Ecuador

Ecuador is named for the equator, which runs through the country. One of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Ecuador is located in the northwest region of south america, straddling the equator right along latitude 0°. Within this relatively small piece of south america, there exists an impressive amount of diversity, all of which lies in exciting proximity. Like its neighbors, peru to the east and south and colombia to the north, ecuador is home to amazonian jungle, mountainous andean sierra and stunning pacific coastline. Ecuador even boasts the world-famous and wildlife-abundant galapagos islands 620 miles off its coast. More...
    

Overview (Why?)

Ecuador travel guide: overview Ecuador is named for the equator, which runs through the country. One of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Ecuador is located in the northwest region of south america, straddling the equator right along latitude 0°. Within this relatively small piece of south america, there exists an impressive amount of diversity, all of which lies in exciting proximity. Like its neighbors, peru to the east and south and colombia to the north, ecuador is home to amazonian jungle, mountainous andean sierra and stunning pacific coastline. Ecuador even boasts the world-famous and wildlife-abundant galapagos islands 620 miles off its coast.

Ecuador geography facts Ecuador is a vibrant, fascinating country in south america, and it makes for an incredible destination. This begins with almost 1,000 miles of coastline with great beaches, thence to the andes mountains and tropical rainforests of the amazon basin. Bears, jaguars, tiny tamarin monkeys, pumas, ocelots, anteaters, sloths, armadillos, anacondas, alligators, giant river otters and ocelots are among ecuador’s most exotic residents. With more than 1,500 species of birds (700 more species than australia) ecuador is a bird-watcher’s paradise. Charles darwin was inspired to form his theory of evolution by his visit to the galapagos islands and the dozens of strange creatures that exist here and nowhere else in the world, like the galapagos penguin and the marine iguana.

Interesting facts about ecuador The national tree of ecuador is the cinchona tree which produces quinine, the first drug used to prevent and treat malaria. Ecuador is one of only two countries in south america that does not share a border with brazil.

Why visit ecuador? Ecuadorians say that when god created the world, there was a little bit of everything left over and so it all went into ecuador. From mountains and volcanoes to jungles, cloud forests, and beaches, and with bustling city life, colonial towns, and rich cultural traditions, ecuador is a one-of-a-kind destination.

Calderas in ecuador But volcanoes can also be amazing, beautiful, unique, and impressive. Ecuador has one of the highest densities of volcanoes of all countries in the world. Especially the so-called avenue of the volcanoes in the andes of ecuador is peppered with several volcanoes.

Is ecuador safe? You should exercise caution when travelling in crowded places; use a money belt; avoid certain neighbourhoods and parks after dark; take licensed taxis (or use a cab hailing app like uber or cabify); photocopy your passport to have with you; be suspicious of people ‘trying to help you’ (there is a scam where visitors are smeared with mustard (or worse) and approached by a kind samaritan whose accomplice will divest you of your wallet/bag. ); wear your backpack on the front; take local advice. Health and vaccinationsthere is a small risk of yellow fever and dengue in some parts of the country. Check with your doctor if you need these or other vaccinations.

Ecuador weather: Quito is 3000m above sea-level and so the temperature is generally cold so prepare layers especially if you are planning to hike cotopaxi and pichincha volcano. It will rain a lot more often out of these months so i would recommend you to stick to this period.

Climate in ecuador: two main seasons Even during the rainy season, most days are sunny until the afternoon which makes ecuador a perfect holiday destination. Ecuador lies directly on the equator, with the entire country experiencing 12 hours of direct equatorial daylight 365 days a year.

Is tipping customary in ecuador? Leaving a 10% tip is customary in restaurants. Some automatically add a 10% service charge to your bill, in which case an extra tip isn’t required.

Tips on Ecuador Travel: Always carry your own toilet paper and hand sanitizer, as these are not always provided.



Moving around!!

Ecuador Flights: Most people will land in Quito. How to get to quito: there are several major airlines that fly directly to quito from the US such as delta, united and american airline.

Train journeys: Ecuador train journeys amazing adventures through the andes & coast. For the workers and engineers to have created a viable passage from quito to guayaquil over a century ago with the technology available at the time is nothing less than heroic. The track goes over rocky ravines, along raging rivers, through dense cloud forests and around mountains. But by far the most impressive section of the railway is the so-called “devil’s nose”, a hair-raising trip down the rocky slopes of the andes through some of ecuador’s most breathtaking scenery.

Traveling in ecuador by train-an elegant experience In the early days of the republic, over the terms of two conflicted presidents, the country developed train lines that connected quito to guayaquil. This feat required ascending and descending a riveting set of switchbacks, the devil’s nose, to connect the coast to the mountains.

