Major Tourist Attractions: Cotopaxi, Pichincha Volcano, Malecon 2000, Cotopaxi National Park, Galagagos National Park
There is much to explore in Ecuador, from the 500 year old colonial old town of Quito to the indigenous markets in Otavalo to the sunny surf culture along the coast. Yet the country's biggest selling point is the immense amount of diverse nature crammed within its borders: there is the lush Amazonian jungle, the tall volcanic peaks of the Andes and the tropical islands of the Galapagos.
This diversity has made the country a prime destination for eco-tourism, which it serves up at lower prices than Costa Rica or even Peru. Many visitors flock directly to the Galapagos, the rocky islands with endless biodiversity which inspired Charles Darwin's theory of evolution. Ecuador has worked hard to cultivate activities in other areas, including Baños, an adventure-sports hotspot which sits at the foot of an active volcano.
Ecuador is one of the safest countries in all of Latin America, with a lower crime rate than much of the United States. Its small size, low prices and use of the US Dollar as the official currency make travel very easy and convenient. With all these charms, it won't be long before the appeal of Ecuador is no longer a secret.
Some of the many unique activities found only in Ecuador include:
- Straddle the equator with a foot in each hemisphere.
- Visit the second highest capital city in the world, Quito, where the entire downtown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
- Enjoy an inexpensive surfing holiday along Ecuador's coast.
- Soak in a thermal bath at the foot of an active volcano in Baños.
- Hike deep into the Amazon to meet a local shaman or tribe.
- Try local specialties like locro de papa, ceviche and cuy (guinea pig).
- Climb to the summit of the world's highest active volcano, Cotopaxi.
- Swim with sharks and sea turtles in the Galapagos.
Address: Ave. Avigiras E12-170 y Ave.
Eloy Alfaro (next to SOLCA)
Phone: From the United States:
From within Ecuador, but outside Pichincha,
or from a cellphone within Ecuador: 02-398-5000