Vilcabamba Ecuador: Madre Tierra Resort Tour + Rumi Wilco Hike + Bachata Dancing (Episode 120)

On our trip to Vilcabamba Ecuador, we stayed at the beautiful and relaxing Madre Tierra Resort and Spa. We also enjoyed a leisurely hike on the Rumi Wilco trail along Río Vilcabamba. And we ended our video with a night of bachata dancing with Johnny and Olesya.

We hope you can join us at our first unconventional social event in Cuenca on Wednesday. If you’re planning to attend, please RSVP on our Facebook Event so we can give our venue a headcount:

Vilcabamba Ecuador Madre Tierra Resort & Spa

We absolutely LOVED our time at Madre Tierra Resort & Spa in Vilcabamba Ecuador. The grounds were beautiful, our room was very comfortable, the food was delicious and the views were spectacular! If you book with them, tell them Amelia and JP sent you!

View from our Room at Madre Tierra Resort & Spa

On our second day in Vilcabamba, we awoke to sun and blue skies, with incredible views of the valley and mountains. I snapped these shots with my iPhone, but had no idea it would capture what we were seeing with such clarity. I didn’t edit any of these photos, but they still don’t look real!

Vilcabamba Ecuador Madre Tierra View 1 Vilcabamba Ecuador Madre Tierra View 2

Hiking Near Madre Tierra Resort & Spa

In addition to the Rumi Wilco hike we featured in the video, we also hiked along the gravel road in front of Madre Tierra Resort & Spa.

Madre Tierra is the pin just below the “P” in San Pedro in the map below. On Wednesday, we hiked west along the road and looped back into Vilcabamba for lunch.

Vilcabamba Madre Tierra Walk Map

The views along the road on a bright, sunny day were equally unbelievable to the views from our room. This is a photo of Montaña Mandango, known as the sleeping Inca by the indigenous people. You can hike all the way to the top of this mountain, but we’ve been told it’s a very difficult hike. Maybe we’ll do that on the next trip to Vilcabamba.

Vilcabamba Ecuador Mandango

Vilcabamba Ecuador Old House

Vilcabamba Ecuador Old House 2

On Thursday, we hiked up the ridiculously steep road heading northwest from Madre Tierra and were rewarded with these views of the valley below.

Vilcabamba Ecuador Hike 1 Vilcabamba Ecuador Hike 2

Madre Tierra Resort & Spa Dining

As with most hotels and resorts, the vegan menu options were limited. However, they went out of their way to accommodate our dietary requirements with some very delicious food.

Vilcabamba Ecuador Madre Tierra Breakfast 1

Fresh Fruit and Juice

Vilcabamba Ecuador Madre Tierra Breakfast 2

Oats with Fruit and Cinnamon

Vilcabamba Ecuador Madre Tierra Beet Soup

Beet Soup

Vilcabamba Ecuador Madre Tierra Dinner 1

Vegan Sauteed Veggie Stuffed Crepe

Vilcabamba Ecuador Madre Tierra Guac


Bachata Dancing with Johnny and Olesya

If you’re interested in taking dance lessons with Johnny, check out our Cuenca Ecuador Salsa Dancing video for more information.

Vilcabamba Bachata Johnny Olesya

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Cuenca Ecuador Salsa Dancing + Allpafest 2019 (Episode 111)

This was an unexpected Day In The Life video! We planned to meet Olesya and Johnny for some Cuenca Ecuador Salsa Dancing lessons in the afternoon, but we didn’t have much else planned for the day.

Before lunch, we wandered down to the Allpafest event near Parque de la Madre for a quick look, but we ended up staying quite a while. Usually, when we go to popup ferias, we only stay a few minutes, but Allpafest was great! We saw lots of friends and ate some delicious vegan goodies!

Fans of Amelia And JP

On our way into Allpafest, we heard someone yell “JP” from behind us. It was Ivan and Mauricio who are fans of our YouTube Channel!

They’re both from Cuenca, but they have lived in New York for the past 15 years. Now they’re thinking about returning home to Cuenca to open a business!

