The first 6 weeks
As I write these lines, I have been in Ecuador for almost 6 weeks. My first stop in the country has been the town of Tulcán, a pleasant mountain town where the most interesting activities are eating and drinking at the central market, and a visit to the town's cemetery.
Strangely, my first visit in the country has been a cemetery. Along the path, the tree hedges are sculpted in nice shapes, and it's more like walking in a botanical garden than in a cemetery.
Thereafter, I headed toward the Pacific Coast of Ecuador. For the first kilometres, I followed a route called the Trans-Ecuador Trail. It's an itinerary that was designed mainly for adventure cyclists, but that almost exclusively follow country roads. It's also an excellent road for motorbikes. All along the trails, the scenery is spectacular, and it's also a pleasure to drive them since there is very little traffic, and there is no need to be wary of buses and trucks that are too often driven too fast.
I followed the coast for two weeks in order to discover the various coastal landscapes that the country has to offer. Honestly, it was not one of my favourites regions. Excepted a few specific places, I think Ecuador cannot compete with the beaches of Central America. I must admit that the grey weather, normal at this time of the year, didn't help to appreciate the costal scenery. Without the sun, the colour of the sand and water is rather dull and sad.
The place I liked the most was the Machalilla National Park. One of the attractions of the park is a visit to Isla de la Plata, where it's possible to observe a few species of birds from up close. But the most interesting has been to see whales and turtles on the boat ride to the island, located about 40 km from the coast.
In addition to Isla de la Plata, the park protects a region of the coast where some very nice beaches can be enjoyed. The most famous of these beaches is the Los Frailes beach.
Before going back to the mountains, I stopped for a few days in the city of Guayaquil. It's a very nice city with a nice promenade along the Guayas River.
To be continued in the mountains of Ecuador.