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Piedra Blanca

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South America : Ecuador : Andean Highlands : Piedra Blanca
Revision as of 06:38, 22 July 2008 by 71.182.73.78 (Talk)

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Piedra Blanca [1] is a small community found in a stunningly beautiful rainforest valley in Bolivar Province, Ecuador. Backpackers often rave about the place and most visitors discover the region by word of mouth. The local community is aware of the great tourism potential of the region but tries to keep a low profile (it's not in any guidebooks yet) as it it does not want a huge influx of visitors that might overwhelm the community and delicate ecosystems. A community run ecotourism project provides an alternative to logging as the locals accompany tourists to the rainforest, local cultural sites of interest, other local villages and on rafting expeditions of pre-Inca design.

Get in

It's a 60 - 90 minute uphill walk, or ~$10 ride if you can find someone to drive you, from San Luis de Pambil, which is one hour off the main highway between Quito and Guayaquil.


See

A plentitude of rainforest animals, virgin rainforest, waterfalls, ancient stone inscriptions, ancient burial mounds, local markets, indigenous villages, stunning local landscapes, aguardiente farms, organic farms, riverside bathing pools, salt mines, traditional Ecuadorean villages, religious shrines, firework workshops and ancient trekking trade routes.


Local reforestation charity CRACYP [2]

Do

Trek in the forest or up to the white rock (piedra blanca) with a local guide. Birdwatching. Visit Indigenous communties. Go rafting in ancient design rafts. Visit Aguardiente farms and distilleries. Visit the tropical rainforest. Visit local markets. See a local shaman.


Drink

The local aguardiente, for which the region is famous. Bolivar province is well known for having some of the most potent, high quality aguardiente in all South America.

Sleep

In the Piedra Blanca Ecolodge. In the hotel at San Luis de Pambil. Family homsestays can easily be arranged.

Get out

Visit numerous local indigenous towns.

Head downhill on foot (~60 minutes) or on a hired horse to San Luis de Pambil. Stay there for a few days - Eco-Friendly Farmstays [3] - then take a bus out to Quito (~6 hours), Guaranda (~5 hours), Santo Domingo de los Colorados (~3 hours) or Guayaquil (3-4 hours).

References

Piedra Blanca Ecolodge - a unique community ecotourism project in rural Ecuador.

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