Favorite Places in Ecuador - Part 1

Maria vom Soleq.travel Team

Maria S.

So far, blog posts have primarily been written by permanent or temporary members of the SOLEQtravel team and were based on their experiences, adventures and insights.

In the following small blog series, we want to change the perspective.

For this purpose, we asked relatives, friends and acquaintances living in Ecuador about their favorite places in Ecuador. We wanted to know why they like this place so much, what is special about it and what recommendations they can give for a visit. The respondents were not only Ecuadorians, but also immigrants from different countries, including those who have only been living in Ecuador for a few months or others who have been there for many years.

Alieg's favorite place: Montañita

Alieg is from Cuba and has been living in Ecuador for 8 years. His favorite place is Montañita in the north of Santa Elena province at the Ecuadorian coast. The place is known for extended party weekends, however, there are also a variety of other activities. Alieg mentions parasailing, for example, where you are pulled over the water with a special parachute attached to a motorboat. The coast of Montañita is also very popular with surfers and you can ride a water bike.

paragliding in Monanita

If all this sounds too sportive and adventurous for you, you can also just enjoy the beach or stroll along the promenade. There and in the many small colorful streets in the center of town, there are countless places to stop, from local fish dishes to international food, you can find everything. There is something for every taste and budget. Jewelry and handicrafts of all kinds are offered at various stands. In the evening you can enjoy a cool drink in one of the bars and later you can shake a leg to different music styles in the numerous discotheques and clubs.

street life in Monatnita at the ecuadorian coast

What to bring to Montañita? According to Alieg: enjoyment and plenty of energy to party all day.

Would you also like to get to know the coastal region of Ecuador better? Feel free to read more about the Pacific Coast.

Miguel’s favorite place: Cuyabeno

Miguel is Ecuadorian and his favorite place is Cuyabeno. Cuyabeno is one of the important protected areas in the Ecuadorian rainforest.

sunset in the cuyabeno reserve

Miguel describes his experience to us as follows: Cuyabeno can be reached by bus or car and canoe. It is a place in the middle of the nature of the Amazon rainforest, surrounded by greenery, with many species of animals. It is known for its lagoon, which when dry is a forest, and when it is flooded, it covers even the tallest trees with water, so that when you canoe you have the impression of flying over the trees. In this lagoon you can swim with pink dolphins and spot caimans. I liked the night walks where you can listen to the sounds of nature and see phosphorescent mushrooms. It is said that James Cameron was also inspired by the Cuyabeno to make the movie Avatar.

There are tourist packages in simple lodges starting at $350 with lodging, full board as well as transportation from Lago Agrio to the lodge. His favorite lodge is Caiman Lodge because it has a large observation tower from which you can watch birds in the treetops.

birdwatching in the cuyabeno reserve

What to bring? Hiking gear, rubber boots (most lodges offer some for rent), insect repellent, headgear, swimwear and binoculars.

Finally, Miguel recommends that you mentally prepare yourself for a long but very rewarding trip.

The Cuyabeno Reserve is part of many of our tours. You are welcome to visit our Ecuadorian rainforest page for more information.

Elizabeth's favorite place: Cuicocha

Elizabeth, who comes from Germany, has been living in Ecuador for 19 years. She introduces us to her favorite place, Cuicocha. The Cuicocha Lagoon is a lake in the province of Imbabura in the north of Ecuador near the cities of Otavalo and Cuicocha.

She likes this place especially because you feel like you are in a volcanic crater and the story that a lake formed in a crater and then another eruption formed the two islands is very interesting. The landscape is wonderful. From every angle it is different and very beautiful.

cuicocha lagoon north Ecuador

How do you get there and what can you do locally?  There is something for everyone. Just come by car and see the crater and visit the museum. And take the boat ride and see the bubbles.

And if you want to feel the altitude, walk around the crater. That’s the most beautiful thing you can do. Cool weather with sunshine and a view of the crater from all sides.

Cuicocha lagoon with isands

The entrance to the protected area is free, only for a boat ride you have to pay a few dollars. Only if you want to explore the crater lake with a guide, there are costs.

There is a small restaurant and sanitary facilities at the boat dock.

For a trip to the Cuicocha Lagoon you should bring: warm hiking clothes and a headgear. Sun protection is also recommended.

Cuicocha is just one of the beautiful mountain lakes that Ecuador has to offer. Because of its convenient location, it is included in almost all of our Ecuador trips. Other lakes worth seeing are the Quilotoa crater lake, the Yahaurcocha near Ibarra.

Were Alieg, Miguel and Elizabeth able to inspire you and do you want to get to know Ecuador? Feel free to get in touch with us for more information or personalized tours.

Send us your comments on the blog!