This week, I got the chance to spend some time seeing Ecuador from the eyes of a tourist again, as my cousin and his fiancée were able to take some time off work and school and visit me in Ecuador. It was the first time that my cousin had left the United States, and I am was so happy that Ecuador was the country he chose to first visit! It was also a particularly special time for me, as I recently got engaged and they were both able to meet my fiancé for the first time.
We spent the beginning of the week touring Quito - they had enough time to see all the highlights of the city, such as the historic center: the Presidential Palace, the Basilica, the Equator (known as Mitad del Mundo), and more. We also spent (probably too much) time enjoying delicious Ecuadorian food and some of my favorite restaurants in Quito.
But the real highlight of the trip came this weekend, when we travelled just two hours away from Quito to reach the amazing little town of Mindo, one of my favorite weekend trips from Quito and the gateway to the Ecuadorian Cloud Forest. We spent the weekend doing a variety of adrenaline-heavy activities like zip-lining, tubing down a fast-moving river, and canyoning, an activity that basically involves repelling off of waterfalls (I sat out for that one). And of course we also enjoyed all of Mindo's delicious restaurants and cafes as well.
Although I'm sad to see them go, it was a fantastic time to get to spend time with them and show them the country that I've grown to love during the last two years I've spent with Manna Project!