First-Hand Reports

Afternoon Run

The Río Pano is the perfect River for an Afternoon Run. Simple WW2 in middle of  rain forest. Halfway through the run, there is a small jungle bar. We of course take a short stop and refresh ourselves with a cold beer. Directly at the exit then the next highlight. An outstanding Tacco bar is located here. So, we let the day end, devastatingly good tacos and fresh drinks. Then the boat was shouldered and 3 min back to the hostel, the middle of Tena.

— here:

Baños, Puyo, Tena, Misahualli

Kajak Hostel Ecuador

Laguna Azul in Tena


New Year's Eve at 4.000 m altitude!

On Friday, 22.12.2017, 6 adventurers met in Baeza / Ecuador to experience land and people. Sabine and Klaus were very happy that Monika, Elke, Jürgen and Gabriel wanted to travel with them for two weeks to the beautiful Ecuador.

On Saturday we went to the bear trek at Papallacta Pass (4,000m) to acclimatize. The promised spectacled bears were hidden, but it was still a beautiful walk over 6 hours in over 4000m altitude and at the end we still had a magnificent view of the volcano Antisana (5704m).

Christmas was served for recreation. After a trip to the thermal bath of Papallacta, we experienced a very different Christmas Eve in an international circle at a real feast, cooked by Gina.

On the 25th of December, after an extensive breakfast in the Birdwatching-Cafe, we made our way to new adventures, to Tena. A raft trip on the Rio Jatunyacu with accommodation in the abandoned Indio village Shandia awaited us. Our guides Julian and Markus bought provisions for the next two days in the market halls of Tena and discussed with us clothing and sleeping on the river. The next morning we started early. 2 Camionetas (Pick Up Taxi) brought us, with a short stopover at the Laguna Azul, to the raft entrance. The luggage, including provisions, was stowed in the raft and we were assigned by Raftguide Markus our places in the raft. After detailed safety talk and paddling instructions, it was accompanied by our Safety kayakers Julian and Klaus finally go. In the words of our guide: "If you go overboard ..." everyone thought: "No, I do not want to bathe here"! The brisk ride over huge waves taught some rafters of another! Arrived at our place, the raft was unloaded and everyone was looking for a place to sleep. Gabriel and Sabine a hammock and Monika a Thermarest matte under a tin roof, Elke and Jürgen 2 tables under mosquito nets with an unobstructed view of the river and Klaus the upturned raft under not quite dense canopy. Julian and Markus prepared an excellent dinner. Fresh chicken marinated with lime juice and cilantro grilled on open fire with rice and vegetables. Very, very delicious! In the meantime, we took a walk in the "new" village Shandia and made contacts with the population. After dinner we sat around the campfire before we took our beds. When we woke up the next morning "surprise", it had rained all night and the water had raised a good 1 meter. With a delicious breakfast, consisting of porridge and fruit, we discussed how to proceed. Rafttour break off and drag the raft to the street or, as we decided then, first wait. By noon the water had run so far that we could continue rafting. We soon arrived, after a brisk trip without bathing, Puerto Napo. The Camionetas were already waiting for us and soon we were back in Tena. In the evening, with a cocktail on the waterfront, we let the 2 adventurous days review again.

Before breakfast we went on 28.12. to Puyo. There, a 2-day jungle tour awaited us around the Rio Pastaza. We visited an Indian village, bathed by a waterfall and the highlight: jungle hike with a canyon in a swimsuit and rubber boots. Very atmospheric, a ride on the dugout on the Rio Pastaza.

In the evening 29.12. we reached Abby's Hideaway in Baños. The next day we took a taxi to the entrance to the Thurungaua National Park, at an altitude of 3,000m, and made the next acclimatization tour to the Refugio at 3,800m. In 3 hours we made our way and were very surprised. The hut has been farmed for several months, as the Thurungaua was classified as no longer active. In the evening we recovered in the thermal springs of Baños.

We went on 31.12. the adventurous, but very scenic, way to the Laguna Quilotoa. We arrived at 5pm and it started to pour out of tubs. Our accommodation at the Laguna was 3,800m high and the height was a bit rough for everyone. No one was able to stay awake until midnight after dinner. We set the alarm clock shortly before midnight to at least with mineral water on the New Year toasting. A really different New Year's Eve. When we met for breakfast on 1.1.2018 it had stopped raining, but during the night there had been a real weather crash and the mountains around the Laguna were covered with snow down to 4200 m. It cleared up and so we decided to go and try the circumnavigation, Anti Clockwise. After 2 hours the highest point of the hike, 4.016m, was reached and as the weather got better and better, we walked on and after 6 hours we proudly finished the circuit.

