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Travel to Ecuador

And Journey to the Middle of the World

ALL OF THE WONDERS OF ECUADOR AWAIT!

Step into a spectacular assortment of jaw-dropping landscapes, rich culture, and mesmerizing history. With its regions that span the Pacific Coast, Andes Mountains, and Amazon Basin, Ecuador is celebrated as one of the most biodiverse countries in the world. What makes ¡t a special treat for travelers is the fact that, due to its relatively small territory, one can visit many different regions with relative ease. Traveling to Ecuador also entails the opportunity to experience its magnificent crown jewels, which include the first-ever UNESCO World Heritage Sites: Quito (the capital) and the Galapagos Islands. Next-door neighbors Colombia and Peru can be added as complementary destinations before, or after, your journey through Ecuador!
How To Get To Ecuador

HOW DO I GET TO ECUADOR?

Getting to Ecuador is remarkably easy thanks to its two well-connected international airports: Quito‘s Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) and Guayaquil’s José Joaquín de Olmedo International Airport (GYE).

Each of these airports offers several daily flights to and from destinations in Europe, North and South America. Additionally, these same airports serve as a gateway to the Galapagos Islands and as a connecting hub to other regional destinations.

Did you know? Quito’s award-winning Mariscal Sucre International Airport is one of the busiest airports in Latin America?

Map Ecuador Regions En 01

WHAT ARE ECUADOR’S MOST IMPORTANT REGIONS?

  • Insular: Located 621 miles (1,000 kilometers) west of mainland Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean, the Enchanted Isles were declared a Natural World Heritage Site by the UNESCO in 1978. The Galapagos National Park and Marine Reserve is home to a vast population of endemic flora and fauna.
  • Coast: Extending from rainforests of the Ecuadorian Andes down to the shores along the Pacific Ocean, this region harbors the native coastal communities of Ecuador. Beachside activities and protected natural areas are found in equal measure.
  • Highlands: Ecuador’s slice of the Andes Mountains boasts the tallest active volcano in the world, Cotopaxi (19,347 ft | 5,897 meters), and the furthest point from the Earth’s center, Chimborazo’s summit (20,561 ft | 6,267 meters). Delve into the intricate and colorful artisanal crafts of indigenous communities or explore colonial architecture in the nation’s capital (Quito).
  • Amazon: Descending east from the Andes, you’ll encounter diverse rainforest ecosystems in the most intriguing region of the country, where ten protected areas safeguard endangered wildlife. One of the biggest biodiversity hotspots in the world is also very spiritual, as the indigenous communities here continue to preserve their ways of life and the environment.

WHAT ARE ECUADOR’S MOST IMPORTANT CITIES?

Quito: One of the first UNESCO Cultural World Heritage Sites houses the most well-preserved historic quarter in South America. Andean traditions and modern urban lifestyle overlap in a city cradled by mountains, filled with culture and biodiversity. Immerse yourself in the city’s rich history and vibrant city life, or experience nature like never before in any of the surrounding areas.

Guayaquil: The Pearl of the Pacific offers adventure, gastronomy, and relaxation. As Ecuador’s main port city, Guayaquil and the surrounding areas thrive on coastal tourism. Visitors can enjoy all types of sporting and beach activities, explore the region’s tropical biodiversity, or enjoy a rich culture of music and dance.

Cuenca: A charming town in the Southern Highlands, the third largest city in Ecuador appeals to nationals and foreigners alike with a cultural atmosphere brimming with artistic expression. The city’s ideal location grants easy access to visitor favorites, such as, El Cajas National Park and the Inca ruins of Ingapirca.

Map Of Popular Ecuador Cities

WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO VISIT ECUADOR?

Visitors will be delighted to find that Ecuador’s weather patterns are surprisingly temperate and consistent, which makes the entire country a year-round destination. This means there is no best time to visit Ecuador because the answer simply is: always! “Extreme” weather variations do not exist here, and the only two seasons—if one can call them that—are the slightly drier and mildly wetter parts of the year.

Due to the dynamic terrain and varied altitudes on mainland Ecuador, there is a noticeable difference in weather patterns between regions that is worth noting.

