Plan Your Perfect Ecuador Trip

Explore our pages. Connect with locals. Plan your trip. Easy.

UNDERSTAND ALL THAT ECUADOR HAS TO OFFER

Ecuador is made of four key geographic regions.  Three of those regions run north to south on the mainland: the Amazon, the Andes, and the Pacific Coast. Add the Galapagos Islands for number four! Each region has beautiful places to visit, neat people to meet, and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to learn. 

PLANNING YOUR VACATION IS PART OF THE FUN!

sparkling violetear hummingbird, ecuador

Explore

Our writers have unique insights into the people and places they write about. Many have not only visited Ecuador but have made it their home.

folk dancers, cochasqui, ecuador

Connect

Local guides and business owners are invited to answer your questions in the forum. We help translate, both language and culture, when need be!

cayambe, as seen from quito, ecuador

Travel

We recommend agencies to book entire trips, help you design your own itinerary, or anywhere in between. At the end of the day, how much we help is your choice.

Festivals Are More Fun With A Local Guide

Celebrating Palm Sunday in Quito

A week before Easter Sunday, Catholics around the world celebrate Palm Sunday. In Quito, Ecuador, Domingo de Ramos is a more festive day than Easter Sunday itself. The line-up of activities changes each year but in our experience the folklore group Jacchigua always...

What to Expect at the Cacería del Zorro

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...

Everything You Need To Know About Mama Negra

So you want to visit Latacunga to see the Mama Negra parade? But you can't find any information. You've come to the right place. Last year, we attended the November festivities with local friends and learned a ton about the do's and don't of the day. Read on to learn...

Intiraymi in Cotacachi: Dancing For A Good Harvest

A couple of years ago, I took friends to stay in the small town of Cotacachi for Inti Raymi. Our plans were simple, to enjoy the local festival as best as possible. Of course, as is pretty typical in Ecuador, I could find very little information about which days would...

Celebrating Easter in Quito, Ecuador

In Quito, Ecuador, the week preceding Easter Sunday is full of events that warrant explanation. In fact, if you are coming to Quito to experience Easter, it's important to know that Easter Sunday is the least celebrated day of this event-packed week. Read on for a...

Celebrating Carnival in Ecuador

While Brazil has a famous Carnival Parade in Rio de Janeiro and the United States in New Orleans (better known as Mardi Gras), Ecuador has Guaranda! This small city with views of the famous Chimborazo Volcano pulls out the stops with several parades taking place on...

Traditional Foods Taste Better When You Eat With Locals

Make Your Own Sauerkraut

    Sauerkraut isn't exactly an Ecuadorian staple. That's one of the great things about living overseas; it pushes me to make the foods I love but can't easily buy. A couple of years ago, I had tried to make sauerkraut at home and the attempt resulted in a...

The Floresta Farmer’s Market

On the short cobblestone street of Galavis, the Floresta Farmer's Market takes place every Friday morning. From my hotel window, I can see the vendors setting up bright and early in the morning. I've heard they are around until mid-afternoon but I would recommend...

Everything You Need To Know About Hornado

Hornado is an amazing dish found in market stalls and festivals throughout the Ecuadorian Andes. If you love roast pork and potatoes, it's worth going out of your way to taste the different variations found from north to south. This article will tell you about a few...

Quito: The Next Best Place to Eat in South America

Ecuador’s capital has always been a wonderful place for comida típica — comforting locro de papas, humitas, and helados de paila. I grew up eating these foods and more at beloved, local institutions like La Ronda, Heladeria Pomasqui, and Mercado Iñaquito. A Culinary...

Ecuadorian Horchata

We had already tried several versions of horchata before I realized that this drink is unique to Southern Ecuador, especially in the Loja Province. I learned about it when visiting the small Saraguro market with my friend, Luz. It was mid-morning and we were after a...

Catzos – Sierra Snack Food

I almost couldn't believe it when I saw catzos con tostado for sale at the local Killa Raymi food festival in Peguche, Ecuador. I was drawn to the table like a moth to a flame. A new food, a new window into Andean culture, and a new experience. What more could I ask...