Ivan and Mauricio Cuenca Ecuador

And they’re vegan, too! Ivan told us he had some serious health issues that prompted him to go vegan. He lost 30 pounds and all his health issues cleared up! We hear that all the time! The human body’s natural healing power is unbridled when you fuel it with healthy, plant-based foods!

Ivan and Mauricio mentioned a few of our favorite places in the video. Here are links to our videos of them:

It’s nice to meet people in real life who watch our channel. Now that we have over 100 videos, mostly about Cuenca Ecuador, more people are starting to recognize us on the street and in stores. It’s still a bit strange to meet complete strangers who know us so well and reference interesting things that we caught on film.

If you see us out and about, feel free to stop and say hi!

Allpafest by Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador

We’ve been to lots of ferias during our time in Cuenca Ecuador, but Allpafest by Allpa Feria Holística was by far the best one yet. We normally only stay at the ferias for 10 or 15 minutes, but we were there for almost 2 hours!

Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador

Jewelry from the Amazon

I managed to convince Amelia to pass by the shoes only to come to a screeching halt at a booth selling handmade jewelry from the Amazon jungle (de la selva).

Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador Amazon Jewelry

We’ve seen this Amazonian indigenous woman at several other ferias here in Cuenca. Her facial tattoos are quite striking! These are common among the Amazonian people.

Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador Amazon Lady

Amelia bought this necklace for $10. You’ll probably see it in a future belly dancing video!

Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador Amazon Necklace

Amelia’s Chakra Alignment

Our next stop was to get Amelia’s chakras aligned. As a man who appreciates science-based evidence, I’m not a big believer in this practice, but Amelia came out of it feeling very relaxed and peaceful. We have no way of knowing if it was the crystal waving or perhaps the meditative state combined with the aromas sprayed into the air.

Regardless, she was able to quash a hot flash before it overtook her for the first time. She may look like she’s in her 30’s, but she’s almost 51 and she’s going through early menopause like her mother did.

Thanks to our vegan whole-food plant-based (WFPB) diet and Dr. Rosy’s awesome cruelty-free skin care treatments, Amelia is aging in reverse! People from all over the world are searching for the fountain of youth and we found it in our WFPB diet!

Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador Chakra

Cuenca Ecuador Music Scene

Cuenca has quite the music scene. There are lots of very talented musicians that play in clubs, concerts and ferias around Cuenca. Allpafest featured several different musicians and bands.

Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador Singer

Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador Guitar Player

Vegan Food at Allpafest

We are constantly surprised at how many vegan options we have here in Cuenca Ecuador. When we moved here, we had no idea Cuenca was going to become the vegan capital of South America!

Panda Cakes Cuenca

Pao and Pietro from Panda Cakes Cuenca are vegan friends of ours. They are the sweetest, nicest people you’ll ever meet. You may remember Pao from our Cuenca Ecuador Fitness video. Pao wasn’t there when we filmed this video, but we got to see her later in the day when we went back with Olesya and Johnny after our Cuenca Ecuador Salsa Dancing lessons.

Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador Panda Cakes Cuenca

You may remember Pietro from our Rock Climbing in the Rain at Cojitambo Ecuador video. In addition to helping Pao make delicious vegan desserts and snack bars, he also climbs mountains! He was very surprised to see Amelia’s new hairdo.

Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador Panda Cakes Cuenca Pietro

Kiosko Vegan

Kiosko Vegan is a vegan food kiosk that sells veganese, sausages and falafels here in Cuenca Ecuador. We were too full after eating Pao and Pietro’s delicious desserts so we’ll have to try out their vegan food on a different occasion.

Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador Kiosko Vegan Owner Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador Kiosko Vegan

Lupuna Organics Soap from Khatu Organic

I have very sensitive skin so I like to use this Lupuna Organics soap that can be found at natural stores around Cuenca, including Khatu Organic. We filmed their store through the window when we went to lunch at Yuraveg. We still need to go back again when they’re open.

Allpa Feria Holística Cuenca Ecuador Lupuna Soap Khatu

Cuenca Ecuador Salsa Dancing with Salserios

Yes. It’s true. I did, in fact, agree to take salsa dancing lessons. WHYYYY????!!!! ?