MAX

COAST

86°F / 30°C

MIN

66°F / 19°C

JAN TO APR

Warmer, rainy season

MAY TO DEC

Drier, overcast season

MAX

HIGHLANDS

70°F / 21°C

MIN

46°F / 8°C

JUN TO SEP

Drier season

OCT TO MAY

Wetter season

MAX

AMAZON

90°F / 32°C

MIN

60°F / 16°C

JAN TO MAR

Best time to avoid the rain

APR TO SEP

Rainy season

MAX

GALAPAGOS

84°F / 29°C

MIN

73°F / 23°C

DEC THROUGHT MAY

Hot season

JUN THROUGHT NOV

Dry season

ECUADOR'S TOP REGIONS

Inside Ecuador, you can take a journey through any of its four regions: Highlands (Sierra), Coast, Amazon, and Galapagos.

All of these regions exhibit their own unique share of landscapes, culture, gastronomy, flora, and fauna. They all make for the perfect amalgamation of what establishes Ecuador as one of the most desirable destinations for travelers worldwide, from its beaches to its mountains and lowland jungles.

galapagos
As one of the crown jewels of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands never fail to stun with their plethora of extraordinary wildlife and otherworldly landscapes. Annually claiming the spot as one of the best places to travel to in the world, this once-in-a-lifetime destination offers a variety of exciting ways to engage with so much of what it has to offer—be it via an Expedition Vessel, Day Tour, Land Excursion, and/or any combination of these.
Highlands
A region full of breathtaking landscapes, cultural discoveries, ethnic encounters, and culinary delights. Travelers will find a wealth of exploration options in the form of cloud forests, handicraft markets, haciendas, flower farms, hot springs, and snow-capped peaks. Here, you will be able to acquire local artisans’ work in wood, leather, and textiles. Particular areas of this region are home to Inca ruins and mark the descent into the Amazon Basin.
coast
It has a rich collection of museums, baronial mansions, flagship urban regeneration projects, and good dining and nightlife. Be sure to soak up some sun at the neighboring, beautiful beaches that line Ecuador’s gorgeous coast while enjoying the surf, delicious food, and relaxation time.
amazon
Home to more living creatures than any other ecosystem on Earth, the Amazon’s staggering richness impresses the senses, inviting you to admire its exuberance whether by boat or on foot. It is also home to numerous ethnic groups and communities, some of which are open to visitors. Unique jungle lodges in remote parts of the Amazon allow travelers to comfortably enjoy the wildlife and scenery of this magical place.
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Highlands

A region full of breathtaking landscapes, cultural discoveries, ethnic encounters, and culinary delights. 

coast

Indulge in Ecuador’s museums, mansions, flagship projects, dining, and beaches for an unforgettable vacation.

amazon

Discover the Amazon’s richness on foot or by boat. Meet ethnic groups and visit jungle lodges to admire its wildlife and scenery.

galapagos

Visit Galapagos for extraordinary wildlife and landscapes. Choose from expedition vessel, day tour, land excursion, or a combination.

WHAT TO SEE IN ECUADOR

QUITO & SURROUNDINGS

As one of the first cities in the world to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978, Ecuador’s capital has a setting that few cities can match. It is an urban jewel of 16th- and 17th-century churches, monasteries, plazas, and mansions; not to mention, Quito’s cultural side offers a wide array of museums, boutiques, and stylish restaurants. For nature lovers, the city also has fantastic options over by the cloud forests of the Mashpi Reserve.

In the northernmost part of the Metropolitan District of Quito, there lies the Middle of the World site, where the famed Monument to the Equator attracts those who want to step on both hemispheres at the same time. Complete with the Ethnographic Museum Middle of the Earth and the Intiñan Solar Museum, the Middle of the World City is an unmissable visitor site for travelers staying in Quito.

