A guide´s view of Ecuador

Welcome back to everyday life

I went on a trip that I have done hundreds of times in my country because tourism is my passion, and I have studied it professionally.

This time, it had a different flavor as, after the hectic days of January, the country returned to normality, to the one that captivates its visitors with the 4 worlds of cultural and biological diversity, where the Andes create microclimates to produce the most beautiful roses in the world while coffee with different flavors grows on the western and eastern flanks of the mountains from the Pacific coast to the vast Amazon basin on the way to the Atlantic.

Ecuador is considered the «kingdom of orchids,» with a total of 4,200 species, of which 1,300 are endemic and spread throughout the territory. It has one of the highest concentrations of rivers per km2 in the world, and the Amazon has the highest biodiversity per hectare on the planet, not to mention its capital, Quito, as well as the Galapagos. This natural laboratory inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution.

I started my journey from Quito, the best preserved historical center in South America and a World Heritage Site whose streets were crowded with people enjoying the brand new metro, puppeteers, street performers, a trombonist near the Presidential Palace playing Keny G while a good number of locals were moving north and south to the highlands while others were heading to the coast which is the main attraction for the Highlanders.

With my wife, I continued my journey south towards Cotopaxi, the highest active volcano in the world, to enjoy the surroundings of the indigenous market of Zumbahua and the Quilotoa lagoon with its emerald green waters. I could not miss the Alausí – Nariz del Diablo train, whose construction is an impressive feat of engineering, as the zigzag track is built in just 12 km over an almost vertical obstacle with a 500 m drop.

The recently reopened train has brought joy to the people of Huigra, Alausí, who say it will boost the local economy: «For us, it is excellent happiness; it is something innate in our bodies, in our hearts, to get excited when we hear the whistle of the train, it gives us life. It is also part of the revitalization of Alausí, and today, more than ever, we hope that the Alfaro train will soon cross our marshes.

Heading south, the Inca ruins of Ingapirca were a must on the way to Cuenca, Ecuador’s most colonial city, with a high standard of living that has attracted Canadians and retired North Americans to settle down. How beautiful my country is with its good people!

I spent the last few days of our holiday at the Amazon, just 4 hours and 30 minutes away by car. Miguel, Sani Lodge´s operations manager, met me at the Coca to drop the vehicle off at the office for a 4-day trip on a sustainable eco-tourism basis owned by the Amazonian Kichwas of Sani Isla. Simply spectacular.

I visited two of the four worlds of Ecuador by road in 7 days, with the Galapagos and The Coast still to come … We´ll be back.

About Author

Sani Lodge
In our trips, you have the opportunity to explore untouched forests, understand the intrinsic relationships among plants and animals, search for stunning flora and fauna and learn from ancient cultures: the true treasures of the Amazon Rainforest. When you stay with us, you become part of our extended community where we share and teach you about our environment and culture. At Sani Lodge, you are not only choosing an amazing adventure, but also the opportunity to immerse yourself in our Amazon Kichwa lifestyle. Come and join us, support our indigenous community and the Rainforest conservation that you will love to call it home.


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