Ecuador AND THE
Galapagos islands

An Introduction To Ecuador and The Galapagos Islands

Small But Perfectly Formed...

One of the magical things about Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands is that everything is close to the main gateway and capital Quito. Wedged between Peru and Colombia on the Pacific coast of South America the country lends itself towards travelling around and experiencing the rainforests, mountains, volcanoes, beaches or buzz of the city.

Then there are the incredible Galapagos islands – one of the world great wildlife locations and home to the Charles Darwin centre.

This small country has a lot to offer so don’t pass it by because a stay is worth it!

Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands

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 .

Top 8 Sights & 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.

Essential information

ecuador, flag, national flag

Continent:                         South America

Capital:
Quito

Time Difference:              Local Time -5 hour

Currency: 
                          US Dollars

 

Flight Time:
12h from London

Visa:                                     No (FCO Advice)

Language:                          Spanish

Vaccinations:
Yellow Fever

 

Weather

Google Maps

Your Bradt Travel Guide

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Ecuador & the Galapagos Islands Blog Posts

Ecuador & Galapagos Islands, South America
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