Hi! My name is Nargiza and I come from far away: Uzbekistan, in Central Asia! For me, traveling to Ecuador was something completely exotic because every time I went out exploring, I got amazed by its green landscapes, dense jungles, inspiring mountains, and breathtaking views. Considering my low level in Spanish, my first time visiting South America and my desire to save money and time, I decided to book my trip through a travel agency. I asked my friends for recommendations in Ecuador, which led me to Ecuatraveling travel company. Since then, my journey began: I started my travel in the Sierra of Ecuador, which was full of volcanoes, mountains, forests and my FAVORITE animals, LLAMAS! Then, I traveled to the West of Ecuador in search of beautiful waterfalls, and I found more than I could ever imagine! So, in this blog, I want to tell you more about my trip to a small town called La Mana.
We set off at 6 in the morning from Pujili, a small town in the Andes of Ecuador and expected a road trip of 3 hours. And WOW! Those 3 hours remain one of the most memorable moments of my life. I was so sleepy but couldn't take a single nap because the beautiful landscape kept me astonished and my eyes wild open. We kept driving all the way up and it looked like we were reaching the sky. Within such a short time, the climate and diversity of nature changed so many times. First, it was dry, cold and the mountains were a colorful green with little inhabitants in the area. Later, the scene changed: it felt warmer, wilder and we were surrounded by huge rocky mountains. The most amazing fact is that we were always driving so close to the mountains that it allowed me to take a closer look at the exciting highlands. I felt so little and insignificant in this big world, my soul was full of gratitude. Next hour, the scenery made a switch to warm and humid climate, the mountains covered with dense, intense green vegetation growing tall and wild. I saw rivers running in such a lively way between the jungle paths. Everything seemed so fresh, so I opened the window to fill my lungs with pure air.
Finally we arrived at La Mana and our guide explained to us how we would get to the most popular waterfalls around the town called “Las siete cascadas” (Seven Waterfalls). Luckily, it was 20 minutes away so we hit the road right away. The real adventure started when we entered the narrow, muddy and bumpy roads to the waterfalls which was so fun! To the left and the right side we were surrounded by countless numbers of cacao and banana plantations of all types! That was an exotic paradise. Green, red and yellow bananas were so tempting to harvest. On the way we stopped to observe the locals doing the first stage of chocolate preparation which is taking out the cacao beans and letting them dry. They offered us locally grown bananas for the road which tasted damn good! Imagine 20 minutes of driving and seeing nothing but plantations. If it is hard to do so, watch my video above!
Within the next ten minutes we arrived at the waterfalls. All areas surrounded by rushing rivers, plants and trees. I loved how waterfalls shaped themselves, it is like a museum when you go from one painting to another not having to go far. The hike was easy and enjoyable. We were using ropes from tree to the tree to climb which made the experience more adventurous and fun. The waters were crystal clear and refreshing so we couldn't resist swimming. Despite the powerful streams of water washing us away we could make it under the waterfall! Everybody was laughing, screaming happily. I felt proud we visited all 7 waterfalls. Each one is unique and magical in its own way.
I continue exploring Ecuador and can't wait to share more of my journeys with you. So far I can say Ecuador is a wonderful land full of beautiful places to visit. If you want exotic experience and variety of activities I promise this is the right place to be!
Written by Nargiza Erkinova ( IG: @en_nargiz)