Ecuador Tourist spots
176, 196 sq. miles CAPITAL:
Guayaquil (GYE) POPULATION:
14.67 million (2011)
U.S.D. - US Dollar
110-220V AC (60Hz) TIME ZONE:
UTC/GMT -5 hours
QUITO Its capital, San Francisco de Quito, most often called Quito once a part of the Inca empire, has some of the best-preserved early colonial architecture on the continent. According to UNESCO, Quito has the largest, best-preserved, and least-altered historic center (320 hectares) in Latin America and was the first World Cultural Heritage Sites declared by UNESCO in 1978. In addition, The International Capitals Bureau has declared Quito, Ecuador as Americas Cultural Capital for 2011. OTHER INTERESTING FACTS & UNIQUE ASPECTS OF ECUADOR:
- In Quito, water boils at 90C (direct effect of altitude);
- is the highest active volcano in world;
- The Humpback whales (megaptera novaeangliae) migrate from the Antarctic South Pole to tropical waters off the coast of Ecuador (June to September) to mate and give birth to their calves;
- The belongs to Ecuador
- Ecuador has many active volcanoes and also, one of the greatest densities of volcanoes in the world;
- Ecuador is home to
- Mount Chimborazo at 6, 268 meters (20, 565 feet) is the highest mountain in Ecuador. And because the Earth is not a perfect sphere, but bulges at the Equator, the peak of Chimborazo is also the furthest point from the center of the Earth and the closest to the sun.
- A newly discovered species of gecko, small enough at its full-grown size to rest comfortably on the eraser of a pencil, was discovered in Ecuador;
- The world's smallest orchid (miniscule orchid measuring 2.1mm wide) was discovered in Ecuador;
- Country with the world's highest diversity of hummingbird species (131);
- Home to more than 1600 species of birds, which is more than twice the number found on any one of the entire continents of North America, Europe or Australia;
- - the world's finest Panama hats are handmade in Montecristi, Ecuador;
- Ecuador is divided into four geographical regions: Pacific Coastal Area (Litoral), Andean Highlands (Sierra), Amazon Rain Forest (Oriente) and The Galapagos Islands;
- There are three species of vampire bats found in the world; all are found in Ecuador;
- Ecuador exports more bananas than any other country in the world;
- Vilcabamba is called the Valley of Longevity - locals assert that it is not uncommon to see a person reach 100 years of age and it is claimed that many have gotten to 120, even up to 135, which would make it an area with the oldest inhabitants in the world;
- 25 000 species of plants present in the country, which represents approximately 10% of all plants known in the world;
- Ecuador one of only two countries in South America, along with Chile, that do not have a border with Brazil;
- Manta, Ecuador claims to be the Tuna Capital of the World;
- Quinine, the first drug used to prevent and treat malaria, is obtained from the bark of the cinchona tree that grows in Ecuador;
- is produced on farms surrounding the coastal city of Guayaquil an output that makes it the world's capital of the sweet delicacy.
Deserves a whole site for itself! The best option is a 7-night cruise to experience the wonder and uniqueness of the islands - aboard a Galapagos boat that is comfortable, safe & reliable and with a good naturalist guide aboard. The on board naturalist guide is one of the most important factors on a Galapagos Islands cruise.
Highlights include the Galapagos Giant Tortoise, Blue-footed boobies, Waved Albatross, Marine Iguanas, Flightless Cormorants .
The historic (Colonial) sector of Quito is a wonder of Colonial architecture, from its churches, plazas and palaces. Highlights include Plaza de la Independencia (Plaza Grande), Plaza San Francisco, Iglesia de la Compania, Iglesia de Santo Domingo, Iglesia de la Merced, San Agustin Monastery, the Basilica, Panecillo hillOTAVALO INDIGENOUS ARTISAN MARKET
Barter and trade for ceramics, wood carvings, textiles, paintings, musical instruments, jewelry, to name a few. This market operates every day of the week, with Saturday followed by Wednesday being the busiest (most tourist).
Located 90 minutes north of Quito, this is a shoppers paradise. A visit to Otavalo isn't complete without a visit to Peguchi & Cotacachi (renowned for its leather works).SAQUISILI INDIGENOUS MARKET (Thursdays)
This working Andean market is a feast for your sense (sights, sounds, aromas). Operating only on Thursdays, the town is filled with local campesinos selling their local products at the various markets scattered throughout the town - mainly fruits and vegetables.
Located about 90 minutes south of Quito, a visit to this market is usually combined with a visit to Cotopaxi National Park or a visit to the Quilotoa Volcanic Lagoon.
Tours from $45 (additional cost not included).
Bio-diversity at its extreme! Top recommendations go out to the Napo Wildlife Centre, Sacha Lodge, La Selva & Kapawi Lodge. Other highly recommended options include the Manatee River Boat and Sani Lodge.
Most tours run from Monday to Friday (4-nights) or Friday to Monday (3-nights), with the vast majority requiring round trip flights from Quito to Coca or Lago Agrio.COTOPAXI VOLCANO NATIONAL PARK
The Cotopaxi National Park is located about 90 minutes due south of Quito. Visitors have two basic tour options: (1) a naturalist day trip; or (2) a 2 or 3 day climbing package. Mountain biking, horseback riding and a visit to a hacienda are alternative options in this Park. There are a number of interesting haciendas (working farms) in the area.
Options: Private & shared-basis tours.
320 hummingbirds species are know to science & over 50% are found in Ecuador. The best place to get up close to these beautiful creatures is at the Bellavista Cloud Forest Reserve. Other highlights include a myriad of orchids and other tropical vegetation.BA�OS & surroundings
Banos is perfectly situated as a jumping spot into the Ecuadorian Amazon rain forest (Tena / Misahualli region), or a travel spot to rest and relax while traveling north or south.
Banos is known for its thermal baths, mountain biking (Banos to Puyo), horseback riding and white water rafting.CUENCA & INGAPIRCA
Cuenca is considered the craft center of Ecuador, with excellent ceramics and bronze-work being produced by its craftsmen. Nearby, a visit to Cajas National Park and Ingapirca ruins are worth the visit.
(Rates vary greatly depending on dates, guides etc).OTHER ATTRACTIONS OF ECUADOR THAT ARE OF INTEREST
Approximately 14 km to the north of Zumbahua lies the village and infamous volcanic crater of Quilotoa with a serene mysterious looking green lake inside. Quilotoa lagoon is a perfect example of one of the various extinct volcanoes that are now volcanic lagoons. The crystalline water in this lagoon is said to contain too many minerals to be purifiable.