Florecimiento de los Guayacanes Ecuador

  In late January for about 7 to 10 days the Guayacan trees bloom in southern Ecuador near the Peruvian border. The yellow blossoms create a visual spectacle enjoyed by everyone lucky enough to be in the area at the right time. After hearing about this beautiful phenomena and seeing photos of the gorgeous yellow…

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Cuenca to Loja to Alamor Ecuador

Scenery along the route of yesterday’s ride from Cuenca to Alamor was unbelievably gorgeous, but the bus was moving fast and the windows were dirty so it was difficult to capture the vistas. Sadly I ended up deleting most of the blurred, out of focus photos taken during the day. Including a three-hour layover in…

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Ecuador’s Parque Nacional Cajas

Yesterday I joined five other hikers for a day exploring Ecuador’s Cajas National Park. The park is a 40 minute drive west of Cuenca and includes over 70,000 acres of spectacular untouched land in the Andes. Altitudes range from 10,000 to 14,500 feet and Cajas has many distinctions. It’s a candidate for UNESCO’s World Natural Heritage Site, listed as…

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Hiking the Ecuadorian Andes

Hiking in the Andes yesterday was a refreshing and beautiful experience! We were at an altitude of over 3,000 meters (10,000 ft.) and sometimes the climbing was slow. The trails were rocky and muddy and difficult to maneuver but the effort was well worth it. We wore gumboots which were essential to climbing through patches of…

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Cuenca, Ecuador

For the past few days I’ve explored Cuenca and its cathedrals, museums, parks, squares, and rivers. It’s a beautiful, comfortable city and my amateur photography doesn’t do it justice. It’s rainy season and like clockwork the afternoons usually culminate in a storm – often with thunder and lightning. Yesterday morning began with clear blue skies and sunshine but soon…

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Tena to Macas to Riobamba to Cuenca

I arrived yesterday in Cuenca at about 4:00 a.m. after a long and difficult bus ride of almost 17 hours from Tena through Macas and Riobamba. Bus connections in South America can be frustrating and take longer than expected especially when you’re traveling in the Andes. However, for long-term travel in South America buses are the best transportation…

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Whitewater Rafting Ecuador’s Napo River

Yesterday’s whitewater rafting trip on the Napo River was the most fun I’ve had on the water since I was a kid! Wanted to be in the water but wasn’t sure how to find the right group – not too easy but not too hard…. Tony helped me pick the perfect guide – Alex, a…

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Ecuadorian Rainforest

After a spectacular five-hour bus ride from Quito I arrived in Tena on Wednesday. On the way we climbed high in the Andes and passed through volcanos and a tropical rain storm. The landscape spanned from Páramo to dense cloud forests, waterfalls, rivers, and lakes. It was difficult taking pictures from a moving vehicle, so most of…

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Quito – Ciudad Hermosa!

The last few days have been fun exploring Quito! On the way to old town, I met an American, Tim, who lives in La Mariscal district. He was happy to find someone to talk with in English – me too. Tim helped me crack the Quito transportation system. It seemed beyond my mental capacity but within a few…

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Quito Ecuador

At almost 9,500 ft., the capital of Ecuador, Quito, is in the Ecuadorian Andes on the slopes of Pichincha, an active volcano. It’s the second highest capital city in the world with a population of close to 3 million. Quito’s historic center, also known as old town, is the largest, least-altered, and best-preserved in the…

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Colombia to Ecuador via San Agustín – Pitalito – Pasto – Ipiales – Tulcán

My overland trip from Colombia to Ecuador – San Agustín to Pitalito to Quito – was exciting and challenging! Instead of backtracking through Popayán and bumping along rough, potholed Andean roads, I decided to try a less-traveled route through Pasto. The plan was to ride a bus from San Agustín to Pasto where I would…

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