Monday, December 12, 2011

Exploring Ecuador

I spent the first week in December in Ecuador.  My colleague and I met with people in Quito and Guayaquil to scope out potential partners for a program, and then I stayed on a few extra days to be a tourist.  One of my favorite people and dearest friends, Kate, joined me from Bogota (where she is living) for the tourist part.  We started in Quito, but then jumped a bus to Banos, a small town situated right under an active volcano (and thus the home of hot thermal baths, lots of cool tours, and tons of spas!).  We spent a few days basking and enjoying the gorgeous little town, and then took the bus back to Quito to spend a day in the capital before heading back to our respective homes.  In the process of all of this, I absolutely fell in love with Ecuador, and it made me hungry to explore more of northern South America.  Here are a few of the photos from my time there:


Anyone for some drumsticks?

Banos city square

Steak, ceviche, and drinks for 2 for 12 dollars?  Yes please.

On the chiva (party bus) on the way to view the volcano.
Same picture, just showing what the lighting really looked like :)

View of Banos from the top of the mountain.

The 'quiet campfire' we were promised by the tour company.  aka party central.  complete with Ecuadorian clown.

Pulling taffy, Ecuador style

View from the bridge in Banos

Danger Zone!  Active volcano!

Wooden go cart race!

I love her face.  She was so delighted to have her picture taken.

Canelazo - Kate introduced me, I'm in love.  Like spiked hot cider, only better.  Warms you inside and out.

A lovely evening at a little book shop/cafe in Banos

Banos is famous for it hot baths - heated by the active volcano nearby.

Kate and I had facials and massages (totalling less that 40 dollars!) at a spa in Banos

Stunning views

we tried and tried to see the active part of the volcano, but the clouds were just no cooperating.  Behind us is the volcano.  Just use your imagination - there's lava jumping out back there!

Everything in the area is covered with a film of ash from the volcano.


Our bus ride from Quito was about 3.5 hours, and cost $3.50.  Ecuador has to be one of the cheapest places to travel I've ever been.

View of the Old City of Quito from our hostel.

Kate appreciating ceviche after we both had a near MTA (meal time agression) meltdown.  This ceviche shop opened especially for us and fed us even though they were closed.  They must have sensed that the whole world was in danger if we didn't eat immediately.

Lovely evening on the rooftop of our hostel in Quito

Quito by night


Hiatt Family said...

Oh my goodness, I LOVE these pictures Haley!!!

K Bailey said...

A good friend of mine from Ecuador....goes back often and tells lots of stories. She loves it there.

Kate Cottrell said...

I am finally getting around to reading my favorite people's blogs regularly (that obviously includes you!). These pics are awesome - so glad we got to meet up. I need more of these during my time in Colombia - I miss you and all my lovely lady friends!!