Some people just love to get out there doing extreme activities. Whether it is rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, rappelling, mountain biking, surfing or even some other activity, an exhilarating trip is what they seek. The good news is that there are lots of opportunities to enjoy extreme sports in Ecuador and the Galapagos. If it is a thrill you seek, then look no further, as Ecuador and the Galapagos offer some superb spots for all your favorite extreme sports. Here we will take a look at the types of extreme sports you could enjoy in both Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, and where to go to partake in these activities.
If you are interested in extreme sports, one of the best options for you is to head to the town of Banos. Perhaps it is the fiery volcano “Mama Tungurahua” that constantly threatens the town that has led to the emergence oft the extreme sports industry here, or perhaps the landscape lends itself to it, or maybe a bit of both. Whatever the reason, Baños is worth a special mention for its extreme sports options in Ecuador due to the fact there is such a variety of opportunities here. For example, you can do rappelling, white water rafting or mountain biking using this small town as your base. In case this is not enough for you, there is also some great rock climbing in the areas around Baños.
If mountain biking is your thing, then why not try biking down one of the highest active volcanoes on Earth? It is possible to take such a day trip from Quito. You’ll head out early in the morning from the capital city and drive to the Cotopaxi National Park. From here you will be driven up to a high altitude on the Cotopaxi volcano, and you can enjoy the thrill of biking down.
Kayakers consider Ecuador to be a “whitewater heaven” with good reason. You will never be far from a fast flowing river. For kayaking on Class V rivers, the Quijos Valley is usually considered a good bet. This is easily accessed from the jungle town of Tena, and there is a lot of whitewater in this area. Many kayaking operators are based here for this reason, but you will also find kayaking tour operators in Quito. You can also find kayaking around the town of Baños too.
While you are in the Tena region, why not consider a spot of caving? There are several opportunities to do so in this region. One superb place for caving is in the Jumandi Caves. There are three caves here, and one of which is a river cave. This provides for a fun visit as you have to swim through pools and scramble a little over rocks to ass through the cave. There are also possibilities for caving in the Lagarto Caves, situated about four hours from Quito, close to Archidona – again in the Amazon region, and at Los Tayos Cave near Macas.
Finally for the Ecuadorian mainland, if you enjoy surfing, then you might want to head to the hippy party beach town of Montanita on Ecuador’s Pacific Coast. This is considered the capital of surfing in Ecuador. The waves are at their best between December and March, and there are lots of surf competitions to observe here too, if you’ve had enough of doing the extreme thing yourself.
Since where you can go in the Galapagos Islands National Park is somewhat limited, Galapagos extreme sports options are not as plentiful as those in mainland Ecuador. Nonetheless, there are still opportunities to get extreme here. One of the best Galapagos extreme sports opportunities is diving. Some Galapagos cruise yachts offer live aboard diving, so you could go for a trip of several days, diving among hammerhead sharks, among other fairly extreme options. Alternatively you could enjoy a land-based Galapagos trip, and take some day diving options from Santa Cruz Island, perhaps.
Another great opportunity is surfing in the Galapagos Islands. The best surfing is possible between December and May, though it is possible to surf at any time during the year. One of the best bits about surfing in the Galapagos Islands is that not so many people go to the Galapagos to surf, compared to other parts of Ecuador, so it does not tend to get as busy as other spots. If you want to surf, you might head to San Cristobal – but expect some time spent getting to the waves, as this
Finally, there are also some opportunities for sea kayaking around some of the habited islands in the Galapagos. For example, it is possible to kayak at Isabela Island, and also at Santa Cruz Island. San Cristobal Island additionally offers some kayaking opportunities.