We want to help you take the stress out of planning your trip! From budgets to must-try food and amazing sites to see, we have got you covered. This blog is an in-depth guide to traveling and planning a trip to Ecuador.
Why should Ecuador be on your agenda for 2023?! The list of spectacular places you can see is endless, from towering volcanoes and the deep Amazon jungles to indigenous markets and historical towns. Ecuador is often suggested as the ideal destination for anyone wanting a taste of the best of South America. Here’s how to make the most of your trip to mainland Ecuador.
1. The Galápagos Islands - An intensive collection of islands that has an absolutely huge variety of ecosystems. You can find volcanic islands, beaches, crystal blue seas, forests and more than you can possibly imagine. Go there to explore the wildlife and nature in its purest form.
2. Quito - The exciting capital! You can head to the city’s Old Town and see its historic colonial past, there you will find tons of markets from indigenous crafts, delicious food, beautiful churches and The Metropolitan Cathedral. The Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve: This is a natural reserve located just outside of Quito that is known for its beautiful landscapes and hiking trails. These are just some of the attractions you can see in Quito, we could write a whole other blog on this.
3. Cotopaxi Mountain - Hiking to the top of Cotopaxi is a challenging and rewarding adventure that requires physical fitness and mental determination. It can be a great way to push yourself and test your limits. It’s also the highest active volcano in the world! You don't have to climb the mountain to enjoy its beauty, you can go hiking, biking or horseback riding around it to take in the beauty of this majestic volcano.
4. Amazon rainforest - There are many tours that will take you into the rainforest and you can hike, canoe, and watch the spectacular wildlife including tapirs, monkeys, jaguars, and ocelots. Ensure that you are responsible and sustainable during your visit.
5. Baños - This tiny town lies on the hillside of Ecuador’s most active volcano, Tungurahua. Here you can trek the volcano, and take a dip in the hot springs which many believe to be holy. The excitement doesn’t end there. This town is a buzz with adventure.
6. Otavalo Market - This is a really famous and the largest indigenous market in Latin America. Here you will find enormously-talented artisans who make beautiful gifts. It is said to be a sensory delight! Find blankets, soft alpaca sweaters, beautiful jewellery, spices and more.
7. Ingapirca - An archaeological site located in the Cañar Province of Ecuador. It is the largest and most important Inca site in Ecuador. One of the main attractions is the Temple of the Sun, there is also a burial site and a series of low walls which are ruins from various other historic buildings.
8. Stand On The Middle Of The Earth - Take a photo at the Mitad del Mundo (Middle of the Earth). Since Ecuador’s place on the equator is unique you can stand on both the northern and southern hemispheres at the same time!
9. Ibarra - If you love adventure and the outdoors this is the city for you! Only a 90-minute drive from the capital it’s THE place for hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, whitewater rafting and much more. Don’t leave without trying their handmade ice cream — it’s a local delicacy made in bronze bowls with fruit, sugar, and ice.
10. Montañita - If catching waves and beach parties is down your street then this laid-back, chilled, sandy beach is worth the visit. If you want to learn how to surf, there are affordable lessons to take.
11. Mindo Cloud Forest - Firstly, what is a cloud forest? It’s a subtropical rainforest that has a combination of cooler temperatures and high humidity which causes frequent clouds that give this ecosystem its name! It’s based in a small yet vibrant town perfect for relaxing, enjoying nature, and doing adventurous sports.
12. Papallacta Hot Springs - Come to soak in one of eight pools that are of different sizes and temperatures, as they are warmed by geothermal energy. You can even jump in one of the cold water pools or take a dip in the nearby river. Even if you don’t take a hike there it’s the perfect place to relax.
13. Cuicocha Crater Lake Trek - During this trek, you will come across highlands, views of the Avenue of the Volcanoes, a village called Otavalo, jungle-like foliage with birds chirping and past farmland with llamas grazing! And finally enjoy an everchanging view of the crater lake - 600 feet in depth at its deepest point - and its two islands, Teodoro Wolf and Yerovi! There aren’t many places you can find all of this!
This trekking adventure through the narrow trails used by the local mountain people will take you deep into the heart of the Andean culture and their lifestyle. Highlights of this trip: - Explore the mythical Llanganates National Park and search for the Inca hidden treasure. -Admire the stunning glacier of the highest summit measured from the center of the world. - Take in the beauty of the towering volcanoes of Ecuador, including Cotopaxi, Chiborazo and Quilotoa lake. This trip is perfect for hiking and mountain lovers. You will be hiking between 3-8 miles on most days on this trip.
Are you looking to explore more than the mountains while indulging in adventure sports? We have one jam-packed with various adventure activities for you, which is sure to make you feel alive and recharged! On the Ecuador Multisport trip you will go trekking, biking in the cloud forest, canyoning and water rafting in the Amazon and more and take a dip in the volcanic hot springs!
If you are looking to tag on a trip to the world-famous Galapagos Islands, which we highly recommend, you won’t go wrong with our 7 day land-based tour - Galapagos Highlights.
Share the love: