Though Ecuador is South America's second-smallest country, it is bursting with spectacular sights just waiting to be explored. Its exquisite landscape is divided in two by the equator, hence its name, and the diversity is what makes it so enticing to travelers. You can spend one day seeing the Amazon Basin and the next viewing glaciated volcanoes of the Andes. There is plenty of culture, arts, architecture, and fine dining to enjoy. Outdoor enthusiasts are drawn to the variety of activities they can experience, including biking, hiking, and trekking. Nature lovers can't resist a journey through the Ecuador jungle, while shoppers gravitate toward the Ecuador marketplaces. We can't forget about the water lovers because an Ecuador rafting excursion is not to be missed. For those who want to spend some of their visit relaxing and rejuvenating, a trip to an Ecuador spa is a big draw. While you are here, be sure to make a trip to the world-celebrated Galapagos Islands.
Some of the sights you will not want to miss include:
-La Sierra: The landscape consists of several volcanoes, some of which are active, and mountain peaks that are covered in snow year-round. This is an area of spectacular beauty that many visitors find captivating.
-El Oriente: Situated east of the Sierra, this is an area of wet lowlands that are shielded by dense jungle and a delicate network of waterways. These waterways bring water from the Andes into the Amazon River. This region is celebrated for its biodiversity, and rainforests treks are a popular activity.
-La Costa: This area of Ecuador's Pacific Coast is known for its lush tropical forests, beautiful beaches, and Guayaquil, the country's commercial capital and largest city. Here visitors will find numerous banana, cocoa, and coffee plantations.
-The Galapagos Islands: This is a nature lover's paradise and the basis for Charles Darwin's theory of natural selection, which was developed after his voyage here. Situated far off in the Pacific Ocean, this region is celebrated for its unique creatures who roam freely.
-Quito: Quito resides in amazing surroundings of natural beauty overshadowed by Pichincha, a volcano featuring twin peaks, Ruco and Guagua. The city itself is buzzing with plenty of activity and attractions.
-Parque Nacional Sangay: This is a national park of Ecuador that is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a gorgeous landscape that ranges from rain forests to glaciers and includes several animal species indigenous to the region. It is also the home of the Tungurahua Volcano.
Vacation rentals are a great way to make the most of your time in this incredible country, whether you are on a family vacation, a romantic getaway, or a trip with a large group of friends. A vacation rental provides travelers with all of the comforts of home surrounded by some of the most breathtaking and exotic scenery in the world.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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