Impressions of my Vlog
The Galápagos Islands are over an hour flight time from the mainland and are a paradise of unique animals. Never before have I seen so many animals up close in their natural environment. I snorkeled with sharks, turtles, rays and sea lions that were not shy. That a sea lion sleeps on the park bench is quite normal here. On a bike tour, we saw majestic giant tortoises that were eating happily. The Iguanas looked like dinosaurs and one species could even swim. The animal diversity was great and there were even penguins and flamingos at the equator. Also unique was the blue-footed booby with his blue feet.
The capital Quito has an old colonial town. Worthwhile was the ride on a cable car to the mountain, to hike to a peak at almost 4700 meters. In the vicinity of Quito is also the middle of the earth with Latitude 0. In fact, the zero point is a few feet away due to an error of the original GPS measurement.
The small town of Banos is surrounded by mountains and offers many outdoor activities. We were at a tree house with the “swing at the end of the world“. There, a “professional” guy took care of the necessary momentum to feel like a bird. Worth seeing is the waterfall Pailon Del Diablo with stairs that run close to the waterfall.
Cotopaxi is the highest active volcano in Ecuador, and we went on a day trip from Latacunga to the Refuge and the snow line.
Quilotoa is a lagoon in a volcanic crater, and we rented a canoe. We did the day trip on our own by public transport from Latacunga.
The city of Otavalo is known for its indigenous market with everything from alpaca wool to silver jewelry. It’s on Saturday and a smaller one is on Wednesday. The nearby Condor Park has many birds and twice a day is a fight show with hawks and owls.
- I traveled to Ecuador on my world trip through Latin America:
- 1. Bus from Huaraz (Peru) via Trujillo (Peru) to Guayaquil.
- 2. Bus from Guayaquil to Puerto Lopez to relax.
- 3. Bus from Puerto Lopez to Quito and visit the capital.
- 4. Flight from Quito to Baltra (Galápagos Islands) and to explore Isla Santa Cruz.
- 5. Ferry from Puerto Ayora (Isla Santa Cruz) to Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal).
- 6. Ferry from Puerto Baquerizo Moreno (San Cristobal) to Ayora (Santa Cruz Island).
- 7. Day trip to Isla Isabela.
- 8. Flight from Baltra (Galápagos Islands) to Quito.
- 9. Bus from Quito to Banos.
- 10. Bus from Banos to Otavalo to visit the market on Wednesday.
- 11. Bus from Otavalo to Tulcan and then by taxi to the border with Colombia. On the Colombian side by taxi to Ipiales where we stayed overnight and we made the same day a trip to the church Virgen de Las Lajas.
- Ecuador has as currency the US dollar. There are special coins for Ecuador that are useless outside of the country. Therefore, spend all the coins before departure.
- I used for my planning and can recommend the Lonely Planet for South America and the Rough Guide for South America.
- None of the hostels had heating and it was cold in the evening and at night such as in Quito at over 2800 meters.
- In comparison to Bolivia and Peru, most hostels had a decent shower with a central water boiler instead of a hot water construction on the showerhead.
- All major cities are connected by buses.
- Ecuador is a small country and with almost no night buses.
- There were many bus companies, and we booked the tickets on the spot. A limited overview is available on Rome2Rio and Multipasajes (https://www.multipasajes.com).
- Direct buses from Ecuador to other countries are only offered by international bus companies such as Cruz del Sur (https://www.cruzdelsur.com.pe). With them, we took the bus from Trujillo (Peru) to Guayaquil.
- Due to the stable US dollar, food in restaurants was not as cheap as in Peru, Bolivia or Colombia.
- A typical breakfast is Balon. A ball that looks like a dumpling filled with cheese, for example. It's served with rice, egg, and beans.
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