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.