Ecuador is a distant country, situated in the northwest of South America. The name of the state speaks for itself; in Spanish the word “Ecuador” means equator. Despite the small territory, Ecuador combines the great diversity of climatic zones and belts — Equatorial belt of the Andes, the Pacific coast, Amazonian lowlands and the legendary Galapagos Islands. So it is not a surprise that such an incredible diversification makes this small country an extremely seductive for active tourism. Accordingly, the excursion program is extremely rich and diverse there. In addition to exotic destinations Ecuador is also famous for its rich colonial heritage, presented mainly in the country’s capital Quito and Cuenca, which are extremely interesting and unique in architectural feature. The capital of the country – Quito was founded at the beginning of our era, and for many years remained as the capital of the ancient Indian Kingdom of Quito, which was conquered by the Incas before the arrival of the Spaniards. Today, this city is entered in the list of world cultural heritages and protected by UNESCO. In Quito built many monasteries and churches of the colonial period, richly decorated with carving, sculpting and painting. In some of them, such as Santo Domingo, San Francisco, La Campana and San Agustin, kept an extensive cultural collection. Plaza Grande is the Central Square of the city, which is built in the first third of the XVI century and is surrounded by the most important administrative and religious buildings. Here are the Municipality and the Cathedral, the Archbishop’s Palace and Government Palace. The capital of Ecuador can boast of numerous museums with fine collections of colonial art and samples of pre-Columbian period. Among them are the national Museum of colonial Art and the Museum of archaeology, Amazonico Museum and the Natural History Museum. In the vivarium Reina Victoria, one can see a huge number of reptiles and amphibians that are found throughout the country. The equator passes not far from Quito and here is the wonderful cultural and entertainment center “Middle of the world” situated. In its heart it is possible to see a 30-meter pyramid, which marks zero latitude. This center offers spectacular views of the crater of the volcano Pululahua. It will be interesting to visit the picturesque Ecuadorian cities, located in the valley South of Quito. The valley is entitled the poetic name “the Road of the Volcanoes”. Traveling from city to city one can visit the Ecological Reserve “Cayambe Coca”, which has the third highest volcano in the country – Cayambe. Specifically, the cities of the “valley of Volcanoes” give a chance to touch the culture and history of Ecuador, to feel the uniqueness of this country and the friendliness of its hospitable people. Being in the “Valley of Volcanoes” everyone should visit the most beautiful city of Ecuador – Cuenca. It was founded in the middle of the 16th century and represents a clear example of the colonial style. The undisputed attractions of the city are the cathedrals, churches and monasteries. An interesting fact, that most of the roofs in the city have red color. In fact, this color has become popular due to the developed infrastructure, the production of various things from copper, metal, ceramics, marble. Among the places, which are worth to visit are, undoubtedly, the Cathedral of La Inmaculada, Iglesia de San Marco and the Cathedral del Sagrario. The Central area is famous for Park, named after Abdon Calderon, who fought against the Spaniards many centuries ago. There is also a monument, dedicated to this courageous man, surrounded by amazing Chilean pines. Cuenca is also famous for its hot springs. They are located not far from the city. Here are a few centers, which offer a full range of health, relaxing courses, as well as “beauty treatments” that include SPA wealth, massages and hydromassage. Telling about Ecuador, it is impossible not to mention about the Galapagos Islands lying in the Pacific Ocean. The archipelago is under the protection of UNESCO and included in the list of the world heritages. Despite the absolute fabulous facilities for a beach holiday – soft sand of black, white and olive colors, which creates an amazing and unique atmosphere of beauty and unreality. The Galapagos Islands attract tourists by its unique nature, flora and fauna, found nowhere else on the planet. The local unique cultural and vibrant Hispanic traditions grant this place a special fabulous atmosphere. It is no wonder that Ecuador is attributed to a number of the most promising touristic countries of South America. The tourism potential of Ecuador is incredibly large and diverse and yet not fully disclosed.
Ecuador is an amazing country, which has the unique flora and fauna, national parks and numerous sights. In Ecuador everyone can find pleasure for himself, whether it’s climbing volcanoes, journey through the Amazon jungle, relaxing on the luxurious beaches of the Pacific ocean or familiarity with rare animals on the Galapagos Islands. The capital of Ecuador is Quito. It is the most visited city of the country, which has ancient history. The location of the capital is not far from equator. It is surrounded by the majestic Andes. There are some main things that every tourist should do in Ecuador. Get to know an amazing fauna on the Galapagos Islands The Galapagos Islands became famous after the visit of Charles Darwin, who discovered the theory of evolution there. The islands got such name because of the special variety of a giant Galapago tortoises living there. The Islands form a volcanic archipelago, located 972 km from Ecuador. Flora and fauna of the Islands are extremely unusual. The main plant on the Galapagos is cactus that can be of a giant size. It happens due to absent of rain during 8 months of the year on the islands. There are only 9 types of mammals, but all of them can be met only on the Galapagos. It is home to marine iguanas, similar to fossil dinosaurs, which find their own food in the sea. Birds of the Galapagos archipelago are as many as 60 species. One of the most striking things is that the special species of penguin live there. The coast of the sea is also full of life. Divers often choose this place for making explorations of underwater world. Climb the active volcano Cotopaxi Cotopaxi is the tallest active volcano in the world. It is at the height of 5897m above sea level. It is located 50 km from Quito – capital of Ecuador. About 70 years ago, local residents suffered distress from the powerful eruptions from its crater. Now the volcano is dormant, and sometimes only the emissions of sulfur or water vapor occur. Tourists, overcoming the way to Cotopaxi can enjoy the majestic peaks of the Andes. The mountains have unique flora and fauna. Only the valley and the slopes are inhabited by hundreds of species of birds. The rich nature of these places and the correct conical shape of the crater attract not only tourists and climbers from all over the world, but also famous photographers. Snow peaks and Western slopes constantly covered with clouds create wonderful panoramic views. Buy unusual souvenirs in Amerindian market The most famous and rich Amerindian market of wool products and souvenirs in Ecuador is in Otavalo, which is also called “the city of weavers”. The local citizens inherited from the Kara Amerindians the secrets of making fabrics using dyes, which help to achieve any shade. Everything is there: clothes, jewelry, bags, paintings, magnets, blankets, hammocks and etc. There one can not only buy souvenirs for friends and relatives, but also look at the colorful traders. Visit the cultural center of Ecuador The city of Cuenca, which is located in the southern part of Ecuador, is famous mainly for its numerous monuments. UNESCO declared most of them as a cultural heritage of Mankind. Many people consider Cuenca as the most beautiful city in the country. It is interesting to visit the old buildings of colonial style with fanciful balconies, located along the straight and narrow streets, go to Abdon Calderon Square and Flowers Square, and walk along the promenade with beautiful bridges. Many cathedrals and monuments and the extensive green Park near the river look majestic. The city is clearly visible from the observation platform of Turi, located on the high hill. Ecuador is truly an amazing and magical country. Many years ago this land attracted adventurers of all kind, who went in search of the mythical El Dorado. Today visitors come not for finding gold, but for something more interesting. Being on the “zero latitude”, travelers wait for snow and volcanoes of the Andes, visit the Amazon jungle, have a rest on the hot Pacific coast and enjoy the Galapagos Islands, with their rare flora and fauna.