Ecuador is a small coastal country in the middle of the world with 4 regions; the Pacific coast, the Amazon Jungle, the Andes Highlands and the Galapagos Islands. Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world and has the most of density of rivers per square kilometer than any place in the world.
Here find a list of highlights we recommend to visit in Ecuador depending on your interests there is always some trip that would fit your wishes.
This little tourist town is a hotspot for adventure fans, who can try out rafting, paragliding, horse riding, canyoning, mountain biking, and bridge jumping, also enjoy the view of the Tungurahua sometimes active, and end up the day in the hot springs and have a good massage in the may spa’s around the town.
At 6,268m, this is Ecuador’s highest peak and the furthest point from the earth’s center. Chimborazo’s require experience to climb, but the surrounding Fauna Reserve is filled with wild vicuñas, beautiful flora, and hiking trails. A night in a cozy mountain lodge allows you to enjoy the enchanted atmosphere of Ecuador’s giant.
One of the world’s highest active volcanoes, Cotopaxi in Quechua means “The Neck of the Moon” for the perfectly conical shape and its snow-capped peak. The surrounding area offers many hikes, horse rides, and haciendas, and if you are in shape you can attempt to summit the peak.
This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of South America’s best-preserved colonial cities. Founded by the Spanish in 1557, Cuenca had already been a settlement for 1,000 years for the Cañari and then the Incas. Today, Cuenca’s is the city with most retired people from the US, already around 5000 retired expats.
MACHALILLA NATIONAL PARK
Holds the only dry forest found in Ecuador and has preserved many archaeological artifacts from one of South America’s most ancient people, the Manteño. You can tour this area by the small community of Agua Blanca and end at the sulfur pools where you can have a mud bath in the black waters. Don’t miss Los Frailes beach – one of Ecuador’s most beautiful beach.
At the base of the Andean slopes starts the exuberant Cloud forest and tropical lowlands in Mindo, one of Ecuador’s most phenomenally biodiverse regions with, waterfalls and rapids, with a range of excellent lodges to stay. You can see over 450 species of birds and also so some adventure sports like tubing, mountain biking, rafting, canyoning, and hiking, absolutely a highlight of Ecuador and just 1 hour from Quito, you can do 1-day tour but is best you stay in this colorful town
NAPO – YASUNI
The Napo River is one of the main tributaries of the Amazon and at the shores, you can pass little jungle settlements, lagoons, and wonderful ecolodges. Visitors can spot tapirs and Papagayos, The Napo river pass by the Yasuni area that hols some of the most biodiverse places over the planet where you can spot macaw clay licks, the giant otters, anacondas.
Hosts one of South America’s biggest Indian markets, most of the population speak Quechua their native language and dress traditional clothes there you can find alpaca woolens, woven throws, straw hats, and bright paintings, sold by Quechua locals. At the nearby animal market, chickens, sheep, and guinea pigs change hands each Saturday. Head out of town for panoramic hikes around the sacred Laguna Cuicocha, at the foot of Cotacachi Volcano. Otavalo day trip.
Situated 3,300m, Papallacta’s main attraction is its natural thermal baths. The setting is beautiful, surrounded beautiful basaltic formation point where the Andes descend into the Amazon, along with waterfalls and rivers. nearby is the Cayambe-Coca Ecological Reserve where you can do some wonderful hikes.
It’s easy to lose track of time in this little fishing town on the hot, dry central coast. Stroll along the long stretches of golden sand, sip coconut juice from wonky beachside huts, bathe in the warm waters and tuck into a refreshing bowl of ceviche. Whale watching tours depart from here in Jun-Sep, plus year-round trips to Isla de la Plata – a parched rock covered in loofah bushes, boobies, and balloon-chested frigate birds.
Stretched narrowly between volcanic peaks, Quito is a fittingly dramatic introduction to Ecuador. The Old Town’s beautifully restored colonial architecture and busy plazas are perfect for people watching, while its lively indigenous community provides traditional music, dance, and food. Step back into the modern world in the Mariscal Sucre district, with excellent restaurants, trekking gear shops, and funky cafes.
TENA – MISAHUALLI
Ecuador’s whitewater capital and the doorway to the Amazon, superb rafting and kayaking, while outside the town there are waterfalls and a labyrinth of caves to explore, as well as indigenous communities, Just a few minutes from Tena you can find Misahualli where you can visit native communities, jungle wildlife and hike by the Amazon forest to a Ceibo the biggest tree on the Jungle.
Andean communities, farming land, Quechua speaking people, llamas, mountains and canyons populate this area, multi-day hikes from village to village, known as the “Quilotoa Loop” can be done around, also is possible to hike down to the lake, Kayak across and horseback ride back to Quilotoa crater at 3,900m high.