CUENCA & SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS

Famed for its crafts—including ceramics, jewelry, and embroidery—and home of the famous yet misnamed “Panama” hat, Cuenca astounds with its magnificent array of landscapes and architecture. Beyond the city, charming towns will entice those who appreciate filigree silverwork, colorful markets, and orchids; while El Cajas National Park attracts those that seek a closer connection with nature and birds. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a favorite destination for expats from all over the world.

OTAVALO

The Imbabura province is home to a most favorite destination among Ecuadorians and visitors alike: Otavalo. This city holds the most popular market in Ecuador. Each Saturday, thousands of locals and tourists converge at the plaza in the center of Otavalo to shop for some of the most beautiful textiles, handicrafts, leather goods, and jewelry around! This market is known for the experience it offers. In between trying their hand at haggling, visitors can enjoy the lively music and dance performances of local Otavaleños.

WHAT TO DO IN ECUADOR?

The list of things to do in Ecuador is as varied and eclectic as the regions it is home to. As a result, you will be able to enjoy several options when it comes to partaking in fun, exciting, and insightful activities.

Must-see Places in Ecuador

Some of the best visitor sites in Ecuador are tucked into exceptional parts of the region or province they are found in. This grants visitors access to beautiful and easily accessible landscapes while also offering a proper taste of the local culture and its traditions. Here is a look at some of Ecuador’s top places to visit.

Quito and its Surroundings

Avenue of the Volcanoes

The Sierra Region

The Pacific Coast of Ecuador

The Ecuadorian Amazon

Nestled amid the Andes Highlands, the capital of Quito’s historic center—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—is home to the ornate Church of the Society of Jesus; delightful cafés, shops, plazas, and museums; and the award-winning Casa Gangotena Boutique Hotel. The Teleferico gondola offers visitors incredible views from atop the mighty Pichincha while the Guayasamín Museum celebrates Ecuador’s most famous artist. Nearby, the Sangolquí Market offers a culinary experience like no other.

The Andes Mountains run through Ecuador and include numerous snow-capped peaks. Several of these mountains are active or inactive volcanoes with elevations over 11,500 feet (3,505 meters) above sea level. This paradise for highland afficionados is also referred to as the Avenue of the Volcanoes. Notable among these are: Chimborazo (whose summit is the furthest point from the Earth’s center), Cotopaxi (the world’s highest active volcano), Cayambe, Antisana, and Quilotoa (a giant, oft-photographed crater lagoon).

The Sierra Region of the Ecuadorian Andes includes the Avenue of the Volcanoes and its surrounding valleys, lakes, and highlands. Interspersed among these are popular destinations like Otavalo (known for its artisanal market), the picturesque San Pablo Lake below Imbabura Volcano, and Cuenca, Ecuador’s third largest city and home to many foreign ex-pats. The hot springs and waterfalls of Baños de Agua Santa and the rainforests of the Andean Choco also feature.

Much of Ecuador’s Pacific Coast extends along one side of Manabí Province. Here, you’ll find the modern city of Manta (a popular vacation destination), plenty of surfside towns like Puerto Cayo, and the majestic Machalilla National Park, home to the country’s best beach, Los Frailes. Manabi-style cuisine is popular throughout the country (just try the ceviche!), and neighboring Guayas Province is an important agricultural center and home to Guayaquil—the most important port in Ecuador.

East of the Andes, the Ecuadorean Amazon extends over several provinces including Napo, Orellana, and Pastaza. Several tributaries of the Amazon flow through this region and provide visitors with eco- and community-based-tourism opportunities. Members of local indigenous tribes lead tours and highlight the importance of protecting delicate ecosystems and wildlife. Yasuni National Park is a popular destination, while Tena and Misahualli (on the banks of the Napo River) are a gateway to the region.

WHAT ARE ECUADOR'S MOST
IMPORTANT
FESTIVITIES?

Ecuador is steeped in history and tradition that embellishes an already beautiful picture filled with majestic landscapes and biodiversity. Throughout certain times of the year, you will find Ecuadorians proudly commemorating and enjoying aspects of their culture that echo a past and place that remains as timeless as ever. Here is a look at some of Ecuador’s biggest events that are held throughout the year.
Culture In Baños Agua Santa

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Cotopaxi Ecuador