My Personal Paddleboarding Experiences in Ecuador.
The practice of Paddleboarding is an opportunity for excellent physical training, closer contact with the ocean, and life since you can catch any action around 360 degrees.
Sometimes I have had the company of dolphins, pelicans, blue-footed boobies, gulls and sea turtles. Besides, the sunset is always an amazing moment of the day and when you can enjoy it during a SUP ride is even better.
Ecuador is a perfect place for practicing this sport because of its beautiful beaches, bays, cliffs, reefs, saltwater inlets, estuaries such as Churute Eco Reserve at Guayaquil’s Gulf and Río Chone at Bahía de Caráquez.
Both ecosystems represent beautiful opportunities to practice Stand Up Paddleboarding and I have special memories of the ride from Saiananda Hostelry to Paseo Roberto Beach at Bahía de Caráquez with the company of my friend Allyson Alemán.
Birdwatching from Saiananda Hostelry to Paseo Roberto Beach
Birdwatching is another passion for me, fortunately, our country counts with more than sixteen hundred species of birds, distributed in its four regions, some of them can be found during a SUP ride in the ocean or at another aquatic ecosystem.
I remember hundreds of frigate birds flying over us when we were crossing in front of their mangrove island and Isla Corazón, then we passed under the bridge that connects Bahía with San Vicente were a dozen of yachts and catamarans anchor.
The last mile to the beach was choppy and at our arrival, we had the pleasure to meet with Ingrid Zambrano the Mayor of Bahía de Caráquez, who decided to support the first Bahía SUP Race Competition. Stand Up Paddle Boarding is very friendly with the environment, this is another good reason why I enjoy the practice of it.
In October 2014 Holbrook Travel Corporation gave the opportunity to work as a Tour Leader for a multi-sport tourism program at the Galápagos Islands and Stand Up Paddleboarding was included. So, I decided to take my first SUP class in Montañita with my friend and instructor Carlos Velez.
It was a real challenge, but after uncounted falls, I finally was able to do it. A few days later I had my first group from the United States of America, most of them were senior citizens but with that young spirit that characterized them.
I definitely feel fortunate to work for them and I get inspired by many of them to enjoy life and to take new challenges.
Later I decided to buy my first SUP board, a second hand Brazilian 12 ft one, it was the beginning of the adventure. Currently, I have 3 boards and I share this with my daughter Mafy, who is also a Tour Guide. She also leads the multisport groups at the Galápagos and with my son José who enjoys it too.
I hope more people get involved in the practice of Stand-Up Paddleboarding as a hobby and I am convinced Ecuador has a great opportunity to develop this sport and eco-tours related to SUP!
Gerente de Operaciones de Galápagos Best
Guía Naturalista de la Reserva Ecológica Manglares Churute