Top 10 things to do in Ecuador

Ecuador

Such cities and best known places are the Galapagos Islands, and the city of Cuenca. Quito, Guayaquil, Cuenca.

Ecuador is a country.

Ecuador (i/ˈɛkwədɔr/ E-kwə-dawr), officially the Republic of Ecuador (Spanish: República del Ecuador [reˈpuβlika ðel ekwaˈðor], which literally translates as "Republic of the Equator") is a representative democratic republic in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland.

Ecuador's official language is Spanish, which is spoken by 94% of the population; thirteen indigenous languages are also recognized, including Quichua and Shuar. Ecuador has a land area of 283,520 km2 and a population of approximately 15.2 million. Its capital city is Quito, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the 1970s for having the best preserved and least altered historic center in Latin America. The country's largest city is Guayaquil. The historic center of Cuenca, the third-largest city in the country in size and economically, was also declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 as an outstanding example of a planned, inland Spanish-style colonial city in the Americas.

In addition to its rich history, Ecuador is known for hosting a variety of species, many of them endemic, such as those of the Galápagos Islands. It is one of seventeen megadiverse countries in the world, with the most species diversity per unit area. The new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature, or ecosystem rights.

Ecuador is a presidential republic. In the territory now known as Ecuador there existed many indigenous groups before it became a part of the Inca Empire. It became an independent country in 1830 after having been part of the Spanish colonial empire and, for a much shorter time, of the republic of Gran Colombia. It is a medium-income country with an HDI score of 0.711 (2013).

Overall rating: 4.1
Country
Typical length of visit: 7 days

Top 10 things to do in Ecuador

Otavalo

Otavalo
Otavalo, capital of Otavalo Canton, is a largely indigenous town in the Imbabura Province of Ecuador. The town has about 90,000 inhabitants and is surrounded by the peaks of Imbabura ...

Cuenca

Cuenca
Cuenca may refer to:PeopleCuenca PlacesEcuadorCuenca Canton, in the Azuay ProvinceCuenca, Ecuador, capital of Cuenca Canton and Azuay ProvinceRoman Catholic Archdiocese of ...

Salinas

Salinas
Salinas may refer to:PeopleSalinas PlacesLatin AmericaSalinas de Guaranda, a mountain village at the AndesSalinas, Minas Gerais, a municipality in the state ...

Baños de Agua Santa

Baños de Agua Santa
Baños de Agua Santa , commonly referred to as Baños, is a city in eastern Tungurahua Province, in central Ecuador. Baños is the second most populous city in Tungurahua, after ...

Ambato, Ecuador

Ambato, Ecuador
Ambato is a city located in the central Andean valley of Ecuador. Lying on the banks of the Ambato River, the city also sits beneath several tall mountains. It is ...

Guayaquil

Guayaquil
Guayaquil, officially Santiago de Guayaquil, is the largest and the most populous city in Ecuador, with around 2.69 million people in the metropolitan area, as well as the nation's main ...

Quito

Quito
Quito, formally San Francisco de Quito, is the capital city of Ecuador, and at an elevation of 9,350 feet, it is the highest official capital city in the world. ...

San Cristóbal Island

San Cristóbal Island
San Cristóbal is the easternmost island in the Galápagos archipelago, as well as one of the oldest geologically. It is administratively part of San Cristóbal Canton, Ecuador.Its Spanish name "San ...

Montanita

Montanita
locality

Loja

Loja
Loja may refer to:Loja, Granada, SpainLoja Province, EcuadorLoja Canton, EcuadorLoja, Ecuador, capital of Loja provinceLoja, Latvia, capital of Sēja municipalityLoja, Estonia, village in Pühalepa Parish, Hiiu County, EstoniaLoja , a ...

Tena

Tena
Tena may refer to:Tena, Cundinamarca, a municipality and town in Cundinamarca, ColombiaTena, Ecuador, capital of Ecuador's Napo ProvinceTena , a district in the Oromia Region of EthiopiaTena Negere, an Ethiopian ...

Esmeraldas

Esmeraldas
Esmeraldas is the word for 'emeralds' in Portuguese and Spanish. It may refer to:BrazilEsmeraldas, Minas Gerais EcuadorEsmeraldas, EcuadorEsmeraldas RiverEsmeraldas ProvinceEsmeraldas Canton See alsoSpecial:Allpages/Esmeraldas ...

Isabela Island

Isabela Island
Isabela Island may refer to:Isabela Island Isabela Island ...

Puyo, Pastaza

Puyo, Pastaza
Puyo, also known as El Puyo, is the capital of Pastaza, a province in Ecuador. Puyo is located at an altitude of approximately 950 AMSL by the Puyo River, a ...

Santa Cruz Island

Santa Cruz Island
Santa Cruz Island was the largest privately owned island off the continental United States, but is currently part-owned by the National Park Service . The island, located off the coast ...

Vilcabamba, Ecuador

Vilcabamba, Ecuador
Vilcabamba is a village in the southern region of Ecuador, in the Loja province, about 45 km from the city of Loja. The etymology of the name “Vilcabamba” apparently derives from ...

