Nestled on the west coast of South America; Ecuador features a diverse and beautiful landscape encompassing Andean highlands, Amazon jungle and Galapagos Islands that are famous for its rich wildlife. Ecuador has a rich history dating back to the Pre-Inca era, waiting for tourists to explore it. Initially, it was home to the Amerindian groups but latter, during the sixteenth century, it was colonized by Spain.
There are many things to do in Ecuador and over the past two decades the country has significantly improved its infrastructure to attract more tourists. Quito is the capital of the country while Guayaquil is the largest. Spanish remains the official language of Ecuador but there are 13 Amerindian languages that are recognized as national languages such as Shuar and Quichua. The country has a rich history and culture heritage which is evident with its historic sites and monuments. Ecuador was initially one of the biggest examples of sprawling civilizations living harmoniously across the forested lands. For instance, the city of Quito is named after the Quitus civilization, whereas the city of Cuenca is named after the Canari civilization. Each civilization became known for its distinct architecture and religious views, but shared some common ground in terms of culture and cuisine. These values, traditions, and cultures are still prevalent to this day as Ecuador is widely considered as one of the most diverse countries in the world that serves as a prime example of cultural and ethnic integration. Initially colonized in the 16th century by Spanish conquistadors, the country achieved independence in 1820 and became a sovereign state by 1830. This is translated into an immensely diverse ethnic and cultural makeup of the region featuring mestizos people and large monitory groups of people of Africa, European, and Amerindian ethnicity. To reflect the cultural and heritage significance of the region the historic center of Quito became a designated World Heritage Site by UNESCO In 2978. In 1999, the third largest city, Cuenca, also became a designated World Heritage Site due to its outstanding planning and inland colonial architecture. Ecuador has been recognized not only in the Americas but all over the world for its ecological conversation efforts. In fact, in 2008 under the new constitution, it became the first country in the world to legally recognize Rights of Nature, granting ecosystem rights to ensure that its endemic plants and wildlife remains preserved against the mounting challenge of climate change. Additionally, Ecuador has the greatest biodiversity per area in the world, and is home to approximately 15% of the known bird species in the world. The Galapagos Islands, also a World Heritage Site, is widely recognized for its distinct fauna and is the birthplace of the Theory of Evolution. Since the passing of the Rights of Nature act, the government actively incentivizes preservation efforts locals while treating negative impact on the environment, regardless of what activity it arises from, as a crime.
Places to visit in Ecuador
Tourism is a growing industry as there are many things to do in Ecuador for people from all parts of the world. In the past decade tourism has really picked up in the major cities and national parks of the country and the government’s efforts for biodiversity have resulted in an influx of nature activists. Nature tourism is at an all time high and will look to grow as the country plans to further develop its infrastructure to connect its various diverse areas ranging from urban cities to dense Amazonian jungles. One of the reasons why tourists love to choose Ecuador as their holiday destination is because of its diverse regions and climate. The climate varies greatly in different parts of the country, as the mountain valley experience mild weather throughout the year, while the coastal areas and lowland rainforests have subtropical humid weather with rainfall. With 11 national parks, 9 ecological reserves, and 4 biological reserves to explore, Ecuador offers an enticing prospect for tourists who appreciate nature and want to see it in its true beauty. Other than nature, the cultural wealth and urban lifestyle of the region make it one of the best countries to visit in South America. The culture and history of Ecuador is best explored in Quito, which is one of the oldest cities in the country with a Historic Center. The modern structures of the downtown blend beautifully with the age old colonial structures and monuments found throughout the Historic District. The Historic Center of Cuenca, is often considered as the ‘Athens of Ecuador’ due to its profound architecture, cultural heritage, and contributions made to the arts, sciences, and music of Ecuador. Located in downtown, the Historic Center is home to famous churches such as the Cathedral of Inmaculada Concepcion and museums that honor the history, heritage, and culture of the region dating back to thousands of years. The laid back coastal lifestyle that many tourists look for is abundant in Ecuador. Salinas is a popular coastal city that is considered as one of the most tourist friendly destinations in the country with a wide range of upscale hotels, tourist attractions, and nightlife opportunities. The city consists of five main beaches of which Chipipe Beach, San Lorenzo Beach, and La Chocolatera are famous for their beach parties and after dark entertainment options. The Galapagos Islands are also accessible to tourists that offer a true tropical experience and a look at the most beautiful flora and fauna you’ll ever see.