"The Aguardiente Tour"

Aguardiente translates as "fire water" - it's the traditional alcohol brewed in Ecuador. It is made from sugar cane, which is crushed, distilled and fermented to produce alcohol with a grade ranging from 50 to 80%. In the countryside of Bolivar Province, a litre bottle of aguardiente sells for anything between 30 cents and $1.50. There is a small distillation plant (pictured above) in Piedra Blanca - if the season is right, you can witness the entire brewing process. Treks along the "alcohol contraband route" can also be made.

Mules / donkeys are used in the aguardiente brewing process

You could also visit the larger alcohol distillation plant in nearby Moraspungo run by CADO, where aguardiente produced by local farmers is processed into high-grade medicinal alcohol for exportation. Other nearby sustainable development projects can also be visited by those interested.

Ecuador - off the beaten track ecotourism