♦ WANDERBUS offers the first and only hop-on/hop-off at any-point-along-the-way bus travel option around Ecuador: from the Andes to the Amazon to the Pacific Coast. Wanderbusers can go all over the country, on carefully planned routings — starting or ending at Quito/Cuenca/Guayaquil/anywhere; hopping on or off for as long as you wish in Cotopaxi/Banos/Riobamba/Porto Lopez and more; cobbling together personally customized, flexible itineraries to include beaches, market villages, birdwatching, rafting, cooking and more. On board is multilingual guide, bearing water and snacks, organizing time out and off the bus for eating breaks, adding to the experience by stopping by farms, points of interest, national parks. The point is: choose the pass that best suits personal travel plans — whether for 2 days or 3 weeks. www.wanderbusecuador.com
♦ WORLD TRAVEL AWARDS included many TMLA Suppliers up for voting, and one of Quito’s very own, the Illa Experience Hotel, who won for “Ecuador Leading Boutique Hotel 2019.” Set in a historic house in historic San Marcos and representing the handsome style of early 20th century mansions, the original building dates to 1700, and the 10-room hotel showcase key periods from Colonial to Republican to Contemporary. Illa experiences range from fine, farm-to-table dining to neighborhood visits: the workshop of an artisan hand-carving wood toys, watercolor painting in an art studio, tasting helado de paila — homemade ice cream spun in a copper bowl. To see the Central & South America winners, visit: https://www.worldtravelawards.com/winners/2019.