One of our final items of business in Quito was to explore the neighborhood of Guapulo, not exactly an easy feet on foot from Old Town, but undoubtedly worth it. Lonely Planet had this to say about Guapulo: If you […]
The Equator is an endless source of fascination for those of us who grew up in the northern (or southern) latitudes, particularly here in Oregon where a short drive from Portland to Eugene takes you across the 45th Parallel — the […]
Man, do I love cities like Quito — sprawling messes and masses of millions with a cultural ecosystem all their own — brimming with a palpable tension between old and new — between deep traditional roots and the energy of youth seizing the present. Some of […]
The largest Neo-Gothic basilica in the Western Hemisphere, Quito’s gigantic Basílica del Voto Nacional (Basilica of the National Vow) is also definitely the coolest church I’ve ever set foot in. Longer AND TALLER than a football field, this mammoth structure is completely […]
Arriving in Quito was the culmination of a six week journey beginning in Lima and covering some 2,000 miles (mostly overland, with the help of a 600 mile flight from Lima to Iquitos on the edge of the Amazon rainforest). Ecuador […]
Heading north from Lake Quilotoa, we overshot our final destination (Quito) by two hours to catch one of the largest and most famous markets in all of South America. Ecuador Route Map: Click on the image above to browse the map and […]
We drastically underestimated this hike. From the village, we were thinking “Let’s take a walk around the rim!” 20 minutes in, however, we already knew this was going to be one heck of a challenge.
Hiking the rim around a 12,800 foot “crater” lake was high on our list of must-do adventures in Ecuador, but we soon found that half the adventure was just getting there. Ecuador Route Map: Click on the image above to […]
A short distance from Cuenca, we found ourselves in the surprisingly impressive little city of Azogues (elevation: 8,261 ft.; population: 40,000) en route to Riobamba. I frequently find that some towns we pass through (like Azogues, above) make me want […]
Cuenca (or Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca, if you prefer…) was our first overnight stop in Ecuador after spending a month in Peru, and we could already tell on arrival that Ecuador was going to be a whole […]
And now for something a bit different. Lake Titicaca is the highest navigable lake in the world. It’s also home to the Uru-Aymara who live across 44 self-constructed floating islands of reed!
We awoke at 3:30am on our final day to hike up to Machupicchu, the icing on our trekking cake. We lined up at a control gate along with over a hundred other hikers (we were close to the front) and at 5:30 the control gate opened and let us through.
Day two was the most difficult by far–16km (10 miles) over two 13,000-foot+ passes with a gross elevation gain of 4,373ft. and gross elevation loss of 3,402ft., totaling eleven of the most grueling and rewarding hours of our lives.
Instead of taking the traditional tourist route to Machupicchu, we followed the 500-hundred-year-old segment of the Inca trail (Camino Inka) from kilometer 82 to Machupichu, commonly known as the “Inca Trail”