Ibarra

Ibarra
Ibarra may refer to:PlacesIbarra, Ecuador, the capital of Imbabura ProvinceIbarra, Gipuzkoa, a locality in Gipuzkoa, SpainIbarra, Álava, a village in Álava, Spain.Other usesIbarra Ibarra ...

Machala

Machala
Machala is a city in south-west Ecuador. It is the capital of the El Oro Province and located near the Gulf of Guayaquil on fertile lowlands. Machala has a population ...

Puerto López

Puerto López
Puerto López is a small fishing village set in an arched bay on the Pacific coast in the Ecuadorian Manabí Province. Puerto Lopéz is the Machalilla National Park headquarters. The ...

Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve

Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve
The Cuyabeno Wildlife Reserve is the second largest reserve of the 45 national parks and protected areas in Ecuador. It is located in the Putumayo Canton in the Sucumbíos Province ...

Puerto Ayora

Puerto Ayora
Puerto Ayora is a town in central Galápagos, Ecuador. Located on the southern shore of Santa Cruz Island, it is the seat of Santa Cruz Canton. The town is named ...

Atacames

Atacames
Atacames is a beach town located on Ecuador's Northern Pacific coast. It is located in the province of Esmeraldas, approximately 30 kilometers south west from the capital of that province, ...

Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca

Historic Centre of Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca
Santa Ana de los Ríos de Cuenca is set in a valley surrounded by the Andean mountains in the south of Ecuador. This inland colonial town (entroterra ), now the ...

Quito

Quito
Quito, the capital of Ecuador, was founded in the 16th century on the ruins of an Inca city and stands at an altitude of 2,850 m. Despite the 1917 earthquake, ...

Latacunga

Latacunga
Latacunga is a plateau town of Ecuador, capital of the Cotopaxi Province, 89 km south of Quito, near the confluence of the Alaquez and Cutuchi rivers to form the Patate, the ...

Playas, Ecuador

Playas, Ecuador
Playas is a coastal city located in the province of Guayas, Ecuador. It is the seat of the canton of Playas, created in 1989. As of the census of 2001, ...

Isla de la Plata

Isla de la Plata
Isla de la Plata is a small island off the coast of Manabí, Ecuador, and is part of Parque Nacional Machalilla. It can be reached by boat from the city ...

Zamora

Zamora
Zamora may refer to:PlacesEcuadorZamora Canton, in the province of Zamora-ChinchipeZamora, Ecuador, a city in the province of Zamora-ChinchipeZamora River, a river in the provinces ...

Mompiche

Mompiche
Mompiche is a small fishing village at the south end of a large bay just south of the city of Esmeraldas, Ecuador. Tourists often visit for surfing and fishing. ...

Azogues

Azogues
Azogues is the capital of Azogues Canton and of Cañar Province in Ecuador. The population of Azogues is 40,000.Azogues is part of Cuenca Metropolitan area is known for its Panama ...

Santo Domingo, Ecuador

Santo Domingo, Ecuador
Santo Domingo de los Colorados, simply referred to as Santo Domingo, is a city and seat of the canton that bears its name. It is the fourth most populous city ...

Tulcán

Tulcán
"Tulcan" is also an alternative spelling of tulchan Tulcán is the capital of the province of Carchi in Ecuador. The population of Tulcán is approximately 60,400. Tulcán is known for ...

Machalilla National Park

Machalilla National Park
Machalilla National Park is a preserve in the Ecuadorian Manabí Province near Puerto López and the rural parish of Machalilla, a small fishing village in the vicinity of the park.Established ...

Cayambe, Ecuador

Cayambe, Ecuador
Cayambe is an agricultural service town in highland Ecuador. It lies at the foot of the Cayambe volcano. While the town is mainly peopled by mestizos, the surrounding rural population ...

Pedernales Canton

Pedernales Canton
Pedernales Canton is a canton of Ecuador, located in the Manabí Province. Its capital is the town of Pedernales. Its population at the 2001 census was 46,876.DemographicsEthnic ...

Macas

Macas
Macas may refer to:Macas , the capital city of the province of Morona Santiago in EcuadorMacas Airport, airport near Macas, EcuadorLuis Macas , Kichwa politician and intellectual from Saraguro, EcuadorArvydas ...

Gualaceo Canton

Gualaceo Canton
Gualaceo , nicknamed "El Jardin Del Azuay" , is a canton in the south-central region of Ecuador. It belongs to Azuay Province, Ecuador. Its population is 42.000 inhabitants according to ...

Guaranda

Guaranda
Guaranda is a city in central Ecuador. It is the capital of Bolívar, a province located in the Andes mountains. The city has is connected by road with other hubs ...

Cotacachi Canton

Cotacachi Canton
Cotacachi is a canton of Imbabura province of Ecuador in South America. The name also refers to the city which is the seat of that canton, one of Ecuador's leading ...

Bahía de Caráquez

Bahía de Caráquez
Bahía de Caráquez, officially known as San Antonio de Caraquez and founded under the name of Villa de San Antonio de la Bahía de Caráquez or simply known today as ...

