Ecuador is located to the north of South America on the west coast and bordered by Colombia and Peru to the west. Despite its relatively small size, this geographically rich country is known for its biodiversity and stunning landscapes.
The Andes Mountains stretch through the country along with numerous volcanoes offering opportunities for nature enthusiasts and climbers. Quito is the capital of the country and is located high in the Andes, a few hours away are cloud forests that are a paradise for bird lovers home to numerous hummingbird species, the Andean cock of the rock and Quetzal.
Head south to the Amazon rainforest and stay in ecolodges to immerse yourself in the jungle, spotting caimans, parrots and monkeys on guided hiking and boat trips. Opportunities exist to interact with the Kichwa community and learn about their lives and traditions.
Lying 1,000 kms off the east coast of Ecuador lies the Galapagos Islands, visiting this archipelago is an incredible opportunity to encounter wildlife close up, including giant tortoises, marine iguanas, blue-footed boobies, sea lions and the Galapagos penguin. Snorkeling and diving in the crystal-clear waters allow for unforgettable encounters with vibrant marine life, including stingrays, sea turtles, tropical fish, and even hammerhead sharks. Bird lovers can see the Waved Albatross, Blue and red footed boobies, Magnificent Frigate birds, Red billed tropicbirds, Darwin's Galapagos finches and numerous other birds including migratory species. The islands can be visited by 4 or 7 night boat trips from luxury catamarans to simple hull boats, there is also opportunities to stay on several different islands and do day excursions.
Ecuador's cultural heritage is rich and diverse, with a blend of indigenous, Spanish, and Afro-Ecuadorian influences. The colonial city of Quito, a UNESCO World Heritage site, showcases stunning architecture, charming plazas, and historic churches. The old town, with its cobblestone streets and picturesque alleys, offers a glimpse into the country's colonial past. Cuenca, another colonial gem, is renowned for its well-preserved architecture, vibrant arts scene, and traditional crafts.
Ecuador's climate varies depending on the region. The coastal areas have a tropical climate, with warm temperatures year-round and a wetter season from December to May. The highlands have a cooler climate, with temperatures that can vary depending on the altitude. The Amazon region has a hot and humid climate, with frequent rainfall throughout the year.