Ecuador!

At Christmas in 2014, Giselle and I gifted ourselves a tour of Ecuador with Gate 1 Travel to be taken in late April of 2015.  To us, Ecuador is one of the most beautiful and diverse countries either of us has ever visited.  So much so, that we have returned multiple times and plan to make this our retirement home in the not too distant future…..Enjoy the stories and pictures from a country we both fell very much in love with…

April 25 – A very long day indeed! (4/25/2015) - It is early morning on this, day one of our South American adventure.  We headed out at 3:00AM so we could drive down to Seattle for our 8:30AM flight to Miami, via Chicago. With a stop for breakfast at Jack in the Read More ...
April 26 – Quito on Our Own (4/26/2015) - After a short nap, we eagerly hopped out of bed, threw on some clean clothes and started on our adventure.  The view from our room was a nice view of downtown Quito, overlooking a large park.  We sauntered down to Read More ...
April 27 – Citizens of the Equator (4/27/2015) - Day one of our guided expedition begins!  We headed down to the hotel lobby and into the breakfast area where we were to meet our travel companions and our guide.  The food selection was awesome, with fresh fruits, bakery items, Read More ...
April 28 – Acoustically Awesome! (4/28/2015) - This morning we were treated to an awesome breakfast and then loaded onto the bus for a short trip down a rough cobblestone road.  We stopped at a small village where there was a trail up to a beautiful waterfall.  Just Read More ...
April 29 – Into The Amazon (4/29/2015) - We woke up today to cloudy skies and cool temperatures.  We were served an awesome breakfast with lots of fresh fruits and baked goodies.  Then onto the bus we went for a several hour drive, downhill all the way. We dropped from 13,000ft to Read More ...
April 30 – Jungle Treks (4/30/2015) - We awoke this morning to the sound of crowing roosters, right outside our cabana!  It also rained very heavy during the night, but the sun is out today.  During breakfast, we were told about the day’s activities – a hike Read More ...
May 1 – More Adventures (5/1/2015) - The next day we left the jungle and headed back into the mountains for more adventures.  Except for a few very large bugs that Wilson was eager to share, the scenery was awesome. We travelled along the highway and left the Read More ...
May 2 – A Rose for My Sweetie! (5/2/2015) - Our final day of adventure in Ecuador started out with a visit to a local market in Pelileo.  The variety and freshness of the fruits and vegetables was amazing.  Everything is grown locally, by hand, completely organic! After a short Read More ...
October 1 – Back for more Ecuador! (10/13/2015) - We absolutely fell in love with this country on our first trip.  I blame it all on Wilson, our faithful tour guide. He did such a wonderful job the first time around, we hired him to be our personal guide Read More ...
October 2 – Road Trip to Imbabura Province (10/14/2015) - Wilson picked us up on schedule and we headed out of town – north towards Cotacachi. Once out of Quito, he said he wanted to try out his new truck on some back roads.  Who were we to complain, this Read More ...
October 3 – Otavalo (10/15/2015) - We arrived in Cotacachi late the night before, after a sumptuous dinner in Ibarra with friends of Wilson.  We were checked into a very nice B&B called the Yellow Guest House.  The rooms are nice, with private baths, comfy beds and very nice Read More ...
October 4 – Canyons, Chocolate and Ziplines! (10/15/2015) - The previous evening Wilson asked us what we wanted to do next.  We had heard stories of the “Cloud Forest” and wanted to experience it.  Our next adventure was set.  We headed out from Cotacachi early in the morning travelling Read More ...
October 5 – Birds, Canyons, and Volcanos (10/17/2015) - We awoke the next morning to the sound of birds chirping and the aroma of coffee wafting in from the outdoor eating area.  There were hummingbirds everywhere!  After a simple breakfast with fresh fruits and bread, we loaded up in Read More ...
October 6 – Heading to Cuenca (10/18/2015) - After a wonderful stay in Latacunga at a local B&B, sorry no pictures….we headed south towards Cuenca. The road got twistier as we went, passing through many small communities, each with its own central square and church.  Some of the Read More ...
October 7 – Churches and Hats! (10/18/2015) - After a fabulous dinner at the Italian restaurant attached to our hotel and a relaxing night in our room, we woke up to the sounds of the city getting ready for a busy day.  We took a walking tour of Read More ...
October 8 – Weavers, Orchids, and Llamas (10/18/2015) - Today was a day of exploring the surrounding countryside of Cuenca.  Our first destination was the small town of Gualaceo, where we visited a special place where a centuries old art called Ikat is done.  It is a form of Read More ...
