Ecuador is a tropical paradise of tourism

| January 2, 2020 | 0 Comments
The Andes region boasts volcanoes rising more than 1,800 metres, with perpetual snow and glaciers. This one is the volcanic mountain of Cotopaxi. (Photo: Ecuador tourism)

The Andes region boasts volcanoes rising more than 1,800 metres, with perpetual snow and glaciers. This one is the volcanic mountain of Cotopaxi. (Photo: Ecuador tourism)

Ecuador is slightly more than 283,000 square kilometres in size and is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet. It is set on the equator, thus its name, and is considered to be the most compact “mega-diverse” country in the universe.
In addition, in 2018, Ecuador celebrated the 40th anniversary of its capital of Quito and the Galapagos Archipelago being named UN world cultural and natural heritage of humanity sites.

The country of the four worlds
The geographic location of Ecuador, exactly in the middle of the planet, has enabled my country to offer natural wonders, in which visitors delight. It is not just a slogan, but also an invitation to the world to enjoy a magical experience in the heart of the planet.
“Four Worlds of Ecuador” is synonymous with doing tourism in a sustainable way. Visitors can experience the Amazon, the beautiful Andean region, the coast and the Galapagos Archipelago, as well as amazing cultural and natural sites, a variety of flora and our many sun-bathed beaches.
Few countries can boast such splendid
landscapes, cities and nationalities that maintain their legacy of incalculable
historic value as well as natural and cultural heritage.
There are a total of 1,659 avian species, a number greater than all the species living in Europe and North America combined. We also have 350 species of reptiles and 400 species of amphibians, 800 species of fish and 70,000 species of insects. Indeed, Ecuador is ranked third in the world for its variety of amphibians and fifth in swallow-tail butterflies. A total of 10 per cent of all plant species in the world can be found in Ecuador, including 7,058 species of vascular plants and four of the five sub-families of orchids that exist on the planet. That number includes the smallest orchid in the world. Finally, Ecuador has 137 species of palms, which is more than all the palms on the continent of Africa.
In Yasuni Park in the Amazon, there are 650 species of trees in just one hectare, which represent more than the number in the U.S. and Canada combined.

Culinary genius on display

Iguanas are found on the Galapagos Islands — they are one of Ecuador's 350 species of reptiles. (Photo: Ecuador tourism)

Iguanas are found on the Galapagos Islands — they are one of Ecuador’s 350 species of reptiles. (Photo: Ecuador tourism)

Ecuador is a country with unique culinary richness; its gastronomy has been enriched by the diversity of climates, species, products and ancient cultures. It also produces the best chocolate and cocoa in the world, world-class coffee and fine long-stemmed roses. Finally, Ecuador produces large, juicy shrimp and a variety of delicatessen products.
Due to its great natural and cultural diversity, its finely crafted products, the vibrancy of its cuisine and the warmth of its people, Ecuador has become the model of ecotourism in South America. Hiking, biking, snorkelling, rafting, bungee-jumping and para-gliding are just some of the attractions available to everybody who wishes to visit the country.

Kingdom of the forests
The Amazon is known as the kingdom of forests and is partly located in the eastern part of Ecuador. This region is one of the most biodiverse reserves on the planet, known for its lush vegetation and for being home to many volcanos, some of which are in a state of constant activity, in addition to reserves and national parks such as the Yasuni and Cuyabeno, home to hundreds of birds and fish species.
In the Amazon, you’ll find a tropical rainforest, pristine rivers, waterfalls that descend into the depths of the jungle and unique species of flora and fauna.
As home to ancient cultures, Ecuador is multicultural, with peoples such as the Kichwa, Huaronani, Shuar and Achuar. That diversity offers intercultural, ecological and community-tourism alternatives.
Also in the Amazon, you’ll find award-winning eco-lodges and the region can be toured cruising on the rivers or journeying by land.
Andes World is the home of the Volcano Avenue. The Andes region spreads throughout valleys, mountains, deserts, rivers, lakes and ancient cities and is crossed by volcanoes rising more than 1,800 metres, with perpetual snow and glaciers. Those include the volcanic mountains of Cotopaxi and Chimborazo, located in the middle of the mythical mountain range of the Andes. Based on its height above the Earth’s centre, Chimborazo is higher than Mt. Everest. The equator is also located in this region, a few minutes away from Quito, Ecuador’s political capital and its hub of cultural heritage. The cloud forest, meanwhile, is the best location for bird-watching and adventure tourism.
In the Andean region, there are a host of Indigenous communities and nationalities that have kept their customs and traditions intact.
Quito and Cuenca, meanwhile, where Baroque art is predominant and
architectural jewels abound, are fascinating cities and both have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Quito features 340 hectares of the best and largest architectural heritage conservation in Latin America. The railroad’s nine routes travel through Andean and tropical landscapes, each with its own unique cultural diversity.

Go west to the beach

Ecuador is home to many ancient cultures such as that of this woman, from the Amazon region. (Photo: Ecuador tourism)

Ecuador is home to many ancient cultures such as that of this woman, from the Amazon region. (Photo: Ecuador tourism)

The Pacific Coast, located west of the Andes, is a region with more than 110 sandy beaches. The Ecuadoran coast provides exciting adventure to thrill-seeking visitors. Here you will find the best beaches for surfing, as well as ports, fishing towns and a fusion of historic and metropolitan cities such as Guayaquil, the main port and economic capital of the country.
Guayaquil’s colonial architecture features wooden houses, narrow cobblestone streets, art galleries, boutique hotels and bars and restaurants — all overlooking the beautiful Guayas River.
The coastal region has protected dry tropical forests as well as the tallest mangroves in the world. There’s whale-watching in Puerto Cayo, Puerto Lopez or Isla de la Plata, between June and October, which shows the best story of love and survival.
One can enjoy the ocean breeze on the Spondylus Route, which goes through beautiful beaches, picturesque fishing towns and archeological sites and offers gastronomy, music and hospitality at modern seaside resorts.

The Galapagos Archipelago
The Galapagos Archipelago is one of the main tourist attractions in Ecuador. It offers visitors insight into the fascinating evolution of flora and fauna.
Galapagos is one of the most important national parks, declared by UNESCO as a World Natural Heritage Site in 1978. It has 13 main islands, six smaller ones and dozens of islets of volcanic origin.
Imagine walking among giant tortoises, sea lions and exotic birds — which you can only do here. What’s more, the Galapagos Archipelago, which runs 972 kilometres from the Ecuadoran coast and is known as the enchanted islands, has the distinction of having been Darwin’s natural laboratory and inspired him to write his theory of evolution.
Most of the archipelago is protected and characterized by sandy beaches, forests and a giant turtle reserve. It also draws attention thanks to its pink flamingos and birds such as the masked booby, penguins, albatross and finches. This region is one of the seven most important sites in the world for snorkelling and scuba diving.
Every year, more than two million tourists from different parts of the world visit Ecuador, about 30,000 of whom are Canadians. And some like it so much, they stay. Ecuador has more than 3,000 retirees residing for extended periods. The warm weather attracts them, as do our social programs. Together, they have turned Ecuador into a privileged destination for one’s golden years. That’s why hundreds of Canadians are choosing it as their home for retirement.
For Canadians, getting there is easy, with several choices of airline, including Air Canada’s non-stop flights from Toronto to Quito, which started on Dec. 8. That should open even more horizons for tourism as well as cultural and academic exchanges between Canada and Ecuador.
There’s no shortage of accommodation, with 74,173 rooms waiting for guests and 463,320 people working in the tourism sector to make your stay memorable.

Guayaquil, the main port and economic capital of the country, is located on the Pacific Coast. (Photo: Ecuador tourism)

Guayaquil, the main port and economic capital of the country, is located on the Pacific Coast. (Photo: Ecuador tourism)

 

The Pacific Coast is home to the best beaches, including this one, known as Montanita.(Photo: Ecuador tourism)

The Pacific Coast is home to the best beaches, including this one, known as Montanita.(Photo: Ecuador tourism)

 

The Church and Convent of St. Francis is a 16th-Century Roman Catholic complex in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Baroque art is predominant in this city. (Photo: Ecuador tourism)

The Church and Convent of St. Francis is a 16th-Century Roman Catholic complex in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Baroque art is predominant in this city. (Photo: Ecuador tourism)

Diego Stacey-Moreno is Ecuador’s ambassador to Canada.

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Diego Stacey-Moreno is Ecuador's ambassador to Canada.

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