When it comes to natural beauty, few places on Earth can rival Ecuador. This South American country is home to an incredible array of landscapes and ecosystems, from the Amazon rainforest to the Andes mountains to the Galapagos Islands. And within these diverse regions, there are plenty of stunning sights to see.
Here are 10 of the most breathtaking places to visit in Ecuador:
1. The Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon rainforest is one of the most biologically diverse places on the planet, and Ecuador is home to a large chunk of it. Within this vast jungle, you’ll find an incredible variety of plant and animal life, including many endangered species.
There are several ways to explore the Amazon, from guided tours to DIY trekking. Whichever way you choose, you’re sure to be mesmerized by this amazing place.
2. The Galapagos Islands
The Galapagos Islands are a must-see for any nature lover. This archipelago, located off the coast of Ecuador, is home to an incredible array of unique wildlife, much of which is found nowhere else on Earth.
The Galapagos are also a great place to see some of the world’s most stunning scenery, from volcanic landscapes to pristine beaches.
3. Cotopaxi Volcano
Cotopaxi is one of Ecuador’s most iconic landmarks. This active volcano is the highest point in the country and one of the highest in the world, reaching a height of over 5,900 meters.
Cotopaxi is a popular destination for hikers and climbers, but even if you don’t fancy a trek, the volcano is still an impressive sight to behold.
4. The Avenue of the Volcanoes
The Avenue of the Volcanoes is a stretch of road that runs through Ecuador’s Andes mountains. As the name suggests, this route takes you past some of the country’s most impressive volcanoes, including Cotopaxi, Chimborazo and Tungurahua.
The Avenue of the Volcanoes is one of the most popular tourist routes in Ecuador, and it’s easy to see why. This is a truly stunning part of the world.
5. Otavalo Market
Otavalo Market is one of the largest and most famous markets in South America. Located in the town of Otavalo in the Andes mountains, this market is a great place to buy handmade goods, including textiles, pottery and jewelry.
Even if you’re not planning on buying anything, Otavalo Market is well worth a visit. The vibrant atmosphere and colorful stalls make for a very enjoyable experience.
Cuenca is a colonial city located in the southern part of Ecuador. This charming city is filled with beautiful architecture, including many well-preserved Spanish colonial buildings.
Cuenca is also a great place to try some of Ecuador’s traditional food, such as cuy (guinea pig) and llapingachos (potato pancakes).
Quito is Ecuador’s capital city and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country. Located in the Andes mountains, Quito is a beautiful city with a rich history and culture.
There are plenty of things to see and do in Quito, from visiting churches and museums to exploring the city’s many colonial-era buildings. And, of course, no visit to Quito would be complete without taking a cable car ride to the top of one of the city’s hills for stunning views of the surrounding area.
8. The Cajas National Park
The Cajas National Park is a must-visit for any nature lover. This park, located in the Andes mountains, is home to an incredible variety of plant and animal life, as well as some stunning scenery.
There are plenty of activities to enjoy in the Cajas National Park, from hiking and mountain biking to horse riding and bird watching. And, if you’re lucky, you might even spot a puma or an Andean condor.
9. The Chimborazo Volcano
The Chimborazo volcano is located in the Andes mountains, just a short drive from the city of Riobamba. At over 6,000 meters, Chimborazo is the highest mountain in Ecuador and one of the highest volcanoes in the world.
Climbing to the summit of Chimborazo is a popular activity, but even if you don’t fancy a hike, the volcano is still an impressive sight. The views from the top are truly breathtaking.
10. The beaches of Puerto Lopez
Puerto Lopez is a small town on Ecuador’s Pacific coast. It’s a popular destination for scuba diving and snorkeling, with a number of dive sites to explore. But even if you don’t fancy getting in the water, the beach at Puerto Lopez is still worth a visit.