And so it begins… (2/3/2017) - Here I am, 1 day before heading back to my paradise and it is dumping snow here in Vancouver.  My cousin Danny Fisher and his wife Rose are heading down from Terrace as I write this.  I will have to Read More ...
Snow Day… (2/5/2017) - We woke up this morning to about 8″ of fresh, heavy, wet snow. The drive to the airport at 4:15 was uneventful…the subaru loves the snow!  We arrived at the airport to what was supposed to be a 25 minute Read More ...
Cotacachi – Our Little Paradise (2/7/2017) - Cotacachi – a small town in north central Ecuador.  Political centre for the Canton Cotacachi (sort of like a county seat) in the province of Imbabura.  It is a beautiful little town nestled in the valley between two extinct volcanoes Read More ...
Cuicocha Laguna (2/8/2017) - Day one of our trip started out very energetically – is that even a word? A short 12 km drive out of Cotacachi took us to a large crater lake formed on the side of Cotacachi Volcano. Cuicocha Laguna is the equivalent Read More ...
Papallacta – Hot Springs and Mountains (2/9/2017) - On Thursday, February 9, we booked a stay at Termas de Papallacta, a beautiful spa resort located high in the mountains between Quito and the Amazon Basin.  Instead of going over to Quito and then up, we took an alternate route Read More ...
Otavalo Market (2/11/2017) - The Otavalo Market is the largest Indigenous market in South America!  Every Saturday, the market square in Otavalo is chock full of indigenous art, crafts, textiles, jewelry, foods and musical instruments brought in by artisans from all over the country. Read More ...
Quito- the Old Town (2/13/2017) - Our good friend Wilson agreed to meet up with us in Quito today for a walk around in the historic district – A UNESCO world heritage site.  The buildings here are all over 400 years old or so.  There are Read More ...
Churches and Cemetaries (2/15/2017) - After a day of rest, we met with our guide friend Marco Vega whom we met while on our first tour of Ecuador.  He was our guide at the Amazon resort Casa Del Suizo, in Ahuano, on the Napo river. Read More ...
Cuy! (2/16/2017) - After a short shopping trip in Ibarra, where we found Ecuadorian wine,  we decided to look for a restaurant that serves a sort of national dish of Ecuador.  There is a small town between Ibarra and Cotacachi called Chaltura.  It Read More ...
Back in Cotacachi (1/28/2018) - After a very long trip via Aero Mexico and an 11 hour layover in Mexico City, we arrived, tired, but very happy to be here. The town has not changed much since our last visit, except for a few improvements Read More ...
Getting Lost in the Country, Ecuadorian Style (1/30/2018) - We woke up today to sunny skies and a fresh pot of Ecuadorian coffee.  The plan for the day was a drive to Ibarra to go to the larger shopping center to pick up a few needed items, then drive Read More ...
Intag Valley Road Trip (2/1/2018) - Today we went on an adventurous trip up over the shoulder of Cotacachi Volcano and down into the Intag Valley, where a lot of Ecuadorean coffee comes from.  The views up top before heading down the other side were fantastic.  Read More ...
Lunching out in Cotacachi (2/4/2018) - Giselle and I spent the last couple of days laying low and just taking walking tours around the streets of Cotacachi.  What we did notice was the amazing number of Almuerzos or lunch spots.  You can get a basic meal Read More ...
Cotacachi “Food Fair” (2/5/2018) - After another 2.5km walkabout, we headed over to the food fair at the mercado to try out some of the dishes.  There are about a dozen stalls to choose from ranging in food choices from fish, chicken, pork, and beef. Read More ...
Gruta de la Paz and more from Ecuador… (2/7/2018) - Today was an awesome day!  After getting an early start, we headed up into the northern highlands of Ecuador for another day trip, this time to the small village of La Paz, just north of Bolivar and a few miles Read More ...
Mojanda Lakes (2/10/2018) - High above the town of Otavalo is a series of three lakes formed inside the calderas of the now extinct volcanoes Mohanda and Fuya Fuya.  The elevation is around 12,200 ft at the largest lake, Mohanda.  This is a protected Read More ...
Clammy on the coast….a trip to Las Penas (2/18/2018) - After three weeks living in Cotacachi in the highlands of Ecuador, we decided to take a short trip to the northern coast of this beautiful country.  It is about a four hour drive from Cotacachi to our destination – Las Read More ...
Esmeraldes and Atacames – the north coast of Ecuador (2/18/2018) - Day two of our trip to the coast saw us travelling down Hwy 15, Ecuador’s equivalent to Hwy 101 down the west coast of the US.  We crossed a few rivers, passed through many small, very poor communities and eventually Read More ...