exploring ecuador

We’re In The Andes! The Culture Shock I’ve Been Craving

I never imagined my first trip to the world’s longest continental mountain range would be while traveling around the world in a sailboat.  Yet, here we are. In the Andes.

In case you haven’t been following along, we left Curiosity in Bahia de Caraquez and are on a two-week road trip through Ecuador.  So, while we didn’t sail here, overland travel is just as much a part of the sailing lifestyle as crossing oceans.  How is that possible?  Because sailing is about exploring the world and always has been.  Columbus set out to discover the new world…not simply to be at sea.

We’re out to discover the world! And sometimes, that includes road trips.  So here we are, in Quito, Ecuador’s historic capital city. 9,350 feet above sea level.

Quito is a big city, far too big to explore in only a few short days but that doesn’t stop us from trying.  Then, it’s back on the road and to the Volcanoes we go!

It’s a whirl wind tour of neo-gothic architecture, virgins and latitude zero.  Plus, we stumble upon an Andean market that sends us into sensory overload…it is the culture shock I’ve been craving.

We keep having to remind ourselves we’re in the Andes Mountains AND straddling the equator.   Before coming to Ecuador, I had no idea it was a country with a toe in every landscape.  Amazon jungles, Andean highlands and of course the marine wonderland that is the Galapagos.  The Andes extend from north to south through seven South American countries, Ecuador being the middle child.  Perhaps that’s why they are so often skipped over for Peru or Argentina?  I don’t know but I can tell you, this trip has me set on a full South America overland adventure one day.

We absolutely enjoyed every stop and would recommend them all should you make your way to Ecuador.  Here’s a quick recap, starting with our faves.


I’m certain we didn’t do that Saturday Market justice. It’s one of my favorite memories from the whole trip.  The experience was nothing more than a couple of hours, but I can still smell the sweet bread and off-putting mix of live and dead animals.  I close my eyes and I can see the feathers on their fedoras, the layers of colorful shawls and the beautifully woven blankets.   It was a rare show and I sincerely hope it isn’t the last I will see.  When we make our way back to Ecuador, you better believe the Saturday Market in Zumbahua will be one of our stops.

Ecuador Road Trip

Ecuador Road Trip

saturday market in the Andes

Andes Road Trip

Intinan Museum

Thanks to everyone who suggested we visit the Intinan Museum.  This place is a trip!  A mix of Ecuadorian culture, lore and physics.  Latitude zero, the only place in the world where you can put one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and the other one in the Southern Hemisphere…the center of the world!

center of the world ecuador

Basilica of the National Vow

There are sooo many beautiful churches to visit in Quito but this Basilica is South America’s biggest and tallest neo-gothic church.  So, it won our vote.

Basilica of the national Vow

Ecuador Road Trip Through Andes

Ecuador Road Trip Through AndesEcuador Road Trip Through Andes

Basilica of the national Vow

Virgin of Quito

Best 360 degree view of Quito and home to the 18th century winged virgin made from seven thousand pieces of aluminum.  She is the Woman of the Apocalypse, from the Book of Revelation (12:1–18).

exploring ecuador

Sailing Road Trip Report – Quito to Zumbahua

To see our full map with interactive pins, click here:

Dates – February 13 – 16, 2018

Road Miles Traveled – 102

Rental Car – $29 per day.  We rented a car in Manta because it was half the price of renting in Bahia (where our boat is anchored).

Curious About Our Camera Gear? 

Thank You!

Sharing our lives and what we learn along the way is possible because of viewers like you. A huge shout out to our Patreons for making this video possible! If you enjoyed this video, check out our Say Thanks page. It lists out some of the ways you can help keep these videos flowing. Best part is, most won’t cost you a penny but they make a BIG difference to us. Thank You!

Hello there! I honestly don’t know what to say, so I am going to tell you a bunch of random facts instead. I'm a fish eating vegetarian who hates spiders and loves snakes. I almost never took vacations growing up. I wanted to be Pippi Longstocking (still do). I misspell about every other word I write and still struggle with grammar. I love splurging on a good high tea (which is really hard to find these days). And whatever you do, don’t tell me I can’t do something, because then I'll HAVE to do it!

Comments (12)

  • Jenny Jones

    I can’t get this link to play. Wahhhh

  • Arroway

    Love watching your videos. But, the whole toilet flushing opposite ways thing? That’s a hoax! I told my husband while watching, “I hope no one tries that hoax on them!” And then they did. Google it. 😉

  • James

    Jason, what kind or kinds of cameras are you currently using? Also, what uses do you use them for?

  • Mary

    Great video! It is pretty crazy to see how things work on the equator. To be right there and have things spin opposite ways is so crazy!! What was the thing the guide did with your fingers?

    A little tease for next time. Can’t wsit!!

    • nikki wynn

      The museum was a fun touristy stop. The finger thing was done on each side of the equator and on one side we could hold our fingers together and the other side we couldn’t.

  • Veronica

    I love this so much! I would love to RVlife / boatlife in Latin America for a while! Keep inspiring!

  • Bernard Schaer

    Absolutely fantastic guys!! It reminds me so much of my South America trip in 1979/80, backpacking from the US all the way to Peru and back. Enjoy!

  • Pam McClure


  • Brian

    And yet, the Wynns open another little window of the world to us. Thank you for sharing your adventures. Love it. Keep em coming.

  • Nikki and Jason, really enjoying your videos. Professionally done, really informative, funny yet serious, and therefore of value. We are coastal sailors (PORTFOLIO, a 2013 Beneteau Oceanis 45) and spoke to you over VHF while you were crossing the Gulfstream on your way south to Panama and we were returning from the Exumas. Allways looking forward to your next video. Good luck and safe travels. Tony


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