Sports in Ecuador, Culture, Tradition
When it comes to local sports, the most popular activity is generally soccer (football). Tourists are often welcome to join in on local games, but remember that many of the locals play the game often and display quite impressive skill. Soccer in Ecuador is something of a national pastime and local soccer heroes are celebrated with enthusiasm. In fact, the national soccer team has made waves all over the world, with Ecuador displaying some outstanding soccer talent that perhaps some parts of the world were completely unprepared to receive. In Ecuador, soccer is so popular that it is considered to be the national sport. Sometimes you will find locals playing more unusual games such as the “paddleball” which is played in Ibarra. These two, can be joined in on, but it is a good idea to watch for a while first and learn the rules of the game. Many of the locals along the coast also enjoy a good game of volleyball.
Ecuador certainly has a wealth of sporting activities to partake in. Many of them require the hire of equipment or of a knowledgeable guide. You may also need someone to show you how to partake of the sport. You can be sure though, that any effort or expense is well worth it and that you will enjoy every moment of the activity you choose as it will be provided in a safe, well organized manner.
The most accessible activities are generally those that require very little equipment. Things such as walking, hiking and climbing – which is basically walking up to the peak of a mountain – are available just about everywhere in Ecuador. Of course, some of the more complex trails might require the services of a guide, but otherwise all you need is good health, a comfortable pair of shoes and a map. Sometimes tour operators will offer climbing tours wherein they will provide equipment, insurance, food and transport – basically all the facilities you will need to enjoy your climb in relative luxury. Most climbs take place up the sides of volcanoes to get you better acquainted with this natural phenomenon. Rainforest treks where you explore the fauna and flora of the Amazon basin are also popular.
Mountain bikes are readily available for hire throughout the country and often tourists will choose to bike between towns as this is an excellent way to really experience Ecuador. Water activities include swimming, whitewater rafting, snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, surfing, windsurfing and scuba diving – depending on what part of the country you are visiting. On the more extreme side of things, Bungee jumping, hang-gliding and Paragliding are also offered. Horseback riding and volleyball are two more popular choices. Mules and jeeps are available for hire as are yachts and rowing boats.
The Galapagos Islands themselves have a wealth of interesting activities to pursue, such as hiking, sea kayaking, snorkeling and scuba diving. The Galapagos Islands are part of a well protected nature reserve so it is best to remember to try not disturb any of the natural environment when visiting here. It is also a good idea to bring a camera or two – one for land and one for under water. There is such an abundance of wildlife here that you will not regret it.
If you are intent on pursuing any of these activities specifically, it would be prudent to ensure that they are being offered at your destination of choice. Certainly one can see that there is a wealth of things to do in Ecuador and that if you so desire, your holiday can be as action packed as you want.