When my friend Stephen came to visit before our trip to India, we took him to a Cuenca Ecuador salsa dancing hotspot and Johnny was there cutting a rug with his mad salsa dancing skills. That’s when Amelia gave me a couple drinks and tricked me into taking salsa dancing lessons when we got back from India. She’s very sneaky!

You may remember Olesya from our Yoga In The Park video. She’s also a dance assistant with Johnny, helping him teach his salsa dancing classes.

Cuenca Ecuador Salsa Dancing Johnny Olesya Amelia

Olesya and Johnny are hosting a retreat in Vilcabamba on June 28th, 2019 and we wanted to help them promote it. It’s called Retiro de Yoga & Baile and will be a combination of yoga, dancing, hiking and relaxing. It’s at a small retreat hotel so there are only a few spots available. If you would like to go, please contact Olesya through the event page on Facebook.

Dance classes start this week! Wish us luck! If you watched the video, you know I really need it!

Cuenca Ecuador Salsa Dancing

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!

Two Birthday Parties + Salsa Dancing in Cuenca Ecuador (Episode 87)

We had a busy Tuesday with two birthday parties and my friend Stephen’s arrival in Cuenca Ecuador from the states. On Thursday, we went to Café Libre for dinner and then Salsa Dancing at Verde Pintón y Maduro.

Be sure to check out our next video. Stephen does some crazy adventure sports here in Cuenca that Amelia and I would never do!

Abin’s Birthday Party at Namaste India

We’re leaving for India in a couple weeks to attend Chinnu and Abin’s wedding, but today was Abin’s special day! He turned 30 years old and we celebrated with him at Namaste India.

Abin Bday

It’s a tradition in India to celebrate birthdays at midnight on the “morning” of the actual birthday so we left home around 11:15 PM to walk down to El Centro. It’s also tradition to smear cake all over the face of the birthday boy or girl.

Abin Cake Face

In addition to cake, they made lots of delicious Indian food for the party. They’re so thoughtful – they made several vegan dishes that everyone enjoyed.

Abin Bday Feast

Stephen’s Arrival from the States

That afternoon, my old friend Stephen arrived from the States and he stayed with us for several days. Our next video will feature his wild and crazy antics. He took a buseta from Guayaquil with Operazuaytur for $12.

Stephen Arrival

Olesya’s Birthday Party

It was also Olesya’s 30th birthday on the same day as Abin’s! We have two friends born on exactly the same day: one in Russia and one in Southern India! What a small world!


Olesya stays with an Ecuadorian family who was happy to host her birthday party and welcome us into their home.

Olesya Bday Party

You may remember Olesya from our Food With Friends video or her Yoga in the Park video.

Dinner at Café Libre

On Thursday, we went to Café Libre for dinner with Stephen before going salsa dancing. As always, the food was AMAZING!

I had La Especial de la Semana (the special of the week), which was pasta in a cashew cream sauce covered in veggies with a side salad.

Cafe Libre Especial

Amelia had the Raw Lasagna with a side salad.

Cafe Libre Raw Lasagna

And Stephen had the Jack ‘n Jack Gua Bao. YUM!

Cafe Libre Gua Bao

Salsa at Verde Pintón y Maduro

After we ate dinner at Café Libre, we walked a few blocks over to Verde Pintón y Maduro for some Salsa Dancing. Amelia and I didn’t dance but we’ve decided to take some lessons when we get back from India. Stephen loves Salsa so we mainly went for him, but we thoroughly enjoyed watching all the incredible dancing!

Stephen Dancing

They dance several different styles of Salsa here in Ecuador: Kizomba, Regular Salsa, Cha Cha and Bachata. I couldn’t tell  you the difference, but they’re all very beautiful styles.

The venue had a $3 drink minimum, and the drinks ranged from $5 to $8 so the minimum was easy to hit. We spent about $35 on 5 drinks.

Hopefully you enjoyed our video, and if you did, please LIKE, COMMENT and SHARE it, and SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube channel. ¡Muchas Gracias y Hasta Luego!