lodge marked by a large dark rock wall with a large painted with a sword-billed hummingbird and the word Guango. This is the Guango Lodge. The word Guango comes, Read More
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.
There is a single freshwater lake in the Galapagos, El Junco, and it can be seen on the island of San Cristobal. The lake was formed tens of thousands of years ago after the last ice age. Locals named it El Junco after a flowering plant that grows in the area, Eleocharis mutata. And, Read More
If you have never hiked in the Andean Highlands, you have missed the experience of a lifetime. There are several locations more easily accessed than the hike at Cerro Puntas but none have the same dramatic impact. On one side of the mountain are grasslands endemic to the high paramo of the Andes and, Read More
A small river called the Rio Pita originates somewhere along the slopes of the volcano Cotopaxi. It has carved its way through a fertile valley filled with farms and hidden itself in steep canyon walls, creating a multitude of cascades and waterfalls, including the elusive Rumibosque. The entire route is worthy of exploration and, Read More
The dry forests of coastal Ecuador are havens for birds. Unfortunately, they are few and far between because of extreme pressure from development. However, one vibrant dry forest has been protected within the boundaries of Machililla National Park, not far from Puerto Lopez.
Hiking at high altitude in the Andes is a joy. The air is thin but clean. The views from up high are incredible and even cloudy days can provide surprise glimpses of panoramas as winds play havoc with mountain peaks. It’s very hard to tell when a gust of wind might change a socked-in, Read More
After touring the Cañari-Incan ruins at Ingapirca, you’ll come upon a small trail sign inviting you to discover a few other wonders that can be tied to the Cañari and Incan cultures. In fact, walking the trail is absolutely free and if you decided not to visit the Ingapirca complex, the hike alone provides, Read More
A few kilometers outside the famous leather town of Cotacachi is high mountain lake tucked into an ancient caldera of an extinct volcano. The lake is named Cuicocha, which in Quichua means the Lake of the Cuy (or Guinea Pig). There is some debate as to the origin of the name with some claiming, Read More