Buenaventura Nature Reserve, Ecuador

Remember that time I got to go butterfly collecting with Shane and Lucie? Well, we’re back, baby! The lab needed more butterflies, so Shane and I headed back to the field! This time, we started the trip in the Buenaventura Nature Reserve, in the south of the country. We had hoped to come here theContinue reading “Buenaventura Nature Reserve, Ecuador”

BFF Ecuadorian Adventures, Part 3: Mindo, Ecuador

The last stop on our BFF Ecuadorian Adventure was the small town of Mindo, located in a valley about 2.5 hours northwest of Quito. Mindo is known for its biodiversity, and after a few days in Quito, we were ready for a slower pace! Tip: Bring enough cash for your entire stay in Mindo. ThereContinue reading “BFF Ecuadorian Adventures, Part 3: Mindo, Ecuador”

BFF Ecuadorian Adventures, Part 2: Quilotoa Lake

The strike is over! After 18 days, the Ecuadorian government and the protest leaders reached a peace agreement. In the end, they negotiated lower gas prices, more money for education, some debt forgiveness, subsidies for farmers, healthcare improvements, amongst other things. Unfortunately, Sis and Terry still had to cancel their trip (they should have arrivedContinue reading “BFF Ecuadorian Adventures, Part 2: Quilotoa Lake”

BFF Ecuadorian Adventures, Part 1: Quito & Mitad del Mundo

At the time, we didn’t realize it, but we were so lucky that this trip was actually able to happen! As I’m writing this, we’re on day 12 of nationwide protests in Ecuador. Probably, you haven’t heard about this because the international news coverage has been strikingly thin. In short, CONAIE, the organization representing allContinue reading “BFF Ecuadorian Adventures, Part 1: Quito & Mitad del Mundo”

Tena, Ecuador: Arahuana Jungle Resort & Spa

Sometimes I forget that Tena is actually a city surrounded by nature…rainforest nature. A mere 2.6 km outside Tena is this beautiful resort tucked away in the forest. We first heard about Arahuana from Shane’s work colleague, who described this magical Resort del Dia (resort for the day) package. So, a few weeks ago, whenContinue reading “Tena, Ecuador: Arahuana Jungle Resort & Spa”

A Baños (Ecuador) Birthday Bash!

That’ll technically be Baños de Agua Santa since you may know that baños also means toilets. However, throw that “de aqua” behind it, and you’re talking about a water bath, for which the town is named. Baños de Agua Santa is near the Tungurahua volcano, thus named for the natural hot springs in the area!Continue reading “A Baños (Ecuador) Birthday Bash!”

Tena, Ecuador: Six-month Impressions

It’s hard to believe, but we’ve been in Ecuador for six months! Talking about how time flies feels cliche; it’s simultaneously so overused but so true. On the one hand, it feels like we’ve been here for a while. We’ve settled into our apartment and gotten into a daily routine. On the other hand, whereContinue reading “Tena, Ecuador: Six-month Impressions”

Hiking Cerro Mandango in Vilcabamba, Ecuador

Cerro Mandango, also known as “the sleeping Inca,” isn’t the only attraction in Vilcabamba, but it’s certainly one of the main ones. It felt wrong to leave without checking it out. So, when we found ourselves without plans on the last morning of our butterfly collecting trip, we hit the trail! This was quite easyContinue reading “Hiking Cerro Mandango in Vilcabamba, Ecuador”