Young Pioneer Tours

Top 5 Things to do in Ecuador

5. Get stylish with an original Ecuadorian made Panama Hat

It comes as a surprise to most people to find out that Panama hats originate in Ecuador, not Panama as the name may lead you to believe. The name comes from traders who would take the hats to Panama and sell them to people on their way to California during the Goldrush. Rated by the quality and number of weaves, the best of these hats can take up to 8 months of labour, just during the weaving process after that comes shaping the brim, bleaching the Toquilla straw used to make the hat and adding any branding or colouring. The art of weaving these Toquilla hats has been included in the UNESCO World Intangible Cultural Heritage list and the world record for most weaves in one of these hats is four thousand per square inch! Sadly the tradition of weaving these hats is dying due to competition from cheaper more industrialized hats made overseas, so while you’re in Ecuador do your bit to keep the art alive, and make yourself look smooth as silk as an added bonus.

4. Join a Wayusa Tea drinking ceremony

Indigenous tribes in the Amazon have been drinking Wayusa (sometimes spelled Guayusa) for at least 1500 years and it is becoming a trendy alternative to coffee in the west. Known for its effects as a stimulant, it’s also used by some tribes in early morning ceremonies where they discuss and interpret the meaning of their dreams. These tribes consider dreams extremely important, being able to analyze a person based on their dreams or even that they can predict the future. The Wayusa tea is believed to help focus the mind to interpret dreams and besides that, let’s face it a shot of Caffeine in the morning is something most people enjoy.

3. Visit the Historical city of Quito

Quito was one of the first cities to be given UNESCO World Heritage status and it’s easy to see why, as it has some of the best-preserved Colonial-era buildings and structures on Earth. From the Basilica del Voto Nacional to the Carondelet Palace the city absolutely bursts with historically important and beautiful buildings. Throw in the Pichincha volcano right next to the city, making it easy to get up high for an awe-inspiring view and the local culture and cuisine and Quito is a definite highlight of any trip to Ecuador and then there’s also the Virgin of El Panecillo- Taller than Christ the Redeemer at 41 meters, and perched atop a 200-meter high hill, the world’s tallest Aluminium statue can be seen from throughout the city.

2. Enjoy the colourful Cuisine of Ecuador

Thanks to the varying altitudes of Ecuador and the difference between internal and coastal regions, the traditional Cuisine of the country has great diversity and we think it’s severely underrated. With dishes such as Ceviche, Langostinos, Locro Soup ( A Potato Based soup paired with two of life’s greatest pleasures avocado and cheese) and Llapingachos and for the more adventurous Cuy (Guinea Pig) or Librillo, a dish made with the stomach lining of a cow there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Add to that drinks such as Canelazo- A cocktail made with the local firewater Aguardiente and an absolutely phenomenal range of fresh juices and we’re sure you’ll agree after your visit that Ecuadorian food deserves more recognition.

1. Explore the Amazon Rainforest

Without a doubt, this is the absolute highlight of any trip to Ecuador, but it’s not enough to just see it. In our Ecuador Amazon Rainforest Tour, we’ll spend three nights in the Amazon, visit Indigenous Tribes, Hike through the Jungle, Boat deep down the Amazon river and get an up-high view out over the rainforest itself. We’ll also learn about the Rainforest and it’s Flora and Fauna from Local guides and the Tribespeople who live in it. The Amazon is truly one of the earth’s greatest treasures and a must-see life experience!

If you are interested in our Ecuador tour this year please contact us by clicking here.

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