Learn The History You Never Learned In School

La Florida Archealogy Site: Dig Into Ancient Quito

A couple of weekends ago, we headed out on a mission to explore La Florida Archeology Museum. This pre-Columbian burial ground sits in the middle of an average Quiteño neighborhood. On our way up the hillside to see this little treasure, we passed lines of laundry...

The Virgin of Quito

Shortly before moving into our new home in Quito, we made our first visit to the Virgin of Quito. We could see her statue from our hotel window. The angel-like, silver edifice stands atop a dome-shaped hill called El Panecillo.  History of the Panecillo Before the...

An Extraordinary Archeology Museum in Quito

La Casa del Alabado is a privately owned museum in an old Spanish-colonial residence located very near the Quito's historic San Francisco Plaza. And when I say old, I don't mean a hundred years or so. I mean truly antique. The house was built in 1671. The building...

Cuenca’s Aboriginal Cultures Museum

As you may have noticed from our blog, we really like to explore the ancient cultures and traditions of South America. We’re also suckers for a good museum. In Cuenca, we hit the jackpot! Incredibly, there are days-worth of great opportunities to see ruins and explore...

The First Cry of Freedom: A Story of Ecuadorian Independence

On August 10, 1809, a group of Criollo citizens of the Audencia Real de Quito, announced the local rebellion to overthrow Spanish-colonial rule. In Ecuador, the day is known as El Primer Grito de La Independencia or the First Cry for Independence. Led by Juan Pío...

Chobshi: Ancestral Home of the Cañari

Ecuador has an incredible wealth of archeology sites that few people visit. We found one of the most intriguing a short distance outside of Cuenca in the small town of Chobshi. Little is known about the people who lived in this region before the arrival of the Inca....

Hike Like A Local

A Hop, Skip, and a Jump from Quito – Yanacocha Reserve

The Yanacocha Reserve protects a small slice of high altitude cloud forest about an hour outside of Quito. On a sunny day, it's a great place to hike for unimpeded views of Guagua Pinchincha, the volcano that last erupted in 1999. The vista towards the coast is...

Hiking Rucu Pichincha

Hiking the Rucu Pichincha Volcano is a glorious way to explore the Andean wilderness only a short distance outside of Quito. In fact, if you've read my earlier post about riding the Teleferico, you already know that this activity is one of the most popular in the city...

Hiking To The Devil’s Cauldron: Rio Verde, Ecuador

On our big trip through Ecuador last year, we wanted to make a return visit to the waterfall capital of Ecuador, Baños. Our first time through, we visited with our two teenage sons. By far, the most impressive destination of the trip was the awe-inspiring Pailon del...

Best Natural Spa Setting in Ecuador: Agua Blanca

If you find yourself lucky enough to be touring coastal Ecuador near the town of Puerto Lopez, please take the time to visit the indigenous community of Agua Blanca! Even if you don't want to visit the small museum or hike the local trails, a trip to the sulfur spring...

Great Waterfall Hike in Vilcabamba, Ecuador

While staying in the rural community of Vilcabamba, my youngest son and I took the opportunity to enjoy hiking into the mountainous Podocarpus National Park. Our goal was to find the Cascada El Palta, a beautiful waterfall tucked into the folds of the undulating Andes...

The Polylepis Trail, Chimborazo Wildlife Reserve

A turn-off about a kilometer east of the main entrance to the Chimborazo Wildlife Preserve is the only clue that something more lies futher down the unmarked dirt road. Waiting at the end of the well-traveled track is a trail head to one of the most magical places I...

Find Orchids Around Every Corner

The Best of Buenaventura

The Buenaventura Reserve provides easy access to explore the flora and fauna of Southern Ecuador. However, a visit to this widespread reserve requires a little planning as many of the great things to do lie a few kilometers from the main lodge. Once you arrive, there...

The Loja Botanical Garden

I never expected to find a botanical garden in Loja, Ecuador. But this university town in Southern Ecuador is full of surprises. My high school aged son and I spent a pleasant morning walking the shaded trails and enjoying the manicured gardens. Highlights included...

The Best Places to See Orchids in Ecuador

Ecuador is home to over 4,000 species of orchids. These specatuclar blooming epiphytes grow in high altitude cloud forests of the Andean Sierra and the equatorial jungles of the Amazon Basin. There are so many orchids that the only comprehensive identification guide...