Train ecuador Starting at chimbacalle station, learn about the history of the train’s origin and enjoy a photo opp in front of a replica train. During the ride, you will see the most stunning views, including pichincha, atacazo, pasochoa, corazon mountains and the famous cotopaxi volcano. I also loved the street art at the beginning, not to mention the beauty of nature and the animals. but don’t let all the gently moving train lull you off to sleep—you will miss out on a lot.

Tren ecuador train tours Tren ecuador and tren crucero ecuador travel through the legendary roads once used by the iconic train in the early 20th century. Cross the country from quito to guayaquil aboard the idyllic tren crucero or make it a day trip through any of the routes available for the ten ecuador trails, which encompass the renowned nariz del diablo route.

Ecuador tren crucero Completed in the early days of the republic, the route includes high mountain switchbacks, stays at historic haciendas, and stops in villages where the way of life still follows the traditions of generations past.

Bus travel in Ecuador A local bus ticket costs usually about $0. Bus stops are really only existent in quito – outside of the city, you’ll generally just have to flag one down and request your stop whenever it comes along.

The pros to bus travel in ecuador For every hour on a bus, you’re paying around $1-$1. (once you know this, it makes eating out at restaurants much less enjoyable. Generally you find in ecuador for bus travel it takes around 3hrs per 100km.

Local transportation in ecuador Cost of travel in ecuador is the lowest in all latin america. Buses in the country is very cheap and it is abundant in any part of the country mostly in major countries. A bus ride from quitos southern terminal to banos that cost $3.

Traveling in ecuador by bus When you get on a bus, you take your seat among the locals and you can sit back and enjoy not just the countryside whizzing by, but also everything else that goes on during a bus ride. For example, at the different stops, vendors will get on selling everything from pre-packed snacks through to full fried chicken meals with rice or salchipapas (sausage and chips). You will also find that people try and sell all kinds of different remedies and cures for many illnesses.

Safety and security on buses in ecuador One common problem, both on the buses themselves, and in the bus stations is that of pickpockets. Be aware of your valuables at all times, and ideally keep them as concealed as possible. This includes cell phones as well as money, credit cards, passport and any other expensive items (such as sunglasses, watches, jewelry or others).

Bus entertainment in ecuador We suggest bringing headphones, unless you enjoy very loud, very terrible films. For just a few dollars you can usually get quite a long way.

Bus from the colombia / ecuador border: From Ipiales, you will need to take a bus to otavalo which takes 3 hours. Tickets should cost no more than $4 (€3). Sometimes the bus will drop you off just outside of the main centre of otavalo, but it is an easy walk into town from the drop off point, so no need to worry.

Ecuador car rental requirements Rates range from $30 (us) dollars a day to over $100 a day, depending on the vehicle you choose. Check for any damage before leaving with the car and make sure the car comes with an aired up spare tire and jack. Ecuador car rental. Major cities like quito, guayaquil and cuenca have several options. You can also find options in smaller cities or get a car delivered from the nearest big city.

Driving in ecuador Alert driving is a must at all times. A big step up from what it had been.

Border crossing ecuador to colombia Typically it’s easy breezy. The poor luck will be mostly due to bad timing.



What to see?

Ecuador Places to visit in Ecuador range from the plains of the amazon basin to the snow-capped peaks of the andes and even a patch of desert-like coast in the south. Volcanoes are scattered across the country but the most well-known volcanoes are the active cotopaxi volcano, pichincha volcano at 4,784 metres, the highest, chimborazo at over 6,000 metres and the most active, sangay. There are cloud forests, hot springs and thermal pools all waiting to be explored in this diversely scenic country.

Ecuador highlights In effect, it is one of the most beautiful capital cities in latin america. Quito is surrounded by the spanish architecture, for that reason, it has baroque and neo-gothic style churches. The downtown uncovers the history of the incas and the spaniards.

Quito, Ecuador This was the first city in the world to be declared a unesco world heritage site, and walking around, it’s easy to see why. Nicknamed the “florence of the americas,” this city has an unbelievably beautiful blend of old architecture and indigenous art, with views of nearby volcanoes around every corner. Ecuador will capture your heart and imagination as you stroll through markets and sample spectacular food and drink.

Classic ecuador Starting in the lively city of quito, we explore the colonial centre, the equatorial monument and take a tour to the colourful market town of otavalo. Then it’s on to mindo cloud forest and cotopaxi national park. Take a ride on the famous “devil’s nose” train from alausi before heading to cuenca and cajas national park. Like the panecillo, the street of the 7 churches, the basilica and the plaza grande in the historical centre.

Quito as a base for fantastic Ecuador adventures This is the best place to start no matter which corner of ecuador you wish to explore, be that the stupendous archipelago of the galapagos islands, beautiful and historic cuenca, the ecuadorian region of the amazon, the picturesque andean town of otavalo (with its remarkable indigenous markets) and a kaleidoscope of other destinations you can visit on an overland trip, including the serene thermal baths region of banos, and charming seaside villages along the coastal strip of the ruta del sol. Do give yourself time to adjust and take it easy, especially in the first 2 days in town.