On 2.1. In the afternoon we reached Riobamba and met with our guide Luis, who led the Chimborazo circumnavigation, the highlight of our Ecuador trip. Wellington boots and rain ponchos, which we thankfully did not need to use, warm sleeping bags and thermos flasks for warm tea were distributed and the next morning we went into the mountains. After about 1 hour drive, we expected our "Andean Taxi" with Indio Guide Leonardo at an altitude of about 3.800m to accompany us the next two days. On the "wet" side of Chimborazo, past small indigenous settlements, fields and bogs, we reached a pass, 4400m, which connects the Chimborazo with its "little brother" Carihuairazo (5.020m). After 7 ½ hours of wonderful high mountain hike we reached one of the highest settlements of Ecuador at about 4.200m altitude, Mechahuasca. The community maintains a small Refugio, where we could sleep and were supplied by Luis, Leonardo, his wife Ewa and their 12 year old daughter Vanessa, excellent with a delicious dinner and breakfast. At around 9 pm we slipped tiredly into our warm sleeping bags. The next day we expected dream weather. But because of the weather fall on New Year's Eve, it was not possible to reach the Carrel hut, 4.800m, on the way. There was just too much snow! We decided to continue the way for about 4 hours to a driveway through the "high desert" on the dry side of the Chimborazo and then to drive with our Camionetas to the Carrel hut. Along the way, the landscape really changed to the desert landscape and we were able to observe many Vecunia herds. Arrived at the Carrel hut everybody felt quite fit and we decided to venture to the Whymper hut, 5043m. We all happily and happily reached the highest goal of our journey. To celebrate the day we treated ourselves to a hot chocolate on the working hut and then went back to Riobamba.

Slowly our journey was coming to an end. We walked on 5.1. our way back to Quito and lunch at our hostel in the old town. We decided to visit a "must" in Ecuador, Mitad del Mundo, the equatorial monument. It is very special to stand with one leg on the north and with the other on the southern hemisphere of the earth. We left the day with a good 5,000er wine, donated by Gabriel, finish. We took a stroll through the beautiful old town of Quito, with chocolate and coffee tasting. Unfortunately we had to leave for the airport and the eventful days in Ecuador were over.

We have experienced many adventures, had many interesting encounters with lovable Ecuadorians and have collected many new impressions. One thing is certain:

"At some point we will surely come back to Ecuador - come with us!"


Kayaking holiday in Ecuador

This winter it was finally ready, skiing by by ! Kayaking holiday in Ecuador the year 2016/17 stood on the plan. After my son Markus of every winter in Ecuador spends and home brings breathtaking stories and pictures year after year, I wanted to dare also to travel the boof paradise Ecuador and to explore.

Arrived in Ecuador, we were very warmly received with in Baeza, the heart of the Paddle community Ecuador. The restaurant Gina / familial Hostel accommodate paddlers from all over the world. During the day were paddled the various sections of the Quijos, Cosanga and Oyachachi and evening the hero stories, while delicious food by Gina, discussed. The rivers offer with their various sections of paddling fun for a week, and every day a new section can be explored. The difficulties are very dependent on the rain. Thus come the extreme paddlers as well at their expense as the pleasure-paddlers. Most of the "Chaco Canyon" has fascinated me, a section of the Rio Quijos. Large sections are located in a basalt Canyon deep, which has incredible rock formations, which almost look as if they were made by hand. But far from it, it is simply the beauty of nature in Ecuador that brought about these formations.

Next, our trip went to Tena. TENA is situated in the lowlands of Ecuador and is surrounded in all directions by rain forest. There are tropical warm temperatures. The rivers in Tena character offer much WW3 up to WW4 drop and pool. Markus and Julian organized everything for us. Hostels, breakfast and dinner in small but fine restaurants as well as the transfer to  and back.. In the evening we were able to strengthen us on the market with local goodies.

The sections that I could paddle were varied and always a special surprise to offer. The Rio Jatunacu has me particularly in memory. He offers balancing water in 3 difficulty at its finest. Waves of 5 m up to height and infinitely beautiful scenery. As a highlight, a small side Canyon can be taken shortly before the end. Right and left vertical walls with lush tropical plants that grow like a roof over the Canyon. There are also many exotic creatures such as Rob, snakes, spiders, butterflies, etc.

In the evening, the boys had to offer even a delicacy. The Río Pano is the perfect River for an afternoon run. Simple WW2 in middle of pristine rainforest. Halfway through the run, there is a small jungle bar. We of course make a short stop and refresh ourselves with a cold beer. Directly at the exit then the next highlight. Here is an excellent Tacco bar. So, we let the day end, devastatingly good tacos and fresh drinks. Then the boat was shouldered and 3min back to the hostel, and the Center in Tena.

After a week in Tena's name was bid farewell and continued the trip. Our next destination was called Baños. The starting point for most mountain tours in Ecuador. The highest mountain in Ecuador, Chimborazo, can be reached from here. But also the Paddler come at their expense. Most of the rivers were too heavy for me. But I could refine my balancing water skills on the Rio Pastaze. The remaining rivers of Baños are among the heaviest mobile streams in Ecuador. Here all WW5 can dare paddlers to their limit.

After the numerous and action packed whitewater rafting, it was time to explore Ecuador on foot. Mark and Julian have organized some trips for me. A volcano climbing in the tropical rain forest turned out to be as real mudslinging and exhausting but through some involuntary mud baths also very funny. In the evening, were all satisfied with it and told of the exploits in the dense rain forest and knee-deep mud.
After this effort, a quiet day was planned. Julian and mark brought us to a Café with a small Pavilion in the middle of the rain forest. Excellent Ecuadorean coffee, we could dangle the soul and observe the biodiversity of native birds with binoculars.

Quickly, the eventful days were over and said goodbye. In Baeza, we were adopted by Gina with a very good dinner. There were fresh fish directly from the stream, we had paddled. Some cold beers and the classic "Tequilla" Ecuador, let's review the last few weeks and decided to come back in the next winter. Mark and Julian new attractions and adventure promised us for next year.

I can recommend anyone to visit Ecuador with the paddle boat. Just report to Markus and Julian. The guys will give you an unforgettable holiday.

— here: Restaurant Gina