We spent a month and a half wandering around Ecuador and Colombia, which was not nearly enough time. We could have seen ourselves spending at least twice as much time in both, exploring the coast and the Amazon but time seems to be slipping away now that the end of our trip is closing in. We will be back in the good ole’ USA by Christmas. But first, one last epic adventure –Patagonia!
We hopped from coffee farm to coffee farm throughout the “Cafeteria” region of Colombia staying in adorable traditional-style guest houses and laid-back Colombian towns with colorful old buildings.But Jardin, Colombia was one of our favorite little towns.
A day hike through the beautiful Cocora Valley.
Indulging in Chemex brews and relishing fruity arabic flavors we never truly knew how to appreciate before. Our days were numbered before we would be thrown back into the dreary life of instant coffee, so we justified multiple cups per day.
During our week taking Spanish classes in Salento, one of the coffee regions in Colombia, we were spoiled with cup after cup of good, single source, locally grown beans.
My favorite guest house of all South America was on a coffee farm out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by rolling hills and dense jungle near Manizales, Colombia. We had to walk a few miles down a steep dirt road just to find the place. Some nights we had power, some nights we didn’t. We wondered around the farm tasting weird fruits we that had fallen off trees. But mostly we relaxed in hammocks watching gigantic lizards flirt and florescent exotic birds eat bananas; it was an incredible display of nature.
Traveling around Ecuador is simple and cheap, packed full of friendly little towns, and as long as you stay away from the larger cities, relatively safe. Everyone says “buen provecho” (enjoy your meal) when entering restaurants and little old ladies faces are twisted up into permanent smiles. Ecuador was laid back and kind, there was a noticeable gentleness about it that was different from Peru.
We did the Quilotoa loop, a 3 day trek that takes you to a crater filled with Laguna Quilotoa. It was a great low stress hike between three towns and we had a great time doing it.
Patricia has been teaching Spanish for 28 years. She has written two books on teaching the language and often travels to the US for her linguistic pursuits. She lives in Cuenca, Ecuador and we had the pleasure of spending a week learning Spanish with her.
The last six weeks we traveled 1,600 miles by bus through Ecuador and Colombia straightening out our Spanish grammar and memorizing verbs. After we travelled from Huaraz, Peru to Medellin, Colombia, we had taken three weeks total of private classes along the way.