Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

Flag

ecuador, flag, national flag

Continent

Capital

Quito

Time Difference

Local Time – 5 Hrs

Currency

Dollars

Flight Time

12 hrs from London

Visa

No – FCO Advice

Language

Spanish

Vaccinations

Tourist Office

Ecuador Tourist Board

A South American Treasure

Ecuador is the smallest of Andean countries and lies between Peru and Colombia on the equator. However do not let the size put you off. This South American country has an amazing array of attractions from breath-taking nature to wild beaches and from colonial architecture to indigenous tribes.

Not far from Ecuador are the islands of the Galapagos, made famous by both Charles Darwin and in recent times, David Attenborough. If getting close to some of the most unique and enthralling wildlife on the planet is for you then perhaps you need to book an expedition cruise to see these glorious islands.  

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Getting Around

Air
Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands are only small so flights from Quito or Quayaquil are usually less than an hour and connect most of the main towns and of course the Galapagos Islands.

Buses
The bus network is generally pretty good reliabel and excellent value for money.

Car Hire
If you are 25 or over you can hire a car but with the good bus service and road conditions a little mixed I would suggest opting for the bus.

Bicycles
Becoming increasingly popular however hiring them is scarce so bring your own and enjoy the ride !

Train
Services are very limited however a couple of new enjoyable and scenic routes have started in recent times and are worth considering between Quito and Guayaquil as well as Quito to El Boliche .

Ecuador's Top Attractions

Quito
An ideal base from which to explore everything that Ecuador has to offer visitors. The town itself is relatively small but packed with interesting sights due in main to its colonial past as well as its churches monasteries and bustling markets.

Otavalo and the Northern Sierra
For a taste of the authentic the area north of Quito is home to some traditional attractions in terms of local crafts likes leather and woodcarving. In Otavalo the legendary Saturday market showcases the local weaving industry. The area also attracts active holidaymakers who like walking and hiking due to the valleys, lakes and volcanoes. 

The Central Sierra
South of Quito, in the central sierra you will find Cotopaxi and Chimborazo – the two most celebrated volcanoes in Ecuador. Further interests are small villages featuring fabulous markets, beautiful lakes, little spa towns and even a scenic train journey from Riobamba.

Cuenca and the Southern Sierra
The colonial city of Cuenca, a UNESCO World Heritage Site is a must visit and close to Ingapirca for Inca ruins and the mesmorising Parque Nacional Cajas. Then further south you will find the Parque Nacional Podocarpus and the mountain village of Vilcabamba.

The Oriente
The Reserva Faunística Cuyabenoand the Parque Nacional Yasuní are Amazonian rainforests and from here you can experience the wildlife and the lives of the indiginous people who live here.

The Northern Lowlands and Coast
For bird watching and cloud forests head northwest of Quito. Firstly there is the village of Mindo and then the Reserva Ecológica Manglares Cayapas-Mataje which is best viewed from canoe. For its beaches fun head to Atacames.

Guayaquil and the Southern Coast
Montanite is a popular hangout for surfers and backpackers, while Salinas is perhaps the country’s most famed seaside resort. Guayaquil, is the main port while the mangrove forests of the Reserva-Ecológica Manglares Churute and the petrified forest of Puyango are worth exploring.

The Galapagos Islands
These magical islands are a nature lovers dream with opportunities to view weird and wonderful wildlife up close both on land or under water. You can also visit the Charles Darwin centre to learn more about his historic adventures and studies here.

Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands Travel Blogs

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