Ecuador is one of the world’s up and coming tourist destinations, and for good reason, this amazing country is capturing the imagination of more travel enthusiasts each and every year.
So let’s explore what all the fuss is about … WHY SHOULD ECUADOR BE TOP CHOICE FOR YOUR NEXT VACATION?
Quito recently scooped up top honors as “Best Overall City Destination” at the 2019 World Travel Awards, and it’s not hard to see why.
Boasting the best-preserved colonial center in Latin America, Quito was also awarded UNESCO World Heritage status back in 1978.
Today the city is a mix of modern and old, with a vibrant nightlight, interesting museums & galleries, and a dramatic mountain backdrop.
Definitely not a city to be missed!
Yes, you did read that correctly. Galapagos is, in fact, the most popular tourist region of Ecuador.
Experience an up-close and intimate wildlife encounter, where fearless animals literally come right up to you. It feels like stepping into your own wildlife documentary.
Imagine picture-perfect white-sand beaches and mysterious volcanic landscapes straight out of a Jurassic Park movie set. World-class diving & snorkeling in pristine waters, with sea lions, turtles and penguins for company. Truly no other place on planet earth is quite like it.
Prepare to have your expectations completely blown away!
Yes, it’s true, you can tick off yet another must-see from your bucket all on one vacation.
For intrepid travelers, the Amazon Rainforest represents an escape into a world of hidden secrets and unexpected adventures. Your very own Indiana Jones experience.
Or picture yourself as David Attenborough, discovering a kingdom of weird and wonderful creatures, an explosion for the senses.
Wherever your imagination takes you, you will not be disappointed.
Remember back when you were a kid when your spirit of adventure made you try new things without even thinking?
Well, Ecuador is the perfect playground to rediscover that inner child, and bring some magic back into your life!
Some of my personal favorite moments over the years include: feeding hummingbirds on the palm of my hand; snorkeling with playful sea lions; swinging at the end of the world; fishing for hungry piranha; eating ants in the jungle and being cleansed by a shaman healer.
Go for it! Try something new, feel alive, and write to let us know all about your experience afterward.
Ok, now we’ve got your attention.
Ecuador is home to some of the world’s finest cacao (misspelled as cocoa in English), which is, of course, the most important raw ingredient in chocolate.
See hands-on how chocolate is made, from cacao fruit hanging from the tree to bean, to bar.
Naturally with a tasting session at the end!
One of the main reasons I chose to call Ecuador home is thanks to the warm, friendly locals, and the laid-back vibe.
You rarely have to look far for a friendly smile, or example of their generous spirit.
The fact that approx 25% of Ecuadorians are indigenous spices things up a little more. Ecuador recognizes 13 official languages, and each ethnic group has its own customs & traditions, which they are more than happy to share with curious visitors.
The best news is that Ecuador is easily accessible from North America, with direct flights from Miami, New York, Houston, Fort Lauderdale & Atlanta.
The official Ecuador currency is the US dollar, so no hassles with currency exchange.
Thanks to a mild climate, Ecuador and Galapagos are year-round travel destinations, so come down any month you want to.
About the same size as Wyoming, the logistics of travel in Ecuador are never complicated either. No stress, No worries.
Ecuador is the world’s #1 most biodiverse country (by area), with 8% of amphibian species, 5% of reptile species, 8% of mammals, and 16% of bird species, and more orchid species than any other country.
Not only that but Ecuador also works hard to protect its environment, and is the first country to officially recognize the constitutional rights of nature to “exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles.”
The perfect place to escape and reconnect to mother nature!
Local festivals play an important role in Ecuadorian society, with people taking to the streets in colorful costumes, and music and dancing never far from the action.
Some of the most interesting festivals include the Inti Raymi Festival of the son (summer solstice); The Carnaval Parade; Day of the dead traditions; Fiestas de Quito (celebrating the foundation of the city); and the Machachi Chagras Parade (local cowboys).
Tourists are always welcomed to join in, so it’s a great opportunity for cultural interaction – the more the merrier!
Ecuador contains an incredible 11 National Parks, and 24 different Nature Reserves – that’s mighty impressive for such a small country!
So nature’s playground is ready and waiting, all you have to decide is HOW best to explore it … trekking, biking, horse-riding, kayaking, rafting, climbing, canyoning … I could go on, but I think you get the idea.
Thanks for reading, and please do leave feedback & comments. What else would you add to my list?
Happy Gringo specializes in custom-making unique itineraries for Ecuador vacations. We also have a wide selection of tours that past clients have loved.
John is the original founder of Happy Gringo. He is from London UK and has over 16 years of travel and work experience within Latin America. John´s biggest passion in life is travel, having had the pleasure to visit more than 75 different countries worldwide