An overview of where to go and what's on offer in Ecuador...
Ecuador is undoubtedly one of South America’s most remarkable countries. Nestled between Peru and Colombia, with the Pacific Ocean to the west and the Amazon rainforest to the east, Ecuador offers a breathtaking range of year-round destinations. For such a small country (Ecuador would fit inside Texas twice, with room to spare), it is home to staggering diversity.
Over 8% of all the animal species on Earth can be found in Ecuador. Indeed, the country is a twitcher’s paradise, boasting nearly a fifth of the world’s bird species – double the amount found across Europe and accounting for nearly half the species found in South America. Of all the plant species found on our entire planet, 10% can be found in Ecuador, with over 3,000 species of orchid alone. Without going crazy on the statistics, it is hard to overstate Ecuador’s diversity!
Ecuador’s wondrous flora and fauna is illustrated nowhere better than the enchanting Galapagos Islands. Lying nearly 1,000km off Ecuador’s west coast, this volcanic archipelago is a unique marvel of wildlife and geology. Click here to read more on the Galapagos Islands.
Yet you don’t have to fly to the Galapagos Islands to enjoy Ecuador’s biodiversity. North of the beguiling capital city of Quito, are the enchanting cloud forests that sprawl across the Andean slopes. On the eastern borders are Ecuador’s share of the single largest tropical rainforest in the world – the Amazon.
The lure of Ecuador doesn’t stop with its biota. The natural landscapes and history of civilisation offer further fascination. Ecuador also contains 47 volcanoes, many of which remain active. Soak in the geothermal springs of Baños; or take an epic train journey through the avenue of volcanoes or the switchbacks of the Devils Nose crossing. Why not mooch the expansive Otavalo markets, hand-pick a Panama hat from their true home, in Cuenca; or explore the Incan ruins of Ingapirca. Last but by no means least, visit Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, and head up to relax on the beautiful Pacific beaches.