After a relaxing holiday on the Caribbean-looking coast of Ecuador, it goes into the climatically much more pleasant highlands. As always, the landscape and vegetation change in fascinating speed: in Ecuador, due to its small size, even faster compared to our previous Andes ascents and descents. We walk for 5 hours around the Laguna Quilotoa – a volcanic crater lake – and fight again with the altitude. From sea level to 4,000 hm in one day represents a certain challenge for our bodies. Quite exhausted and soaked by heavy thunderstorms, we arrive back at Shujaa. Karin also experienced a small lightning flash through her walking sticks, which fortunately was weak and nothing happened. In the evening we enjoy the dry and cool highland air and sleep amazingly well.
On the way to the next spot, we take a look at one of the oldest haciendas in South America – the Hacienda La Cienega, which is very romantic and picturesque.
On the volcano Cotopaxi unfortunately we do not have a clear view, experience at an altitude of 4,600 hm a heavy snow storm and decide to give up the planned hike. But the authentic weekly market in Saquisili is all the more enriching. Many animals from the guinea pig to the llama, fruits, vegetables, clothing and other things as well as women dressed colorful in beautiful costumes.
When buying bananas on the street, we catch a cockroach that Karin only accidentally sees through the shower light. Then, of course, the stress breaks out until it is finally caught. Hopefully that was the only one … it would be bad if we had these pests in the interior.
In Banos, a pretty tourist town in a beautiful landscape, already on the way to the Amazon lowlands, we hike and enjoy views of the volcano Tungurahua – the highest active volcano in the world which had its last major outbreaks in 1999 and 2006. Our place to stay is the restaurant and hotel Chamanapamba, which is idyllically situated in a side valley, with its own waterfall.
The next day we drive down to the Amazon lowlands through numerous waterfalls and cocoa plantations and producers. We just got used to the high altitudes again and are now back to the humid lowlands with high temperatures.
The fascinating thing about Ecuador is that you can see everything in the smallest space in a wide variety: Caribbean coasts, authentic highlands with the highest volcanic density in the world and tropical Amazonian jungles. A completely undervalued holiday destination, in our opinion.