As one of the smallest countries in South America, part of Ecuador’s charm is its compact size. Its’ incredible variety of flora, fauna, and experiences make this small country a must visit.
Quito, the capital city, was the first to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and today boasts the largest and least-altered historic centre in the Americas. The Amazon Basin is a day’s drive from the Andean peaks that form the Avenue of the Volcanoes; while the Pacific Coastal plains are a hop, skip and jump from the Indian markets of the highlands.
The Galapagos Islands are only two hours away (by plane) from the coastal city of Guayaquil and rank among the world’s most extraordinary wildlife destinations. Here, species have evolved amid the stark volcanic landscapes into new and apparently strange forms that exist nowhere else on the planet. Not only that, the creatures one encounters are fearless of humans. It’s a truly magical place.
Ecuador’s primary cloudforests and montane rainforests harbour immense biodiversity, particularly bird species and some of the highest rates of plant endemism in the world. Beginning a mere hour’s drive from Quito, the cloudforest world invites contemplation and adventure, with dramatic landscapes of tumbling mountainsides etched with rivers and waterfalls providing a captivating backdrop. The region is also rich in history, with several archaeological sites, and in local customs, giving visitors the opportunity to learn more about ways of life amid the clouds and trees.
– April to November is the dry season in Ecuador’s highlands and the best time for travelling along the Avenue of the Volcanoes.
– The Galapagos Islands can be visited all year round. December to June is warm and humid, while July to November is cooler with fresher winds.
– The driest period in Ecuador’s Amazon begins in December and ends around February. The wettest months tend to be May and June, however, rainfall is common all year round.
– Experience the wonders and diversity of Ecuador aboard the sensational Tren Crucero as you travel between the highlands and the lush coastal region.
– Ecuador has a wealth of historic haciendas that have been converted into beautiful hotels – the ultimate way to experience the country’s sublime landscapes in style.
– Enjoy the laid-back small-town atmosphere of UNESCO Heritage-listed Cuenca, with cobblestone streets, graceful balconies and religious art treasures.