Ecuador is the smallest country in the rugged Andean highlands, Ecuador is among the most rewarding travel destinations in South America. With its array of vibrant indigenous cultures, well preserved colonial architecture, otherworldly volcanic landscapes and dense rainforest, it packs its perimeters with more points of interest than many countries twice its size.

About Ecuador

Capital: Quito
Currency: U.S. dollar2 (USD)
Population: 15.960.887 (2014)

Ecuador's culture and history mirrors the diversity of its landscape. Like much of South America, Ecuadorian culture blends the influences of Spanish colonialism with the resilient traditions of pre-Columbian peoples.

In all corners of Ecuador, national parks such as Cotopaxi, Sangay, and Machalilla abound. Mountains, snowcapped peaks, lakes, lagoons, and beaches are all found within 24 areas protected by the State, including dozens of vast green forest belts, marked here and there with terracotta patches resulting from the variety of colors present in the foliage. In order to reach some of the ecological reserves, national parks, and recreation areas, it is often necessary to hike long distances, often crossing paramos and rivers. The spectacular settings of the different zones reveal themselves in an impressive demonstration of rich flora and fauna.

Traditional People, Ecuador Beautiful Cities, Ecuador Beautiful Landscapes, Ecuador

Ecuador's showpiece, the Galápagos Islands , is, for many, the initial lure to the country, and arguably the most compelling nature spot in the world, more so even than the Oriente. Almost 170 years since Darwin dropped anchor there, the forbidding volcanic islands and their motley creatures are still fascinating all those who see them.

Other points of interest in the Galapagos Islands are El Géiser, El Soplador, and Cucubes, all of which are home to a variety of exotic and rare birdlife. Santiago is well known for having some of the best and most accessible scuba diving in the Galapagos Islands and also because it offers the chance to walk between lava flow formations all the way to the volcanic conic peak of Bartolomé, where furry seals and sea lions dwell.

Learn Spanish in Ecuador

Learn Spanish in Quito

Learn Spanish in Quito

As far as sightseeing is concerned, Quito's chief attraction is the old town's dazzling array of churches, monasteries and convents , dating from the early days of the colony. The city is also famous for the wealth of religious paintings and sculpture produced here during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, abundantly displayed in many churches and museums.

© 2007-2017 All Rights Reserved