Ecuador

Trip time! Discover the cafés, sightseeing, and natural setting in the area.

Ecuador greets visitors with three breathtaking regions of natural landscapes, encompassing verdant jungles, glorious beaches and the Andes. Prevailing indigenous communities, ancient Inca ruins and a legacy of colonial monuments make it a culturally diverse country, too. Ecuador, the Spanish word for “equator”, straddles both the northern and southern hemispheres. Ecuador’s biodiversity has attracted visitors for centuries, including the esteemed naturalist Charles Darwin.

The Sierra, amid the eastern and western chains of the Andes, runs through the country’s heart. Start in Quito, Ecuador’s capital and one of the world’s highest cities. Wander narrow streets to discover an architecturally impressive city, which combines urban modernity with indigenous cultures.

See Inca ruins at Cochasqui, admire colonial-era landmarks in Cuenca andrelax in the thermal baths of Baños. Drive or bike along the Avenue of Volcanoes and trek to the summit of the Cotopaxi and Chimborazo volcanoes. Ride the spectacular Devil’s Nose mountain train from Alausí to Sibambe.

Oriente, stretching east from Sierra, is a sprawling wilderness of tropical rainforest. It’s a haven for multi-day treks, wildlife spotting and tours to indigenous communities. Spot over 500 bird species at Parque Nacional Yasuní. Paddle a canoe on the lakes of Reserva Faunística Cuyabeno. Tena is the gateway for white-water rafting adventures and trips into the Amazon Basin.

The Costa region runs along Ecuador’s glorious Pacific coastline. Check out the fishing village of Canoa and the luxury resort of Muisne. Ride big waves at the backpacker hangout Montañita and go whale-watching in Parque Nacional Machalilla. Explore the eclectic neighborhoods of Guayaquil and the pristine beaches of Salinas. Visit the Galapagos, a fascinating collection of volcanic islands, home to endemic marine life and superb snorkeling.

Ecuador is a small country when compared to its South American neighbors. The compact size and an excellent tourism infrastructure make getting between major attractions simple. In just one day, you can drive from the Amazon jungle to idyllic beaches via the Andes and coffee plantations.

Popular cities in Ecuador

Quito featuring landscape views and a city
Quito

Known for Tours, Cathedrals and Museums

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Guayaquil

Known for Shopping, Walking and Skyscrapers

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Cuenca

Known for Cathedrals, Tours and Museums

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Manta

Known for Beaches, Sea and Surfing

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Loja

Known for Cafes, Archaeology and Natural Parks

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Ibarra

Known for Lakes, Mountains and Volcanoes

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Popular things to do in Ecuador

Malecon 2000
Image for Malecon 2000
trover photo by Miguel Vasquez

Malecon 2000

Guayaquil

Check out Banco Pichincha Monumental Stadium and Mall del Sol Commercial Center—just two of the top sights around Malecon 2000, a city also known for its cathedral.

Monument to the Equator
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Monument to the Equator

Quito

Stand with one foot in each hemisphere at this monument to the site where the equator is marked, then spend time in the accompanying planetarium and museum.

Quilotoa
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Quilotoa

Cotopaxi

Check out the local area in Quilotoa as you venture to sights like Quilotoa Lagoon.

Chimborazo
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trover photo by Mountain Summit

Chimborazo

Guano

Head to Chimborazo Wildlife Reserve and Carihuairazo—just two of the sights around Chimborazo.

El Cajas National Park
Image for El Cajas National Park
trover photo by Head of the fort!!

El Cajas National Park

Cuenca

Check out Soldados and Museum of Modern Art—just two of the sights around El Cajas National Park, a walkable city also known for its coffeehouses.

Galapagos National Park
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Galapagos National Park

Santa Rosa

Venture to top sights like Tortuga Bay Beach as you discover Galapagos National Park—an area also notable for its island views.