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There are endless reasons to take a trip in Ecuador, but here we have 15 main reasons that the Ministry of Tourism is presenting us why Ecuador should be your next dream vacation destination:
1. Four regions in one country: though relatively tiny, Ecuador boasts the world treasure of the Galapagos Islands, the warm and sunny Pacific coast, the majestic Andes mountain range, the Amazonian rain forest.
2. A nature lover’s paradise: Ecuador is one of 17 countries in the world classified as “megadiverse” by UNESCO, with an incredible variety of birds, mammals and orchids. In fact Ecuador is the most megadiverse country per square kilometer in that list.
3. Ethnic diversity: home to 17 distinct indigenous groups and 27 different ethnic groups, many of which preserve their languages, traditions, and dress to a remarkable degree, Ecuador is a multicultural wonder.
4. A birdwatcher´s dream come true: with 1,640 species of birds (a world record per square meter) and 132 species of hummingbirds alone, Ecuador is unquestionably one of the worlds’ best birding destinations.
5. Geography and history: with historic haciendas, ethnographic museums, art galleries, and the “”Middle of the World” monument, Ecuador possesses a fascinating historical legacy.
6. Unique and delicious cuisine: in Ecuador you can taste flavors from the highlands “locro” (potato cheese soup) to the refreshing shrimp ceviche (marinated seafood cocktail) of the coast.
7. The Galapagos Islands: recognized in 1978 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the archipelago is home to a stunning volcanic landscape, turquoise waters, and hundreds of endemic species.
8. The Amazon Region: within the dense green vegetation of Ecuadorean Amazon can be found and an abundance of unique flora and fauna, along with an opportunity for unforgettable adventure. Thirty percent of Ecuador’s Amazon jungle basin is made up of natural parks and reserves.
9. Cayambe Volcano: at 4690 meters, Cayambe is the highest point in the world to cross the equator. It is also the only snowcapped place that crosses the equator. The hike to the highest peak has been a favorite since Edward Whymper first reached it in 1880.
10. Cultural Heritage: both Cuenca and Quito have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO and offer a variety of activities for visitors, including museums, art galleries, antique shops, fine restaurants and coffee shops.
11. An endless array of adventures: only in Ecuador can you climb the tallest active volcano in the world, kayak the rapids of the Amazon rainforest, and crisscross the Equatorial line on horseback, all in one trip. You can enjoy 19 that can mix Adventure, Wildlife, Culture, Community in just than 2 hours from the main cities.
12. An example in sustainable tourism: conservation and responsible tourism is a priority in Ecuador, and travelers have plenty of opportunities to contribute to the local economy and be active participants in the growth of ecotourism projects.
13. Eternal spring-like weather: Ecuador enjoys mild spring-like weather conditions year-round, creating an ideal environment for the country’s rich fauna and flora to flourish and its people to enjoy a laid-back lifestyle.
14. Easy to travel to: US and international airlines offer flights of 4 – 6 hours from Miami and New York, the local transportation network is reliable, and English is commonly spoken in major travel destinations.
15. Something for everyone: Ecuador has plenty to offer just about any type of traveler, from adventure seekers to ecotourists, history buffs to honeymooners, families to those looking to learn Spanish in a comfortable environment – Ecuador and Galapagos has it all.
Getting to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is quite simple, there are international flights with LAN, Delta, American Airlines, Continental, Iberia, KLM, Avianca, Taca and Copa.
From the USA
Direct flights to Ecuador from New York, Miami, Atlanta and Houston, with major hubs in Detroit and Los Angeles. All flights from Canada, are routed through one of the hubs of the U.S.A The Ecuadorian national airline, Aerogal has also opened a direct flight route from New York. LAN and its network of allies also operate to Galapagos from Madrid and Miami.
There are options for flights from all major cities, with large centers in Madrid, Amsterdam and Frankfurt. Airlines with service in the UK and the European Union include KLM (Amsterdam), Iberia, American Airlines and Delta.
In Latin America
There are numerous options for flights to Ecuador from Santiago, Bogota, Lima and Panama City with a direct and fast service. The one-stop flights are available from San Jose, Buenos Aires, Caracas and Sao Paulo. Major airlines that provide service to this region are TACA, Avianca, LAN and Copa
Here are some tips:
• Jacket and wind breaks
• Long pants and shorts
• Warm clothes (warm sweater, especially for the mountains and nights)
• T-shirts, Shirts
• Underwear, Socks
• Comfortable walking shoes
• Hat or cap for sun
• Personal medication
• Small flashlight
Location: Ecuador is located on the equator west of South America.
Time Zone: Ecuador is located less than 5 hours relative to Greenwich Mean Time (GMT – 5). The Galapagos Islands are an hour late to mainland Ecuador (GMT – 6).
Surface: 283.561 km2
Population: 16 298 217 habitants
Population Density: 58.49 habitants per km
Capital: Quito 2.6 million
Most populated city: Guayaquil 3.5 million
Political System: Democratic Republic Language: The official language is Spanish, but in the indigenous Quechua-speaking majority.
Religion: Catholic 95%
Currency: U.S. Dollar, we recommend you to bring cash, credit cards, and travel checks.
Telephone code: + 593
Electricity: 110 volts
Water: During his trip to Ecuador is always recommended to drink bottled water.
Security: Ecuador is a relatively safe country to travel, however we always recommend caution with your personal belongings and follow all the recommendations from your guide.
