Ecuador

TRAVEL GUIDE

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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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Quito

Built on the ashes of the northern Inca capital following the 1533 Spanish conquest, Ecuador's capital city brims with colonial riches. Although...

Cuenca

If you've just arrived from Quito or Guayaquil, you might not believe that Cuenca is Ecuador's third-largest city. It hustles and bustles, but...

Guayaquil

Guayaquil is Ecuador's city with the Midas touch. Politics and culture may center in perpetual rival Quito, but the country's pocketbook lies...

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, the most developed and touristed of the islands, sits in the middle of the archipelago. Overlooking Academy Bay on the island's...

Baños

At the base of Volcán Tungurahua and surrounded by heavily forested mountains, tumbling waterfalls, and natural hot springs, Baños is one of...

Otavalo

Residents of Ecuador's most famous market town proudly retain many of their old customs, including their manner of dress. The women wear embroidered...

Riobamba

Three of Ecuador's most formidable peaks—Chimborazo, Altar, and Tungurahua—are visible from Riobamba, a pleasant town with wide, tree-lined...

Latacunga

The capital of Cotopaxi Province, Latacunga has been rebuilt three times in the wake of massive eruptions of Volcán Cotopaxi, whose perfect...

Bahia de Caraquez

This beachfront port town—everyone calls it Bahía for short—built by the Spaniards in 1624, has a delightful small-town resort vibe, with waterfront...

Manta

A onetime sleepy fishing village with an unsuccessful history of warding off pirates, Manta today booms with all the hustle and bustle of a...

Cotacachi

Although most people just pass through here on the way to the lake of the same name, the quiet little town of Cotacachi is well worth a visit...

Isabela

Although Isabela is the largest island in the archipelago, it has very little tourism infrastructure. The handful of hotels are very basic,...

San Pablo

Easily accessible from Otavalo, the highland town of San Pablo is a collection of adobe buildings along the shore of deep-blue Lago San Pablo...

San Antonio de Ibarra

Renowned for its wood carvings, San Antonio de Ibarra is where you'll find skillful artisans who show off their wares in the shops surrounding...

San Cristobal

The capital of Galápagos Province and the largest town on San Cristóbal, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is much less tourist oriented than Puerto...

Salinas

Guayaquileños flock to the popular if sometimes overcrowded beaches here on holidays and during the hot and humid rainy season. Deep-sea fishing...

El Oriente

Ecuador's slice of the Amazon basin accounts for roughly one-third of the country's landmass but just 4% of its population. One of the world...

Quito

Built on the ashes of the northern Inca capital following the 1533 Spanish conquest, Ecuador's capital city brims with colonial riches. Although...

Cuenca

If you've just arrived from Quito or Guayaquil, you might not believe that Cuenca is Ecuador's third-largest city. It hustles and bustles, but...

Guayaquil

Guayaquil is Ecuador's city with the Midas touch. Politics and culture may center in perpetual rival Quito, but the country's pocketbook lies...

Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz, the most developed and touristed of the islands, sits in the middle of the archipelago. Overlooking Academy Bay on the island's...

Baños

At the base of Volcán Tungurahua and surrounded by heavily forested mountains, tumbling waterfalls, and natural hot springs, Baños is one of...

Otavalo

Residents of Ecuador's most famous market town proudly retain many of their old customs, including their manner of dress. The women wear embroidered...

Riobamba

Three of Ecuador's most formidable peaks—Chimborazo, Altar, and Tungurahua—are visible from Riobamba, a pleasant town with wide, tree-lined...

Latacunga

The capital of Cotopaxi Province, Latacunga has been rebuilt three times in the wake of massive eruptions of Volcán Cotopaxi, whose perfect...

Bahia de Caraquez

This beachfront port town—everyone calls it Bahía for short—built by the Spaniards in 1624, has a delightful small-town resort vibe, with waterfront...

Manta

A onetime sleepy fishing village with an unsuccessful history of warding off pirates, Manta today booms with all the hustle and bustle of a...

Cotacachi

Although most people just pass through here on the way to the lake of the same name, the quiet little town of Cotacachi is well worth a visit...

Isabela

Although Isabela is the largest island in the archipelago, it has very little tourism infrastructure. The handful of hotels are very basic,...

San Pablo

Easily accessible from Otavalo, the highland town of San Pablo is a collection of adobe buildings along the shore of deep-blue Lago San Pablo...

San Antonio de Ibarra

Renowned for its wood carvings, San Antonio de Ibarra is where you'll find skillful artisans who show off their wares in the shops surrounding...

San Cristobal

The capital of Galápagos Province and the largest town on San Cristóbal, Puerto Baquerizo Moreno is much less tourist oriented than Puerto...

Salinas

Guayaquileños flock to the popular if sometimes overcrowded beaches here on holidays and during the hot and humid rainy season. Deep-sea fishing...

El Oriente

Ecuador's slice of the Amazon basin accounts for roughly one-third of the country's landmass but just 4% of its population. One of the world...

Guayaquil and the Pacific Coast

Few foreign visitors see Ecuador's Pacific coast beyond the view from the plane window as they head out to the Galápagos Islands. If you have...

Cuenca and the Southern Highlands

The less-visited Southern Highlands deserve a more prominent spot on travel itineraries. Cuenca, Ecuador's third largest city, with a collection...

The Central Highlands

South of Quito the Andes rise sharply on either side of the Pan-American Highway, creating a narrow corridor of fertile valleys that, along...

The Galápagos Islands

A zoologist's dream, the Galápagos Islands afford a once-in-a-lifetime chance to witness animals found nowhere else on the planet. From the...

The Northern Highlands

When the Spanish conquered the territory north of Quito, they introduced sheep to the region. Over time the mountain-dwellers became expert...

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