It’s been a while since I have done anything adventurous. OK, that is not entirely true; I did hike the Inca Trail last summer. But, aside from that, which was a while ago now, I haven’t done anything that caused me nervous excitement before hand in too long. Now, don’t get the wrong idea here: I’m not a bungee jumping, sky diving, or any type of plummeting toward the Earth kind of girl. But, I do like a little action here and there, which is why I am really excited about visiting Ecuador!
A small country in comparison to most of its South American neighbors, Ecuador is big on adventure. With its landscapes changing from coastal beaches and the Galapagos Islands, cloud forests and rain forests to mountains & volcanoes, there is something for every outdoor lover to enjoy. People come to Ecuador to surf, trek through the jungle, hike and climb up mountains, birdwatch, white water raft, mountain bike and gaze upon species of wildlife completely unique to the area. I want to do all of those things, plus I am considering trying some new things: horseback riding and canyoning. I have never done either, and they both freak me out a bit, so I think I should give them a shot (funds permitting).
Aside from all of its natural wonders, Ecuador is also huge on culture. Home to many colonial cities waiting to be explored and the oldest market in South America, it seems like I could spend forever and a day here. Good thing I will have about a month!
My plan is to cross by bus from Colombia and start making my way around the country, ultimately finishing in Guayaquil, so I can hop a flight to Spain. It seems like Ecuador will be very compatible with my $50 USD/day budget, which is really important. Actually, it turns out Ecuador’s official currency is the US Dollar, so there is no exchange rate to consider; $1 USD = $1 USD. The difference is in what $1 USD can get you in Ecuador vs. the U.S. For example, a 1 hour bus ride in Ecuador will cost you about $1, a 2 hour bus ride about $2 and so on. In the NY, NJ, PA area, a 1 or 2 hour bus ride can cost anywhere from $7 on Megabus to $20 on Greyhound; that is up to 10 times the price in Ecuador! With its extensive bus network and affordable prices, getting around in Ecuador is definitely cheap and should be relatively easy. Honestly, I’m hoping I will be able to stay a bit under budget here so I can more comfortably afford the relatively pricey countries that will follow.
I still have much more research to do to pinpoint which towns and cities I want to visit and to map a general order in which I should do things. But from what I do already know it will certainly be the action packed adventure I need!