Ecuador Travel Guide
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.