Ecuador is a beautiful South American country situated between Columbia and Peru, with a climate that varies wildly by altitude. Because of its position on the equator, Ecuador has very little variation in daylight hours throughout the year, meaning sunrise is always around six in the morning and sunset around six in the evening. So now you know a little about Ecuador, are you wanting to learn about some places to visit? Here are some of our suggestions!
Did you know that Quito is the highest capital city in the world? At 2,850 metres or 9,350 feet above sea level, first things first; you are in for some spectacular views! Quito was also listed as one of the first World Cultural Heritage UNESCO sites, so if you are picturing a thriving tourism scene as a result of these two things, you would be right!
What is there to do in Quito? The historic center can boast of being both the largest and the least untouched, best-preserved centers of all The Americas. This means cobbled streets, colonial edifices, and more history to soak up as you take a stroll than you can imagine; make sure your phone battery is on full because you will want to take a lot of pictures.
If architecture is your thing, head to the Carondelet Palace, the Basilica del Voto Nacional, the Church of La Compañía de Jesús, or even the Cathedral of Quito. For nature lovers, there are numerous parks, the hillsides of El Panecillo, the Andean Peaks, and so many more beautiful things besides. And on top of this all there is a thriving social scene where you can sample the best local cuisine, people watch, and have the time of your life! What is stopping you from being in Quito already?
Looking for somewhere a little smaller? Then Montañita is your next port of call! Quite literally! Montañita is a small coastal town that is most famous for its surfing, people coming from the world over to learn to surf and catch the waves, and enjoy some of the best beaches Ecuador has to offer. Most of the town is made up of lean-to bars and shacks along the beach, with a laid back casual atmosphere that has been a part of what makes Montañita the draw that it is. So if your idea of a good break is either being in the water on a surfboard or on the beach watching people surf while sipping a drink, Montañita is the place for you!
Canoa is another place in Ecuador that would be perfect for a short and relaxing visit. It is ideal for those who enjoy kayaking and canoeing, and is another great spot for surfing. The nightlife is a similarly laid back, relaxed set up to that of Montañita, so it is really a great place to unwind. And if you want a little something different to do away from all those sports and bars, Canoa boasts places like the Finca Pinguino, which is part retreat and part eco-home, with yoga, horse-riding, and all sorts of other relaxing pursuits you might imagine. You could even stay, or volunteer, at the Rio Muchacho Organic Farm if you’re the kind of traveler that needs to always keep busy!
Our last suggestion of places in Ecuador is for if you are feeling a little… adventurous. How do you feel about visiting a volcano? Favorable? Then Cotopaxi is next on your Ecuadorian list! At about 50km south of Quito, Cotopaxi is an active volcano whose emissions sometimes get so high that they can be seen even from Quito! As you would imagine, this is a haven for climbers, coming in their droves to scale one of the few permanent ice fields on the Equator. Hiking, biking, climbing; if you are wanting an active break then this is where you are heading, and after all that activity why not unwind in Latacunga or Salcedo in the Cotopaxi Province? Here you will find lots of bars serving food and drink, well-deserved for all that effort you’ve expended all day!
So there you have it. We think you’ll agree that Ecuador has plenty of amazing things to see and do. Are you itching to get packing to visit Ecuador? We would be too, and can help you! We are offering scholarships for students looking to improve their Spanish skills by visiting Spanish speaking countries. Visit our language travel scholarship page to find out more!