Baños, Ecuador – Relaxing under a volcano

After our time in the Amazon, we went to Baños Ecuador to relax under the shadow of a smoking volcano. Set in a jungle covered canyon, Baños is another popular stop on the gringo trail through Ecuador. Baños offers hot spring pools (hence the name Baños), and adventure sports like bungee jumping, and mountain biking into the canyon as well as views of the their active volcano.

Four nights in the Amazon Rainforest

Of the many places that we have on our list to visit the Amazon Rainforest is definitely near the top. We had the chance to visit the Ecuadorian portion of the Amazon and we jumped on it. Our trip proved to be quite interesting with monkeys, birds, poisonous snakes, guns, caiman, piranhas, medical emergencies and more than enough insects to go around...

Quito, Ecuador

The sprawling mountainous metropolis and capital of Ecuador, Quito was our next destination after Otavalo. At 2,800 meters (9,350 feet) it is the second highest capital city in the world second only to La Paz in Bolivia...

Climbing Volcanoes in Ecuador

After checking in to Ecuador, a simple matter of walking across the bridge in Ipiales, getting a quick stamp in our passports and a dismissive wave off from customs, we hopped in a taxi to the nearest bus station. Besides the fact that Ecuador uses American money, there is one immediately evident difference between the two countries, and no I'm not talking about their flag because they are almost the same, things are cheaper, a lot cheaper...

Ipiales and the Ecuadorian border

Our last stop before crossing the border into Ecuador was Ipiales. Being a border town of ill repute we took a taxi from the bus terminal straight to our hotel and did not venture farther than across the street for dinner. While we did not have any problems, border towns along the Colombian Ecuadorian border are known for their issues, such as weapon and drug smuggling...

Popayan – The colonial city in white

Hurrying ahead of the threatened farmers strike, we rushed to Popayan from Salento, the traditional colonial city known for its solid bright white buildings. The ride was uneventful, no farmers with pitchforks blocked our bus's path, there was however a noticeable increase in police and military presence along the side of the road. It seemed every two or three kilometers there was a group of policemen or military personal standing alongside the road watching the traffic. Our bus was pulled over halfway to Popayan...

Salento – Coffee tours and playing with gunpowder

We have been in the Ecuadorian rainforest away from wifi and unable to update the blog, but we're back in civilization and ready to share more. Salento, deep in Colombia's coffee country, was our next destination after Medellin. Two bus rides and seven hours from Medellin will take you through Colombia's rugged and beautiful green coffee country and to the small town of Salento...

Medellin – From World’s Most Dangerous to Most Innovative

In the 1980's and 1990's at the height of the drug cartels power, Medellin was one of, if not the, most dangerous city in the world, with the highest murder rate anywhere. Even locals were not safe on the streets, no one wanted to travel there, not even Colombians. However with the rise of Colombia's new stronger government and major crackdowns and the virtual elimination of the drug cartels, the city has been transformed into a new modern metropolis and recently named The Worlds Most Innovative City...