Angelica & Christian from Terra Sur Travels. Photograph credit score: Terra Sur Travels.


Generally known as the land of extremes South America boasts lots of the worlds biggest geographical wonderments.  It’s residence to the worlds largest river (The Amazon), the worlds largest mountain vary (The Andes), the worlds largest salt flat (Salar de Uyuni) and the driest place (The Atacama Desert).  This continent is actually on my bucket record and I’m certain on lots of yours which is why I’m so excited to introduce you to Terra Sur Travels.

Instagram may be an incredible solution to meet like minded individuals.  I tire of social media rather a lot however then meet fellow accountable travellers like Christian and Angelica via the platform and religion is restored!  These guys are the 2 lovely souls behind Terra Sur Travels.  A neighborhood firm based mostly in Quito providing sustainable and significant travels with an area perspective throughout Ecuador, Galapagos, Peru and Colombia.  On this interview they share with us why they love dwelling in Quito and learn how to get the most effective from the town and wider Ecuador as a customer. 

You could possibly run journey experiences anyplace on this planet, what’s it that you just love about dwelling in Quito?

A lot! Quito is a very habitable metropolis.  The persons are beautiful. 

We love that there’s a actual sense of group with a store on each nook promoting every thing you’d ever want, butter, ham, bread, veg, fruit.  There’s a actual neighbourly feeling.  The native markets are additionally superb in Quito, so recent, vibrant and delightful.  We love shopping for from the native farmers direct too, usually they are going to be on the facet of the highway promoting from their trailers.  It is a nice solution to preserve our spending native and we encourage all our travellers to assist minimise tourism leakage.

Fruit and veg is so low cost, each fruit attainable is grown right here because the land is so fertile.  It’s enjoyable seeing what number of fruits we are able to purchase for a greenback.  The report is 45 lemons for $1 however we’ve additionally managed to attain 14 oranges for $1 too.   Not one of the fruit is clear or seems to be good, however oh the style, once you minimize into it the tase is like the most effective fruit you’ve ever had. 

We expect Quito has the most effective climate on this planet.  It’s at all times round 20 diploma celsius on daily basis.  Quito is the very best capital metropolis on this planet at an altitude of two,850m.  Being surrounded by volcanos is unimaginable.  We will see Rucu Pichincha from our workspace. 

Vibrant bounty of fruit and greens from native markets. Photograph credit score: Terra Sur Travels.
How lengthy have you ever run Terra Sur Travels and what obtained you began? Inform us your story.

Christian –  I’m initially from Germany with no background in tourism, in reality I’m a brew grasp by commerce!  I’ve at all times travelled greater than I labored and have visited over 75 nations.  In 2018 I met Angelica in Quito, who, on the time was working in tourism.  We in a short time determined to begin Terra Sur Travels as a result of we needed to make distinction.  Angelica already bought Peru and Ecuador, so we began with these as locations however then two returning travellers needed a visit to Costa Rica, so we thought why not! 

Angelica – I grew up in Venezuela and studied anthropology however as a result of political scenario couldn’t work within the discipline so as a substitute I’ve 12 years’ expertise in tourism.  I grew up on the plains of Venezuela seeing animals on daily basis that folks dream of seeing on vacation.  I by no means actually needed to go away the place I grew up, however I needed to.  As a result of I beloved to the touch and experiment with different cultures, I made a decision to journey to South America.  I began in Ecuador and shortly landed a good job in tourism; I’ve been right here 5 years now.  Once I met Christian the journey firm was our dream from very early on.  Though the pandemic hit in our first 12 months of enterprise we now have already had over 50 travellers to this point. 

What’s the philosophy behind Terra Sur Travels?

Our principal philosophy is to offer the most effective service to our aware travellers, hand in hand with the native communities, suppliers and nature. 

We consider in transformational and regenerative tourism and wish to change the face of tourism in South America.  It’s an bold purpose however we’ll get there.  Partnering with solely accountable suppliers we decide to upholding our values of friendship belief and loyalty.  Locals are so comfortable and grateful for the enterprise, it’s heart-warming and is what drives us. 

Our strategy is to indicate not inform, actually showcase what South America has to supply. Agreeing from the beginning that we’d promote direct and through social media, that’s what we now have performed.  We don’t just like the phrase package deal; it’s all about connections and bespoke experiences.  We’ve chosen native tasks to help, so for every journey booked we help considered one of these tasks.  Presently we’re working with organisations such because the Galapagos Conservation Trust (GCT) and Amiguitos del Océano.  Working with such foundations is our means of giving again. 

A Galapagos tortoise with Angelica on Santa Cruz Island.  Photograph credit score: Terra Sur Travels.
Aside from run Terra Sur Travels what do you love to do in your spare time?

We like to hike.  Quito is superb for climbing.  Reaching the highest of Rucu Pichincha ought to take about 5-6 hours and has an altitude of 4.698m.  We’ve by no means fairly obtained to the highest as we at all times take a distinct path and find yourself getting misplaced, it’s all a part of the enjoyable!  We’ll make it someday. 

We’ve not too long ago adopted a rescue canine about 3 months in the past, so we spend a variety of time with him now.  He had been run over twice with a proper entrance leg fracture.  He likes to go for walks within the park, we’re fortunate in Quito there’s a variety of inexperienced house for him to run round.  Once we journey, he’ll include us within the automotive however must keep at residence if we go to locations like The Amazon and Galapagos. 

