What to see and do in Ecuador: 7 essential tourist spots!

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Many people wonder about what to see and what to do in Ecuador, since for most, it is a completely unknown place, and that is why this mystery makes this country have many of the most incredible and unique places on the planet.

We want to discover the top places to see and visit in Ecuador if you decide to travel to this wonderful country located on the 0º parallel. We anticipate that here you will find spectacular beaches, volcanoes of more than 6,000 meters, and biodiversity of flora and fauna unmatched.
If your idea is to do tourism in Ecuador, we want you to tell you that to know the best places in this country you must forget about being a tourist. The things to see in Ecuador keep a lot of adventure and they will make you feel alive really.

For this reason, here are for us the best things to see in Ecuador:

Ecuador Nature or how to fall in love at first sight

Galapagos National Park

The Galapagos National Park is one of the great attractions to see in Ecuador that, without a doubt, anyone can miss it.

turtle swimming in galapagos

More than 1,000 kilometers from the coast of Ecuador, are the Galapagos Islands, an archipelago consisting of 7 large islands

  • Isabela
  • Santa Cruz
  • Fernandina
  • San Cristobal
  • Marchena
  • Florenana

Besides them, it also has 14 smaller islands, 64 islets, and 136 rocks. It is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting places in the whole country.

An area where volcanic activity has had much to do with the creation of this unique paradise, where you can find dozens of species of flora and fauna that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

Among all the animals that there are in Ecuador, here you will find some millenary species, like the iguanas, with incredible colors or the more than 30 species of turtles. The isolation of these islands caused this wealth of fauna.

yellow iguana

Besides, its paradisiacal beaches will make this trip one of the most special ones. Without going further, the famous Tortuga Bay is one of the beaches you must visit on your trip to the Galapagos Islands.

Cuyabeno Reserve

Ecuador, like other Latin American countries, has its own part in the Amazon and is none other than the Cuyabeno Wildlife Production Reserve, located in the province of Sucumbios. It is a privileged place because it has amazing landscapes, with incredible flora and fauna.

Cuyabeno jungle in a boat

As soon as you enter the Cuyabeno Reserve, you will find a labyrinth of tropical lagoons that can only be reached by canoe. Without a doubt, one of the most spectacular biodiversity hotspots on earth.

Its 13 lagoons, flooded forests, and blackened rivers, which occupy 600,000 hectares, will leave you stunned. When you admire its more than 500 species of birds, alligators, anacondas, turtles, and more reptiles… you will be amazed!

El Cajas National Park

In the south of Ecuador and in the heart of the province of Azuay, you can find the Cajas National Park. It is the oldest part of the Andes mountain range and with less volcanic activity, so its peaks are less elevated than in the northern part of the country.

mountains and a lagoon in cajas national park

This natural reserve, formed by extensive high plains of great beauty, accumulates water in large quantities. And you won’t believe it, but more than 160 lagoons have been counted with more than 1 hectare of the surface. Incredible, isn’t it?

Well, that’s not all, because there are also more than 600 lagoons in the park with less than 1 hectare, which, together with the previous ones, form an aerial view described as a green and gold carpet.

It is not surprising that, with so much virgin paradise, the beautiful cloud forests and its more than 700 lagoons are home to animal species such as condors, hawks, tapirs, llamas, and the extraordinary spectacled bear, among others.

Yasuni National Park

Yasuní National Park is a park of jungle origin, which extends over an area of approximately 10,000 square kilometers.

Napo ecuador

Yasuní National Park has been declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.

Monkeys, alligators, anacondas, and dozens of species of flora and fauna live together in Yasuní National Park in perfect harmony. If this sounds exciting to you, imagine enjoying it exclusively in a luxury lodge in the middle of a unique environment in the world – exciting!

There are studies that speak of diversity in the fauna that goes from more than 120 species of reptiles, 150 amphibians, 600 different species of birds, and a flora that contains more than 3,000 diverse species.

It is one of the main tourist places in Ecuador, and we recommend that you mark it as a must stop.

What to do in Ecuador if you are a true adventurer

If you are into adventure and are an experienced traveler, we propose other plans to do in Ecuador that you will not regret.

Ascension of Cotopaxi

Cotopaxi is a 5.897 meter high stratovolcano located in the Andes. It is the second-highest mountain in Ecuador, only behind Chimborazo, and it is also an active volcano! In spite of this, its last great eruption is already far away and dates back to 1877. Let’s hope it doesn’t want to erupt again while we are there…

vulcano with snow in ecuador

It is located 50 km south of the Ecuadorian capital, Quito, and the climb is only recommended for more experienced tourists. In addition, this plus of the volcanic activity makes it even more dangerous. But if you like strong adventures, we encourage you to climb to the top of the chimborazo and enjoy its spectacular views.

Climbing Chimborazo

If you think that climbing to the top of the previous volcano is the maximum, it is because we have not introduced you to El Chimborazo yet, which at 6,310 meters is the highest volcano in Ecuador, and its summit is the furthest point from the center of the earth!

sunny day with mountain and a lagoon

Its perfect conical shape that rises above the avenue of the volcanoes, makes its ascent really attractive. If you make the ascent to Chimborazo you will be able to say that you have conquered the world… and yourself!

Due to the shape of the Earth, the diameter in the equatorial zone is the largest on the planet, and therefore, its summit coincides with the most distant point. So, if you manage to make it to the top of Chimborazo, you will have surpassed the highest mountain in the world by more than 2 kilometers: Everest.

The Quilotoa Lagoon

Have you ever imagined a lake inside a volcano crater with a diameter of about 3 km? Well, this is really the Quilotoa Lagoon.

It is a volcano that went off more than 800 years ago and that, as a memory, left a crater, in which it has ended up forming a pool of water, with a diameter of more than 8 kilometers and 250 meters deep.

lagoon in a volcano in ecuador

One of its peculiarities is its beautiful colors (blue and green tones), which make those lucky enough to live this adventure fall in love, as well as the bubbles that can be perceived in it due to its precious springs. Are you going to miss it?

If you were still what to see in Ecuador, after discovering everything it has to offer… Don’t you think it’s time to pack your bags?

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