In my previous post, I talked about the South American country of Uruguay, its culture, and the amazing tourist attraction this small nation offers. Today, I am focusing on Ecuador, a nation that drastically differs from Uruguay with regards to their culture, geography, and people. In fact, these two nations are situated on exact opposite sides of the South American continent.
Ecuador may be most famous for the Galapagos Islands, a wildlife haven sitting about 550 miles off the Ecuadorian coast. The mainland, however, is chock full of awe-inspiring wilderness, fascinating historical sites, and more. Here are a few of the top destinations you should make an effort to visit.
Located in the Amazonian region of the nation, this town serves as an embarkation center of sorts for tourists looking to venture deeper into the rainforest. Many adrenaline junkies consider this to be amongst the best places on the planet for kayaking and whitewater rafting.
This snowcapped volcano boasts the second highest summit in the entire nation at nearly 20,000 feet. With upwards of fifty eruptions in the last 300 years, this volcano is amongst the world’s most active. Don’t let that deter you from visiting, however. Cotopaxi is home to one the globe’s only equatorial glaciers. If you do want to keep your distance, Cotopaxi is visible from far and wide including from the capital city of Quito.
As the most populous city in the nation, you will almost certainly arrive through Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport. Be sure to carve out a few days of your trip to explore this charming South American city. The Iglesia y Monesterio de San Francisco houses several artistic masterpieces and is a stunning piece of colonial architecture in its own right. Also, visit La Compañia which is amongst the continent’s most acclaimed cathedrals.
Renowned for its diverse ecosystems, this small archipelago of volcanic islands rose to international fame in the 19th century after Charles Darwin, inspired by the islands’ wildlife, penned The Theory of Natural Selection. The Galapagos experience is far from that of a traditional tropical destination as the government has placed stringent regulations in order to protect the wildlife and the animals’ habitats. Upon visiting, expect to see sea lions, marine iguanas, giant tortoises, and much much more.