IBARRA - SAN LORENZO
The border trim across the top of Ecuador from Ibarra to San Lorenzo is lesser traveled, and it's a shame because this is such a sweet, peaceful, and gorgeously climactic ride. The first time I took it, I resolved it would be the place I would want to retire some day because it made me feel so good inside.
The most important aspect is that you will be traveling through the heart of the Valle Chota, Ecuador's proudly distinctive Afro-Ecuadorian region, containing many small villages
The north coast of Ecuador is not as sunny as the southern stretch, but it is definitely more lush and spellbinding. It's important that you take buses that go up the coastal road rather than the more direct routes to Esmeraldas that go inland via Santo Domingo.
You may not get far out of Manta before you're ready to stop and retire in San Clemente, the most cozy little beach town, so friendly and warm in every way, halfway to Bahia de Caraquez. Bahia itself sits on a grand bay, studded with luxury high rises.
Arguably one of the most popular routes in Ecuador, you will often hear this route referred to as the Ruta del Sol or Ruta del Spondylus, as it's packed full of sun and sand.
Your start to great surfing or bathing begins by heading from Guayaquil to Playas. On the way there, make sure to stop and visit the UFO drome, a former military base that they converted to an extraterrestrial museum - no kidding! Also, for more excluded and perhaps camping beaches, from Playas just go down the road to Puerto del Morro
Hey travelers! This is, under normal circumstances, a delightful route you can take either by bus or train. Alas, sometimes the train will only operate part of the route due to flooding and economics, so bus is the most predictable option.
Since you're starting in Oruro, get yourself limbered up first at the famous Obrajes thermal baths, or the not-so-famous but closer to town Capachos thermal baths.
Straight through, folks, this is an easy 2-3 hour bus ride through a popular area of Peru that conjures fantasies of being Lawrence in Arabia because of its sand desert environment. However, it is popular for several reasons that invite you to get off along the way and enjoy the wonders.
Right on the western outskirts of Ica you will find the Oasis of Huacachina, an small freshwater lake surrounded by imposing sand dunes that entices bathers to dip in, and so should you too!