The country of Ecuador has a plethora of things to do. Narrowing it down to just 5 seems nearly impossible, but somehow weâ€™ve done it. Because of all of the incredibly diverse, and the incredible amount of things to do, the list weâ€™ve compiled is the best thing we think to do in each region of Ecuador. This list will get you started on planning a great adventure in a spectacular country.
1. The Galapagos Islands
You may be thinking to yourself, this is getting repetitive, the Galapagos Islands, again? We did talk about them in our blog last week on sharks and where to see them, and in our blog about places to see before theyâ€™re gone. Thereâ€™s a reason we bring them up so much. Itâ€™s because theyâ€™re AMAZING! Ask anyone whoâ€™s ever been there and theyâ€™re sure to tell you that itâ€™s one of the best places to observe wildlife in the world. They are world renowned for their unique ecosystem and biodiversity. This actually was the inspiration for Charles Darwinâ€™s Theory of Natural Selection. No fishing is allowed because the entire area is a protected marine reserve, but there are many other great options including yachting, swimming, hiking, snorkeling, and best of all, scuba diving. Diving gives you the best view of all the beautiful wildlife, including whales, dolphins, sea turtles, fish, sharks, and more, and many different species of each. Take a trip here to experience its beauty for yourself.
2. The Amazon and the Napo Wildlife Center
This is our recommendation for the eastern region of Ecuador. Itâ€™s hard to make a trip to Ecuador and pass up the opportunity for a trek into the Amazon, but it is one of the places in the world where it is probably best to travel with a group or through a jungle lodge. This is why weâ€™ve included the Napo Wildlife Center. The lodge is located in the heart of the Amazon, by the Anangucocha lake and on the south bank of the Napo River, within the ancestral territory of the Anangu Quichua community. It is an eco-lodge that offers guides and tours through the Amazon, all of which â€“ the lodge, guides, and tours â€“ have impeccable reviews. Activities in the amazon could include hiking, bird watching, canoeing, wildlife spotting, or even fishing for piranhas.
While youâ€™re in the region of the Andes, you canâ€™t miss a trip to Otavala and the spectacular market that it hosts. The people of Otavalo are known for their textiles. Their wool is the most incredible colors and is one the featured items of these Saturday markets. Not going through on a Saturday? Donâ€™t worry, because there are smaller markets throughout the week. There is no better place in all of Ecuador to see and purchase local arts, crafts, and clothing. Definitely stock up on your souvenirs here. If you find yourself with extra time, you are right in the heart of the Avenue of Volcanoes, so you might want to take a trip to one of these natural beauties. The Cotopaxi volcano is Ecuadorâ€™s highest active volcano, and is, in fact, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world. It has erupted 86 times since its first in 1534, but it is still open to climbing if youâ€™re daring enough!
Our recommendation for the coast is a hidden treasure that didnâ€™t even appear on the map until just a few years ago. Montanita is a laid-back hippie town with the perfect combination of waves and golden sand, all mixed together to make a tropical paradise. It started off with a few houses for native fisherman and some surfers living in tents, but has blossomed into a vacation hotspot with hotels, shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, and of course it still has the beautiful beaches. Other beach towns worth checking out are Esmereldas, and Manta. All will offer you great beaches, with beautiful white sand, and blue waters.
Quito is a region of its own, and is a great place to base yourself for your trip to Ecuador. Anywhere you want to travel to is within 1-2 hours of Quito, so if youâ€™re looking to make a lot of day trips, definitely base yourself here. And while in Quito soak up all it has to offer. Quitoâ€™s historic center has one of the largest, least-altered and best-preserved historic centers in the Americas, despite the earthquake in 1917.Â It was the first (along with Krakow) World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978. Quito is also full of many beautiful churches that are worth a visit to admire not only for their magnificent architecture, but their history as well. There are many beautiful parks to visit, but one we especially recommend is the Itchimbia Park that overlooks the city and boasts a glass museum with various cool exhibits. The last must see thing in Quito, and all of Ecuador for that matter, is a visit to the equator, the countryâ€™s namesake (Ecuador is Spanish for equator).
That’s our quick tour of Ecuador. There really is so much more to do in this wonder of a country besides these 5, but this is a great start. Give us a call today so one of our expert flight specialists can help book your trip to Ecuador, and then tell us all about it. We can’t wait to hear the details of your amazing trip!