Julia Z., Brooklyn, NY
Whenever I have the chance to go on an adventure I try to take it. Ideally I like to spend hours researching everything I can about the location, from restaurants, to hikes, to nightlife, but sometimes you just don't have that kind of time. When I had the opportunity to visit Ecuador for a week, I had to go. Exploring Quito on our first day was a great introduction to the food and pace of life in South America. Accommodations were simple, comfortable and conveniently located in town. We had a hidden, unattended rooftop bar/lounge on top of our hostel and ended the night there with a view.
We then relocated closer to the jungle via bus, and i did not expect to enjoy the ride itself. Instead I saw some of the most breathtaking views of waterfalls and misty mountain peaks from the bus window. Yes there was a kid partially sitting on my lap, but i cant say i hated that. Upon arrival we were greeted with a lovely host at the hostel just outside of Tena. The accommodations exceeded expectations and were extremely clean and comfortable. We were able to arrange some awesome day hikes directly through the proprietors.
We stopped often, here and there, to try meats cooked on open fires, coffees, and snacks. One of the best meals we had was a traditional dish of fish cooked in a banana leaf.
Wandering around Ecuador for a week I felt an awesome balance of adventure and relaxation. With the logistics and accommodations and research all expertly taken care of I felt the freedom to fully explore without the worry of planning. I would recommend Susan to plan a trip in South America for anyone looking for an authentic experience that allows for spontaneity without the stress.
Resting during an intense hike into a canyon in the Amazon Rainforest
Crossing a raging river in the jungle in Ecuador
Shannon D., Kansas City, MO
I recently returned from a full weeks vacation in Ecuador. In that time we were able to visit 3 different cities, traveling by bus. I was surprised by how easy, quick, and comfortable this was. The hostels Susan booked were affordable, well kept and accommodating.
Baños was a beautiful city, definitely the highlight of the trip. Gorgeous waterfalls, healing thermal baths and friendly locals. From the bus rides to the hostels we stayed, to the sight seeing, it all felt seamless. What I did know about Ecuador I was able to share with Susan. She was able to successfully incorporate all aspects into the 7 days.
I highly recommend her and plan on consulting with her soon about a trip to Mexico.
**Shayna and Shannon were travel companions during their trip to Ecuador.
Exploring an urban park in Quito, Ecuador
Climbing to the top of a lookout tower in Baños, Ecuador
Taking a tour of the 7 waterfalls around Baños, Ecuador
Shayna F., Kansas City, MO
I recently took a trip abroad to Ecuador. It was my first time in South America, and it could not have been more perfect. Susan consulted with us prior to planning to get an idea of what we wanted to do/see/eat/etc, and together, we mapped out a travel itinerary to meet our wants and needs.
The trip was organized and seamless from the moment we landed. Upon our arrival, Susan arranged a private car to drive us the 4 hours from Guayaquil to Cuenca. It was a beautiful, scenic drive, and we loved our driver, Patricio, a Cuenca native. Our hostel was a vision. Nice clean rooms, comfortable beds, lounge, patio, and free breakfast! It was conveniently located in the middle of town, which made everything easily accessible.
Our next stop on the trip was Baños de Agua Santa. We made the 9 hour journey via bus, per Susan's instructions. The busses were actually quite impressive, easy to maneuver and comfortable enough for the long trip. Once again, our hostel was just perfect. We especially loved the rooftop lounge, with its superb view of the dreamy town below. During our stay, Susan advised us of some of the MANY things to do in Baños: thermal baths/waterfalls/hiking/volcanoes!, just to name a few. This town is a MUST SEE in Ecuador, (and my personal favorite).
No trip to Ecaudor is complete without a stop in the bustling Capitol city of Quito. We traveled there by bus, which was once again easy and comfortable. We arrived to another great hostel, and although we were now in a huge, major city, we did one of my favorite hikes of the whole trip, 14,000 ft up Volcan Pinchichu. It was truly inspiring.
This 8 day trip was easy and adventurous from start to finish! I couldn't be happier with our accommodations and travel arrangements. Susan provided us with more than enough information and recommendations for every city.
I fell in love with Latin America and I look forward to my next adventure there! I will most certainly be consulting with Susan for all my future travel needs.