Lovers of animals, wildlife and glorious nature certainly won’t be disappointed on a holiday to Ecuador. A popular location to embark on trips to the surrounding areas of the Amazon Rainforest and the Galapagos Islands, visitors will admire the likes of the colourful birds and amphibians, gorgeous verdant trees surrounded by ethereal sparkling lakes, beautiful flowers blooming under the sunshine and so much more.
Ecuadorian cuisine is rooted in some of the finest produce in South America and is a testament to the country’s diversity in climate and fertile soil. By the coast, it goes without saying that a lot of the dishes have seafood at their core while the highlands feature warm, hearty stews and roasted meats. Adventurous foodies will be in their element on a holiday to Ecuador, and simply must sample the likes of ceviche, empanadas, encocados and fresh Ecuadorian fruit. Pilsner and pisco are the popular tipples found throughout the country while herbal teas made from a range of native plants are truly tasty.
The Ecuadorian landscape is exceedingly diverse and in among the beautiful verdant greenery and the sandy beaches is somewhat of a concrete jungle with striking architectural buildings, stunning colonial squares and vibrant cobbled streets. Many of the sightseeing opportunities are most notably found in Quito’s Old Town which is a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site. The best way to see this gem of the Andean foothills is to embark on a walking tour, but you also can’t beat seeing a birds-eye-view of the area with a ride on the Quito cable car that raises you 12,000 feet in the air.
A spectacular location full of breath-taking biodiversity that truly can’t be compared, the Galapagos Islands are a beautiful cluster of volcanic archipelagos that are home to an uncountable amount of various wildlife species. The islands lie approximately 926 kilometres to the east of Ecuador and there are a myriad of transportation options to take you there, making this the multi-centre adventure to explore both the Ecuadorian mainland and the heavenly Galapagos tropical paradise. Popular attractions on the islands include visits to San Cristobal, Santa Cruz and the Mindo Cloud Forest while no trip is complete without walking through the highlands alongside the giant Galapagos tortoises. Any mountaineers and climbers will certainly be in their element here thanks to the Andes Mountains which boasts the 5,897 metre-high Cotopaxi stratovolcano.
Known in Ecuador as cuy (pronounced kew-y), guinea pig isn’t viewed as a cuddly household pet here – instead it’s a delicacy eaten throughout Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia. The food source dates back thousands of years in the Andes Mountain range and it is usually baked, roasted or fried. The taste is often compared to that of chicken albeit with a more game-like texture, and can be found on the menus of many native restaurants.
The coast of Ecuador comprises several beach towns that are no stranger to flocks of tourists seeking the perfect spot to dip in the clear waters underneath the glorious South American sunshine. Mompiche Beach is the ideal place for a serene seafront experience, boasting the postcard fishing village image and offering views of swaying palm trees, local fishermen catching fresh fare, and breath-taking sunsets. No holiday to Ecuador is complete without enjoying some watersports, and Canoa Beach is the best place to ride the waves with a spot of surfing. However, the beach is certainly calm enough for those who want to relax on the sands or enjoy a refreshing swim.
Lying directly on the equator, Ecuador is in a prime position to enjoy 12 hours of direct sunlight all-year-round. The climate varies according to the four geographical locations; the Sierra Mountains, the Oriente rainforests, the Pacific coastal plains and the Galapagos Islands. For the most part, the weather throughout the country is warm all-year-round so the four seasons often pass by unnoticed but the big change throughout the year is the amount of rainfall. In the highlands, October through May is the wet season while on the coast, January to April are often rainier. Near the rainforest region, you’ll experience the most precipitation between the months of April and November.
You can visit Ecuador without a visa, but you may have to provide evidence of a return or onward flight ticket when you arrive. You’ll be allowed to remain in Ecuador for up to 90 days without a visa; any longer and you must apply for a visa from the Ecuadorean Embassy. For the latest information on Ecuadorian travel regulations and entry requirements, visit https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/ecuador/entry-requirements.
The currency is the US Dollar.
In Ecuador, the main language spoken is Spanish.