The Sierra, the Galapagos Islands, the Coastal Region and the Amazon Rain Forest
The Sierra - When looking down on the area from a bird's eye view, the Ecuadorian Andes jump out of the surrounding blanket with a collage of colors. It is as if nature has created its own embroidery. The region is jam-packed with a certain cultural and natural diversity that brings many visitors back time and time again. Ecuador's region of the Andes consists of over 30 volcanic cones, many over 5,000 meters and almost a third still active. One of these, the snow-capped Cotopaxi, is the world's highest active volcano. Numerous national parks and protected areas of wilderness feature a wide range of microclimates and enormous bio-diversity, making the Sierra a paradise. For every nature lover and bird-watcher whose imagination is stimulated by the idea of a Cloud Forest, visiting Mindo is a must. Bromeliads and orchids, hummingbirds and tanagers, and toucans all vie for our attention, and could keep any dedicated naturalist enthused for a lifetime of observation. More Info Here
The Galapagos Islands - The volcanic Galapagos islands sit about 650 miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. At first, they appear to be desolate. Yet, these rough and rocky isles are home to wonderfully strange and abundant wildlife. As Charles Darwin some 200 years before us, we marvel at the highly adapted creatures found nowhere else on earth. Giant Galapagos tortoises meander distant highlands, and prehistoric marine iguanas sun themselves on black lava rocks along the shore. Flightless cormorants and tiny penguins dart through the waters while graceful red-billed tropicbirds screech across the sky. For more information about Galapagos, Click Here
The Coastal Region - Ecuador's coast is a composition of beautiful lush green mangrove forests, a jungle, crystal clear waters, stunning white sandy beaches and many quaint fishing villages. Humpback Whale Watching, diving, snorkeling, surfing and relaxing on the beach with a cocktail are only a few of the pursuits you can look forward to while visiting the coast of Ecuador.
The Amazon - Ecuador's Amazon Rainforest (also known as the Oriente in Ecuador) contains some of the planet's most bio-diverse ecosystems and are home to thousands of indigenous peoples who have lived there for millennia. The great expanse of the jungle contains more than twenty percent of the earth’s vascular plant species. Here you can find a monkey small enough to sit on your fingertip, an eight pound toad, a spider that eats birds, and the world’s largest snake, the 30-foot anaconda. The Amazon basin occupies about a third of Ecuador. most tours offered originate out of Quito. Here are a couple of tours offered. Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve and Yasuní National Park.
The Quito Hop on Hop off Double Decker Bus Tour This is a must for all visitors. The bus takes you all around the city, pointing out places of interest. An all day pass is $15 and you can get off and back on all day long, great for exploring and learning about Quito. The narration is in Spanish and English.
Foch Square - Plaza Foch is one of the busiest places for fun and entertainment. There are many great restaurants and shops. It is a very popular area of Quito.
See the Presidential Palace - In Independence Square
Discover Old Town - With many pedestrian-only streets, the colonial center is sprawling, from plaza to plaza and cathedrals to museums.
Visit relaxing Papallacta Hot Springs Spa and Resort - This is an integral holistic experience that will awake all your senses.
Surrounding Area Quito The Amazon Galapagos The Cloud Forest Other Exciting Parts of Ecuador
Pakakuna is about an hour away from Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Close enough to enjoy the benefits of a large city, and after visiting return to our country setting here at Pakakuna Gardens. The new international airport, Mariscal Sucre is a 20 minute drive from Pakakuna. Quito is stationed at nearly 10,000 feet, twice as high as Denver. Because it is so close to the equator, the weather in temperate and mild.
Quito is one of the most compelling cities in Latin America. Nestled in a long, narrow valley in the Andes on the slopes of Mt. Pichincha to the west, Quito enjoys a spectacular natural setting. The Ecuadorian capital city’s mix of colonial and modern architecture creates a fascinating environment. In addition to being the site of the Ecuadorian government, Quito is also the nation’s cultural capital, with an impressive selection of museums, festivals, and nightlife.
Ecuador, Known as the Land of Four Worlds in One Place
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Expats of Pakakuna
Pakakuna Gardens Homes for Sale in Ecuador
Discover Ecuador and Our Surrounding Area
A few places to see and things to do in Quito
Our Surrounding Area
PositivTurismo - Customized private & small-group tours! Rental Cars, Active Tours, Day Trips. Andes,
Amazon, Coast, Galapagos. Whether you are looking for a private day trip, or a week long adventure, check
out PositivTurismo for the best selection and prices in the area. Website - PositivTurismo.com
While we are located close to the small town of Checa, most of our shopping areas are a short distance away. Tumbaco and Cumbaya are cities with malls and large grocery stores and are only about 20 miles. If you have a car, it is very simple. If you do not have a car, the taxi service from Pakakuna into Checa is only $2.00. From there, you can either taxi to Tumbaco, Cumbaya or on to Quito (another 15 minutes by car,) or you can catch the bus. The bus stops right in front of Ventura Mall, Paseo San Francisco Mall and Scala Shopping Mall.
Scala Shopping Mallis an upscale American-style mall including a large food court, a multi-Cineplex, MegaMaxi (similar to a Super Walmart) and many fine stores and boutiques. This is where many of the residents of Pakakuna do their weekly grocery shopping.
Checa's neighboring town of El Quinche has wonderful open air markets and a Sunday Flea Market. The taxi from Pakakuna to El Quinche is only $4.00.
One other place that is a must see is Cuenca. Dating from the 16th century, Cuenca’s historic center, a Unesco World Heritage Site with its trademark skyline of massive rotundas and soaring steeples, is a place time keeps forgetting; nuns march along cobblestone streets, kids in Catholic-school uniforms skip past historic churches, and old ladies spy on promenading lovers from their geranium-filled balconies. Cuenca is a walking city, with miles of paths along the river, but don't leave home without an umbrella and a jacket or sweater. When the sun ducks behind a cloud or it starts to rain, which it does nearly every day, the temperature plummets 10-15 degrees Fahrenheit. They say that in Cuenca you usually experience all four seasons every day. More Info About Cuenca