Are you looking for offbeat travel destinations? Then, why not add Ecuador to your bucket list? This small South American country is a hidden travelers’ paradise. Ecuador is a small yet packed country. This country has tons of things to do, see, and eat. This destination guide will examine Ecuador and why it should be on every traveler’s bucket list. Let’s explore more on why travel to Ecuador is your next destination.
Ecuador is a marriage of tradition and modernity. You will see reflections of its colonial past everywhere in Ecuador, but the larger cities are distinctly cosmopolitan. At the same time, the culture of this place dates back to pre-Incan times.
Featured Image Credits: Unsplash
Ecuador Travel: Brief overview
Ecuador gets its present name from the Spanish. So it’s called República del Ecuador, which translates to the Republic of the Equator.
Ecuador is synonymous with the equator line. For those who may have forgotten their geography lessons, the equator is an imaginary line that divides the world into north and south hemispheres. The equator runs through Ecuador. You can have your left foot in the Northern Hemisphere and your right foot in the Southern Hemisphere in this country.
Ecuador shares its borders with Colombia, Peru, and the Pacific Ocean. The volcanic Galápagos Islands are also part of Ecuador.
Why travel to Ecuador?
Ecuador is an ideal tourist destination for multiple reasons. First, it’s comparatively safer than many other South American countries. As long as you avoid the conflict zones, there’s nothing to worry about. Second, Ecuador has beautiful weather. Since it’s on the equator, the temperature remains more or less constant. High-elevation areas are colder but still pleasant. Third, Ecuador has exceptional cuisine combining European and South American cuisine elements. Fourth, Ecuador has good public and private transport. You can quickly get around the country without spending much money.
There are many more reasons to visit Ecuador as well. For example, the architecture in cities like Quito (the capital city) and Guayaquil is breathtaking. It’s the finest European architecture you can find anywhere in South America.
Ecuador also happens to be the gateway to the Amazon rainforest. The town of Tena leads to the Amazon rainforest, where explorers can witness the most biodiverse area in the world.
Ecuador may not be the cheapest tourist destination in South America, but it’s affordable. Budget travelers can get around, eat, and rest with $40-50 per day.
Now, let’s check out some unmissable things and activities in Ecuador.
What to do in Ecuador?
You can explore Ecuador for a day, week, month, or year. It might be a small country, but there are plenty of things to do and see here.
Let’s start with the food.
Food in Ecuador
Ceviche is arguably the most popular food in Ecuador. Locals love it, and you’ll find it everywhere in the country. Ceviche is essentially fresh fish cured in citrus juice. Variations of this dish are found across South America. In Ecuador, Ceviche is served with a citrusy broth that adds fresh flavor to the fish. Ceviche is best enjoyed with chips and popcorn, and Ecuador has a vast collection of both.
Another signature Ecuadorian dish is Cuy Asado. Cuy Asado is a roasted guinea pig that’s more popular along the Andes region. You can also see American influence on Ecuador’s cuisine in dishes like Llapingachos, a potato patty stuffed with cheese.
Food in Ecuador appeals to different palates. Explore the streets of Quito to taste some of the best food in the world.
Moving forward from food, let’s talk about things to see in Ecuador.
Ecuador travel attractions
From modern urban centers to active volcanoes, Ecuador has it all. Here are a few things to do in Ecuador:
Quito is the 2nd highest city in the world and is the first city to be declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Old Quito and New Quito give glimpses of ancient Ecuadorian culture and modern Ecuador. The city is full of colonial buildings and churches. You can walk through the Old Town’s narrow alleys and then enjoy a posh café in the New Town.
You cannot miss Ciudad Mitad del Mundo when in Ecuador. It’s also known as the equator monument, and it’s here that you can put one foot in the Northern Hemisphere and the other in the Southern Hemisphere.
Ingapirca Ruins are the equivalent of Machu Picchu for Ecuador. These ruins used to be an observatory for the ancient Cañari people. If you are a history buff, you cannot miss this place.
Luxury stay in the Amazon rainforests
Forests are dangerous. So if you would instead enjoy the beauty of the Amazon rainforest from a safe spot, the luxury resorts at Yasuní National Park, Panacocha Protected Forest, or Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve are the best options.
Ecuador is called four countries in one. It’s a tiny, tucked-away nation in South America that’ll leave you wondering why you didn’t visit before. Explore itineraries for Ecuador made by other Travel Wise community members and make travel planning easier for you.