Ecuador is one of the most culturally magnificent and photogenic destinations of the world. Beyond the cities, the Ecuadorian landscape offers a rich variety. The villages are renowned for their colorful textiles and plentiful markets, and remote settlements in the Amazon where shamans still harvest the traditional rainforest medicines of their ancestors. Ecuador is a beautiful destination for all types of traveler. Food-lovers, adventure-seekers, and history buffs alike will uncover a country full of awe-inspiring places to explore. Quito is the country’s capital, but Guayaquil is its largest city and located right on the Pacific coast. Here you will get your fill of fresh seafood and ceviche, and the chance to sink your toes into the warm sand. The city is also surrounded by beautiful national parks along the Guayas River, which are perfect for day trips. Visit the Parque Histórico, sit in the city’s iguana park, and explore the Las Peñas neighborhood to get an authentic, local experience of Guayaquil.
Along the Guayas River, near the Malecón Simón Bolívar boardwalk, you’ll find great artisanal markets for hand-made souvenirs that support local craftsmanship. At sunset, ascend the steps of Santa Ana Hill for breathtaking views of the city. Another city not to be missed is Cuenca, with its well-preserved, colorful Colonial architecture that will transport you back in time. Cajas National Park is a short drive outside of the city and is the ideal place to see some of the country’s mesmerizing, lush jungle environment and incredible wildlife. Ecuador is also the proud home to the famed Galapagos Islands. Discover the country’s wonderful coast from Machala to Manta, and everywhere in between: white sands and secluded beaches abound, and they are sure to satisfy your thirst for escape and tranquility. As you relax on a shady patio after an afternoon coastal walk, sipping on some of the world’s best coffee, you will realize all the minute details that make Ecuador a true paradise.