Let’s Get Physical in Ecuador

“A bear, however hard he tries, grows tubby without exercise.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

Many things impressed us about Ecuador, but the exercise initiative was probably the most inspiring. Ecuador encourages fitness for fun…exercise without exhaustion…plenty of play…and cardiovascular conditioning.

 Let’s get physical in Ecuador!

Ron’s professional career revolved around physical fitness and swimming.  Our travels throughout the world, always took us to a swimming pool, where Ron could inspect their facilities and talk with a swim coach.  It’s one of his favorite hobbies.  Quito, Ecuador was no exception. We visited the public pool and, of course, Ron had to find the director of the facility to discuss their swimming programs.
Here comes the Ecuador Red Cross on their bicycles! Every Sunday, Quito closes 30 kilometers of their streets and hundreds of cyclists pedal through parks, roads, and the city streets.
IMG_2603The variety of bicycles is incredible! For a minimal fee, one can rent bicycles from the many city vendors stationed along the bicycle trails.
IMG_2641This little boy is taking his first ride without his training wheels.
IMG_2646Men gather in the parks to play  Bocce ball, called Bochas in Ecuador.
IMG_2606Children climb, slide, crawl, balance, and play through an overcast Sunday morning in the park.
IMG_2615A playground for adults! Exercise machines are located in all the parks in Quito.
IMG_2650Ron tries the step machine…huffing and puffing in the high altitude and lower oxygenated air.
IMG_2651La Carolina park has paddle boats for rent. We watched the kids play bumper boats with the paddle boats.
IMG_2647Paddle boarding on the coast! What a great way to get physical in the ocean.
IMG_3440Want to go water skiing? Bahia Caraquez is the place.
IMG_4627Every morning on our daily walks, we saw people taking their dogs for walks and runs along the beach. It is so unlike Nicaragua, where the dogs only experience a chained life, or they roam freely looking for food. Leashes…dog sweaters…pooper scoopers…Ecuadorians love their dogs!
IMG_3456Zumba on the beach! Combining Latin music with a fun and effective workout system, it is perfectly suited for Ecuador!
IMG_4669After a morning of physical activity, it’s time to head to the hot springs. Baños, Ecuador entices everyone with the hot, thermal baths adorned by refreshing waterfalls.
IMG_2847Are you ready to get physical? If so, Ecuador is the place to go!


10 thoughts on “Let’s Get Physical in Ecuador

  1. goodness, ron trumps my abilities to acclimate to the altitude; i’ve had to go to banos before after ‘forgetting’ and running up several flights of stairs in riobamba… after two days of being ‘drunk’ on low oxygen to the brain, y best option was to go to a lower altitude. presto – the brain fog evaporated when we reached banos!

    you did a great job documenting the various forms of exercise in different sections of the country!


  2. The higher elevations of Cuenca and Quito are not good for people over 60 especially if they are smokers! You will get tired just going up a flight of stairs. Cotacachi is too high also especially for people with heart issues I couldn’t believe it when someone decided to start an assisted living center there. Retired people should stay at sea level if they want to be active and Bahia de Caraquez is the place!

    • Dean, it took us a couple of days to acclimate to the altitude. Flying back from the coast to Quito was the worst part. We had to spend the night in the airport to catch our flights back to Nicaragua the next morning. We had no time to acclimate and we spent a sleepless night trying to get comfortable on hard airport chairs. But, if people are born and raised in a high altitude climate, they have no problems. I think the assisted living center must have been for the local people. There are many retired expats living in Cuenca, and the only complaints I heard were the lack of sunny days. Once you get acclimated to the elevation, if you have no major health issues or heart problems, I think it would be a fine place to retire.

  3. Great post, Debbie. How wonderful and beneficial for those who take advantage of it and it looks like a lot are. We stayed in Banos a couple of nights and enjoyed the hot springs.

  4. I’ve considered Ecuador, Cuenca, or thereabouts but thought maybe it may be too cool and damp. Prices are better if one can avoid Gringo pricing and Spanish a definite plus. Thoughts

    • Sarge, Cuenca has a large expat population. Yet, the biggest complaint was the number of damp, cloudy days. It takes a little time to acclimate to the elevation, too. I’m going to write a comparison post of Granada, Nicaragua and Cuenca, Ecuador. Stay tuned. I’ll try to give an honest evaluation of both cities for expats.

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