Tourists flock to Ecuador’s idyllic paradise despite the fact that they’ve already had a wonderful holiday there. You’ll be spoiled for choice with all the exciting things to do in the area. This stunning country will entice you to return with its historic architecture, scenic islands, and exciting adventure sports.
This nation has taken more efforts to protect its natural areas because of its citizens’ deep reverence for the natural world. Many visitors come to Ecuador just to see Mount Chimborazo, the highest peak in South America and the nearest to the orbiting International Space Station. So, are you on board with this?
Top 10 Places To Visit In Ecuador
Traveling to Ecuador would be enhanced by the friendly locals and the country’s abundance of attractions. Use this list of top attractions to help you decide where to go.
1. Quilotoa Loop
If your daily schedule is chaotic, a peaceful hike in the mountains may be just what the doctor ordered. If you’re planning a trip to Ecuador, you absolutely must make a stop at this breathtaking loop. It consists of a network of interconnected hiking paths that pass through isolated Andean communities and end at the renowned crater lake.
Taking a bus to see the towns will cut your hiking time in half, but you won’t get to see the beautiful scenery along the way. If you’re looking to combine your hike with some retail therapy, don’t worry; the villages regularly have flea markets.
Visit this area of Ecuador to learn why buying souvenirs during travel is so crucial. The city is famed for its textiles, and these markets sell a wide variety of them, as well as leather goods, jewelry, and other handmade wares.
Photographers love coming here because they can get unique photos of residents in their traditional garb against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains. Visit on a Saturday to see the bustling atmosphere of the main market; nevertheless, the Plaza de los Ponchos’ handmade wares are always available.
3. Galapagos Island
Have you heard of these volcanic islands? Here’s your chance to go there and see for yourself if you haven’t already. What better method to study the unique ecosystem of the eastern Pacific Ocean’s Galápagos Islands?
You won’t have any trouble seeing penguins, sea lions, and iguanas in the vicinity, but access to certain parts of the national park has been limited to ensure its continued preservation. The good news is that you can go on a rejuvenating trip through nature with a trained guide.
4. The Equator
Because of its location on the equator, Ecuador is one of the few countries where visitors can truly say they have set foot in both the northern and southern hemispheres. To the north of Quito is a massive granite monolith incorrectly labeled Mitad del Mundo (‘the middle of the world’).
With the help of modern GPS technology, we now know that the actual equator lies somewhere close to the Museo Solar Inti ‘an. Water swirls in opposite directions on either side of the equator, and your guides will provide additional entertaining displays related to the line. It’s up to you to decide if it’s an optical illusion or a genuine scientific occurrence.
If you enjoy taking risks, Baos is the place for you. The dangerous Tungurahua volcano, which has been erupting since the 1990s and periodically causing locals to abandon the area, is the major attraction. I can’t explain their loyalty.
The town’s namesake and major tourist attraction, the thermal spas, are heated by the volcano. After a day of hiking, rafting, or mountain biking in the woods, a visit to one of the hot spas is just what the doctor ordered.
6. The Oriente
The Oriente is a must for any nature lover thanks to the sound of raindrops on leaves, the sight of toucans swooping through the trees, and the abundance of vegetation. The Andean cloud forests meet the Amazon River in this steamy biodiverse convergence zone.
With almost 1600 different species, the area is home to one of the world’s most beautiful dawn choruses. Wonderful eco-lodges such as Mashpi are hidden among the trees like Bond villain lairs, and they provide guided nature hikes and canoe adventures with the proceeds going toward conservation.
7. The Avenue of Volcanoes
Factoid alert: Ecuador is home to Earth’s closest approach to the sun. The 6,263-meter (20,548-foot) Chimborazo volcano deserves all the glory. Chimborazo isn’t the tallest peak on Earth; that honor goes to Nepal’s Mt. Everest. But, because of the equatorial bulge, the peak of Chimborazo is the farthest point from the sun on Earth.
The so-called Boulevard of Volcanoes, which runs like a gnarled spine down the middle of Ecuador, has eight snow-capped summits, one of which is Chimborazo. If you can manage the high altitude, hiking up or around any of these peaks would be a great experience. To help you acclimate, you can travel with herds of vicua, a wild relative of the domesticated llama.
Cuenca, the most beautiful city in Ecuador, with a mild, springlike atmosphere all year and some of South America’s best-preserved colonial architecture. The city was awarded a spot on Unesco’s World Heritage List because of its beautiful architecture, lush plazas, and blue-domed Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception.
The excellent collection of contemporary art housed at the brutalist Museo Pumapungo demonstrates that Cuenca is also forward-thinking. Cajas National Park, a mountainous wildlife reserve home to alpacas, Andean condors, and enormous hummingbirds, is located just beyond the city’s borders. This platter is a wonderful introduction to the variety of Ecuadorian cuisine.
Visit Ingapirca, where llamas graze among the best-preserved ruins in Ecuador, for a glimpse into the country’s pre-colonial past. Before the invading Incas arrived, the settlement was home to Canari people.
Although though the area was largely destroyed by Spanish colonists, enough of the original structure still stands to provide an impression of its splendor. A visit to the remains is greatly enhanced by the presence of a knowledgeable guide, and tour companies in Cuenca offer frequent excursions there.
Although Guayaquil, Ecuador’s business hub, won’t win any beauty contests, it does have a blossoming cultural scene, busy clubs, and renovated districts that make it worth staying in.
The Malecón, a revitalized riverbank promenade adorned with sculptures, gardens, and restaurants, and home to the unique Museo en Miniatura, which depicts the city’s history through miniature dioramas, is a model of urban renewal.
Cerro Santa Ana is another great place to spend away an afternoon because of its array of cafés and cafes perched above the hillside. The MAAC Theater hosts plays, concerts, and films, but don’t count on hearing much of anything spoken in English.
Ecuador is one of the most interesting countries in South America, and its tiny size is more than made up for by its rich Indigenous culture, colonial architecture, beautiful landscapes, and extensive rainforests.
This picturesque country of roughly 18 million inhabitants, located on the west coast of the continent and less than the size of most American states, draws visitors from all over the world for many different reasons.