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Trip Report

Discovering Ecuador hidden treasures

A 1-month trip through Ecuador most beautiful landscapes

by julien2012mjAtlasGuru Contributor

South AmericaEcuador9 days / June 2021

Highs & Lows

Pink delphins in Amazonia are not to be missed

Weather change a lot from the very sunny coast to the rainy Amazon

Itinerary Overview

I was traveling along the beautiful Ecuadorian coast and I wanted to stop by Puerto Lopez because it's one of the best places to see whales.

We did a whale watching tour that I really recommend when you're traveling during the good season (June to September). The sea was a bit agitated (2 hours in a boat can be long) but we managed to see whales, dolphins, and we even scuba-dived on the Island Isla de la Plata. A walk on the island was also included, and we saw some endemic birds in the road. 

From Puerto Lopez, you can also go to the Frailes Beach, one of the best in Ecuador, where you swim along with pelicans. If you like to party, you're one hour driving from Montanita which has one of the best clubs in the world (Lonely Beach) and apart from that is very famous for its hippie vibe.

We went to Otavalo for three days to enjoy the great hikes you can do all around. There's also a very famous market on the "Plaza de Los Ponchos" where you can buy typical andine jackets.

The first day we headed directly to Mojanda Lake after an hour of driving on the mountain. The hike wasn't so difficult but we had very bad weather which made it difficult to go down the mountain. The view was great though, while we were descending the clouds took off leaving us a beautiful lake whose water looked like emeralds, surrounded by mountains.

On the next day, we went to Cuicocha's lake a see another joy of Ecuadorian landscapes. The mix of colors with the blue of the water and the green islands looked like a magical place.  

The purpose of this visit was to discover the Amazon forest. 

We did a lot of things during the 3 days, discovering the reserve by boat and walking. By doing so we enjoyed the very diversified fauna: birds (parrots, ibis, "stinky turkey") monkeys, anacondas, and eventually dolphins. We  also saw some spiders, ants, and insects of all kinds.

We had the opportunity to swim in a big lake and saw the beautiful sunset on it. When  it was dark we came back with the boat and were able to see the Caimans.

  • 3 Nights: Puerto Lopez
    Whale watching tour
  • 3 Nights: Otavalo
    The view on cuichocha's lake is breathtaking
  • 3 Nights: Reserva de producción de Fauna Cuyabeno
    Pink dolphins most of all

Q & A

  • What would you have changed?

    Spending more time on each location, most of all in the Amazon Lodge

  • Anything go wrong during the trip?

    We had a lot of rain in the mountains and the Amazon region, be sure to have a rain poncho

  • Booking details?

    Use booking but just to know which place you should contact directly by Whatsapp


  • Hotel Yemaya, not really calm because in front of the main road but clean and cheep and the owner is very cool and has a lot of good plans

  • Hostal El Andariego, very nice place, quiet and clean. Restaurant at first floor with great dishes. Great owners who can bring you to main excursions with their pickups

  • Nicky Lodge, great location, the best in Cuyabeno according to trip advisor. Very professional staff, incredible food