Ecuador: where to go and what not to miss!
I stayed in Ecuador for two and a half weeks, and it was the most interesting and exciting holiday I ever had! Although the country is quite small, when compared to other South American countries, it offers you the full range of South American landscapes: the Pacific coast, the Andes, and the jungle. And all of them are just a bus ride away from each other!
If you are considering a Spanish course in Ecuador and want to stay in a really vibrant city, then go to Quito! For the first couple of days you might feel a bit lost in this busy city, but don’t worry, you will love it! The colonial architecture in the historic part of Quito is just beautiful, and there are incredible views of the volcanoes which stand all around the city.
There are also so many places around Quito that are well worth seeing. For example, not far from Quito is Otavalo with its famous indigenous art and handcraft market. There you can buy beautiful traditional Indian clothes, jewelry and much much more. If you love strolling around markets as much as I do, you absolutely must go there. Not far from Otavalo is Cotacachi, known as the “leather town”, where you can buy all kind of leather handcrafts.
Once you are in Ecuador, don’t miss out on a trip to the jungle. If you get deep enough into it and are lucky, you can watch wild animals. I wasn’t that deep in the jungle, but went to an animal rehabilitation centre, where all kind of animals living in the jungle went freely around and mixed with the people. You could have touched them – it was really great! And the indigenous people of the jungle are so welcoming. We visited one of their houses and they showed us how they live.
However, one of the most impressive experiences was to see how the panama hats are made. We went to one of three little villages where they are made and watched the hatters doing their work. We were told how to judge the quality of a hat. Did you know, that it takes up to half a year to make just one single hat? Of course, these are the luxurious ones, which are sold for a couple of thousand dollars. You can get a machine-made one for 10 dollars on the market.
Finally, if you don’t have the opportunity to go to Galapagos Islands, at least visit the Isla de la Plata. There, you can see some of the animals you normally would see in Galapagos. They are not afraid of people at all, and you can see them at close range. It’s amazing!
There are still so many more things to see and to do! Two weeks and a half in Ecuador are not enough, and I will definitely go there again and visit all the places I haven’t seen yet.
Just go there and have a great time!