Bomkanari’s an Instagram influencer experience in Ecuador
Marie Lokreim is also known as Bomkanari on Instagram. She is a world traveler. She grew up living in Norway and decided to book a ticket to Thailand on a whim. Since that time, she has been to many more places and she just experienced Ecuador with Ecuatraveling
What brings you to Ecuador now in 2020?
Ecuatraveling saw my account and invited me to Ecuador. I was a little nervous about the trip, because I had recently had a negative experience with a hotel in the Maldives, so I did some extensive research on Ecuatraveling, as did my family. We confirmed that it was a legit operation, and the owners sent me the itinerary, the contract, and the terms beforehand for my peace of mind. They were extremely nice and accommodating.
What places have you visited in Ecuador?
I had thought I would be traveling with other visitors on set tours, but I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Pablo and Esteban, the owners, had planned out a private itinerary for me, where I was really allowed to travel like a local, without any constraints.
We have done so much. We started out with a day tour in Quito. We then spent two days climbing Rucu Pichincha and then the Cotopaxi glacier up to 5,000 meters. Then we combined Laguna Quilotoa and Toachi Canyon. We went on to the city of Riobamba, where we stayed at El Andaluza Hotel and Museum.
We went biking in Volcan Chimborazo, we did rappel, biking and the swing in Baños. Then it was rafting in Tena. And now we are at Cuyabeno Reserve, staying at Waita Lodge, the only property located this far within the rainforest. Before I leave the country, we will be visiting Otavalo, Laguna Cuicocha, and some beaches in the Esmeraldas province.
What is your overall impression of Ecuador?
It is really amazing. I didn’t think it would be this great. Ecuador has everything: volcanic landscapes, lush green mountains, waterfalls, adventure, scenic routes, beaches, historic city centers, stunning churches…everything.
What has been your favorite so far?
Baños! It reminds me of home and has everything that I love. You are in a valley surrounded by mountains. There are a ton of activities and you never get bored. The scenic route from Baños to Tena was insanely breathtaking. Same for the route from Cuyabeno Reserve to Quito.
What has been your experience with Ecuatraveling?
It couldn’t have been better. They are really professional. They take care of their visitors, always going above and beyond and becoming friends with their travelers. They do their utmost to make us happy and comfortable.
What advice would you give other travelers coming to Ecuador?
Definitely use Ecuatraveling [laughs heartily]. And other than that, I would say not to limit yourself to just one type of experience. Ecuador is a mountain climber’s paradise, but it is also a haven for bird-watchers, and yet you also have the best-preserved Historic City Center in Latin America, and stunning beaches, plus the Amazon rainforest, and more. Ecuador is dizzying in its possibilities because you have a ton of different ecosystems and experiences in one small country. That means that you can do more in less time and with fewer logistical issues.
Oh, and the other advice I would give climbers is to set some time apart to acclimate to the altitude first.
What is your state of mind as you near the end of your travels here?
I am a little sad to leave because this has been the best experience I have had with a travel company so far, and maybe the best overall throughout my travels, because my hosts, Pablo and Esteban, are masters in logistics.
I also think this trip has been helpful in teaching me how to operate when receiving an invitation from a travel company. It has been a real door opener because the more companies like this I travel with, the more likely it is that others will come knocking later on.
What have your travels brought out in you?
They have changed me completely. Seeing and experiencing different cultures, what people do, and what their daily lives are like has been eye-opening. Norway is one of the wealthiest countries in the world, so going outside that bubble helps you keep things in perspective.
What do you want to say to the people who are reading this?
Wake up every morning, look in the mirror, and appreciate all the wonderful things about you. Life is not always easy or perfect, but you have to try and make the best out of every situation. Human beings are very resilient. Problems and challenges are a part of life, and you need to find a way to get through them. In order to do this, it is always good to capitalize on the things that make you happy, like reading a book or drinking a cup of coffee. Those small things will give you joy.