Although relatively small in size, Ecuador packs an astounding array of awesome sights. White sand beaches, vast stretches of Amazonian jungle, pretty colonial towns, and the dizzying heights of the amazing Andes, are just some of the wonders youll find in this country straddling the equator. But when it comes to one-of-a-kind destinations, you cant beat the Galapagos Islands. Lying about 1,000 kilometres off Ecuadors coast, this isolated volcanic archipelago in the Pacific Ocean is home to many plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world.
Famed for its dramatic vantage point high in the Andean Mountains, Ecuadors capital is the oldest capital city in South America and known for its ancient Incan significance. The citys historic centre has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site and its filled with colonial architecture, picturesque plazas, and beautiful churches displaying works of art. At the traditional market you can sample an array of Ecuadorian fruits and when the sun goes down theres a vibrant nightlife scene to experience. Visit the middle of the world monument or take an excursion through the Andes, passing the snow-capped peaks of Tungurahua and Chimborazo or experience the ever-changing colours of Quilotoa Crater Lake. Explore the wonders of Cotopaxi National Park, famous for the stunning Cotopaxi volcano, or bask in the beauty of cloud forests, waterfalls, and lush rainforest.
This town in the middle of the Andean highlands is surrounded by volcanoes including the Imbabura Volcano. Experience the beauty of the land, its people, and their customs in local communities such as Cotacachi and Peguche. Otavalo is famous for the legendary Otavalo Market, one of the largest indigenous markets in all of South America, a great spot to pick up handcrafted souvenirs like beautifully handwoven sweaters and ponchos.
Set amid a verdant jungle landscape, Baos is known for wonderful waterfalls like the Pailon Del Diablo, considered one of the 10 most beautiful cascades in the world. Board a traditional Chiva, the typical transport of the Ecuadorian coast, to explore the stunning Baos Waterfalls. This lush, subtropical town is close to the Amazon basin and is also famous for the mineral-rich hot springs, which give the town its name. The Cotopaxi National Park is where the active volcano Cotopaxi is located and gives you a magnificent panoramic view of the volcano.
El Chimborazo Riobamba
At 6,310 metres, El Chimborazo is Ecuadors tallest mountain. Enjoy beautiful views of this dormant volcano and the surrounding landscape. Visit the interesting community of Palacio Real at the foot of the volcano before continuing on to Riobamba, a city with a strong and colourful indigenous presence.
Many consider this colonial city, with its stunning waterfront and historic centre with a vista of rotundas and church steeples, to be the most beautiful in Ecuador. The city centre is home to many traditional crafts, including the famous Panama hat. Just outside Cuenca are the fascinating ruins of Ingapirca, the largest and most well preserved Inca ruins in Ecuador.
The islands of Santa Cruz and San Cristobal in the Galapagos archipelago are lush green habitats with beautiful beaches, wonderful wildlife, and are home to the famous and endangered giant tortoises. Discover the abundance of amazing creatures, like sea lions and pelicans on a tour of Puerto Ayora, the largest town in the Galapagos and where youll visit the Charles Darwin Research Station to learn the most fascinating facts about the flora and fauna of the Galapagos Islands. Take a boat to Academy Bay and you might be lucky enough to spot sea turtles and the renowned Blue-Footed Boobies along the way. The path leading to Playa de Los Perros is where to spot amazing marine iguanas sunning themselves on the rocks, while stunning white sand Tortuga Beach has unbeatable landscapes. Excursions take you to uninhabited islands and offer the best opportunities to view rare and beautiful wildlife.
The largest city in Ecuador is located on the coast. The picturesque Las Peas neighbourhood located in the north has a 400-year-old history and is filled with traditional, colourful houses, cafs, and art galleries. Stairs lead up to Santa Ana Hill, and although its quite a climb, it takes you to the Santa Ana chapel, a lighthouse, and spectacular views over the city. Malecn is the boardwalk overlooking the Guayas River. Stretching for approximately 2.5 kilometres, its lined with museums, monuments, gardens, shopping malls, restaurants, and the first IMAX theatre in South America.
Tropical Discovery & Galapagos Dreams:includes round trip flights, excursions, breakfasts and accommodation.
Check out the itinerary for these other fantastic tours from Exoticca.
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