Quito, Ecuador International visitors to quito come to stand on the equator at “la mitad del mundo,” explore the architecture of one of the world’s best preserved historic centers, and to stop over before launching off to the galapagos islands and other points in ecuador. For ecuatorianos, this historic city is an important center of domestic and international business, with major industries including textiles, metals, and agriculture. Running in quito can be complicated due to elevation (2,850 meters above sea level), traffic, and smog.

The volcanoes of Ecuador (near Quito) The volcanoes of Ecuador in this archipelago are considered one of the world’s most supreme destinations to encounter a diverse ecosystem of plant species and wildlife. We were lucky enough to set out and hike the andes range, the world’s longest continental mountain range, and witness plenty of breathtaking volcanoes in their natural environment. The san pablo lake is at the foot of the imbabura volcano.

Mojanda lakes near Quito, Ecuador Only a few miles north of the equator, the lakes were formed by the collapse of twin volcanoes. Mojanda volcano and fuya-fuya volcano both exploded between 200,000 and 165,000 years ago, allowing water to collect within the resulting calderas and forming three separate lakes. At approximately 12,250 feet in elevation, the air temperature is quite chilly at times and the area often surrounded in fog, so tourists didnt visit the lakes often until recently.

Ecuador - teleferiqo tram ride This tram is useful for moving around hilly regions of Quito. I love how blue the sky is here.

Carnival in Ecuador (Cuenca and Quito) and south america Keep reading for some of the fun places where you can celebrate carnival while rubbing elbows with the locals. All of the major cities including quito and cuenca have celebrations that include people throwing water balloons, spraying foam, and letting go.

El panecilloquito, ecuador The hill divides south quito from the rest of the city and has been an important part of quitos history for hundreds of years. The small, round hill has be described as a little loaf of bread.

Places to visit in ecuador In fact, Quito is the second highest capital in the world next to la paz, bolivia. Because of this, the scenery from the top is breathtaking. Also, the splendid church structures in quito are so beautiful that it must be preserved, and so it was.

Quito, ecuador photos On our first day we took public transit north of the city to mitad del mundo (middle of the world) and saw the original equator line where they built a monument and the actual equator line, which was calculated using gps. 5 weeks in colombia as we were not falling in love with the country.

Climate in Quito, Ecuador Quito is 3000m above sea-level and so the temperature is generally cold so prepare layers especially if you are planning to hike cotopaxi and pichincha volcano. It will rain a lot more often out of these months so i would recommend you to stick to this period. How to get to quito there are several major airlines that fly directly to quito from the us such as delta, united and american airline.

The best places to visit while backpacking ecuador Visit the city of quito, the beautiful city of quito embodies the essence of the country. Markets, colorful streets, colonial churches and cathedrals are found along a valley surrounded by active volcanoes. Do not miss the climb to rucu pichincha so you can enjoy the best views of the city, with the great cotopaxi in the background.

Quilotoa loop ecuador Quilotoa volcano at 3,914 m (12,841 ft) high, is a 2 mile (3km) wide caldera filled with a brilliant blue lake. The view from the edge of the crater 600 feet below (280 m) is nothing short of spectacular and is the highlight of the route of panoramic mountain scenery small villages that dot the roads between quilotoa and the largest nearby city of latacunga.

Cotopaxi (2nd highest volcano in ecuador) It is by far one of the most-climbed volcanoes in ecuador and is also one of the most visited, thanks in large part to it being so close to quito (around an hour away). Something else is that you can get your vehicle pretty close to the refuge.

Hiking cotopaxi volcano and national park in ecuador After hiking rucu pichinca and north iliniza as part of our acclimatization, we were full of energy and motivation. Located 31 miles south of quito, the cotopaxi volcano is the second highest summit in ecuador (19,347 feet). But there is more than meets the eyes.

Budget for climbing cotopaxi volcano in ecuador This included the guide ($65 per day divided between 2 people) + equipment rental ($30 for boots, crampons, an ice ax, and a helmet) + jose ribas shelter ($10 for camping) + transport (bus + $ 25 jeep). The agencies usually charge about $160 to $180 for this tour.

Ecuador travel: things to do in cotopaxi national park Spanning a massive stretch of 33,400 hectares, the park boasts one of the most picturesque volcanoes of the continent, the eponymous cotopaxi volcano, along with two other gigantic peaks. Adding to its charm is the vast flourishing paramo (a high treeless plateau in tropical south america), perfect for gentle hikes past grazing animals.

Santa rita private reserve near Quito: while we trekking cotopaxi, we will discover the 11 species of hummingbirds of the area, as well as the orchids and bromeliads

Cotacachi- discover a hidden treasure in northern ecuador Spoke of untouched nature, a kind family and a genuine insight into local culture. Yet, cotacachi proved to be even more complex and interesting than i’d imagined.

