- Ecuador is the smallest country in the rugged
Andean highlands, Ecuador is among the most rewarding travel
destinations in South America. With its array of vibrant indigenous
preserved colonial architecture, otherworldly volcanic landscapes and
dense rainforest, it packs its perimeters with more points of interest
than many countries twice its size. You can
swim with nature,
humpback whale watching.
Bahia de Caraquez
Quito - The capital of Ecuador
is arguably the most beautiful city in South America.
Quito is the capital of Ecuador
of Pichincha, the country's most populous Andean province, is situated
116 miles from the Pacific coast at an altitude of 9,350 feet, just
south of the equator. It has a pleasant climate that can be described as
"permanent spring". The city, one of the oldest in South
America, is built in a small basin on the lower slopes of Cerro
Pichincha. It was the capital of the ancient kingdom of Quitu and for
several decades, prior to its occupation by Spaniards in 1534, was a
second (northern) capital of the Inca empire. The city official name as given by the
Spaniards, is Villa de San Francisco de Quito, it is Ecuador's second largest
city. It is the political, administrative, and cultural capital of
Quito, more than any other South American
capital, has preserved its colonial atmosphere, with squares, fountains,
public buildings, and houses built in the typical Spanish style. Most
attractive is the main square, Plaza Mayor, with its seventeenth-century
cathedral, government palaces, municipal hall, and other buildings.
Quito is well known for its many small workshops producing native arts
and for its outdoor Indian markets.
Every Saturday, this small town of the province of Imbabura ( 100
of Quito), get full of colors and get suffocated of agitation, when the
natives begin to exhibit in the Poncho square, the carpets, blankets,
belts and a great diversity of objects, created with the skill of their
hands and the creative impulses of their inspiration.
Town of Otavalo
Otavalo Day Trip
holds Ecuador's economic position.
Volcanoes - Chimborazo /
Cotopaxi National Park Cotopaxi
Ecuador's "Avenue of the
Volcanoes" is a 325 km. long valley between
the major Cordillera ranges. Massive and standing alone, the
volcanoes provide brooding,
snow-covered contrast to the green equatorial lushness. They also
provide mountaineers a rare opportunity to achieve very high altitudes
without technical difficulty. Volcano climbing offers an exciting, unforgettable
In the Indian language, Chimborazo means
"mountain of snow". It is an enormous mass of overwhelming
scale. Alexander Von Humboldt mad an unsuccessful attempt to climb the
Chimborazo in 1802, and believed it to be the highest mountain in the
world (6,526 feet). This distinction lasted until the discovery of Mt.
Everest fifty years later. Chimborazo was finally climbed by Edward Whimper
in 1880. Today it is climbed fairly frequently, but less than Cotopaxi,
which is the highest active volcano of the world (6,005 meters). Read about
The Cotopaxi National Park.
Ecuador Archaelogical Sites - Ecuador has several ruins left by the Incas or other Amerindians. The
principal Inca site is
Ingapirca. Others include Rumicucho, near
Quito; La Tolita, near Esmeraldas; and Tomebamba in Cuenca (most
of the ruins in this old provincial capital have been built over, but
some can be seen at Avenida Todos Santos). The ancient Valdivia culture
(dating from 3200 BC) left remains at Real Alto, San Isidro
(excavated mounds) and Santa Elena—all of which are located in
the coastal area northwest of Guayaquil. Santa Elena is notable for
having the world's oldest known cemetery (dating from 5000 BC). Inside
Machalilla National Park is the Agua Blanca site. (Artifacts from
most of these places are best seen in museums in Guayaquil and Quito.
Ingapirca Inca Ruins
Ambato, Ecuador - This modern city (pop. 140,000) south of Quito was rebuilt following
1949 earthquake—little evidence of the colonial era remains. Ambato,
however, is a good place to buy Salasaca Amerindian tapestries and other
handicrafts (Monday is the main market day, with smaller ones on
Wednesday and Friday). Sights include the Quinta de Mera (historic
home), the local museum and the relaxing Parque Juan Montalvo (named
after the Ecuadorian political essayist). The city hosts the Fruit and
Flower Festival during the last two weeks of February (fruits, flowers,
bullfights, street dances and festivities). Visitors can take
excursions to Chimborazo (at 20,700 ft/6,310 m, it's Ecuador's highest
peak); the Fauna Production Reserve (15,000 acres of
native flowers and plants); and nearby town of Banos. Ambato is
75 mi south of Quito.
Baños, Ecuador - Is located in the middle
of a mountainous region = It is a place for
while exploring the Andean Highlands. It is very well know for its natural springs.
There are many locations that can accommodate a good long dip.
The lovely scenery around Banos is the area's other main attraction, and
there are several ways to enjoy it. Good hiking trails, horse back
riding and even riding a bike in the mountains.
White-water boating is also possible in the area. Please have these all
pre-arranged by your travel agents. "It's a Must"
Cuenca, Ecuador - Panama hats are the
trademark of Cuenca, Ecuador's third-largest
city. Panama hats were first made in the
Cuenca area and are still
produced there. The city still maintains is Andean Small town aura. In
town you can immediately sense and feel what it was living 100 years
ago. The year round spring like climate is a tremendous draw to Cuenca. The town has an Old World, Spanish colonial
feel—flower boxes on windows, wrought-iron balconies, red-tile roofs,
cobblestone streets and a lively market (open Thursday, with a smaller
market on Saturday). It's also a center for arts and crafts—many of
the things sold in Quito and Guayaquil come from this area. Among the
sights are several cathedrals and convents. Home of the original Panama
Galapagos Islands -
Galapagos Islands are a group of twelve
volcanic islands and numerous islets
an rocks 650 miles off the Pacific
coast of Ecuador. The area of the islands is 3,086 square miles.
Only two are inhabited: Isabela, the largest of the group, and San
Cristobal. Current estimated population in the islands is 20,000. The islands are hilly,
rising to a height of 5,000 feet, and there are several active
Galapagos Islands are famous for their unique
fauna and flora,
which include species not found elsewhere. Best known
are the huge tortoise (galapago) and some species of lizards.
Charles Darwin visited the islands in 1830. It was here that he made the
major portion of his observation that led to his theories on evolution
and the Origin of the Species. Many scientists have since carried
out research on the islands.