The spectacular country of Ecuador has something to offer to all kinds of tourists and is truly a paradise on earth wherever you look! Despite being one of the smallest countries of South America, Ecuador offer a vast variety of experiences to all its visitors. Declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, it is one of the most fascinating nations in South America with its landscape encompassing the dense Amazon rainforests, Andean highlands, and the wildlife-rich Galapagos Islands. With most of its flora and fauna living in 26 areas protected by the state, Ecuador is considered one of the 17 countries where the greatest biodiversity of the planet is concentrated. The lush forests, tropical beaches, exotic islands, and cultural and architectural diversity of Ecuador attract a lot of tourists year-round. Some of the most popular tourist attractions of this country are the Galapagos Islands, the historic city of Quito, the beaches of Salinas, Bahia, and the city of Guayaquil.
Quito and Cotopaxi National Park
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is gifted with beautiful vistas and rich cultural heritage. It is home to the largest and best preserved historic center in South America. Preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site, the center has many old churches, beautiful public squares, and world-class museums. Famous churches and places to visit include the San Francisco Church, the La Compania de Jesus Church, etc. Another popular attraction is the Cotopaxi National Park just 50 kilometers south of Quito which has a diverse wildlife along with the massive and still active Cotopaxi volcano and smaller Rumiñawi and Sincholagua volcanoes.
Guayaquil and the Galapagos Islands
Guayaquil is the most populated city of Ecuador with an active port, historic sites, picturesque squares and plazas, a beautiful waterfront, and great shopping and entertainment venues. A must-visit site is the magnificent Malecón 2000, a long boardwalk adjacent to the Guayas River. Other attractions include the Guayaquil Metropolitan Cathedral, Museum of Anthropology and Contemporary Art, etc. Guayaquil is also well-known as the gateway to the famous Galapagos Islands that harbor a rich biodiversity. There is a lot to learn about the Galapagos Islands, considered an earthly paradise and the home of diverse land and marine species and exotic birds.
Cuenca and Cajas National Park
A city of splendid colonial influences and architectural treasures, Cuenca is a delightful juxtaposition of old and new. A historic city center is home to the city’s many attractions including the Old and New Cathedrals of Cuenca, the Church of San Sebastian, the Calderon Park, and many more squares and plazas. Another attraction is the Cajas National Park located 30 kilometers from Cuenca, which has more than 270 lagoons and glacier-fed lakes. Its numerous hills and valleys make it a perfect place to hike and bike. It also offers many water sports including kayaking and canoeing.
Coastal Cities of Salinas, Bahia, and Montanita
Ecuador is not just about cultural diversity, adventure travel, and ecotourism. The country also boasts a variety of beautiful beaches and water activities. The most popular beaches of Ecuador are located in the coastal cities of Salinas, Bahia, and Montanita. Salinas is located a little west of Guayaquil and boasts of a consistently warm climate year-round and various beach resorts. Bahia also attracts many tourists to its fine beaches, beautiful hotels, and many entertainments. The beach of Montanita is a little further south and is a quiet place for enjoying a relaxing evening in the warm sun and sand.