Top 10 Things to Do in Ecuador Ecuador Travel Guide

Ecuador is one of the countries with the highest biological diversity in the world. While most people are familiar with the popular Galapagos Islands and maybe the Capital, Quito, they are missing out on La Sierra which is the Andean region of the country. Along the avenue of the volcanoes you are able to see the most incredible landscapes. With this post, I introduce you to the best things to do in Ecuador along this avenue from North to South. Vamanos. The Otavalo Valley itself is worth a visit. The city of Otavalo is located approximately one and a half hours north of Quito and is surrounded by three volcanoes. The reason for a visit is the fact that one of the largest indigenous markets for clothes in South America is taking place here every Saturday. Don’t forget to bargain. The so called Lake of the Guinea Pigs is situated in the former volcano crater better known as the Caldera. Right at the foot of the volcano Cotacachi. The view from the edge of the crater is phenomenal. You can also go on a boat tour on the lake. If you have some more time, I recommend hiking the whole crater loop which is about twenty kilometers.

Top 10 Things to Do in Ecuador Ecuador Travel Guide Photo Gallery

One of the musts in Ecuador for most travelers is the Equator, which is also responsible for the name of the country. I myself took the chance and visited the Quitsato monument, which is a huge sundial near Cayambe deriving from the Inca culture. The monument is located exactly on the equator and you are able to spot the Cayambo Volcano from there. The capital of Ecuador is also the highest official capital city in the world. With its old town being part of the UNESCO world cultural heritage. You could plan at least a few days to explore the numerous sights of Quito and its surroundings. My visit to the hot springs of Papallacta was a relaxing finish of my trip. The village is located around sixty kilometers east of Quito. The pools are filled with thermal water from the surrounding hot springs. The Reserva Ecológica Cayambe Coca is one of the most beautiful national parks in the north of the region and perfect for hiking trips. You can easily add a stay at the hot springs as you actually drive past them on the way to this hike. Quilotoa is one of my favorite places to see in Ecuador. Similar to the Cuicocha, it is a huge crater filled with water.

On clear days, you can enjoy an extraordinary panorama. Besides the popular viewpoint at the Village named Quilotoa, I recommend checking out the harder to access viewpoint Shalala which is mostly unknown. A trip with the Tren Crucero is considered to be one of the most picturesque train rides in the world. In three days, the train runs from Quito down to Guayaquil and passes all possible climate zones and landscapes on its way down. I was lucky enough to ride the section through Riobamba through Alausi and the Devil’s Nose to Bucay and was blown away by the views. Close to the city of Cuenca, you can visit the most important Inca sight in Ecuador. The whole complex is a bastion and a sanctuary at the same time, very similar to the structures you can find in Peru. The third largest city of Ecuador is also home to a very beautiful old town which is part of the UNESCO world heritage and is definitely worth a visit. Besides the architecture including the huge cathedral, I liked the relaxed atmosphere. Cuenca is also known for its nightlife. All right! If you want to find out more about the places mentioned, go and check out my related travel guide where I also list how to get to those places and where to stay. If you’ve been to Ecuador yourself, tell us your favorite places to visit in the comments section below. Finally, don’t forget to comment for new travel posts every Thursday. Thanks for reading.

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