Cuenca, Ecuador

My last city in Ecuador. Very nice colonial town despite the bad weather. On the way here I stopped by the Ingapirca ruins, my first Inca ruins. It was nice enough, but after… Continue reading

Baños: where all the tourists go

I don’t quite understand the draw of Baῆos. Yes it is beautiful: the town is built right below the Andes mountains. But it’s so touristy that it looks fake and made up. Like… Continue reading

the Amazon, Ecuador

The Amazon: where life is much simpler and the only way to tell time is by meals. No electricity. No internet. No hot showers. I stayed in a homestay of a very intelligent… Continue reading

Quito: to love or to hate?

I have a love/hate relationship with Quito. My first 2 days here I liked it a lot: yes it’s crowded, people jostle each other in the bus, some places are dirty, buildings look… Continue reading

Galapagos Islands

Baltra, where the airport is located, is my first island in the Galapagos.  Stepping out of the plane I could feel everyone’s excitement. The sun was sunnier, temperature higher, everything felt different and… Continue reading

Panama City

I stayed in Casco Viejo (“Old Town,”) the historic district in Panama City.  It was a nice break from the hustle of the business district. Casco Viejo is bordered by a massive wall… Continue reading

Costa Rica: San Jose, Poas Volcano and Coffee Plantation

My first thought of San Jose: “I’m in a “real” “modern” city.”  The city of San Jose has definitely seen the growth and development of western culture.  Gone were the cobblestones I loved,… Continue reading

Costa Rica: Monteverde and La Fortuna

Crossing the border from Nicaragua to Costa Rica was muddy on the Nicaraguan side (because of recent rain) and sunny and dry on the Costa Rican side. Right away I noticed more birds… Continue reading

Nicaragua: Granada and Ometepe Island

Spent a day and a half in Granada, which was a nice colonial town full of churches and colorful houses.  Met a Nicaraguan guy on the tower of La Merced church who excitedly… Continue reading