Ecuador’s Wild Side
We’ve partnered with the Adventure Travel Trade Association, which serves to network, educate, professionalize, and promote the adventure travel industry to share some amazing things to do in Ecuador. See the jewel-like hummingbirds, traditional haciendas, and soaring volcanoes that lie beyond the city. If that’s not enough to convince you, thermal springs and one of the world’s most luxurious eco-lodges await at the end of your treks through the Andes.
Rio Jatunyacu, Ecuador
Jatun Yacu (or Jatunyacu) means “big river” in the Quechua language. This wide, flat river is a main tributary of the Amazon, which has its origin in a glacier and springs fed by the active Cotopaxi Volcano. White water rafting for beginners and intermediate groups is hugely popular on the Jatunyacu because you get rolling waves that won’t flatten you, but rather end up carrying you along to placid pools. The river is a class three challenge (not too challenging) and sight lines from the crafts plying the white waves are great. Bring your sunscreen and insect repellent and get ready for a wet ride.
Volcán Cotopaxi, Latacunga, Cotopaxi, Ecuador
One of the world’s highest active volcanoes (with an altitude of 4000 meters, or over 13,000 feet), Cotopaxi is also one of Ecuador’s most photographed landmarks. Its snowcapped peak is beautiful but deadly: as an active volcano where mud and rock slides are common it has to be closely watched. In August 2015, the president of Ecuador declared a state of emergency because of Cotopaxi’s increased rumblings. Although warnings by Cotopaxi National Park staff and local seismologists are critically important to heed, visitors invariably come back with tales of scenic treks, condor sightings, and bucket-list bravura. Best to come prepared, the altitude makes appropriately warm and protective gear a must. High altitude also means faster fatigue—a thorough check up before you embark and altitude medication may be lifesavers when planning your trip to this paradise.