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Small in size but big on attractions, Ecuador is like nowhere else on the planet. Unique wildlife and lush swathes of Amazonian rainforest delight nature lovers, while lively indigenous markets and majestic colonial architecture make the country one of Latin America’s cultural highlights.
Located just 22 km south of the equator, Quito is spread across a spectacular valley and surrounded by snow-capped volcanoes. The city’s World Heritage–listed old town boasts magnificent colonial churches and whitewashed houses, while modern Quito’s bars and restaurants are some of the best in Ecuador.
Situated 1000 km from the coast of Ecuador, the Galapagos Islands are home to an extraordinary array of flora and fauna not found anywhere else on the planet. Visitors to this remote archipelago can expect to encounter giant tortoises, playful sea lions, a variety of iguanas and a truly amazing array of birdlife.
The Oriente, Ecuador’s Amazon Basin, is a region of incredible diversity. Rare cloud forests cover the eastern foothills of the Andes, while the dense jungles of the Amazon proper are home to tapirs, jaguars, monkeys, sloths and freshwater dolphins. You can explore the Amazon by boat on an unforgettable river cruise, or stay right in the heart of the wilderness at a unique eco-lodge.
Located in the Southern Highlands, the charming colonial city of Cuenca is one of Ecuador’s best-kept travel secrets. Take a stroll through the narrow cobblestoned streets to discover traditional red-tiled houses, domed cathedrals and beautiful plazas. Cuenca also boasts a fine range of modern restaurants, bars and galleries.
Ecuador enjoys some of Latin America’s best birdwatching. The country boasts more than double the bird species of Australia (despite being less than 5% of the size) and the Amazon, Highlands and lower coastal regions all offer wonderful opportunities to see endangered and protected birds in their natural habitat.