Within one country, you’ll find four diverse worlds awaiting
your discovery. Nowhere but Ecuador packs such amazing
variety into one spectacular space.


Deservedly at the top of many a life list, the Galápagos Islands are
chock-full of animal species, many found nowhere else on the planet.
Amid a huge marine reserve, you can not only spot, but also swim with penguins, sea lions, sea turtles, sharks, and possibly whales.
Although renowned as a scuba diving site, the Galápagos are
equally amazing with a simple mask and snorkel.
Embark on a live-aboard cruise and travel to the remote islands of
this magical archipelago. Unforgettable volcanic landscapes and
landing sites provide up close encounters with its famed species such
as the ink black marine iguana and the comical blue-footed boobies.
Every day is a new day of discovery here in “nature’s laboratory.”
You can also make one of the hotels on the few inhabited islands
your home base for exploring all the different islands or nearby
Adventures range from hiking up to the rim of an active
volcano, birdwatching amid giant daisy trees, biking along trails, or
sea kayaking off pristine coastline.
After a day’s exploration, enjoy the islands’ cuisine, which offers such
specialties as local lobster, ceviche with onion and lemon, and viche
(fish soup served with green bananas).
For breakfast, lunch, or a snack, try bolones (fried plantain dumplings).
Within one country, you’ll find four diverse worlds awaiting
your discovery. Nowhere but Ecuador packs such amazing
variety into one spectacular space.


You could easily spend several days on Ecuador’s stunning Pacific coast. There are beaches to relax on, waves to surf,
historic towns to visit, and warm locals to welcome you, plus savory cuisine that varies from one province to the next. First-class roads, part of the Spondylus Route, run
parallel along the entire coast, from Esmeraldas in the north to Salinas in the south.  Beautiful beaches dot the
way, including Mompiche, Cojimies, Canoa, Crucita, Puerto
Cayo, Puerto López, Machalilla, Olón, and Montañita.
Farther south, the vast River Guayas creates a fascinating
gulf, wild, green, and lined with mangroves. Inland rises the
dynamic city of Guayaquil. This commercial and financial
center of the country, famous for its lively boardwalks,
seafood restaurants, and nightlife, is fun by day and night.
The volcanic peaks of this high region give rise to both icy streams and hot springs, just right for mountain spas. Fields of grain and potatoes make patchwork patterns across an ancient land that harbors a rich indigenous history.  In the capital of Quito, take a cable car high above the city or walk among the many architectural treasures of its historic center—it was the first city to be named a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
A scenic and leisurely way to travel to and from the region, the Cruise Train whistles and steams its way between the Andes and the Pacific, passing through market towns,
villages, cloud forests, and other fascinating landscapes.  It winds its way through the Avenue of the Volcanoes, where elevations vary from 5,000 to more than 16,000 feet.
Overnight in a small village or in a hacienda, a former colonial estate.
In the southern Andes, stroll the narrow, cobbled streets, and duck into a restaurant for tamales and a regional favorite, hornado (slow-roasted pork), in the provincial
town of Cuenca. Check out the fine wares of craftsmen who turn gold, silver, and leather into works of art.


In the eastern part of the country, the Amazon’s tropical forests and crystalline rivers protect a mind-boggling array of unique flora and fauna. A visit here will open your eyes and heart to the great number of species we share
our planet with.
By traveling downriver along the Amazon’s tributaries, you enter a thick verdant world, quiet and mysterious, broken only by the chatter of monkeys and the screech of parrots.
You see flashes of bright color amid infinite shades of green.
Yasuní National Park preserves a large area that is home to the Waorani and other peoples who choose to continue living isolated from the modern world.
Spend a night or two in an eco-lodge or aboard a river cruise to get as close to nature as you can. Part of the experience is to try the fresh local cuisine, such as river fish cooked inside palm leaves and served with cassava and hot sauce.