Photographer Peter West Carey interviews a naturalist doctor about why he's been drawn to the Peruvian jungle 19 times. We think after reading this piece, you’ll want to go too (at least once)!
Feel like a local at an Amazon homestay, relax on Ecuador's beaches, witness Andean scenery, ride by train to the Devil's Nose, learn from the locals at an indigenous community, shop the Otavalo Market
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If you want to sample the region’s highlights without sacrificing some of its lesser-known gems, there’s no better way to experience Ecuador's dramatic scenery and colourful people. Visit the Amazon and a shaman for an incredible introduction to indigenous culture, and witness lush jungles and exotic wildlife. Staying in simple hotels and homestays and using public transport will keep you grounded in the local customs and culture. We'll travel from the Avenue of the Volcanoes to relaxing Pacific beaches and mountain hot springs. This adventure offers up a great combination of must-see highlights and free time to explore on your own.
Arrive at any time.
Head down winding roads to the Amazon Basin and spend the night in Tena.
Enjoy a free day in Tena with options like visiting an animal rescue centre, caving, and whitewater rafting. Later, head for 2 nights with a local Quichua family at a homestay in a small Amazonian village. Enjoy nature walks and visits with the local shaman.
Spend the day exploring the area around the homestay, learning more about local life in the jungle.
Travel to Baños and enjoy numerous outdoor optional activities available like hiking, horseback riding, and mountain biking or soaking in the hot springs.
Enjoy free time to experience all this adventurous town has to offer.
Travel to Alausí via Riobamba and take in the architecture of this local town.
Board the train for an included excursion bound for the Devil's Nose. After, continue by bus to Guayaquil, the largest city in Ecuador.
Head to the beach town Puerto Lopez and Machalilla National Park. There are tons of activities in the area to take part in over the next few days.
Enjoy free time to explore. Optional activities include a day trip to Isla de la Plata, hiking in Machalilla National Park, a visit to a local community reforestation project, snorkelling or relaxing on the beach. Opt to go whale watching (when in season).
Spend another full day in Puerto López before an overnight bus to Quito.
Arrive in the morning and enjoy a free day in Quito. Opt to take a city tour, ride the cable car up the nearby volcano or relax in one of the city's many cafés and restaurants.
Travel to the indigenous community of San Clemente. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditional ways during a homestay. Opt to enjoy a cultural evening and show with typical food.
Spend a full day here with optional hikes to learn about the area's medicinal plants or trek up the Imbabura Mountain. Interact with the locals and learn about their traditions.
Head to Otavalo, famous for its market. Opt to visit the Peguche Waterfall and Cotacachi leather market or hike around Cuicocha Lake.
Explore some more before travelling back to Quito in the afternoon for one final night out in the capital city.
Depart at any time.
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