A Latina’s Retreat to Enchanting Ecuador

Ecuador is a country of amazing beauty.

The environment is quite varied —  from its beaches and volcanoes, to ruins of ancient cultures, to the rainforests of the Amazon, and the Galapagos Islands right off the coast. Latin Biz Today Partner Johanna Godinez shares her experiences in traveling through the country.

Due to the nature of my business, I have the honor of visiting some of the most amazing locations that this planet has to offer. I often gravitate towards the coast, as the ocean is constantly tugging on my heart. However, when I was looking for a place to host the next yoga adventure retreat, I desired to find a dream location where I could get lost in the beauty of nature, so I started looking for locations close to the jungle or the mountains in South America and Ecuador caught my eye.

I had not heard too much about Ecuador, so I started to look bit into it. Ecuador straddles the equator on the west coast of South America. It has a vastly diverse landscape — encompassed by the Amazon jungle, the Andean highlands, and the rich wildlife of the Galápagos Islands. Ecuador’s rich history and diverse geography have forged communities along Pacific coastlands, upon the cool mountain tops, and which extend through the lushly vegetated ecosystems of the rainforest. 

Ecuador is a country with multi-ethnic heritage.

Most of its locals are mestizos or a mix of Spanish and Indian, and all are influenced by some indigenous, African, Spanish, or European genetics. The country’s population of about 15 million is divided almost evenly between coastal residents and mountain residents, with only about 5% of the population living in the rainforest on the eastern part of the country. 

Although the best places to visit in Ecuador will depend on your specific interests, this place has plenty of adventure for those that enjoy cultural exploration, sight-seeing in nature, adventure sports or just simply relaxing while taking in the spectacular views. There’s really something for everyone in this country!

The capital of Ecuador, Quito, has a population of about 2 million. Located in the Andean foothills, at an elevation of over 8,000 feet, it is best known for its well preserved Spanish historic center, with decorations from the 16th and 17th century and its number of religious sites. 

About 50 minutes away from Quito, in the town of Mejia, on Avenida los volcanes (volcano avenue), I found this incredible location called Sierra Alisos. I was floored by the beautiful mountains, volcanoes, jungles, and culture. 

This refurbished hacienda house in the Machachi valley, has 90 acres surrounded by mountains and volcanoes. There are hiking trails that feature incredible scenic views and unique landscapes, you can horseback ride, bike ride, go to an expedition to the Atacazo volcano, bird watch or take part in the daily tasks of the hacienda, such as working their various food gardens. 

Join me in Ecuador from May 4-9 and discover some of what this beautiful country has to offer. From the 90-acre location where we will be staying, to the adventures we will be experiencing and the home-grown organic foods we will be having!

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