If you think Ecuador is just a jumping off point for the Galápagos Islands, you're missing a great deal. From its Inca treasures and vibrant cities to the variety of its terrain–-coastal, rain forest, and mountains–-and its many species of birds and wildlife, Ecuador has much to get excited about. The equator runs right through Ecuador, which means the night sky brings out the stars in both hemispheres. The mainland has three distinct regions: the Andes mountains that run north to south, the Pacific coast, and the Amazon basin in the east. You can indulge in adventures like trekking, horseback riding, biking, and white-water rafting to scaling mountains and volcanoes.

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