EL SEXMO GOLD MINE ZARUMA
Suit up with the miner’s boots and helmet and get immersed in this unusual exploration of an ancient gold mine, learning about its history and operation. El Sexmo is the oldest mine in the region and in recent years has shifted its activity from extraction to tourism, which we at Kontiki support and applaud from a sustainability standpoint. Zaruma’s mining industry dates back to the pre-Inca era becoming the main source of economic income for La Real Audiencia de Quito. This is an expedition through history and culture that will reveal the secrets behind gold extraction while experiencing the working conditions of miners 500 meters into a golden cave.
Activities: Trekking, Sightseeing, Natural Reserve
ZARUMA’S OLD TOWN
A haven for coffee lovers and an ode to early 1900’s architecture, Zaruma has been named Cultural Patrimony of Ecuador and it is considered to be a “magical” town for its natural beauty, cultural richness, traditions, folklore, historical relevance, cuisine, art and crafts, and superb hospitality. We will enjoy an authentic gastronomic experience with food from local markets in an old house in Zaruma and will see from the inside how architecture can tell the history of a place and show the intimate connection between people and nature.
Activities: Gastronomy, Trekking, Sightseeing, Communities
MARINE RESERVE ISLA SANTA CLARA
A magical collection of islands and islets guarded by the ocean at the southern coast of Ecuador, Santa Clara is a natural refuge for more than 23,000 birds and a large colony of sea lions. A trail walk around the island will bring us up close and personal with nesting blue-footed boobies, frigates and pelicans. On the shore, a large colony of sea lions go in and out of the water in their daily feeding chores without paying much attention to our curious eyes. The rich underwater ecosystem in Santa Clara not only attracts marine birds and sea lions, but also invites dolphins and whales who grace us with their lively gymnastics from the months of June through October.
Activities: Bird Watching, Trekking, Water Activities, Natural Reserve
BUENAVENTURA RESERVE, JOCOTOCO FOUNDATION
In the southern region of the coast expands the Buenaventura reserve with more than 1500 hectares of cloud forest and four different microclimates. The reserve is managed by a private foundation in charge of protecting the habitat for more than 320 species of birds including 36 species of hummingbirds and 30 local species; 255 species of butterflies; and a diversity of marsupials, reptiles and amphibians. An easy guided walk along one of the five 5 trails available will immerse us in a sub-tropical forest naturally adorned with exotic orchids. A true natural paradise that will attest to Ecuador’s being the most biodiverse country in the world.
Activities: Trekking, Bird Watching, Natural Reserve