Churute Mangroves Ecological Reserve

Churute Mangroves Ecological Reserve
Manglares Churute Ecological Reserve is located in the Guayas Province of Ecuador. The 86,589-acre nature reserve is located 25 miles from Guayaquil.FaunaThe many lakes located in the ...

Zaruma

Zaruma
Zaruma, officially Villa Real de San Antonio del Cerro de Oro de Zaruma is a town in the south of Ecuador, El Oro Province. It is located in the south-east ...

Huaquillas

Huaquillas
Huaquillas is a town in western El Oro, a province of SW Ecuador. It is the canton seat of the Huaquillas Canton.Huaquillas is located on the border with Peru. An ...

Machachi

Machachi
Machachi is the canton seat of Mejía Canton in the Pichincha province of Ecuador.Machachi is located to the south of the capital of Ecuador, Quito. It is a very beautiful ...

Milagro, Ecuador

Milagro, Ecuador
Milagro is a city located in Guayas, Ecuador. It is the seat of Milagro Canton.Milagro is the second largest city in the province of Guayas. As of the census of ...

Puná Island

Puná Island
Puná Island is an island off the coast of southern Ecuador at approximately 80 degrees west longitude and 3 degrees south latitude. It is located at the head of the ...

Durán, Ecuador

Durán, Ecuador
Durán, is a canton located in the province of Guayas, Ecuador, near the confluence of Daule & Babahoyo rivers, where Guayas River begins. Its township or capital is Eloy Alfaro, ...

Puerto Francisco de Orellana

Puerto Francisco de Orellana
Puerto Francisco de Orellana, also known as Coca, is the capital of province of Orellana in eastern Ecuador. The city is located in the Amazon Rainforest at the confluence of ...

Quevedo

Quevedo
Quevedo may refer to:Quevedo Quevedo, EcuadorQuevedo , a station on the Madrid Metro ...

Salcedo, Ecuador

Salcedo, Ecuador
San Miguel de Salcedo is a city in Cotopaxi Province, Ecuador. It is the capital of Salcedo Canton. ...

Salitre Canton

Salitre Canton
Salitre Canton is a canton of Ecuador, located in the Guayas Province. Its capital is the town of El Salitre. Its population at the 2001 census was 50,379.

La Capilla del Hombre

La Capilla del Hombre
The painter Oswaldo Guayasamín´s La Capilla del Hombre occupies a site in Bellavista overlooking the city of Quito, Ecuador. The Capilla is a purpose-built art museum dedicated to the peoples ...

El Panecillo

El Panecillo
El Panecillo is a 200-metre-high hill of volcanic-origin, with loess soil, located between southern and central Quito. Its peak is at an elevation of 3,016 metres above sea level. The ...

Pichincha Volcano

Pichincha Volcano
Pichincha is an active stratovolcano in the country of Ecuador, whose capital Quito wraps around its eastern slopes. The two highest peaks of the mountain are Wawa Pichincha and Ruku ...

Basílica del Voto Nacional

Basílica del Voto Nacional
The Basilica of the National Vow is a Roman Catholic church located in the historic center of Quito, Ecuador. It is the largest neo-Gothic basilica in the Americas.

TelefériQo

TelefériQo
The TelefériQo , or TelefériQo Cruz Loma, is a gondola lift in Quito, Ecuador, running from the edge of the city centre up the east side of Pichincha Volcano to ...

Cotopaxi National Park

Cotopaxi National Park
Cotopaxi National Park is a protected area in Ecuador situated in the Cotopaxi Province, Napo Province and Pichincha Province, roughly 50 km south of Quito. The Cotopaxi volcano that lends ...

Parque La Carolina

Parque La Carolina
Parque La Carolina is a 165.5-acre park in the centre of the Quito central business district, bordered by the avenues Río Amazonas, de los Shyris, Naciones Unidas, Eloy Alfaro, and ...

Parque El Ejido

Parque El Ejido
Parque El Ejido is a park located along Avenue Patria in the Old Centre part of Quito, Ecuador. It is the third-largest park in the city. Estadio El Ejido is ...

Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve

Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve
Reserva Geobotánica Pululahua is a protected area around Pululuhua Volcano in the north of Quito Canton, Pichincha Province, Ecuador. It is 17 km north of Quito, in the northwestern part ...

Ilaló

Ilaló
Ilaló is a volcano between San Pedro River to the west and Chiche River to the east, in Quito Canton, Pichincha Province, Ecuador. Ilaló is surrounded by the rural parishes ...

Atacazo

Atacazo
Atacazo is a volcano of the Western Cordillera, southwest of Quito, Ecuador. It lies 25 kilometers south-west of Quito. Southwest of Atacazo is another volcano known as Ninahuilca. The Atacazo ...

Cemetery

Cemetery
A cemetery or graveyard is a place where the remains of deceased people are buried or otherwise interred. The word cemetery implies that the land is specifically designated as a ...

San Isidro Labrador

San Isidro Labrador
Isidore the Farm Labourer, also known as Isidore the Farmer , was a Spanish farmworker known for his piety toward the poor and animals. He is the Catholic patron saint ...