There are still a few roads in the Ecuadorian Andes where the description of “walking in the clouds” is very accurate… in one way or another. These are ancestral routes that have been preserved and that one can still drive through. Paradoxically, thanks to their being abandoned and forgotten, they have managed to secretly survive the advances of modern urban development and modernization of the current times. One of the advantages is that along these rural routes, the original plant and animal life has returned and recuperated, due to the nearly absence of heavy traffic; but the villages and towns along the route remained unchanged, allowing explorers a glimpse of bygone eras.
Those old and lost rural roads, which for centuries were the sole means of communication, linking the most important towns and cities, and whose names we read about in history books, are still thriving and refuse to disappear. It is incredible to realize that they were built by hand as the use of machinery came only by the mid-20th Century.
The rural roads of Ecuador stem from a principle of connectivity that responded to the basic needs for communication and commerce, in its original form of exchange of products for the subsistence of the indigenous peoples, much before the arrival of the Spanish to America. The Qhapac Ñan or “Royal Inca Road” is a clear example of this. The Inca routes were perhaps the first roads that were drawn to leave a footprint, so that they would be still used in the future, and along which new routes would be open, as their tracing was along the best and most accessible routes to connect their people.
It is now possible for modern explorers to travel along these roads that maintain an aura of magic, history and nature; the rural roads of Ecuador where time has stopped, where you can be enveloped by the soft clouds that rise from the Pacific Coast to the heights of the Andean Cordilleras; the place where you can literally walk in the clouds and rediscover the hidden corners of rural Ecuador. Metropolitan Touring has several programs that will allow you the opportunity of experiencing those essential elements that make Ecuador a unique country.
Please ask for our A Walk in the Clouds and Due South excursions.