I first read about Kuelap several years ago in a Lonely Planet article about places to visit before they are overrun. This seems to be quite true. When I was there I talked to a local tour guide and he said that there were 12,000 visitors the year before, of which 4,000 were foreigners…if you divide that number by 365 days, that gives you a figure of nearly 11 visitors per day,… Read More

The minibus rolled into Chacha in the early evening, but the town was still impressive after the run from the border. As we approached everything felt different – older, funkier, and with more character. We shouldered our backpacks and made the short hike to the main square, the Plaza de Armas. The Hotel Revash had been recommended to us in Vilcabamba and it did not disappoint. Right on the main square, in… Read More

The following is a detailed account, with prices, of our two day road trip from Vilcabamba, Ecuador to Chachapoyas, Peru. We started in the morning by standing on the road below Hostel Izhcayluma to flag down the local bus to the town of Zumba, Ecuador. The bus was supposed to come by around 10:30am, but we were advised to start our wait at 10:00am, just in case. We expected to be the… Read More

Vilcabamba is a village in the southern region of Ecuador, in the Loja province, about 45 km (28 mi) from the city of Loja. The etymology of the name “Vilcabamba” apparently derives from the Quichua “huilco pamba.” Huilco denotes the sacred trees, Anadenanthera colubrina, that inhabit the region; pamba (cognate with pampa) is a word meaning “a plain”. The area has been referred to as the “Playground of the Inca” which refers… Read More

Reika and I arrived in Cuenca late yesterday, after riding for eight hours on two local two buses. This morning we took a stroll along the river and found another trove of street art. Some of it seems to have been commissioned by the city to highlight local artists, others are spontaneous outpourings. Enjoy!