Replies: 6 - Last Post: May 14, 2012 12:25 PM Last Post By: abbilisia
May 5, 2012 1:15 PM
Alternate routeHi, I am wondering Which areas of Ecuador see the fewest tourists? For example, when we went to Peru we did not go to Machu Picchu, Nazca lines, cuzco, or lake titikaka but instead we went north to cajamarca, celandine, leymeybamba, and chachapoyas. We had an amazing experience and practically had the place to ourselves.
So what alternative routes do you recommend in Ecuador?
May 5, 2012 8:07 PM
1I liked a route of Guaranda, Salinas de Guaranda, Guamote (for Thurs market), and Alausi. It's not a straight line, but these places are in the same area between Quito & Cuenca in the mountains. I only saw one other backpacker between those 4 places and thought they were all pretty cool, especially Salinas de Guaranda. All are listed in the guidebook, just with smaller paragraphs. In general I found the mountain towns to be less touristy than the coastal towns which cater more to tourists. The major exception I found to the mountain town rule is the Quilotoa loop which definately has a lot of visitors (still very nice of course, just heavily visited).
May 6, 2012 5:40 AM
2It's not difficult to find such places if you stop in small towns like Cañar or Tambo along one of the main routes in the middle of the country. Even at Ingapirca which is an interesting pre-columbian site (small Machu Picchu) there was no other person that I could ask to take a picture for me. I used self timer instead.
Also in Esmeraldas on the northern coast I didn't see other travellers (although the place is a real dump, interesting to visit for a change).
May 7, 2012 3:07 PM
Are you interested in "community tourism"? If so there are many communities all around Ecuador which are trying to promote this. The level of comfort can vary but you certainly get away from the mass of tourists.
You could start by looking at the options on these sites
http://www.redpakarinan.com - for the Southern Andes
http://www.touribarra.gob.ec - for some pretty well organised operations in the province of Imbabura close to Ibarra.
The tourist info (i-tur) offices in each town can help you with this as well.
May 9, 2012 9:14 AM
4With the exception of Vilcabamba almost anywhere south of Cuenca is majorly less tourist travelled, cheaper and interesting. Both to towards the coast and in the jungle. There are gems such as Zaruma, Paccha, Guanazan, Chilla, Nabon, Puyango Petrified forest, hiking, ruins and protected forests between Santa Rosa/Machala/Arenillas (not reccomending these towns just using them for reference) and Carimanga, then to the East Zamora and the lower Podocarpus reserve and north to Namangoza gorge (Cabanas Yankuam), El Pangui and access to the "tepues", further North to San Juan Bosco and the Pan de Azucar, Logroño and the oil bird caves, then Macas and access to the nearby archaeological site the name of which eludes me at this moment. The road back up the mountains direct to Riobamba through Sangay National park, (for the best views don't sit on the drivers side of the bus) through Atilo and the lakes (good hiking or horse riding) and one small hostal (Saskines). That could nicely fill a week or two, or longer depending upon your interests and style of travel.
May 11, 2012 11:17 AM
5A realllly adventurous off the beaten track route is from coca, ecuador to iquitos, peru via the Napo river. A brilliant way to check out Amazon life far away from the tourist traps. Im planning on doing it in a couple weeks. The link below sheds some more light:
If youre keen on doing it Im more than happy to have an accomplice :)
May 14, 2012 12:25 PM
6If you are looking for a place without tourist then this is exactly where you want to go. I spent 6 months there and only met about 6 other foreigners from western countries. I lived with a family in the Amazon jungle near Puyo Ecuador and loved every minuted of it. I hiked to waterfalls, jumped from waterfalls, went to indigenous parties, met shamans, all the great jungle stuff. If you want some more infor you can look at this website. http://www.chinimptuna.com/index.html
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