Ecuador

Travel Guide
Quito featuring farmland, mountains and landscape views

From wildlife-packed islands to cities overlooked by soaring mountain peaks to chaotic yet colorful outdoor crafts markets, Ecuador never fails to thrill. 

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
Bordered by volcanoes and the Andes mountains, Ecuador’s capital city has treasures of heritage architecture, colonial history and natural wonders.

Reasons to visit

  • Independence Square
  • Calle La Ronda
  • El Panecillo
Guayaquil
Guayaquil
Known for Shopping, Walking and Business
Love cafes, churches, and sightseeing? Get away to Guayaquil!

Reasons to visit

  • Santa Ana Hill
Guayaquil
Guayaquil
Known for Shopping, Walking and Business
Guayaquil is calling! Discover its cafes, churches, sightseeing, and more.

Reasons to visit

  • Santa Ana Hill
Cuenca
Cuenca
Known for Cathedrals, Tours and Museums
Escape to Cuenca! Enjoy its museums, cathedral, and history.
Loja
Loja
Known for Cafes, Archaeology and Natural parks
Come to Loja and enjoy its cafes, archaeology, and forests.
Riobamba
Riobamba
Known for Mountains, Natural parks and Adventure
Love mountain views, adventure, and sunrises? Get away to Riobamba!

Popular places to visit in Ecuador

Ecuador

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