Ecuador is a small coastal country that offers travelers the full monty of outdoor adventures from Amazon jungle to gorgeous beaches, the mystical Andes Mountains & the beautiful Galapagos Islands.
1. No Currency Exchange
No need to spend your time figuring out exchange rates because Ecuador has been using the U.S. Dollar as currency since 2000, when it retired the Sucre. In addition, prices are lower, so you get a lot for your buck.
2. Short Flights within The Americas
If you live in Miami or the southern US, a trip to Ecuador can actually be a weekend getaway; a one-way flight to the capital city of Quito takes only four hours. In the Fall, the country’s largest airline, Tame, also introduced a nonstop flight from New York to Guayaquil (Ecuador’s largest city) that takes about six hours.
3. Good weather all year round
Ever heard of an endless spring? Since the country sits on the equator, mainland Ecuador stays at an average of about 66°F, pretty much all the time. Also, temps and weather conditions vary by region/geography, so no matter the month, you’ll always be visiting a section of Ecuador at the perfect time.
4. Beaches and whale watching season
With 530 miles of coastline, it’s no surprise that Ecuador boasts some beautiful beaches. Coastal towns to visit include the popular Salinas, Salango for snorkeling/scuba diving, Atacames and Montañita to get your party on, Puerto Lopez you can visit the Isla de la Plata and if you are in the months of July, August and September you can see the Humpback whales and the Galapagos Islands, of course.
For smaller beach towns, there’s Montañita, a surfer hippie escape with open-air cafes and bars that stay open until dawn.
5. Mountains & Volcanos
If you prefer your travel more rugged, welcome to the Andes and Cotopaxi National Park. The Cotopaxi volcano, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, has erupted more than 50 times since 1738, and the last activity was is August 2015
6. Amazon Jungle
From Quito in just about 3 hours driving you can reach the entrance to the Amazon Jungle where you can make 2 -6 days tours where you can see much of the unique Amazon wildlife and forest.
7. City Life
As Ecuador’s capital, Quito is where you’re heading for culture (its historic center is the one of the first World Cultural Heritage Sites), stunning views (it’s the second-highest capital city in the world after La Paz), nightlife (karaoke is a big deal here, just so you know), and local meals to blow up your Instagram.
8. Gastronomy paradise
And speaking of local meals, the country’s cuisine is as diverse as its landscape. Hearty mountain fare and seafood make up the crux of Ecuador’s national specialties, which include a citrusy ceviche, toasted corn snacks, a cheesy potato soup, pan-fired pork/chicken, and goat stew. For more adventurous eaters, though, there’s the guinea pig or cuy.
And the must-try cocktail in the Andes is the Canelazo, a spiced cinnamon/sugar cane hot rum libation that’s the perfect end to any meal.
Party in Quito’s La Mariscal neighborhood in Plaza Foch, the main nightlife zone filled with bars, clubs, and restaurants, if you want something more authentic you can visit la Ronda where you can find the traditional canelazo and live music. In Guayaquil, head to Las Penas; it may look shady from afar, but it’s actually one of the safest areas in town. You’ll find small dive bars throughout, several with karaoke as part of their lineup. The popular beer is a lager called Pilsener.
Besides all of these reasons of why to come to Ecuador, the people are really helpful and always with a smile to help you, not many people speak English but with some basic Spanish, you can travel around Ecuador without a problem.