Bienvenido en Ecuador!
Ecuador, the small country in the Andes at the west coast of South America is surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, Colombia and Peru. In Ecuador there are four different regions in one country:
The Sierra (Andes), the Oriente (Rainforest), the coast and the gorgeous Galapagos Islands. Although, Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, it has a diversity you will never find in another country again. Everyone will find the right place, because Ecuador offers much more than the Galapagos Islands. In the Andes you will find the Avenue of the Volcanoes, where one volcano is next to the others. Many of them are still active.
The highest volcanoes are Cotopaxi and Chimborazo. In the Andes you can do great trekking tours or horseback riding, for example in the Cotopaxi National Park or in Pululahua. The different indigenous markets in the highlands are absolutely worth seeing and you should visit one of them. The biggest and most famous market is the one in Otavalo and takes place every Saturday. Here you can buy beautiful warming blankets and pullovers of the wool from the Alpaca, great handmade jewelry of wood, pearls and silver, bags made of leather und much, much more. But you should visit the market in the morning, so you have enough time to explore everything which is offered and to negotiate the best price with the Indigenous.
Another highlight of the Andes is a journey by the Andean train around the famous Devil´s Nose “Nariz del Diablo”. The journey with the Andean train begins in Riobamba and passes along Alausi right to the Devil´s Nose. Here the train goes down in a zick zack since he reaches the Valley of the Chanchán river which is 100 meters deeper than the devil´s nose. If you want to enjoy this event on the top of the train, you should hold tight very well during the way down. From the Andes we go to Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Quito is famous for his historical center, which counts to the Unesco world heritage, at all. Normally, the tours begin at Playa Mayor or rather known as Plaza Grande and then it goes through the beautiful Colonial Quito. You can see magnificent churches and buildings and a walk through the oldest alley of Ecuador, La Ronda, is amazing. Definitely, you should taste a candelazo. It tastes beyond belief! Especially at night, the historical centre of Quito is gorgeous. You can join different tours with a guide who tells very interesting stories about the past of Quito and the people who live here. Near Quito is Mitad del Mundo, the Equator Monument.
Here you should visit the museum Inti Nan right next to the Mitad del Mundo. Or you go to the TeleferiQo to enjoy a great panorama of Quito. From Quito you can fly into the Rainforest of Ecuador. Here you will find an amazing flora and fauna. Every jungle lodge offers extensive and exciting excursions in the Rainforest. Perhaps you would like to do a great walk through the rainforest and then taking a bath in a beautiful waterfall. Also a great experience is to visit a village in the rainforest. You will meet very friendly people and get to know their traditions and way of life. For experiencing a unique, extensive and relaxing stay in the Rainforest you should stay four or five days. Next stop is the coast.
On the way from the Rainforest to the coast you should visit the town Cuenca. The colonial and historical centre of Cuenca is amazing and counts not without reason to the Unesco World Heritage since 1999. Also a visit at the beautiful flower market is a must-see! From Cuenca we follow the direction to the coast of Ecuador. Along the north coast of Ecuador, right in the province Esmeralda, you will find the most beautiful beaches of Ecuador. Especially the beaches of Mompiche and Portete are gorgeous.
The north of Esmeralda is still an insider tip: wide beaches, mangrove swampland and the still less- known Cayapas jungle. Along the coast we arrive in Manta, the biggest fishing harbor in Ecuador, and then Guayaquil. From Guayaquil you can fly to the Galapagos Islands, one of the last paradises in the world and highlight of every tour in Ecuador. Galapagos is not only one of the best diving spots, especially the islands Wolf and Darwin, but also the Galapagos Islands themselves have a great flora and fauna. During your cruise in the Galapagos Archipelago or your Island Hopping Tour you will discover the high diversity of Galapagos Animals, like iguanas, Galapagos penguins, sea lions, boobies, the famous Galapagos tortoises and many more.
But also the flora is great! On every Galapagos cruise or Island Hopping Tour you will get to know the most famous Galapagos inhabitant, the Lonesome George from the island Santa Cruz. He is the only survivor of his specie. All cruises and Island Hopping Tours are of different length and in different categories. So everyone will find the right tour!
One thing is guaranteed: After your journey you will love Ecuador with the Andes, the Rainforest, the coast and the Galapagos Islands. With great memories and the wish to come back to Ecuador you will fly back home!
More information about Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands you will find here: