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Tourism in Mainland Ecuador

The Galapagos Islands were annexed by Ecuador in 1832 and have been part of the Republic of Ecuador ever since. Ecuador is a gorgeous land with lots to see and do, so many Galapagos visitors decide to spend some time on the mainland before or after their trips. For a full review of everything Ecuador has to offer, see Viva Travel Guides’ guide to Ecuador. Did you order it? Good! While you’re waiting for it to arrive, here are a few of the highlights in Ecuador most popular with visitors.

Quito: Quito was the second-largest city in the mighty Inca Empire, and it has a long and important history. The colonial downtown is very well-preserved, with fascinating architecture including churches, parks and restored colonial homes. Most of Ecuador’s best museums are in Quito, as well as world-class hotels and dining. Hit the Mariscal area after dark for dancing or a cold beer!

Cuenca: Far to the south, Cuenca is a colonial treasure which has been largely unspoiled by the passage of time. Visit the historic downtown or the quaint towns in the beautiful valleys that surround Cuenca.

Otavalo: One of the largest native markets in the world, Otavalo is a mostly indigenous town only two hours from Quito. Every Saturday, hundreds of local weavers, woodcarvers, jewelers and other artisans bring their goods into Otavalo for the market. Even if you’re not much of a shopper, the dazzling colors of the labyrinthine market are sure to make a huge impression.

The Rain Forest:  The eastern lowlands of Ecuador form part of South America’s massive Amazon Basin. Visit a remote jungle lodge where you can travel by dugout canoe, see monkeys, toucans and parrots, and fish for piranhas in the warm rivers and lagoons!

The Coast: Ecuador’s coast is lined up and down with resorts and charming fishing villages, in addition to good beaches. Activities include sport fishing, surfing, kayaking, whale watching and more!

Baños: high in the Andes Mountains on the slopes of Tungarahua Volcano, Baños is a friendly little town known for its thermal hot springs. There is much more to Baños, however, including a vibrant nightlife and outdoor activities like rafting, hiking and mountain biking.   

Here are some related tips to help plan your trip to The Galápagos Islands: Galápagos Health & Safety, The Flag Cabrilla, Galápagos Wildlife Guide, Champion Islet Visitor Site, Punta Suarez, Green Sea Turtle, Herons and Egrets in the Galapagos, Sergeant-Major, Sally Lightfoot Crabs and Ruddy Turnstone.








04 Oct 2010




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