It has often been said that Ecuador reflects all of South America in one country, with its magnificent Andean spine lined with a staggering 30 volcanoes, Amazon rainforest, colonial cities, colourful Indian markets, an Incan heritage, and a lovely coast.
Ecuador also has something all its own - the Galapagos Islands, far out into the Pacific.
We prepared 11 reasons for you to discover Ecuador:
1. Amazing diversity
Ecuador spans four vastly different worlds. From the endless reaches of the Amazon, to the breathtaking beauty of the Andes, to the pristine stretches of the Coast and the legendary Galapagos Islands – each region boasts a unique landscape, ecosystem and culture. Nowhere else on earth can visitors experience such extreme diversity in one country. And because Ecuador is only the size of Nevada (United States), it’s possible to see it all in just one trip!
2. Home to the Galapagos Islands & UNESCO World Heritage Sites:
Ecuador is home to the Galapagos Islands and is the number one, most biodiverse country per square mile in the world. Ecuador counts some 50 different ecosystems, several of which are considered Biodiversity Hotspots by Conservation International and have been named UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
3. Great Food
And speaking of local meals, the country's cuisine is as diverse as its landscape. Hearty mountain fare and seafood make up the crux of Ecuador's national specialties, which include a citrusy ceviche, toasted corn snacks, a cheesy potato soup, pan-fired pork/chicken, and goat stew. For more adventurous eaters, though, there's guinea pig, or cuy. Yep, people in the Andean region of South America love them some guinea pig.
4. Endless adventures:
Only in Ecuador can a traveler climb the tallest active volcano in the world, kayak the rapids of the Amazon rainforest, crisscross the Equatorial line on horseback, surf tropical Pacific swells along a Pre-Incan archeological site (Chirije), and swim with penguins, marine iguanas, sea lions and harmless whale sharks – all in one trip!
5. Rich culture:
Ecuador is home to a diversity of cultures, many of which (particularly in the Andean and Amazonian regions) live much the way they did centuries ago. In city centers, visitors will find museums, theaters, thriving markets, festivals, and very welcoming people. Ecuador blends Spanish culture with African and European influences, and this vibrancy is reflected in the people and its cities.
6. An example in sustainable tourism:
Ecuador has made conservation and responsible tourism development a priority. The country is taking aggressive steps to establish a sustainable tourism infrastructure that will ensure its unique ecosystems are carefully monitored to preserve their natural abundance. By visiting Ecuador, travelers contribute to the local economy and participate in Ecuador’s mission to become a leader in sustainable tourism.
7. Something for everyone:
Ecuador is one of the most versatile destinations on the planet, with plenty to offer to just about any type of traveler. From adventure seekers and Eco-tourists, culture and history aficionados, inquisitive families and active honeymooners, to watersports enthusiasts, incentive travelers, and visitors looking to learn Spanish; itineraries catering to their interests are easy to arrange.
8. Easy to travel:
A choice of US and international carriers offering daily flights from both the East and West Coast of the US, a short 4- to 6-hour flight from Miami and New York, a Dollar-based economy, conveniently located international airports, a reliable transportation system, a wide range of accommodations and English readily spoken in the major cities and tourist areas make travel to Ecuador effortless.
9. Safe and friendly:
Ecuadorians are honest, warm and service-oriented people who truly enjoy welcoming foreign visitors to their country. Their friendly nature makes travelers feel safe and well looked after, as they are treated like guests rather than tourists.
10. Eternal spring-like weather:
Ever heard of an endless spring? Since the country sits on the equator, mainland Ecuador stays at an average of about 66°F, pretty much all the time. Also, temps and weather conditions vary by region/geography, so no matter the month, you'll always be visiting a section of Ecuador at the perfect time.
11. Off the beaten path:
Ecuador is an “up and coming” destination among international travelers “in the know”. Free from mass tourism, the country is a heaven for travelers looking to discover something new and different. And if that doesn’t raise a few eyebrows and impress the boss, one can always mention bragging rights one through nine.