A restless volcano puts ecuador on edge once more Gda/apcotopaxi, located only 60 kilometers from quito in ecuador, has been silent for almost 75 years. Prior to this three-quarter century quiescence, the volcano was vociferous, producing dozens of potent eruptions over the two centuries. Most of these explosive eruptions where fairly small.

Antisana (4th highest volcano in ecuador) Most of the time, it is wrapped up in clouds, concealing it from the eyes of many visitors. It’s not until you get close to the volcano itself that you get to appreciate just how large it is.

Main lakes of ecuador Ecuador’s best lakes are in some cases located just a few hours from quito, but others are further afield. Some of the most interesting and picturesque lakes and lagoons of ecuador that are worth a visit are described below. The main lakes of ecuador that visitors travel to are quilotoa, cuicocha, mojanda, san pablo, el cajas and panacocha, but there are lots of others too.

Wildlife near Quito, Ecuador At napo wildlife center, they stayed deep in the jungle. Also, one of the most biodiverse regions on earth, we explored the yasuni national park, searched for wildlife, and learned about the traditions of indigenous cultures all while staying in the comfort of a beautiful lodge.

Will i experience altitude sickness in ecuador? Quito, as well as other tourist spots, sit above this elevation and some travellers might experience symptoms of altitude sickness, including shortness of breath, headache, nausea and loss of appetite. It’s important to take it easy, drink plenty of water and speak to your group leader at once if you feel unwell.

The ultimate guide to the beaches in Ecuador: If travelling from quito, Esmeraldas will be the first major stop on the coast.

Can i rent a mountain bike in ecuador? Below are a few places you can approach to inquire about rentals. Biking dutchman – likely the most experienced bike tour company in quito, biking dutchman also rents out mountain bikes to individuals on a day to day basis. Pacha bikers – rents out city and mountain bikes at $30 for a half day.

Ecuador expeditions- volcano trail Highlights include biking in cotopaxi national park, the quilotoa crater lake, and visiting chimborazo-the highest point from the center of the earth in the world. Before heading back to quito, you visit tungurahua, an active volcano outside of banos.

Otavalo, Ecuador near Quito It is well-known for its indigenous saturday market where plenty of people flock together to buy, sell, eat and enjoy the day. The town is quite picturesque and upon getting there we realised there is lot to do around it.

Otavalo, Ecuador - Continue En route, well stop briefly at a stunning panoramic lookout of the imbabura volcano and san pablo lake The small town of otavalo bustles with activity and makes the perfect first stop to immerse you in a world of artisan goods, from colorful textiles, alpaca coats, paintings, jewelry, leather, and so much more.

Pawkar raymi, as celebrated in otavalo, ecuador There are mestizo, indigenous and afro-ecuadorian celebrations. One of the rituals is called tumarina.

Laguna Cuicocha hike near Otavalo, Ecuador Visit one of the most underrated crater lakes in Ecuador with our travel guide. Not only the lagoon is stunning, the hike will also help you with acclimatization as lots of Ecuadorian backpackers places lie in higher altitude.

The Otavalo animal and craft markets (Otavalo, Ecuador) Held only once a week on early saturday mornings, otavalo’s animal market is not what you would describe as the easiest thing to see for yourself. If you are sensitive to the treatment of animals, this.

Ibarra - a taste of Ecuador without the crowds Add in some good coffee, and an excellent ice cream parlour and the city becomes more than a quick stopping off point in northern Ecuador. Whether you want to take a break on the way to or coming from Colombia, or you want to get a real taste of life in the country, the city will reward your efforts.

Mindo Cloud Forest near Quito The most well-known Ecuador cloud forest area is the Mindo cloud forest, a world-renowned destination for bird watching with over 400 observed bird species. Another popular attraction of the ecuador cloud forest are its more than 4,200 documented species of orchids. Most of the lodges in the ecuador cloud forest are built by eco-friendly standards.

Ecuador travel with kids in the highlands can include a stay or two in a hacienda, learning how to weave near otavalo, ziplining or tubing in mindo, visiting waterfalls in banos, horseback riding in the cotopaxi national park and hot springs in papallacta

Ecuador rafting tours Its a great place to enjoy a day of white water rafting. There are a great variety of options when it comes to rafting, rivers suitable for beginners to experts. In quito, you can arrange for just about any of the rafting trips available.

Cuenca, Ecuador Cuenca’s historic center is a unesco world heritage site.

Alausi Ecuador (near Cuenca) Other than the huge statue of saint peter on the hill, there isnt too much else to see. But its definitely worth a visit. We really enjoyed our day here and would do it again.

Cuenca, Ecuador- Parque Paraiso For much of the day there was not one cloud in the sun filled sky to be seen. The deep blue and bright yellow colors bathed us. We went for a very long walk along the yanuncay river and soaked in every bit of it.

