Ecuador is certainly one of my favorite countries in South America. Many parts of the country are totally different than other parts. In fact the country divides itself up into three regions each with their own culture. On the coast you have high crime, high population, hot weather and a pretty fierce gang culture that I really don't like. In the Andes you have the traditional native Quichwa Indian people as the main population, some of them don't even speak Spanish, just Quichwa! They are a more peaceful and humble people with a deep and rich culture going back to the pre-columbus days.
Every country I go to, the people usually dislike each other, that is just the world we live in. Few places this is not true, other places it's less or more and a lot of the time it's in a weird non serious loving way. The Andean people have a smarter, less crime, more hardworking culture and that's the stereotype; so the coastal people make fun of their Indian long "hook" noses and attack their different genetics calling them parrots, papagallos. While the Quichwa with the long noses call the coastal people monkey's, monos; accusing them of being dumb and lazy. Meanwhile both the Andean and the coastal people refer to the Amazonian people as just plain savages, salvajes! Cause you know they live in the jungle, just like my @junglegirl!
After living there for two years I know what I'm talking about, as I was nothing but a dirty rich gringo who they attempted to rob on multiple occasions. But this gringo is too smart and too fast. It's a strange culture full of hugs and kisses and talking shit about your neighbor, but after traveling the world for so many years I've come to learn that it's actually pretty normal everywhere on the planet, as long as the people don't take these beliefs too far.
So my favorite part of the country was the Andes with the Papagallos. I'm a big fan of low crime and interesting culture along with some incredible landscape and adventure. These photos are from my solo three month mountain bike adventure From the Capital of Quito in the North to the Southern town of Vilcabamba in the south.
On the way I went around Cotapaxi! It is one of the biggest and most famous active volcanoes high up in the Andes at 5,897 meters (19,347ft) above sea level and last erupted just after I visited in 2015! I didn't have plans to climb it, mountain biking around it was enough of a thrill for me, but with a guide it is possible. And, yes, those are real wild horses that I encounter here in the middle of nowhere in the photo below. Hope you enjoyed my cultural lesson on Ecuador and we all can learn to love each other, monkey, parrot, or Amazonian savage! Until next time -Dan "World Travel Pro"