Ecuador is a thrilling country to vacation for those seeking adventure. The country has everything from friendly whales and famous surf spots to thrilling mountain whitewater rafting and vast caverns begging for exploration.
There are seemingly endless possibilities for experiences in Ecuador and whatever you are looking for, it is almost a guarantee that Ecuador offers it.
If you are in Ecuador from mid-summer until late fall, then take the opportunity to see a large group of more than 400 humpback whales that congregate off the Pacific coast. These mammoths of the ocean travel Ecuador's warmer waters during this time to give birth and nurse their young.
The whales are extremely outgoing and often burst out of the water and play in the area as if they are trying to entertain the crowd. While this might not be an active adventure, it is an exciting spectacle and worth seeing.
Imagine charging down a river, between the breaks of water splashing your face. You catch glimpses of the looming jungle on either side as you ride the river down a relatively steep mountain, having the time of your life and conquering the waves as you go.
Ecuador is well known for it sensational whitewater rafting. Some of the best spots to take this challenge start high in the Andes and run past the thick jungle scenery all the way down to the lowlands.
To access this wet and wild adventure, there are a few towns that make a perfect home base. If you are in the El Oriente area, then head to either Tena or Macas, the hotspots for this extreme sport. You can easily find companies offering many different tours varying in length and difficulty.
The most famous rivers in Ecuador for a whitewater rafting adventure are the Rio Misahualli and the Upper Napo.
Looking to catch waves instead of whitewater rapids? No problem. Ecuador has some great places to surf where you will find that perfect break. Just follow the Pacific coast and you will find dozens of relativity undiscovered surf spots all along the way. A few of the most popular, but also most crowded surf spots, are Montanita and Canoa.
What is a trip to Ecuador without experiencing the incredible scenery and diverse wildlife of the world-renowned Galapagos Islands?
One of the best adventures when embarking to this extraordinary archipelago is scuba diving. With such diverse ocean wildlife, you can see everything from hammerhead sharks, penguins, barracudas, and manta rays on just one dive.
The islands themselves are full of other fun experiences such as exotic wildlife spotting, hiking, bird watching, and so much more.
If you are looking for an unforgettable journey, then I highly recommend the Galapagos. They might very well become the highlight of your trip.
If you want to take a break from the lush jungles and rivers and embark on an expedition beneath the earth's surface, than head to the Cueva de Los Tavos, better known as the Cave of the Oil Birds.
Just getting into the cave starts with a challenging 70m descent. Cueva de Los Tavos offers so many enormous caverns and stalactites that you could spend a week trekking through it and not see everything.
Another option is to mix rappelling, rivers, and canyons in one epic adventure. The most notable place to go canyoning in Ecuador is Banos.
The landscapes and views are stunning, and the element of adventure can be quite overwhelming. Banos offers you the chance to take in all the beauty of the jungles while embarking on one epic adventure after another through it.
Another adventure option in Banos is puenting, which is like combining both bungee jumping and rope swinging into one unmatched rush. When puenting, there is not the bounce that you get with a traditional bungee jumping. It is a deep curvature fall that turns is to one massive swing; so you just might want to make sure you get the right insurance policy for this Ecuador adventure.
Ecuador might not have the largest mountains in the world, but it has some amazing treks that show off the beauty of this South American country.
Cotopaxi Volcano is a favorite spot to visit among the hiking crowd. The Trek of the Condor located on Cotopaxi is one astonishing example. This epic four-day hike takes you through volcanic ash and landscape, as well as through both lush and rugged mountain scenery. Hiking on Cotopaxi, also provides the unique experience of seeing wild horses.
If you are looking to get off the beaten path a little bit but also away from the crowds, then head to Lioa, Canos, or Isabella Island. Each of these places provides great hiking opportunities and fewer hikers than Cotopaxi.
Looking for some insane mountain biking? Well, how about hitting the trails on the tallest active volcano in the world. Towering at 20,000 feet, Cotopaxi offers some extreme biking trails. A few of the adventures that wait on Cotopaxi are the challenging mountains terrain, sleeping in an Inca shelter, and an ambitious heart pounding freeride down the volcano itself.
This South American country offers daring experiences for every adventurer and embarking on any of these adventures will make your time in Ecuador memorable.
Using this adventure guide to Ecuador will help you discover some of most challenging yet rewarding experiences the country has to offer.
Note: Available plans and coverages may have changed since this blog was published.
Volcanic eruptions are natural disasters that may be covered events under Arch RoamRight travel protection plans. From minor disruptions to catastrophic events, volcanos can affect travelers around the world.
Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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