Venture to the Ingapirca, largest inca ruins in ecuador Located in the canar province, the remains of the 15th century community give visitors a look inside the history of the inca and native canari people. The site is one that rivals ecuador’s more famous attractions.

Amazonia tour near Banos, Ecuador Near Banos Ecuador, you can take this 1 day tour and experience the Ecuadorian Amazon rainforest. Hiking and canoeing are lagoons of activities that you can enjoy on this tour.

Ecuador vacation day 4: banos Banos is a city set up for tourism and you will notice much has been done to accommodate the traveller. All around town you will note converted trucks that now accommodate tourists. These travel all through the city and will take you to many of the out of town attractions – from the waterfalls to the volcano to zip lining adventure to the famous banos swing.

Ecuador unleashed: Banos Its a barrel of laughs for a couple of hours on the river, with plenty of adrenaline flowing as we navigate grade 4+ rapids. Its probably the most thrilling (and technical) rafting ive done anywhere in the world.

Banos, Ecuador Its name, which is spanish for “baths (of sacred water),” comes from the famous hydrothermal springs in the area. It’s equally popular with foreigners as with Ecuadorians, and is known as the adventure capital of Ecuador. The streets are lined with hotels, restaurants, souvenir shops, and tour adventures and options.

Settling into life in Banos, Ecuador Banos itself is small and charming, a beautiful little town tucked into the andes mountains. We are living and volunteering at arte del mundo, an organization that promotes literacy and the arts to the children of banos.

Banos Ecuador The natural beauty of this little town found next door to the tungurahua volcano make it highly attractive. Beautiful waterfalls pouring into deep river gorges are surrounded by lush vegetation.

Banos, Ecuador It is located in the mountains about midway between quito and cuenca. And when heading east towards the amazon it is the last large city you pass through, giving it the name “gateway to the amazon”.

Ecuador- tour of Banos For only $6 bucks each we got to hop on a double-decker bus and be driven around to see and experience the gorgeous waterfalls, slot canyons, and rivers in banos.

Adventure guide to Banos Ecuador It’s a medium-ish sized town in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountains. It’s as much of a tourist town as it is a popular weekend getaway for ecuadorians. It’s hard not falling in love with this place and all that it offers.

Banos de agua santa, Ecuador It’s bustling year-round with gap-year backpackers swigging beers at downtown bars, travelers grabbing cappuccinos in starbucks-like cafes, and vendors hawking guided tours from small shops lining the streets offering “just for you” discounts for those tackling the myriad of outdoor sports. For the more laidback traveler looking for a relaxing spa vacation, massages start at $25 and can be found on just about every street corner.

Canyoning in Banos Ecuador with ivaga tours As soon as you arrive into town, you notice the hundreds of agencies competing for your business. In reality, it can be a daunting task trying to figure out which agency to use and make sure you get a good level of service. As we walked in and out from several agencies, we finally reached ivaga tours.

Banos, Ecuador I had seen pictures of the swing at the edge of the world and was excited to be able to add this to our “to-do list”. I did a rough search and found both inexpensive, basic options as well as more expensive, more luxurious options.

Chasing waterfalls in Banos Ecuador If you are in banos, we highly recommend doing the famous “ruta de las cascadas” on a bicycle. This is really fun and allows you to go at your own pace and admire them.

Banos, Ecuador 2km from central banos, la casa verde is surrounded by a magnitude of flora and fauna - including hummingbirds and fire flies - complete with spectacular views of the river and the llanganates and sangay national parks. Its the perfect place to rest, relax and enjoy banos, in a sustainable, comfortable and safe environment.

Banos-best spas in Ecuador Used for centuries and dating back to the people before the inca, these literal hotspots are home to resorts that melt away the stress of travel and the routine of everyday life. It is home to volcanic baths.

Discover Guayaquil, Ecuador - the largest and most populous city in Ecuador This historic port is known as the “pacific pearl,” and its hard-won independence is woven into the fabric of many famous architectures.

Gateway to the Galapagos: a guide to Guayaquil, Ecuador The population and stretch of Guayaquil beats even the country’s capital, Quito, so the streets are alive with street vendors, bright lights and a mish-mashing of cultures brought together in search of better opportunities. Once we got to know the city, it didn’t seem so bad, and your perception of Guayaquil tends to be determined by whether or not you stayed in the centre. If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like the nitty gritty of large powerhouse cities, make sure you stick to area around the riverside and don’t stray much further than las penas.

Travel to Guayaquil in Ecuador, cities, travel destinations It is generally considered to be the economic capital of ecuador and the thriving entrepreneurial spirit of its people give evidence to this fact. Not only is this city located on the coast, but it is also the center of activity for the lower guayas basin – a fertile valley that has a large agricultural yield. Guayaquil is also the perfect place to start your ecuadorian adventures as it allows for easy travel through the rest of the country.

