Ecuador is located is northwest región of South America, bounded on the north by Colombia, on the southeast by Peru and on the west by the Pacific Ocean. Its territory includes the Galapagos Islands. Ecuador is crossed by the Andes mountain range where you can find elevations such as: Cayambe, Cotopaxi, Antisana and Chimborazo, among others. Its population is approximately 16,603,328 inhabitants, its capital is Quito, the official language is Spanish, the national holiday is August 10, its currency is the American dollar.
Ecuador has four natural regions: Costa, Sierra, Oriente and Galápagos. The Coast has beautiful beaches like: Salinas and Playas in Guayas; Bahia, San Jacinto, San Vicente and Crucita in Manabí; and also Súa, Atacames and Muisne in Esmeraldas. In the Sierra region, its main tourist attractions are the mountains, and multicolored landscapes. In the east are located some of the national parks and ecological reserves with great variety of flora and fauna. Finally, the Galápagos islands, of volcanic origin, where the process of evolution, the climate, marine currents, made the archipelago one of the rarest and most important on the planet; there, unique species of plants, birds, reptiles and mammals are found. For these reasons, the Galapagos Islands were declared Natural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1978.
Also known as “Carita de Dios”, Quito is the second highest capital in the world. It is located in the Andes mountain range at 2850 AMSL and has a spring-like climate almost all year round.
Quito is a city of contrasts where the contemporary and colonial times merge in its architecture. One can find countless churches of different architectural styles that have been preserved in the best kept Historical Center of Latin America.
It was declared as Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO.
The Galapagos archipelago or “The Enchanted Islands” is formed by 13 main islands, 6 secondary islands, and more than 107 islets. Because of their location and distance from the continent, they are home to a great biological diversity that has been used by scientists to carry out their studies on evolution, including those of the famous Charles Darwin. The geologically active area where the islands are located allowed the formation of the archipelago. There is no other place on the planet that can compare with these islands that shelter a great variety of species that are unique in the world such as the giant tortoises after which this wonderful place is named.
Baños is known for its thermal springs that originate in Tungurahua volcano, which has temperatures that go from 18 to 55 degrees C. It offers many attractions among which are: its landscapes, the route of the waterfalls, adventure sports like: rafting, canopy, canyoning, hiking, kayaking, bungee jumping, trailing, cycling tours, etc. Near Baños, you can find the Tungurahua volcano that is active, so, at times it is possible to see the expulsion of lava and incandescent rocks.
Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve is located in the Ecuadorian Amazon, it is one of the most diverse areas of Ecuador, due to both biological and cultural diversity. It has more than 550 species of birds, 60 species of orchids, over 350 species of fish, a variety of reptiles, 12,000 species of plants, and many species of mammals. The Cuyabeno River forms a complex of 14 lagoons, creating the largest wetland of the Ecuadorian Amazon in whose habitat you can find: dolphins, caimans, otters and anacondas.
Among other attractions are its lagoons, various indigenous communities, jungle excursions, swimming, fishing, canoeing, etc.
It is one of the many paradisiacal beaches of Ecuador and it is located in the Province of Manabí. Canoa is a white sandy beach that covers about 17 km, around it you can find cliffs and lush vegetation; its great waves are ideal for surfing.
The most attractive activities in Canoa are: paragliding, flyovers in which it is possible to see a cave that houses bats and blue-footed boobies, you can go on bicycle excursions, horseback riding and fishing. The walks through its wooded areas are an unforgettable experience, not to mention its gastronomic culture.
ISLA DE LA PLATA
Isla de la Plata is 50 km away off the coast of Puerto López, province of Manabí. It is part of the Machalilla National Park. Its main feature is the diversity of birds that inhabit the place. Due to its nature, Isla de la Plata is an ideal place for ecotourism, there are great variety of birds, among them are pelicans, frigates and piqueros, this island protects the only known population of wavy albatross (from those of the Galapagos Islands). The boundaries of the park, and around the island, is the breeding area of the humpback whale, which you can see from boats. Also, in this beautiful place you can practice water sports such as snorkeling or surface diving.
Cuenca is one of the most beautiful cities in Ecuador, it is located at 2,538 AMSL. It has a historical center that was declared a Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO, due to its colonial and republican architecture. Its cobblestone streets, markets, squares and balconies are some of its tourist attractions. It is also interesting to visit its museums, churches, archaeological ruins and heritage buildings, which are part of the Cuenca culture. In addition, it is possible to do extreme sports such as: bungee jumping, paragliding, canopy, etc.
Known as the world’s bird capital, Mindo is located at 1,250 AMSL, and has an ecosystem that hosts a set of rain and cloud forests and wonderful landscapes where rivers and waterfalls converge in a place with a great biodiversity both in flora and fauna. Its forests have 200 species of native plants, birds, amphibians, reptiles, mammals and butterflies. Mindo offers a wide range of activities such as: bird watching, nature walks, visits to the butterfly park, extreme sports like tubbing, canopy, etc.
Otavalo is located an hour and a half North of Quito and is one of the most important tourist destinations in the country. Otavalo is visited by national and foreign tourists that are attracted by its enormous historical and cultural richness that is manifested both by kichwas otavalos, and by the “mestizos” that populate the city and maintain their identity strengthened by their ancient myths, legends, customs and traditions. This cultural diversity is complemented by a variety of ecosystems that hold an enormous biological diversity in a region surrounded by mountains, lagoons, rivers, ravines, and waterfalls.
The most important tourist attraction of Otavalo is its impressive handicraft market where you can find countless colorful items perfectly crafted by local artisans. Also in the region you can visit the San Pablo lake, the Imbabura hill, the Cusin hill (3.988 ASML) the Mojanda lagoon, the Fuya Fuya hill (4.263 ASML), some caves, museums and waterfalls.