It can be hard to choose your next vacation destination, especially given that you may only have 3 weeks out of the entire year to travel. Wherever you choose to go, it better be worth it, right?
Here are just some of the reasons Ecuador is a great place for you and your family to travel:
THE COUNTRY IS FILLED WITH CULTURE:
Ecuadorian culture is the result of the crossbreeding between indigenous cultures, the contributions of the Spanish conquerors, and those of the Afro-Ecuadorian communities. You’ll find 14 indigenous groups and between them, 13 different languages spoken.
Ecuador has also a lot of big events such as carnaval, the annual Easter processional in Quito, el día de los fieles Difuntos to name only a few.
ALL OF THESE COME WITH MIND BLOWING-GOOD FOOD
Indeed The food is also very diverse in this country. The best dishes depend on the regions. For example, in the coastal regions and Galapagos Islands, common seafood dishes like “ceviche”, meat with lentils, chicken and coffee are signature plates. In the mountainous regions beef, pork, chicken are the popular choices, like “hornado” consisting of potatoes served with a roasted pig and “seco de chivo” which is a type of stew made from goat. In the Amazon rainforest, famous dishes include yucca, fish, exotic fruits and delicious local chocolate.
Didn’t you know that Ecuador is world-famous for its cacao beans? In fact, it’s the first producer of fine aroma cacao beans, which are considered the best beans in the world.
FROM THE CLOUDS TO THE COAST:
Ecuador is one of the smallest countries in South America, but that makes it an easy place to explore. Travelers can visit different ecosystems on the same day as they are just a couple of hours apart from each other. It’s one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. Indeed, the country has four main geographic regions: La Costa (the coast), La Sierra (the highlands), La Amazonia, also referred to as “the east,” and La Region Insular, which is the Galapagos Islands. In other words, you’ll find everything from tropical rainforests full of monkeys and exotic birds, to savannas, to dry deserts that resemble Arizona or Southern California, to stunning beaches.
If you’re into surfing, you definitely want to visit the Ecuadorian coast. Ecuador caters beaches for all levels of surfers and for every taste. Indeed, the Ecuadorian coast offers a good cocktail between big waves, amazing sunsets and breathtaking landscapes. You can check our article about surfing in Ecuador for more information: Best places to surf in Ecuador
If you’re not into surfing, you can also spend a few days chilling by the sea, sipping a piña colada and snacking on fresh ceviche.
Moreover, due to its natural wealth and untamed landscape, Ecuador lends itself perfectly to outdoor adventure. Hikers and mountaineers can enjoy climbing through the thin air (+15,000 feet / 4,500 meters) to the summits of Volcano Cotopaxi, Tungurahua, Cayambe or doing multi-day treks like the Quilotoa Loop. Downhill mountain biking and horseback riding are other ways to get the adrenaline pumping while appreciating the landscape.
Closer to the Amazon, you’ll find the city of Baños, which is considered the Ecuadorian adventure destination. Visitors come here to zipline across tropical gorges, bungee jump off bridges and river raft through spectacular canyons.
A COUNTRY CROSSED BY THE EQUATORIAL LINE:
Have you ever imagined to stay at the Middle of the World? The Equatorial Monument is located at the latitude 00° 00’ 00’’ and it’s definitely a place travelers must visit.
EXPLORE ANCIENT RUINS
Ecuador is also home to fascinating and mysterious monuments to the past. Ingapirca, south of Quito, is the largest Incan ruin in Ecuador, and the northernmost major Incan fortress. If you are nearby Cuenca, check out the Pumapungo Archeological Park, which was once a center for Incan culture and now a lush park in the heart of the city.
Ecuador has a vast biodiversity and is in fact one of the most wildlife-rich countries in the world, due mainly to its range of different habitats. Over 300 species of mammals have been recorded in the country and it boasts over 1,500 species of birds. During summertime, you can also observe whales next to Puerto Lopez.
A COUNTRY CHEAP TO TRAVEL IN:
Depending on where you are coming from, it might cost you a bit to get to Ecuador; but once you’re there, the living is easy. Food, transportation, tours, and even hotels are pretty affordable, so it’s a great place to get the most out of your travel budget. Regular bus transport is surprisingly cheap, averaging at $1.00 per hour traveled. You’ll be able to get almost anywhere in the country, though in some cases it might require a few buses.
It’s also worth mentioning that the country uses U.S. dollars as their currency.
So, you are now convinced that Ecuador is on your bucket list? It’s time to start planning your trip. If you’ve never been to South America or you don’t speak Spanish, you might feel better if you get some help. So, check out Ecuatraveling, who have some great offers on all the activities mentioned above and more! And when looking for somewhere to stay, don’t miss out on the awesome Hump Day Hostel or Nicky Lodge in the Amazon!
Don’t forget that while traveling abroad, is it really important to have travel insurance. Isn’t it important to be protected against unexpected cancellations and sudden health emergencies? We recommend Seven Corners! For more than 25 years, Seven Corners insurance has been helping travelers 24/7 and has helped people all over the world.
You can check it here: Travel Insurance
Written by Clémence Aubry