Ecuador Amazon rainforest The rainforest has lots of birds, cayman, piranhas, different species of monkeys, and many more. It is required to have a guide before visiting here. It is beneficial and more rewarding if you’ll invest in a lodge in the middle of the jungle because they would be your guide on the rainforest.

Indigenous tourism and jungle adventures at Sani ecolodge in Ecuador The sani lodge, named after the native people that host and run it, is an ecolodge in Ecuador. At the heart of the amazon rainforest, sani lodge offers an up-close look at one of latin america’s greatest natural wonders, which local indigenous communities are trying to preserve with the participation of international travelers.

Galapagos, Ecuador The galapagos islands are considered a province of ecuador. The islands are located in the pacific ocean, approximately 600 miles off the ecuadorian coast. The 19 islands straddle the equator to the north and south. Sea lions, sea iguanas, sea tortoises, pink dolphins, hikes, amazing discoveries and pure awe.

Human history and events of the Galapagos province - Ecuador A theory that explains how the vast variety of species on the earth have evolved from a simple, singled-celled common ancestor. We can look back at nearly five centuries of human contact with the galapagos and say that, without a doubt, the most important event in the human history of the galapagos was darwins visit in 1835. Even without darwin, though, the tale of human contact with the galapagos is a fascinating one, and the enchanted islands, as the early mariners called them, have meant many things to many people from many lands.

Top things to do in Galapagos, Ecuador The main highlights are the giant tortoises that call the island home. This island is also a unesco world heritage site, and the ecosystem is unique and as no outside influence. It is the perfect place for wildlife viewing.

Isabela island, Ecuador In the western part of the archipelago, Isabela is larger than all of the rest of the islands combined. Comprising six volcanos, the island is about 120 km long and covers 4,585 square km. Its highest point on wolf volcano rises 1,700 m above sea level.

Ecuador: scuba diving off the Galapagos islands But what lies off the coast – that of a unique, world-class diving location — still remains relatively unknown among diving fans. It is still private, pristine, and for the most part unexplored.

Travel to the Galapagos islands in Ecuador, travel destinations The island group was declared a world heritage site in 1978 and subsequently a world biosphere reserve in 1985 by unesco. Among the animals found there are the different species of giant galapagos turtles, blue footed, red footed and masked boobies, flamingos, frigate birds, albatrosses, unique small penguins, non-flying cormorants and 15 different species of finches.

Beaches in Ecuador The favorite spots for surf lovers are monpiche, montanita, ayampe, canoa and san mateo. Some beaches have small waves that are perfect for beginners, while other beaches have bigger waves that are great for those with more experience. In addition to these beaches, you’ll find many other perfect surfing spots in the galapagos islands.

Puerto Lopez - Beach town, Ecuador Pacific coastvisiting Puerto Lopez during the whale season can be very interesting, but in my opinion ecuador is not a country of great beaches. I personally wouldn’t devote much time to the coast.

Beach town, Canoa It is a cool, easy vibe surf town north of bahia and it was devastated in the earthquake. Most of the buildings were old, made of concrete and weathered wood, and stood two and three stories tall. It looked like over the years many buildings had been patched, propped, and painted over.

Visit the beaches of Ecuador The coastal town of salinas is among the most popular tourist area as it has several unique resorts and a pleasantly warm climate throughout the year. Apart from this, the Bahia de Caraquez, a city on the pacific coast is also quite popular among tourists due to its spectacular beaches.

Coastal Ecuador outside Esmeraldas I spent 4 long, loud days in Salinas over the weekend, and this is what i have to say about the touristy town. It seems like most of them don’t often wander beyond the beach line, which is a shame, especially if you are here for a few days, since this town is full of good food, well beyond the coast.

Misahualli Ecuador Located at the junction of the Misahualli and Napo rivers this sleepy, end of the road town has beautiful jungle scenery and a large sandy beach. They wander along the beach and into the park at the center of town.

Montanita, Ecuador I think once upon a time it was just a surfing town but now it is a huge party town. If you are looking for super beautiful beaches then i would suggest heading elsewhere, but if you are wanting to surf and party then this place is probably for you.

Why visit Montanita Ecuador The town attracts visitors from all over the world, and a lot of Ecuadorians who want to have a good time, too. Whether you want to learn to surf, hang out at the beach, be a hippie for a day or six, or just have a good time, Montanita should definitely be on your list.

Montanita: Ecuadors best surfing beach Translated as “little hill”, Montanita has been in the limelight for its thrilling surfing adventures, attracting champions (and rank amateurs) from all over the globe. Situated in the Santa Elena province, approximately 110 miles northwest of Guayaquil, this coastal town boasts a laidback attitude and a bohemian nightlife vibe. Scenic shorelines, world-famous beach resorts, plenty of sun, fishing, water-sports and just all-round fun, Montanita is the ideal beach destination for any family or group of friends looking to unwind, immerse themselves in Ecuadorian culture, and enjoy the wild beauty of the pacific ocean.

