Bespoke authentic experiences aboard Kontiki Wayra in coastal Ecuador

Nov 22, 2021

Luxury Travel has progressively evolved into a daring exploration of places that awaken emotions; locations that inspire travelers through a connection with local people, natural treasures, unique cuisine, and traditions. Experienced travelers are today's explorers, eager to find moments of amazement and discovery through authentic life-enriching experiences.

Adventurers enjoy getting immersed in natural reserves of incalculable ecological value. The trails in the Pacoche Humid Forest are surrounded by vast vegetation home to hundreds of different species of animals. Hiking through the forest, we can feel the energy of nature and listen to a symphony of sounds, including the peculiar roar of howler monkeys, who inhabit the forest and welcome visitors with a display of acrobatics balancing from one tree to the next. Deeper in the forest, in small streams of pure water, live some of the tiniest frogs in the world. It is extraordinary to hold them in our hands only to discover such perfection in a being smaller than our fingernails.

In the small town of Pile lives a community of artisan weavers, experts in the crafts of toquilla straw hats. They open their houses to our visitors for a mesmerizing cultural experience exclusive to a few privileged travel connoisseurs. Toquilla weaving is a family tradition passed from generation to generation, an ancient activity that requires extreme concentration and the involvement of the weaver's complete body. The finest straw hats in the world are the Montecristi SuperFinos, highly valued for its fabric-like texture, light color, and the extensive labor involved, taking up to 8 months to make one piece. Life in Pile revolves around a “culture of silence; a peaceful sensation that will surely remain with whoever is lucky enough to experience the lifestyle and traditions of this small community.
 

Ecuador small community


Probably a favorite among nature lovers, Isla de la Plata, an uninhabited island off the Ecuadorean coast, is home to some species endemic to the Galapagos Islands, which gave its nickname of "small Galapagos”. A walk along its trails reveals our beloved blue-footed boobies, masked boobies, frigates, and other marine birds, mating and nesting in their natural habitat. Isla de la Plata is also an incredible scuba diving and snorkeling spot where you can easily see giant rays and whale sharks not too far from the surface. It is not unusual to cruise to Isla de la Plata in the company of humpback whales and playful dolphins who do not shy away from the yacht and seem to love the attention.
 

Ecuador whale


Throughout our expeditions, there are many opportunities for experiential gastronomy, but one of the most memorable epicurean experiences happens in the small community of San Miguel de Sarampión. Here we visit an organic cocoa farm, land of the singular heritage trees: cocoa-producing trees that are over 120 years of age. Their cocoa beans are considered to be some of the purest in the world and serve as raw material to the best and most valuable chocolate in the globe. Our foodie guests will appreciate the artisan chocolate-making class right where the cocoa is grown and harvested, following ancient preparation techniques. We are true believers that food should be enjoyed in unforgettable ways. Kontiki Expeditions is about bespoke authentic experiences that help our guests connect with each destination uniquely and profoundly.
 

Cacao Ecuador
Andre Robles
Andre Robles
Andre Robles is an expert in everything South America, his passion for the region and exploring off the beaten path makes his travel writing both useful and interesting. He has written for several mainstream publications and you can read his guides on Ecuador, Peru, the Galapagos Islands and the Amazon. Andre is also an accomplished photographer and has been recognized as one of the best wildlife photographers in the region, his photos have been featured in National Geographic and other journals. As a travel agent Andre specializes in curating unique experiences, crafting tailor made itineraries and helping visitors make the best of their vacation, always putting the experience first
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