Despite being one of the countries with lesser extent in Latin America, Ecuador offers travelers lots of adventures and breathtaking landscapes. Located on the equatorial line, its territory covers both hemispheres and it is possible to enjoy the beach, the jungle and the imposing mountains, volcanoes and snow-capped mountains of the Andes. Ecuador retains a charming balance between colonial and indigenous, its history and traditions are felt in every city, every dish and every person.
EXPLORE THE CAPITAL
Located in the Andes’s mountains, surrounded by the Pichincha, Antisana, Cotopaxi, and Cayambe volcanoes, Quito is the economic and political center of Ecuador. For more than 20 years it has been part of the world heritage of humanity, its historic center is the largest and best preserved in America and in there you can find some of its best tourist attractions such as El Panecillo, a small hill formerly used for indigenous rituals and ceremonies, The Virgin of Quito is located at its top and from there you can get the best views of the city; the Street of La Ronda, an old Inca road which after colonization housed Bohemians, artisans and artists from Quito and is now a place of variety of typical restaurants, art galleries, bars and cultural centers; In addition to a large set of churches, monasteries and colonial convents that amaze for its spectacular architecture.
The Basilica of The National Vow (Basilica del Voto Nacional) and the Church of the society of Jesus (Iglesia de La Compañía) are two must see places in any visit to Quito. The first is considered the largest neo-Gothic temple in America and its style is compared to the one in cathedrals such as St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Notre Dame Cathedral, the decoration of its structure not only includes traditional mythological animals but also endemic animals representative of the Ecuadorian fauna. The second constitutes the most representative work of the Baroque style in Ecuador, its construction, carried out by indigenous hands, took 160 years. From the facade of the temple, carved entirely in volcanic stone, to the altar completely covered in gold plates, this cathedral is an important and invaluable piece of art.
To end your visit to Quito, you can enjoy a visit “Ciudad Mitad del Mundo”, the exact point where the equatorial line divides the world in the northern and southern hemispheres. Do not forget to try the delicious Ecuadorian food and the Ecuadorian chocolate, considered one of the best in the world.
The Galapagos Islands are a set of 14 volcanic islands and a series of islets located on the Ecuadorian continental coast. These islands are home to unique species such as iguanas, Galapagos turtles, pikemen, sea lions, among many others that would once be the object of study by the scientist Charles Darwin. This group of islands was declared Natual World Heritage by UNESCO in 1979. Its inhospitable aspect is contradictory with the large number of animals that inhabit this place and also seem indifferent to the human presence, who travel to the island can experience swimming in its crystalline waters among young sea lions, penguins or stingrays.