Given that Ecuador is synonymous with being the home of the Galapagos Islands, it’s understandable that some of its other attractions get sidelined. Indeed, we met a number of travellers heading north to Colombia from Peru who had decided to skip the country entirely given that they didn’t think there was much else there.
How wrong they were.
Due to our tight travel budget, we weren’t able to make it to the Galapagos (on the cheap it would have cost us about $800 each for a week). But would that stop us from recommending Ecuador to other budget backpackers? Absolutely not.
In our ten weeks in the country, we cycled, hiked and bused from the lost countryside in the Andean hills to glacier-topped volcanoes, gorgeous sun-kissed fishing villages stretched along the coast and the beginnings of the Amazon rainforest.
Here are five beautiful experiences any traveller on a budget can experience in Ecuador!
HIKING THE QUILOTOA LOOP
This is a travel experience we’ll never forget.
For five days, with just our small packs on our back, we hiked for four nights, five days around the Quilotoa Loop. Exploring high up in the Andean hills, traversing rivers on rope bridges, wandering through rush green and verdant valleys and countryside, a volcano with a crater lake, getting to know small Quechua communities, staying in cosy hostels and creating such fantastic memories.
And, per person per day, we spent only $19.75/£12.7; so unless you positively detest hiking and beautiful scenery, you’ve got no excuse not to go!