9 Reasons You Need To Go To Ecuador
We know that all of our locations are life-changing travel destinations, but some are a little more chock-full of hidden gems than the rest.
Here are nine reasons why you should be obsessed with planning a trip to Ecuador ASAP.
Our favorite reason to get to Ecuador is so special that we include a trip there for all of our interns: the Quilotoa crater lake. Enjoy swimming, boating, hiking, and shedding a tear at the breathtaking views and crystal-blue waters of this Western volcano in the Andes.
Swing at the End of the World
Ever wanted to soar above the treetops in the middle of the wilderness to observe an active volcano? Perfect — us too! Get to Casa del Arbol beside Mt. Tungurahua in Banos, Ecuador: a seismic-monitoring station that boasts a terrific treehouse and whimsical wooden swing. You’ll get that ideal “I’m flying!” Instagram photo plus some of the most unique mountain views in all of South America.
Fruit! (Specifically: Peanut Butter Fruit and Ice Cream Bean)
Fruits are always a delicious specialty of tropical regions…but I bet you never guessed you could find ones that taste like peanut butter and ice cream! Bunchosia Armeniaca (peanut butter fruit) and Inga Edulis (ice cream bean) are both native to South America and are a huge culinary motivator to get to Ecuador. Whip yourself up a vanilla & peanut butter sundae from the trees!
While the Galapagos isn’t the only reason to check out Ecuador, this famous set of islands is sure a spectacular one! Hailed as one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, you’ll see everything from Darwin’s historic finches to the giant Galapagos tortoises. Make sure to stop at the Charles Darwin Research Station on Santa Cruz Island to get a full explanation of what makes this volcanic archipelago so significant to our global ecosystem.
AguaBlanca Community — among the oldest archeological sites in the world
Unparalleled natural beauty? Skin-smoothing sulfur lagoons and natural mud baths? Artifacts dating back to 1500 BC? The Agua Blanca Community — right at the heart of the Machililla national park — has all this and more. Pack your swimsuit and a camera to fully enjoy this stunning testament to pre-colonial Manteño culture.
Chimborazo — the farthest point from the earth’s center
While not the highest elevated point in the world, Chimborazo’s summit claims the title of the farthest point on the Earth’s surface from the Earth’s center. Enjoy prime hiking from December — January and July — August; or take in stunning views from nearby Riobamba. However you enjoy Chimborazo, you’re sure to be in awe of its beauty and size.
Quito Old Town
Most international cities have a historic quarter, and Quito is no exception. Wind through the lively cobbled streets toward palaces, plazas, churches, and museums. Check out the gorgeous pastel facades everywhere you turn, then kick back in Independence square or San Francisco Plaza. And make sure not to miss Quito’s chocolatiers serving up delicious sweets on the daily.
Ecuador’s biodiversity and wildlife is precious, and locals know that preservation is key. Home to some of South America’s most gorgeous — and sought after — ecotourism attractions, you’ll find activities, adventure and relaxation are woven into the natural landscape. From the Andes down through the Amazon all the way to the Pacific coast, Ecuador is making real waves in the ecotourism industry.
The Panama Hat (deceptively invented and still hand-made in Ecuador)
You know that straw, fedora-like hat that’s on everyone’s head each summer? That hat — the Panama hat as it’s most widely known — was actually created in Ecuador! This unique display of craftsmanship and style is handmade throughout Ecuador’s towns and cities. Pick yours up (and your sister’s, your cousin’s, your hairdresser’s…) to bring back a piece of Ecuador with you and support local artisans.