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Archive for ecuador

Holy Water in Ecuador

By Linda Tancs

Nestled at the foot of Tungurahua (an active volcano) in Ecuador is Baños de Agua Santa (baths, or springs, of holy water). A major tourist center between the central Andes and the Amazon of Ecuador, it’s prized for its hot springs credited with healing powers. The views aren’t bad, either, surrounded as it is by mountains and waterfalls flowing into deep ravines. You can view the cascades on a gondola-style cable car strung from one hilltop to the next. As you might imagine, it’s a great locale for landscape photographers. Enjoy a three-and-a-half-hour drive south from Quito through the Andes.

Drawing the Line in Ecuador

By Linda Tancs

Located about 14 miles north of Quito, Ecuador, Mitad del Mundo commemorates the site where 18th-century French explorer Charles-Marie de La Condamine once calculated the globe’s equatorial line. Of course, that calculation was made without the benefit of modern technology, which sadly reveals that the actual line dividing the planet into a Northern Hemisphere and a Southern Hemisphere is actually 262 yards or so away in the vicinity of the Intiñan Solar Museum. Well, why not make a day out of it and visit both locations. Take an elevator to the top of the trapezoidal monument at Mitad del Mundo for great views of the surrounding countryside and indulge in equator-related science experiments at the museum, where you’ll find a painted red line purportedly indicating the real middle of the world.

An Icon of Ecuador

By Linda Tancs

Ecuador has nearly twice as many bird species as the U.S., numbering around 1,600 or so. Perhaps no winged creature is as emblematic of the country as the black-breasted puffleg hummingbird, found virtually nowhere else in the world. Its habitat is the Yanacocha Reserve, a retreat in the Andes created primarily to protect this critically endangered bird. The reserve is located about 45 minutes from Quito.

Gateway to Galapagos

By Linda Tancs

Guayaquil is a port city in Ecuador, known as a gateway to the Galapagos Islands. More than a transit stop, this commercial city stretching along the Guayas River is enlivened by a riverfront promenade, Malecón 2000, featuring historic monuments (like La Rotonda, a statue depicting a famous meeting of South America’s two most prominent liberators), modern sculptures, museums, botanical gardens, fountains, bridges, children’s play areas, shopping outlets and restaurants. The northern end connects with Las Peñas, the oldest neighborhood in Guayaquil, boasting the largest concentration of colonial architecture and picturesque wooden houses. The founding of the city is celebrated with a festival tomorrow, preceded by today’s national celebration of the birthday of liberator Simón Bolívar.

Birders Love Mindo

By Linda Tancs

Mindo, Ecuador is a birder’s paradise. An easy 2-hour bus ride from Quito, this corner of northwestern Ecuador is home to hundreds of varieties of hummingbirds as well as the cock-of-the-rock, a South American denizen bearing an orange-crested head and brilliant orange, black and white feathers along its back and wings. Budding birders and pros alike will benefit from a guided tour, proceeds of which may likely benefit conservation efforts, depending on the tour company selected.


 The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.


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