Taxes: Government taxes are subject to change without notice and should always be paid in cash, not credit cards or travel checks.
Galapagos National Park: $ 100.00
Migratory Control Card Galapagos National Institute (INGALA): $ 10.00
Important telephone numbers:
• Adventure 24 hours Terrandes mobile phone: (593-9) 91154975
• Adventure Terrandes office: (593-2) 6004922
• Emergency: 911
• Police: 101
• Firefighters: 102
• Red Cross: 258 2482/ 295 6004
• January 01 New Year
• Carnival in February or March
• March or April Easter (Good Friday)
• May 01 Labor Day
• May 24 Battle of Pichincha
• July 25 Guayaquil Foundation
• National Independence on August 10
• October 9 Independence of Guayaquil
• November 02 All Souls Day
• November 03 Cuenca Independence
• December 06 Foundation of Quito, celebrations since the first week of December.
• December 25 Christmas
Main days for Indian markets:
Saturday: Otavalo, Latacunga, Zumbahua, Pelileo Guaranda, Riobamba, Cotacachi, Guano, Azogues, Loja.
Sunday: Chordeleg, Guano, Machachi, Malacatos, Loja, Pujilí, Machachi, Peguche, Cuenca, Salcedo, Johannesburg, Saraguro Misahuallí, Lago Agrio, Penipe, Sangolquí, Santo Domingo de los Colorados, Salasaca.
Tuesday: Latacunga, Riobamba, Guano.
Wednesday: Pujilí, Cotacachi, Peguche, Otavalo.
Thursday: Saquisilí, Cuenca, Guamote Town, Johannesburg.
Friday: Ibarra, Ingapirca.
Ecuador has a diverse geography, has four geographical regions: The Andes (Sierra), the Amazon (Oriente), the coast and the Galapagos Islands.
Ecuador is located on the equatorial line in northwestern South America, bordering the Pacific Ocean to the west, Colombia to the north, and Peru to the south and east. Ecuador is the eighth largest country in South America.
Galapagos: The Enchanted Islands
They are located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean about 1,000 miles from mainland Ecuador.
These volcanic islands have a subtropical climate, with plentiful beaches and forests. Centuries ago were a haven for pirates, today is a paradise for tourists and scientists.
Among the animals that exist in the Galapagos, there are the giant tortoises, blue footed boobies, red-legged flamingos, frigate birds, albatrosses and small penguins, 14 species of finches that Charles Darwin served as evidence for his theory “on the selection natural evolution of species “of course we cannot forget its diverse marine life and high endemism of the Islands.”
The Coast: The Sun Road
Ecuador offers 640 miles of beautiful beaches, clear and bright sand, sun, the most varied cuisine and breathtakingly beautiful sunsets.
Its territory consists of fertile plains, hills, sedimentary basins and low-lying elevations. Its five provinces have very attractive beaches and resorts for tourists. The highlights of the coast are Esmeraldas, Manabí and Guayas.
From north to south beautiful beaches offer relaxation and fun, and have an important hotel infrastructure. The region is characterized by a warm and dry weather to the south and tropical at the north. Several national parks such as Machalilla and Churute – Mangroves offer the possibility of ecotourism. In Guayaquil, the main airport is the Simon Bolivar International Airport.
The Andes: The Avenue of the Volcanoes
From north to south along 400 kilometers you will find the Ecuadorian Andes, between the coast and the Amazon. Emphasizing the unique ecosystem of high Andean plateau, peaks and valleys of high scenic value.
A total of 60 volcanoes are part of the “Avenue of the Volcanoes” The most important are the Cotopaxi and the Chimborazo volcanoes. Its ten provinces have historically important cities such as Quito and Cuenca and artisan centers such as Otavalo.
The Amazon: The Amazon and its secrets
The Ecuadorian Amazon covers an area of 120,000 km2, of lush vegetation, typical of humid tropical forests. The Amazonian ecosystem, particularly its tropical rainforest, contains a rich and complex world of plants and animals.
The average annual temperature ranges between 24 and 25 C.
The Ecuadorian Amazon is home to ancient cultures such as: The Quichua, Shuar and Secoya, the Yumbo, AucaZaparos, Cofan and others.
Due to the presence of the Andes mountains and by the influence of ocean currents in continental Ecuador are only two seasons: rainy and dry.
These variations are usually fairly mild climate, which means that there is not wrong time to visit Ecuador, and every time you do it you’d better be prepared for rain, sun and at night occasional frosts (especially if you plan go to the plateu of the Andes).
- a) Coast.
The Coast has a hot and humid tropical climate. From May to December, the Coast is cloudier, cool and dry from January to April is warm and rainy. Average temperature 20 ° C and 33 ° C.
- b) Andes.
Thanks to its altitude, the Andean region has a cool spring weather and mostly sunny. Temperatures vary during the day. During the rainy season from October to May, the Andes are cloudy and wet. During the dry season from June to September, the rains diminish and become more common in the afternoons. The temperature varies between 8 °C and 24 °C.
- c) Amazon.
The Amazon is hot and humid and receives a significant amount of rain throughout the year, from June to August the wettest months. The average temperature is from 20 °C to 33 °C.
- d) Galápagos.
The weather is rather mild and the temperatures range between 22º and 32 °C, approximately. Variations of climate in the Galapagos Islands are a bit more pronounced: during the wet months from June to December, the cold currents bring water and air, along with rain and fog, while during the dry months from January to May the islands are much warmer and drier.