Ella, Content Manager for trekbible, is a writer and content specialist with a predilection for learning and exploring new places and cultures around the world. With family scattered throughout the U.S. and South Korea, she loves to see cross-cultural influences around the world. Her favorite thing to do on her travels is to taste the local cuisine of each destination.
I love to travel. Few things make me happier than exploring the world. I love seeing places in person and meeting people. Over the course of my life, I’ve traveled to many places around the globe. One of my favorite places to travel is Latin America. This part of the world has endlessly inviting spaces. I’ve seen jungles, stood in cities that were ancient a thousand years and found myself nearly breathless with delight at the intense beauty of the local wildlife. One of my favorite countries in South America is Ecuador. This relatively small nation offers breathtaking beauty at nearly ever turn.
One of the best things about heading to Ecuador is that there are so many opportunities to encounter lots of varied plants and animals all over the country. Ecuador is one of over a dozen countries that has what is known as megadiversity. Megadiverse countries are countries that have lots of different kinds of flowers and plants as well as many animals that are not seen anywhere else. When I come here, I am constantly astonished at the kind of wildlife I see nearly everywhere I look. This is why I find myself wanting to come back here again and again.
Not only is Ecuador one of my favorite places to visit, it’s also place that makes it easy to engage in green tourism. Much of the land is carefully balanced and supervised. You’ll find lots of tracks of wild land that are nearly in their natural state. You’ll also find places that are managed in order to get the most of the space. I have found that many tour guides are happy to engage in green tourism. The emphasis here is on sustainable tourism that treads lightly on the land at all times.
While so many spaces beacon me, the one place I want to come back to when I come here are the Galapagos Islands. These islands off the coast are today very much as they have been in the past. It’s easy to head here provided you make arrangements in advance. The goal is to keep the wildlife as it has always been while still allowing humans to enjoy this part of the world. I am constantly amazed at how easy it is interact with the creatures on this island with the help of guides who know every single nook and cranny.
The Galapagos National Park Service is entrusted with monitoring the local islands from the mainland. They do an excellent job supervising the area. I find them helpful when I am planning out my plans on a day to day basis. You will need to contact them to find a guide who can help you travel here. You’ll also need to be aware that certain sites may be closed because the land isn’t ready for humans. Keep to the established trails and listen to your guides. You’ll see wildlife up closer than you ever dared dream.
While Ecuador only has a tiny percentage of the entire rain forest, the area they do have is incredibly diverse. This is one of the most easily accessible parts of the rain forest in all of Ecuador. The last time I went here, our entire tour was given the chance to trek through the actual forest. At every turn, we were reminded to be careful not to leave any evidence of our tour behind us. We were treated to magnificent waterfalls, gentle rivers and thick, verdant jungle spaces where we could clearly see brightly colored reptiles and other native animals.
Some of my favorite sights
There are so many things I could write about. A few places stand out in my mind. These are places that others should head to if they want an authentic adventure but one that is also totally green in nature. For example, the glorious town of Baños de Agua Santa is dotted with many warm thermal baths. I was able to relax and enjoy myself while in this tiny little part of the world. This place offers easy access to one of Ecuador’s treasures: Llanganates National Park. The national park is a must for all those who want to spend time in the outdoors in a place rarely seen by anyone else.
Other places of note
The last time I was in this area, I saw so many places that are all about going and staying green. For example, Las Latas Cascades is well worth the one hour walk just to plunge in the clear green water here. Mindo is a two hour drive from the capital of Quito. This low key spot is all about bird watching and relaxing in the center of the jungle. Another place that allows people to see the many diverse places in this part of the world is Yasuni National Park. This area straddles three regions: the Andes, the Amazon and the Equator. Two indigenous nations make this place their home. All these places make this area a must-see and allow an easy, wonderful and truly green vacation.
Thanks to Ella for this great guest post on Ecuador. Where else have you traveled where being green is a priority?