Ecuador is one of the popular destinations in South America, and visiting here would always be something you’d always cherish forever. Some people who haven’t been here would think that Ecuador is just a poor, developing country in South America. But as soon as they set their foot in the country, they will be amazed and surprised due to the culture, nature, attractions, and many things to do in Ecuador. Furthermore, Ecuador is also known as an affordable country for unique and pleasant travel experience.
If you’re the type of traveler who is always looking for adventurous activates, this place is definitely the best place for you. From jungle trips to scuba diving, from mountain biking to hiking, you’ll fall in love to the wide ranges of exhilarating activities in this tropical South American country.
Ecuador is blessed with long coastlines, hilltops, foothills, and of course Amazon rainforests, all of which are paradise for those who love nature and adventures. Aside from the diverse geographic location, Ecuador is recognized for experiencing warm climate all year round.
This is probably one of the main reasons as to why the country gets the wide attention of tourists seeking astonishing holiday getaway. As Ecuador is blessed with numerous fascinating places, a lot of tourists find it hard to decide which activities are suitable for them. To make it easier for you, we listed down the best things to do in Ecuador. Check it out and decide which one suits your interests.
Things to do in Ecuador
1. Take Galapagos Cruises
For a lot of travelers, taking a luxury cruise to the Galapagos Islands is a dream come true and actually one of the main reasons why many people go to Ecuador. Exploring the island is a chance of the island where you can swim together with sea lions, play with dolphins, watch giant tortoises, and watch different types of birds and iguanas. With a lot of islands to explore, cruises to Galapagos offer the ideal way to discover the smaller islands. Furthermore, on board a lot of the luxury cruise boats there are many guides to help you enjoy the island more.
2. Climb the Volcano
Ecuador is home to many giant volcanoes, both in the Galapagos Islands and on the mainland. One of the tallest active volcanoes in the world that you are able to climb is Cotopaxi. It’s a remarkable sight soaring from the farmlands below, but for those who are seeking more adventures, a puzzling 2-day hike lets you investigate the hollow for a unique experience.
If you are not down for climbing 5,897-meter Cotopaxi, you may want to explore the second tallest volcano in the country, and one of the tallest active ones of the world, well then you can do it with a bike!
You can drive up to the parking lot at an altitude of 4,500 meters above sea level and get on mountain bikes for an exciting and fast ride back to 3,300 meters.
3. See the Beauty of Quilotoa Loop
If you can’t get enough of high places, then seeing the beauty of Quilotoa Loop is another one you should list down on things to do in Ecuador. Located high in the Ecuadorian Andes, Quilotoa Lake was formed when a Volcano erupted and blustered its top off more than 800 years ago, which leaves this magnificent crater.
Wandering around the Quilotoa Loop will not just give you remarkable setting but also an adventure trip if you want to endeavor to finish the 3 to 4 days of high altitude trekking.
4. Visit the Amazon
For the fearless travelers, the Amazon Rainforest signifies trip into an enigmatic world of hidden secrets and micro-level splendor, and fascinating explosion each sense, and a feel of nature in its best form. The Ecuadorian Amazon is one of the most bio-diverse parts of the world, home to an unbelievable selection of animal and plant species along with astonishing native Indian cultures. On top of that, the fascinating combination of native Indian tribes that populate the region, and the mystery of the shaman traditional medicine healer, and you’re in for an exceptional cultural experience as well. The Ecuadorian Amazon basin is also the most accessible and cheapest rainforest region in all of South America!
5. Experience White Water Rafting
If you have not had your fill of adventure in the Amazon or trekking volcanoes, then you may want to stay longer in Tena area – the capital of the country where you can experience adrenaline sports of whitewater rafting and kayaking! As the plqd3 on the junction of the Rio Pao and Rio Tena, there are plenty of opportunities to join in these watersports with various operators in the area can arrange a tour for you.
6. See the Equator in Quito
So on top of having a stunning climate in the capital city of Equador, Quito also has a great list of stimulating activities to fill your days in. On top of staring at the stunning colonial buildings and hoofing around the innumerable art galleries and museums, Quito is known for another thing: The Equator.
A yellow painted stripe signifying the line of zero degrees leeway even runs up a footpath and intersects the monument, which was constructed in 1979 and stands today as a leading tourist attraction, and an outstanding and glowing tribute to one of proudest features of the country.
There is one problem, though. They built the “equator” in the wrong location. The Equator is essentially a few hundred feet away to the north, as determined by today’s GPS technology that was not available to the earlier examiners.
7. Learn to Surf in Montanita
Montanita is one of the best surf spots in the country. In the past years, it has experienced a building boom as Ecuadorians and foreign visitors hope to get involved in the growing number of tourists visiting this little Pacific pueblo.
Every weekend, Ecuadorians taking a break from a long week’s tiring work visit the town to enjoy their off on the beach to surf and make the most of the nightlife. You have to know that drug laws are sloppily enforced, and it is common to see or smell marijuana being smoked in the public.
8. Shop at Otavalo Market
If extreme sports are not your thing, and you like the idea of taking home some fancy local souvenir of after a long day of exploring some of the beautiful attractions in Ecuador, then you have to make sure you check out the Otavalo Market, which is located a couple of hours north of Quito. Artists from different parts of the country come here to sell their stuff so you’re certain to fill your suitcase with gifts, which include artwork, hammocks, jewelry, and a lot more fascinating things.
9. Visit Vilcabamba in the Valley of Longevity
Vilcabamba is a pueblo positioned in a valley approximately 45 minutes south of the town of Loja. So, why is it call “Valley of Longevity?” Well, this is a town where locals live to be more than 100 years old. Several scientific types of research indicate that the healthy diet, mineral-rich water, and good lifestyle are a contributing factor why natives live longer.
But as tourists, you will enjoy the place as an outstanding jumping off point to do some hiking in the neighboring mountains and acts as a gateway for travelers who are planning to use the inland border crossing with neighboring countries like Peru.
10. Explore Basílica del Voto Nacional
For only US$2, you can easily explore every corner of the church, which is the biggest neo-gothic basilica in South America. It has features of European construction and from the outside; the façade of the basilica actually looks the same as the famous Notre Dame Cathedral that is located in Paris, France. However, one of its distinct decorations is the gargoyles or grotesques, which don’t look threatening but are instead animals that call Ecuador home.
This cathedral has incredible stain-glass details. There are two clock towers on building’s each side. If you have the courage to climb the narrow stairs that would lead you to the towers, you’ll be rewarded with a view of the entire city. One of the best things about this church is the wooden-plank bridge that crosses throughout the sanctuary.
These are only 10 of the best things to do in Ecuador; the country definitely has a lot of things to offer. Do you think we missed something on this list? Let us know in the comment below!