Why visit Ecuador

When planning any vacation, the first difficult decision is that of location. There are just so many fascinating places to visit in this big world! However, there are many reasons that Ecuador should be at the top of your list. Here is our list of 10 reasons to visit Ecuador that set it apart from other destinations.

1. The Galapagos Islands

There is literally no place on Earth like the Galapagos. Due to its near total isolations and lack of human inhabitance until relatively recently, the flora and fauna of these islands have evolved in very special ways giving rise to species often not found anywhere else on Earth, such as marine iguanas, tropical penguins, giant tortoises and blue-footed boobies. In addition, the animals have not known humans as predators, and, therefore, are not frightened by people as other animals are. This means that you can observe them as up close and personal as they’ll let you.

2. Biodiversity

With 46 different ecosystems, Ecuador is one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, and not just on the Galapagos Islands, but on the mainland as well. Ecuador boasts more than 1600 bird species, which is more per kilometer than any other country in South America. In addition, Ecuador has 4,500 types of butterflies, more than 3,000 species of orchid and a total of more than 25,000 plant species, which is 10% of the world’s total. Ecuador offers plenty of opportunities to observe all of this biodiversity through national parks and ecotourism.

3. Cultural Diversity

Besides Ecuador’s biodiversity, it is very culturally diverse, as well. Approximately 65% of the population is mestizo, meaning of mixed indigenous and Spanish descent, while 25% are indigenous, and the remaining 10% are of other ethnicities, including people of African descent. There are 15 recognized indigenous groups in Ecuador, speaking 11 different languages. These groups vary greatly especially by geographic region and each has its own special customs and traditions to share.

4. Geographic Diversity

While this factor is related to biodiversity, it is not entirely the same. Ecuador is composed of four regions: Galapagos, coast, highlands, and jungle. Each region has its own climate, activities, flora, fauna, and spectacular views. This great geographic diversity packed into one country, means that in one trip to Ecuador, you can snorkel with a sea lion, lie on the beach, climb to the top of a snow-capped mountain, and canoe down a jungle river. This makes Ecuador ideal for those travelers who can’t make up their minds about where to visit next and simply want to do it all.

5. Small Size

The best things come in small packages, and this is certainly true of Ecuador as well. Ecuador has all the diversity mentioned in the previous three points. This means that it is easy to explore all that diversity in a short amount of time and makes travel within the country quick and flexible.

6. Good weather

Being on the equator, Ecuador enjoys relatively the same weather year-round. Of course, climate and temperature change between regions and altitudes, but, in general, Ecuador offers very good weather all year long. The highlands region is very temperate because it is on the equator, but at a higher altitude, giving very spring-like weather. This can at times mean rainy, but usually it is sunny. The coast and Amazon regions are much warmer, but also fairly constant throughout the year. This all means that there is never a bad time to visit Ecuador.

7. Friendly people

Ecuadorians are naturally friendly and helpful. They enjoy receiving visitors to their country and are proud that foreigners travel to Ecuador. Therefore, Ecuadorians are happy to help if you are lost or just looking for advice on where to go next and how to get there. At many of the smaller, family-run hotels and hostels, guests are treated as family and are truly looked after by the owners. When visiting Ecuador, one can really feel at home, making for a relaxing trip.

8. Experience art

Ecuador is also a great place to visit to experience art and has been for centuries. During the colonial period, the Quito School of art was a special style reflecting the mix, and clash, of cultures that occurred during colonization with clear indigenous touches added to commissioned Catholic religious works. Quito is also the birthplace of renowned artist Oswaldo Guayasamín, whose art also has a clear Latin American flair. In addition, the many artisan markets throughout Ecuador display new and ancient handicrafts made by indigenous communities.

9. Visit the equator

Ecuador is the only country that offers the opportunity to visit the site where the French Geodesic Commission first measured the equatorial line in 1735 in order to determine the circumference of the Earth. The site now hosts a monument and museum allowing visitors to touch the equator and learn about its historical significance.

10. Dollarization

In 2000, Ecuador adopted the U.S. dollar as its official currency due to extreme problems with inflation at the time.

These are only the top reasons to visit Ecuador among a list that goes on and on. So, what are you waiting for? Come experience all that Ecuador has to offer!

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