Hiking / Trekking

There are many ways to discover a country like Ecuador; however, hiking or trekking through its vast landscapes is one of the most exciting land activities available year-around. Ecuador not only offers many trekking opportunities of all levels throughout the country, it allows visitors to discover each region with a closer look at their natural and cultural heritage. Making your way into the mysterious jungle of the Amazon rainforest, climbing the rough sides of a volcano, visiting typical Andean villages and their handicraft markets, walking on white sand along the coast and into dry forests, or even discovering the untouched environment of the Galapagos Islands, you’ll realize that each destination offers a unique way to introduce you to its local scenery.

On the Coast, in particular in the Machalilla National Park, the beach of Los Frailes is one of the jewels and most popular destinations of that region. Not as challenging as in the Andes, hiking through the tropical dry forest provide both a good learning experience and an enjoyable time throughout the day.

You’ll be amazed by the diversity of places the Andes Mountains have to reveal. The numerous volcanoes, both extinct and active, create the perfect conditions for physical and exciting hikes. You can chose between popular destinations such as the Cotopaxi National Park and its vast volcanic landscapes that ensure you day-long hikes, or try more remote places just as impressive and challenging, rewarding adventurers with breathtaking views and unique memories. The Altar, the Sangay and the Reventador are probably the most remote volcanoes you could find in the Ecuadorian Andes Mountains, and they usually require a 3-4 days journey. Their craters can be reached after long hikes, and for that reason it is mostly recommended for travelers in good physical shape due to the intensity and length of the hikes.

The Amazon and its thick rainforest is home to an abundant and rich wildlife, and hikes (usually organized by the lodge in which you’re staying) promise to deliver both a physical and learning experience. In those protected areas, animals are everywhere, and it’s up to hikers to respect the natural peace and get the chance to find well-camouflaged creatures.

It is recommended to get well-prepared according to the region you are visiting. Trekking in the cooler and higher Andes Mountains is a different experience than hiking in the hot and humid jungle of the Amazon. Certain trails will take you to higher altitudes than you are usually used to, and altitude sickness might catch you in the early stages of your adventure. To avoid any inconvenience, it is recommended to accustom your body by staying at least a day at that new altitude before heading to higher elevations. Less oxygen and more intense hikes can be a tough combination on the body for anybody not used to trekking on higher grounds. Water will help you cope not only with the heat of the rainforest, but also with the altitude in the Andes.

Rubber boots are always a better option than thick heavy trekking shoes, mainly due to wet and muddy conditions created by constant humidity in the Amazon and sudden changes of weather in the Andes.

Trekking in Ecuador offers so many possibilities that every traveler will be able to find something to fulfill his expectations and fit his physical condition appropriately.

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