Ecuador may be small, but its geographical diversity is staggering and changes dramatically from its eastern to western borders. Its bio-diverse Amazon rainforest is alive with swooping scarlet macaws and spider monkeys bouncing off virgin canopy. Up in the culturally rich highland area, colourful Indian markets, smoking volcanoes and striking colonial towns are in abundance. The Andes then slip away to the lush coastal area and far out in the Pacific Ocean lie the submerged volcanic peaks of the Galapagos Islands, a sanctuary for unique wildlife.
Neighbouring Colombia and Peru, Ecuador is a relatively small country that nevertheless offers an enticing array of scenic landscapes, diverse wildlife species and interesting cities. Dense Amazon rainforest, towering Andean mountain peaks, palm-fringed Pacific Coast beaches and fascinating historical sites are all part and parcel of Ecuador’s prolific charms. The former Inca town of Cuenca is the nation’s third-largest city and a Unesco World Heritage Site. This alluring city, with its cobbled streets, beautiful architecture and photogenic plazas, boasts a huge variety of museums and art galleries. The vibrant capital city of Quito is also worth a visit. Arguably the most dazzling jewel in Ecuador’s crown is the Galápagos archipelago in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres west of the mainland. Their magnificent, pristine landscapes and prolific wildlife, which inspired Charles Darwin, have made this cluster of islands a world-famous travel destination.