Hiking the Ecuadorian Inca Trail with my girlfriend was such an experience, stunning landscapes, off the beaten track trek with almost nobody there. You are in total harmony with Nature over there and with the excellent attention from Travel2South and their guide Paul. I did the 4 days / 3 nights option because I was travelling from Quito and had time. First night we stayed at the a local accommodation with a typical dinner (very nice ambient to start the experience).
During the trek you can observe several Inca construction remains as Cuchicorral and Paredones (Tambo or Inca Inn) but the most important Ingapirca Archaeological Site at the end, WORTH IT !
I had trouble looking online for tour agencies in Ecuador who offered day trips to the San Rafael waterfall from Quito so I almost gave up until I came across Travel2South who saved the day! Cascada San Rafael was on the list of places I wanted to visit in Ecuador so they fixed it up for me.
The first stop we made was in Baeza where we had breakfast and after all it's good to have a break in travel when the journey can take about 3 hours. It was also interesting to look at the Coca Codo Sinclair dam on the way.
Came to the San Rafael waterfall and what a pretty sight it was and I was delighted that the dam construction hadn't ruined the flow of water (for now). Also saw some monkeys in the trees, what a bonus! On the way back we visited the Rio Malo waterfall on the way before heading back Baeza-bound, then we had dinner in Baeza before returning to Quito. I enjoyed the upper Amazon Basin sceneries on the way.
We made this tour with Travel 2 South on the recommendation of a friend. We were not disappointed and will remember it all our lives ! We liked that so much that we added an extra day in our 4 day stay.
The lodge is located in the heart of the jungle and is reached after a journey of 2 hours by boat. The small village around the lodge is very authentic. It consists of a main cabin with kitchen and large dining room. The other cabins are the rooms (superior and standard doubles or dorms). We were in a double room, the beds are very comfortable and mosquito nets allow sleep well with the atmosphere of the jungle and more, you have your own private bathrooms with hot water open to the jungle (or how to take a shower in nature).
The lodge are really in communion with nature and everything is done in a respectful way with the environment. (Filtering water, Waste management, solar energy ..)
The guides are people passionate by nature and transmit their know indescribably! Our guide, Jayro showed us a lot of things in no time. Obviously animals (monkeys, sloths, boas, anacondas, parrots, toucans and so on ..) but he also explained us the virtues of jungle plants and beliefs that surround them, which was exciting. The guides make your stay unforgettable and very attentive to the tourists.
Every day we go out with the boats on the river and observe wildlife. Incredible as it may seem, you can swim in a lake in the middle of the jungle sunset. The scenery is spectacular!
The food was super good and healthy. Every day we were served something different and it was always a three course with dessert. The breakfasts are homemade and served with fresh made bred & juice. Delicious.
Our expedition in a word? MAGICAL
The luxury Tour was an incredible experience with Travel2South. In the Ecolodge, all huts are built to blend in with the nature, clean, spacious and cozy. An afternoon nap on the hammock after an early morning in the forest is refreshing. Sipping a glass of fresh juice amidst the silence while watching the sunset above the lake from the high tower is unforgettable.
The hospitality and service is excellent. The staff called guests by name which is special. Welcome drink is awaited as soon as guests first arrived and after hours in the forest. All meals are well prepared, fresh and delicious.
Local guides are very knowledgeable. Bird watching from the tower above canopy with the sound of howlers from distance is fascinating. Taking canoe and walking in the forest at night is wonderful.
We personally appreciate their water treatment and environment protecting policies as well as no noise pollution. No engine boat but canoe is used. It is important not to disturb but to respect the wildlife.
We definitely would do it again with Travel2South Agency.