Out of my comfort zone: Montanita, Ecuador It was just one of those places that make me feel a little uneasy. Montanita is a little beachside town about one hour’s drive outside of Guayaquil in Ecuador.

Crucita, Ecuador: big air, big beach, big fun Like its sister beach of Santa Marianita, to the south, known for its famous winds and kiteboarders, crucita takes its strong winds and high launch points to call to the higher altitude adrenaline junkies. The resulting phenomenon of sailing above the miles of perfect beach and blue ocean has transformed this once small fishing village into one of the world’s most famous high altitude parasports venues. Better roadways into Crucita have made it much easier to get there, with road improvements from the south on the ruta del sol and with a new highway in from Portoviejo, its largest nearby city.

Ecuador - La Libertad, Ecuador We are staying in La Libertad which is right next to salinas on the coast. Our place is a half block to the beach, called Casa Blanca Playa Cautivo.

Ecuador: a paradise for bird watchers For bird lovers, Ecuador is a true paradise with a huge variety of birds in the different areas of the country. Recently we went to check out Yanacocha and the area close to Mindo.

What wildlife will i see in ecuador? Ecuador has a vast biodiversity that includes over 300 mammal species, 1,500 bird species and a huge array of reptiles and amphibians. The galapagos islands are home to many endemic species of birds and animals found nowhere else in the world and some only found on specific islands.

Laguna de mica, Ecuador This is a great place to see hummingbirds. They also have a spotting scope to make it easier to see nesting andean condors.

Ecuador bird watching-the christmas bird count and other adventures The four regions of the country open up new doors that give you ample opportunities to spot exotic, endemic, and rare species on fun-filled adventures. Each of the four regions can be broken down into many more habitat types, often transitioning quickly, which means there is a new experience at every twist with new birds waiting to be discovered everywhere you turn.

Zamora Ecuador Located in the far southeast of the country, its quite a hike to get here, but its worth the journey to check out the beautiful parque podocarpus with its hiking trails, birds, rivers, waterfalls and lush jungle scenery. We drove to Zamora from tena down the main highway that runs through the jungle provinces.

Ecuador birding: southern highlights photos We will visit Laguna Toreadora & Bosque Polylepis looking in particular for violet-throated mettaltail, tit-like dacnis and giant conebill. After a packed lunch we will sit at a hummingbird feeder in Yunguillo reserve, before moving on to Pinas.

Blue-footed booby in the Galapagos islands of Ecuador During breeding season in the Galapagos islands, the male blue-footed booby shows off his feet to prospective females during ritual mating dance. The booby with bluest feet and the best dance gets the girl. The feet of the birds who are not successful in finding a mate row bluer over the ensuing year, which increases their potential for finding a mate the following season.

Mashpi biodiversity reserve, Ecuador While the northern portion in Panama and Colombia is relatively intact, much of the Ecuadorean Choco suffered deforestation over the past century. Today around 17,000 hectares of forest are declared a “natural protected area” and within its heart is the 1,300-hectare private concession that is Mashpi.

Ecuador birding: southern highlights We will visit laguna toreadora & bosque polylepis looking in particular for violet-throated mettaltail, tit-like dacnis and giant conebill. After a packed lunch we will sit at a hummingbird feeder in yunguillo reserve, before moving on to pinas.

Exploring the chimborazo wildlife reserve in ecuador 5 hours from the city of riobamba. It offers hiking trails, including the 10 mile (6 km) trail used by balthazar when he collects glacial ice, and tour companies offer mountain biking trips. Mountaineers can head for the summit of the volcano as well.

Ecuador orchids paradise Ecuador has 4,250 species and 1,301 endemic species classified in tropical, subtropical and conservation areas. They live on trees where capture heat, light and air.

Bellavista Cloud forest reserve The best places to visit in ecuador. The cloud forest gets its name from the way that it traps clouds, which drench the forest in a fine mist, allowing some of the most delicate forms of plant life to survive. It is one of the best places to get in touch with nature and enjoy the natural elements.

Punta Carnero, Ecuador With mountains, beaches, and everything in between it is a land of an amazingly diverse range of comfortable climates and relaxed lifestyle opportunities.

Chimborazo Volcano near Riobamba It is the highest volcano in Ecuador and the furthest point from the center of the earth in the world. We will hike until we get to 5000 meters where the glacier starts. This reserve is very well known for the wild vicunas and alpacas that live there.

Carnival in ecuador Living it up has come to mean dousing your neighbors, family, friends and any other passerby with every liquid imaginable. From water to car oil to the unthinkable. The water is sometimes topped off with flour to make you a really sticky mess.