El Pahuma: A Wild Orchid Reserve Near Quito

The 2.5 hour drive from Quito to Mindo, Ecuador follows a long and windy road with very few places to pull off and stop. However, one small pullout provides more than a bathroom break. El Pahuma is an orchid reserve near Quito. It is home to gushing cascades of water,...

The Orchids of Cabañas San Isidro

rchids can be tough to see in the wild, even near wildlife lodges like the Cabañas San Isidro. Large orchids love to grow high in the tree canopy, beyond the reach of even a pair of good binoculars. And some of the orchids that grow at eye...

Local Guides Know Where To Find The Best Birds

A Beautiful Beach in Manabi, Ecuador

Unfortunately, Chirije Lodge is closed for business. While it is not possible to stay the night at Chirije, day trips to the locations are still an option with a local guide. Therefore, we're leaving this article for future visitors. The following article was...

Hiking at Chirije Lodge

Unfortunately, Chirije Lodge is closed for business. Hiking Chirije is still possible. Therefore, we're leaving this article for future visitors. The following article was originally written in May 8, 2014. Hiking the Chirije Trails ​Hiking at Chirije comes in a...

Chirije Lodge, Closed For Business

Unfortunately, Chirije Lodge is closed for business. The following article was originally written in May 8, 2014. While it is not possible to stay the night at Chirije, day trips to the locations are still an option with a local guide. Therefore, we're leaving this...

A Hop, Skip, and a Jump from Quito – Yanacocha Reserve

The Yanacocha Reserve protects a small slice of high altitude cloud forest about an hour outside of Quito. On a sunny day, it's a great place to hike for unimpeded views of Guagua Pinchincha, the volcano that last erupted in 1999. The vista towards the coast is...

Nature Guides Delivered To Your Hotel in Quito, Ecuador

This is a guest post by author and biologist Fernanda Salazar Vaca. She sells handy field guides for Ecuadorian birds, plants, and animals and makes delivery easy to your hotel or home in Quito. Welcome to Mega-Diverse Ecuador! A country full of birds, orchids, bears,...

Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve

The very first birding lodge we ever visited in Ecuador recently made the news in Quito. The Ministry of Environment recognized Richard Parsons and his beloved Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve and Lodge as being the very first private project to protect endangered...

Find Artists and Artisans In Every Corner of Ecuador

In Search of the Perfect Guitar

A chance encounter with a guitar lover and fellow tourist in Cuenca led us to discover the Route of the Guitars, a little-known tourism route along the backroads of San Bartolome, Ecuador. While stringed instruments, including traditional guitars, requintos,...

Fiber Artists in Cuenca, Ecuador

We just love walking the streets of Cuenca. Mainly because we are always finding something new around the corner. That's how we found the wonderful exhibit of handwork and embroidery hosted by the Centro de Bordados Cuenca. About the Centro de Bordados Cuenca Founded...

Explore Backroads With The Best Guides

Ecuadorian Backroads: Sigchos

I love driving Ecuadorian backroads. Even when it means we tend to get a little lost or turned around. That's how we discovered Sigchos. We thought we would just be driving through on our way to the Quilotoa Crater. But what we looked like the main road...

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plan your trip to ecuador

Ecuador

With over three-years experience traveling Ecuador, we’ve shared content from all four geographic regions: the Sierra, the Coast, the Amazon Basin, and the Galapagos. Incredibly, we keep returning for more.

plan your trip to peru

Peru

As Machu Picchu attracts thousands of new visitors every year, lesser-known destinations hold opportunity for exciting adventures and less-crowded vacationing. If you have visited Peru in the last few months and would like to add to our growing list of posts, let us know!

plan your trip to bolivia

Bolivia

With only one week in La Paz and Isla del Sol, we barely scratched the surface of Bolivia. This small South American nation is ready and waiting for increased tourism from their neighbors in the north.

plan your trip to argentina

Argentina

We lived in Buenos Aires, Argentina for one year. If we learned anything, it’s that Argentina deserves time. Distances are grand and a single trip really can’t do it justice.

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If you want to explore our blog, most of our content is about Ecuador but we are expanding to include other Andean Nations!

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