Julio, the Terra Sur Travels Happiness Supervisor.  Photograph credit score: Terra Sur Travels.
When is the most effective time of 12 months to go to Quito in your opinion?

Any time actually. Being 20km South of the equator the climate is constant and tops 24 levels celcius. 

What a part of Quito would you advise guests to remain to get the most effective from their journey?

The Outdated City Centre is nice because it’s near every thing.  It’s the biggest historic centre within the Americas and was filled with bars and unbiased store previous to the pandemic.  There are many unimaginable church buildings and colonial buildings to go to. Its filled with actual native individuals and a few beer gardens are beginning to open.  Hopefully it’ll revive submit COVID however proper now it’s nonetheless quiet, a variety of companies didn’t survive. 

4 days is an effective size of time to remain in Quito to see all of the sights.  It’s also possible to keep longer as you are able to do a variety of day journeys from right here for instance to volcanoes, the cloud forest and to the Amazon. 

What expertise would outline a keep in Quito?

For us it’s all concerning the expertise, speaking to the locals and understanding their life and journey – you’ll be able to’t put a price ticket on that. 

A tiny, indigenous group across the Quilotoa Lagoon.  Photograph credit score: Terra Sur Travels.
If you happen to had been a Quito customer what could be your prime tip to not miss?

Mountaineering the volcanoes and even using The TeleferiQo in the event you don’t wish to hike. 

Otavalo Market can be shut, that is the most important indigenous market in South America, it’s an unimaginable expertise.  There are lots of and lots of of stalls with individuals promoting off the ground and promoting every thing you’ll be able to think about from alpacas and lamas to greens and fruit. 

On the pacific coast close to Manta in Ecuador.  Photograph credit score: Terra Sur Travels.
What cultural/behavioural recommendation would you give that may assist guests to Ecuador?

South America is for adventurers and lovers of nature and animals.  Be respectful and perceive that our tradition and way of life could also be totally different to yours. 

It’s disrespectful to match, please don’t attempt to examine us to different nations and even South America to every other continents.  If you need luxurious and western 5* take into consideration visiting Dubai relatively than Ecuador. 

Additionally price noting is that every one nations inside South America have their totally different cultures.  I (Angelica) obtained a tradition shock transferring from Venezuela as issues are a lot extra formal in Ecuador.  I needed to be actually cautious about not coming throughout as impolite. 

What meals are distinctive to Ecuador that guests ought to expertise?

Within the Sierra, the mountainous areas of Ecuador, Fritada is without doubt one of the most favorite dishes.  It’s a roasted pig, served with totally different facet dishes like toasted corn or Llapingachos, which is a mashed potato pancake, usually studded with cheese. 

Locro de papa can be a favorite native delicacies.  It’s a potato and recent cheese soup, served with avocados.  

In the case of drinks, Canelazo might be probably the most well-known, a scorching beverage manufactured from narajillas and cinnamon, topped with a shot of Punta, a robust native sugar cane schnapps. 

The place is your favorite place to eat that’s regionally owned?

Ecuador has a robust custom in terms of lunch.  Almuerzo, as it’s referred to as right here, is usually served in small nook eating places all throughout Quito and Ecuador.   It is rather moderately priced, and features a hearty soup, a principal dish with meat or fish and sides like fries and/or rice, a salad, a fruit juice and typically even a small dessert. 

Additionally, Quito has superb avenue meals!  Small stalls alongside the roads serve an enormous number of meals, just like the aforementioned Fritada.  Our favorite one is situated on the nook of Calle Corea and Iñaquito.  Scrumptious! 

What are Quito’s hidden secrets and techniques off the vacationer observe / What do the locals not need vacationers to know, to allow them to preserve it to themselves?

There’s not a lot that hasn’t been found by vacationers till now.

However a couple of of the extra unknown, obscure points of interest are positively the Carcel Garcia Moreno, an deserted jail and its museum the place former presidents had been held captive.  Additionally the Cemetery of San Diego is an exquisite hidden gem, with many alternative architectural kinds and well-known graves, for instance from troopers of the Battle of Pichincha, a turning level in Ecuador’s struggle for independence. 

At Hacienda ‘El Porvenir’ in Cotopaxi Nationwide Park.  Photograph credit score: Terra Sur Travels.
Are there any native bands or musicians you’d recommend guests lookup and the place’s greatest for reside music?

Sadly proper there’s not a lot for the reason that pandemic. The ensuing restrictions don’t enable a lot leisure, however we hope that modifications once more quickly.

Anything to say that may assist a customer get probably the most out of Quito?

Take it sluggish, don’t plan an excessive amount of forward!  Since Quito is so excessive up within the Andes, guests will most positively really feel Soroche (altitude illness) within the first days.  Gradual walks, a number of water and sufficient relaxation would be the greatest to do the primary days.  If there’s not a variety of time to acclimatize, properly, at the least preserve the actions at an affordable tempo and take a break once you really feel the altitude.  Additionally, getting some coca tea at markets helps rather a lot! 

What’s subsequent in your bucket record?

Venezuela excursions.  Presently it’s a difficult place and the protection of our friends is a precedence however someday we can share this implausible nation with many travellers.  We now have a biologist buddy already working excursions there, so it’s attainable. 


Native artwork in a gallery round Quilotoa.  Photograph credit score: Terra Sur Travels.

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