The evolution of carnival in ecuador Many imitate the big brazilian carnival parades. But the ecuadorian traditions of water throwing and partying continue to be the main focus of carnival.



Where to stay?

Quito, Ecuador For your stay in quito, pick a hotel in the center (there are a wide variety of options for every budget, from the posh la rosario to several centrally located hostels such as the hostel quito cultural).

Hostel in Banos, Ecuador: A comfortable room for 2 with private bathroom and a window out to the street. $20 per night and includes wifi and tv. Easy access to shops and close to the bike rental shops.

Hostel for Quilotoa loop in Ecuador: We stored our travel packs in a secure locker in latacunga at hostel sendero de volcanes for $1 a day and took only small day packs. All hostels we stayed at had towels and soap, and every hostel had shampoo except the one in quilotoa.

Accommodation budget travel in ecuador You can find hostels offering fair comfort for a cheap price. You can get a dorm for $8-10. There are rooms available for $15-25 and you can also pitch your tent and it will cost you for only $1-3.

Villa Garza Inn, Guayaquil, ecuador Most attractively this hotel includes free transport to and from the airport. The price per night is $44/usd, but factoring in the inclusion of transport, free wifi, and a private ensuite room – this is a pretty good option.

Ecuador Hostel travel costs Dorms start around $8 usd per night, while a private room will likely cost around $12 usd. Free wifi is standard, and many hostels also include free breakfast.

Where to stay in Ecuador (Hostels) Ecuador has hostels offering fair comfort for cheap prices. You could get a dorm for $8-10 usd. Also, if you’re traveling cheap, assembling a tent near a hostel will only cost you $1-3 usd.

Ecuador travel: a stay at hacienda zuleta (Luxury) A place where long standing traditions continue to be practiced and weaved into the pattern of daily life. A place where they are less concerned about the latest apple product and more concerned with preserving the unique aspects of their community and the environment around them.



What to eat?

Ecuador local gastronomy and food We think that is a shame as there are many different traditional foods to try that are simply not found elsewhere. Each region of ecuador has its own gastronomy, and as a result, ecuador local food depends on where you are in the country. Since potatoes originated in the americas, you can expect to see a fair amount of these on your plate, but there are also a great variety of other different and tasty foods to try.

The high-fat, low-carb diet in Ecuador Probably a majority of the population is self-employed, or works in the family shop, or makes a living in the informal economy. In ecuador, you can eat the healthiest possible diet, so to name it, a high fat, low carb one, by simply buying produce from the street and local market.

Ecuador highlands local food There are also almost always lots of delicious flavored and exotic juices on the menu as well. In almost every restaurant you visit, you will find a small bowl of a tomato-onion mix in the middle of the table, and this very often includes chili as well. This allows patrons to choose how spicy they will have their food.

Sea food, Ecuador Comatillo (a white fish), camaron (shrimp), langostino (giant prawn), and langosta (lobster) are the choices available on the menu.

Eat street food in Ecuador Street food is also very cheap in Ecuador. My favorite one was patacones and fried potatoes (called papa rellena in colombia) for $1. And for beers are also common in ecuador and it will only cost you $1-2. I also love empanadas and salchipapas, they are so tasty. A daily minimum budget of $5-10 is for your food.

What to eat in Otavalo, Ecuador You should be eating pie in otavalo. That’s because otavalo is home to the shanandoa pie shop on plaza de ponchos where, for about us$4, you get a huge slice of pie.

Ecuador rainforest local food In this region, people consume monkey, turtle, guanta (a large rodent) and the chonta worm, among others. However, when staying at a lodge in the ecuadorian amazon, you are much more likely to encounter ecuadorian food that has been internationalized for western palates.

Ecuador travel guide
Due to the rarity of coins, ecuador issues its own coins that look similar to american coins. Before the dollar, the currency was the sucre. Ecuador is named for the equator, which runs through the country. .
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Top packing tips for ecuador travel
The equator is less than 20 miles north of ecuadors capital, quito, yet at an altitude of 9,350 feet. Quitos climate is spring-like year around. On the other hand, the beaches and rainforests enjoy tropical temperatures. .
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Top 5 things to see and do in ecuador
Head to the city’s old town to see its historic colonial past. The churches and old buildings are beautiful, and the plaza grande is sure to instill a feeling of patriotism in all visitors. .
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Other things to see and do in ecuador
Besides the fantastic volcano treks, visitors also flock to banos to experience the healing powers of its hot springs and to give thanks for miracles performed at the church of the virgin of the holy water. It’s also the country’s adventure capital, with lots of biking, bungee jumping, atv rentals, and a circuit of beautiful waterfalls to visit. .
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Ecuador travel costs
Dorms start around $8 usd per night, while a private room will likely cost around $12 usd. Free wifi is standard, and many hostels also include free breakfast. .
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