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What to see in Ecuador

Ecuador Attractions

As a travel destination, Ecuador is most famous for its ecological wealth. Indeed, the country's most notable tourist attraction is the Galapagos island chain, once the scientific playground of Charles Darwin. On this small archipelago of volcanic islands, weird and wonderful animals like the giant tortoise and marine iguana can be observed. Tourism on the Galapagos is strictly controlled to preserve the famous eco-system.

Other breathtaking natural wonders in Ecuador include the many volcanoes, particularly Cotopaxi, which is one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, and home to one of the few equatorial glaciers in the world. The Amazon rainforest attracts many adventurous travellers, with the town of Tena the most common launching point for jungle treks. Nature lovers will appreciate the Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve as well. It lies in the Andean foothills.

Those wanting to experience the scenic Ecuadorian coastline should to head to the southern coast, where numerous picturesque beach resorts can be found. The most popular of these is the pretty town of Montanita.

The capital, Quito, is the transport hub of the country and attracts tourists in its own right, thanks to its colonial architecture, colourful markets, and Cotopaxi looming in the background. Cuenca is also a very attractive town and a hotspot on Ecuador's tourist circuit.


The small town of Banos is a holiday favourite for its hot springs. Framed by majestic mountains and volcanoes, it serves as a gateway to the Amazon rainforest. Situated on the slopes of the active…

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Cotopaxi National Park

Parque Nacional Cotopaxi is Ecuador's most visited National Park, with one of the highest active volcanoes in the world at its centre. At 19,350ft (5,900m) above sea level, Volcan Cotopaxi offers excellent…

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The Spanish founded the charming city of Cuenca in 1557. Despite being Ecuador's third largest city, it is quaint and pretty, and a favourite for photographers, with its cobblestone streets and 16th-Century…

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El Mitad del Mundo

El Mitad del Mundo (The Middle of the World) is a purpose-built complex of museums and shops that was constructed to mark the equator, the line that gives the country its name. The 96-foot (30m) high…

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Ecuador is famous for its colourful, indigenous markets, and the best known of these is the market at Otavalo. It dates back to pre-Incan times, when jungle products were brought up from the lowlands…

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Plaza de la Independencia

The Plaza de la Independencia is the best place in Quito to sit, enjoy a meal, and people-watch, with the City Hall, the cathedral, the Archbishop's Palace and the Government's Palace all located around…

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Plaza San Francisco

The Iglesia de San Francisco is a peaceful place, without the shady benches full of people and the business of Plaza de la Independencia. Inside, visitors will find chapels gilded in gold, splendid…

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Intrepid Travel

Intrepid Travel, one of the world's leading suppliers of small group adventures focused on getting off the beaten track, interacting with the locals and having real life experiences throughout Ecuador.