2 Weeks in Ecuador: itinerary ideas
Are you planning to spend 2 weeks in Ecuador and need intineray ideas? Though there’s an overload of information on the internet about things to in Ecuador, we’re here to provide tried and tested suggestions to ensure you have a memorable trip. Below are a few ideas you might want to consider while planning.
Plans for adventurers
Ecuador is an ideal destination for the adventurers among you and you’ll have no problem finding these types of activities during your 2 weeks in Ecuador.
If you want to go straight to a city known for its outdoor adventure activities, head to Baños. This small and tropical city in the mountains between the Andes and the Amazon isn’t just picturesque, its stunning! Baños is surrounded by lush mountains, rivers, rapids and oops, almost forgot, an active volcano! Though Volcano Tungurahua is constantly interrupting, the locals don’t seem to mind too much and life continues as usual.
Due to its location in the mountains leading to the rainforest, Baños is also a good jumping off point for those that want to explore the Amazon. As a result, many tour agencies have set up shop, further facilitating access to outdoor activities as well as day, and multi-day, tours to the Amazon.
A few of the activities you can enjoy in Baños include ziplining, mountain biking, horseback riding, river rafting, kayaking, hiking, canyoning and more. Still need more adrenaline? How about summiting that active volcano? Just make sure you don’t get stuck there when it starts spewing ashes and lava.
Foodie itineraries in Ecuador
Does food govern your life? No judgment here. In fact, I can relate, and planning 2 weeks in Ecuador for the enjoyment of your taste buds sounds like a good way to keep things interesting.
At an international level, Ecuadorian cuisine hasn’t received quite as much recognition as Peru. However, there are a few traditional dishes that rival even the best Peruvian delicacies. Different types of Ecuadorian cuisine can be found throughout the three different geographic regions: the coast, the Andes and the Amazon.
Along the northern coast you’ll come across the mouth-watering encocado, made with shrimp, fish and/or other seafood. Farther south along the coast you’ll find other seafood dishes flavored with peanut sauce and then, around the city of Guayaquil, you’ll find numerous crab-based dishes, like crab soup and crab in garlic sauce (cangrejo al ajillo). Last, but not least, the south of Ecuador boasts a pretty decent ceviche, though, if I’m going to honest, I have a personal preference for Peruvian ceviche.
In the Andes there are also a variety of local dishes you should try. One of the most shocking to visitors is guinea pig. That’s right, that fluffy little pet of yours could prove useful in a survival situation. In Ecuador, we like our guinea pigs grilled with a side of fries.
Another Andean dish for meat-eaters is yahuarlocro, made from lamb entrails and fried lamb blood. Mmm, yumming. The word locro is used to describe many kinds of soup in the Andes. Locro de papa is a delicious (and vegetarian) delicacy, often eaten with avocado, and is definitely worth a taste if lamb blood isn’t your kind of thing. While you’re in the Andes, another popular snack is cevichocho, and though it sounds like ceviche, it doesn’t have any fish in it, just dry, roasted corn, a tomato sauce, onions and popcorn. Costing just a dollar, you can’t pass up a taste of cevichocho.
Finally, in the Amazon region of the country, you’ll have a chance to try maito, a traditional dish where a freshwater fish is steamed in leaves and served with yuca. If you’re up for something a tad bit more adventurous, try chontacuro, or beetle larvae.
Get lost in Ecuadorian beaches
The Ecuadorian coast has more to offer than just tasty food. You could easily spend 2 weeks in Ecuador wandering through sleepy coastal towns, and that’s without mentioning the Galapagos Island’s breathtaking shoreline!
If you aren’t planning of visiting the Galapagos Islands on this trip, you can always opt for the Poor Man’s Galapagos Islands, officially called Isla de la Plata. Here, you can see an abundance of marine life while snorkeling, such as sharks, dolphins, turtles as well as many birds, including the famous blue-footed booby.
In the coastal town of Puerto Lopez, humpback whales are known to pass through a couple of times a year and sightings are nearly guaranteed. Daily whale watching tours depart from the south end of the beach early in the morning.
Are you a surfer? Check out a few surf spots in Mompiche, Ayampe, and Montañita. If you’re headed to Mompiche, make sure you stop through Portete, a long island covered in coconuts. In Ayampe, a sleepy surf town, you’ll be able to choose from a variety of cute hotels and restaurants and probably want to stay there long-term! And in Montañita you’ll see the sun rise on various occasions due to its active party life.
Go shopping for an indigenous souvenir
Even 2 weeks in Ecuador isn’t complete without doing some souvenir shopping. Ecuador’s artisanal epicenter is definitely in Otavalo, a small city about 2 hours from Quito. Head there on a Saturday to experience the local market in full swing. There, you’ll find hand-woven tapestries, alpaca-cotton blankets, and sweaters, as well as tagua and silver jewelry.
Though Otavalo is, by far, the most popular artisanal market, you can explore much of the Andes by visiting different local markets as you head south. Head to the Guamote (Riobamba) market with the Wanderbus Aguila Pass to buy indigenous crafts, ponchos, hats and hand-embroidered tapestries.
In Cuenca, another incredible destination you can’t miss during your 2 weeks in Ecuador, you can spend days combining a trip to the local artisanal market with visits to nearby towns like Gualaceo, Chordeleg, and Sigsig. Each of these towns is known for the goods local artisans produce, ranging from leather goods to silver jewelry to “Panama” hats (these are actually Ecuadorian!).
Party all night long
Every traveler has their priorities, and many come here with the hopes to party with friends and possibly make new acquaintances (aka hook up). If that’s the case for you, you’ve come to the right country. Ecuadorians love to party (and hook up).
Many of the country’s top destinations are great party towns, including Baños and Montañita. In Baños, a hotspot for outdoor adventure, many visitors want to blow off steam after a fun day out on the river. Eloy Alfaro is a street in town lined with small, and some big, bars where you can go grab a drink and dance the night away.
In Montañita, the party reaches a whole ‘nother level. Known for its never-ending beach parties and social activities, Montañita is a mecca for many beach-loving tourists. Argentines and Chileans flock to Montañita on an annual basis, not to mention Ecuadorians, and this international mix of people, plus tourists from Europe and North America, makes for some hard-core partying.
If you prefer a quieter beach feel but would still like to be close the action, consider staying in Olón, which is right beside Montañita.
Hopefully the above ideas helped get your creative juices flowing to plan your 2 weeks in Ecuador. Regardless of how you plan it, you’re bound to have an incredible time.
If you’d like a straight-forward way to plan your itinerary, consider buying a Wanderbus pass. Our passes have been designed to take travelers to all of Ecuador’s must-see destinations and include an English-speaking guide, as well as numerous recommendations at each place you stop through.