Travel to Ecuador.... a land of volcanic mountainous landscapes, steamy jungles and golden sandy beaches. Ecuador is not a country that the traveller immediately thinks of when they travel South America but it offers just as much spectacular diversity as anywhere else. The country is perhaps most synonymous with being home to the unique archipelago of the Galapagos Islands but there are a multitude of other things to experience.
I entered Ecuador through the northern border of Peru and to be honest I was not sure quite what to expect. But what I found was a country packed full of culture with plenty of things to do and see. There really is so much more to this country than meets the eye and this is not to be missed by anyone who visits the continent!
When you travel to Ecuador there are plenty of tourist attractions that are truly un-missable and some are amongst the most famous in the world. With bustling cities, expansive beaches, swathes of rainforest and truly unique biodiversity; this is a country that offers plenty to fit into your trip.
Ever wanted to stand with your left foot in the southern hemisphere and your right foot in the northern hemisphere? La Mitad del Mundo or the "middle of the World" is one of the most popular tourist attractions when you travel to Ecuador and marks the exact spot of the equator. The site is just 20 minutes north of the capital Quito and is well worth a day trip.
Probably the most famous attraction that one would associate Ecuador with is the Galapagos Islands, an archipelago located about 1000km off the Pacific coast. It was these islands that were so important in shaping Charles Darwin's theory of evolution because they are home to such a large number of endemic species. Arranging an expedition out to them is not cheap but it is well worth keeping the money aside. There really is nowhere you will visit quite like them on Earth!
Click here to find out more about tourist attractions in Ecuador.
The Pacific coast of Ecuador offers up some of the best beaches in South America and some of the best destinations are situated along the coast. There are many choices along this stretch that is sometimes better known as "la Ruta del Sol". Whether it is a weekend of partying you are after, a quiet relaxing break in a seaside resort or a surfing haven, you will find the right Ecuador Beach for you.
If you want find out more about the best Ecuador beach then click here
Puerto Lopez Ecuador is a fantastic place to stop off on any coastal jaunt when you travel to Ecuador. Not only is it a really safe and relaxing little village but it is also a great place to base yourself for trips to both the Machalilla National Park and Isla de la Plata which is a great alternative if the purse strings are a bit too tight for a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
The major cities in Ecuador are very diverse due their differing geographical locations and all have their own cultural flavour and vibrancy.
You can find out more about them on our Ecuador cities page
Like La Paz, Quito is a bustling capital city set high up in the Andean mountain ranges, flanked by the towering Pichincha volcano. Quito has plenty to occupy the intrepid traveller and is a fantastic base for trips to attractions like the spot of the equator and the Otavalo markets. Perhaps the most captivating part of the capital is the old town with its beautiful colonial architecture and narrow winding streets. An absolute must when you travel to Ecuador.
Guayaquil is actually Ecuador's largest and most populous city and sits on the Guayas River. Given its lower altitude it benefits from a much more tropical climate than Quito. Guayaquil is the commercial hub of the country but has developed more of a cultural offering in recent years and this makes it worth the visit.
The climate in Ecuador is extremely varied due to the fact that the country covers mountain ranges, coastal regions and tropical rainforests. In one place you might be pulling out the shorts, t-shirt and sunglasses but in another you could be wearing a warm jacket with a wooly hat and gloves! Here is a page about the different weather you are likely to experience when you visit Ecuador.
Ecuador is a fascinating country so I thought I would compile a page of facts that document some of the most interesting and unique bits of information about this beautiful country.
You can read all about this on our Ecuador facts page.
Food from Ecuador, like anywhere you travel in South America, has a range of international offerings but it does also produce some very tasty traditional dishes. Within the Andean regions you will find a familiar dish of meat with rice or potatoes but on the coast there is excellent seafood and in the jungle there is a range of exquisite fresh fruits.
Learn more about the taste of Ecuador on our Food from Ecuador page