Things to do in Ecuador
Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, Ecuador's capital is one of the most beautiful cities in South America. Known for its cultural heritage of colonial churches and sculptures, it was declared a Cultural Patrimony of Mankind by UNESCO in 1978, and has enough attractions to keep visitors busy for days. Sights include the Government Palace and impressive cathedrals such as El Sagrario and the Cathedral in the main square. The museums offer worthwhile exhibitions, and a stroll through the major plazas and the streets of the old town is the easiest way to admire the city's treasures.
Guayaquil is the largest and most populated city in Ecuador, as well as the country's main port. It boasts archaeological sites of various pre-Hispanic cultures. Admire the city's features on the Malecon 2000 waterfront walk, or visit the museums and parks. Historical Park, the largest in the city, situated 10 minutes from the city centre, was created to bring the traditions, history and nature of Guayaquil back to life. Also take a river tour to catch a glimpse of farms and cattle ranches.
Ecuador has a variety of fine sandy beaches, some are quiet while others are popular with watersport fans who come for the surfing, sailing and fishing.
Ecuador is a very ecological country and has a total of 26 National Protected Areas. Amongst these are the Galápagos Islands, located 600 miles off the Pacific coast. An inspiration to Darwin, the area is home to a variety of exotic species found in no other location in the world. (Click through to our See Winter Cruises for more information on visiting the Galápagos.)
The Cotopaxi National Park is another example of Ecuador's rich natural and cultural heritage. It is named after its active snow-capped volcano, the highest in the world. Here you will find Inca ruins and an abundant wildlife.