Ecuador and Galapagos

Ecuador and Galapagos 

The World’s most bio diverse country, occupying an area about the same size as Britain, Ecuador’s terrain covers coastal lowland. Idyllic beach side resorts blending effortlessly with smoking volcanoes and verdant Amazonian rain forests.

Ecuador is rich in cultural splendour, a highlight of any visit. Quito, the capital and Cuenca, lying further south, are both UNESCO World Heritage centres, set in the high, central Andean region, blessed with picture-postcard colonial churches, imposing mansions, grand piazzas and quaint cobbled backstreets. Pre-Colombian artefacts date back to Inca times and earlier, readily on show in Ecuador’s many museums and historical sites. Ecuador’s population of just over 15 million people is mostly of mixed European and indigenous descent, known locally as ‘mestizos’. Colourful, traditional dress is commonplace around Quito and surrounding areas, and along the impressive ‘Avenue of Volcanoes’, linking Quito to Cuenca. Quito also serves as a gateway to nearby cloud forest areas and to the Amazonian region to the East, known as the ‘Oriente’. The region is extensive in size, occupying around 40% of the overall land mass and is divided into two areas, the Northern and the Southern Oriente. The latter is wilder and less easily accessible than its Northern neighbour. To the West, the Pacific coastal region, is dotted with resort towns, fishing villages, surfing hotspots, a marine National Park and Ecuador’s largest city, Guayaquil, a popular gateway to the Galapagos archipelago.The Galapagos Islands are Ecuador’s best-known and most popular visitor attraction, preeminent among the World’s wildlife destinations. A group of volcanic islands, located over 600 miles from the Ecuadorian mainland, the archipelago’s relative isolation has allowed the unhindered development of many, unique wildlife species, many found nowhere else. 

 

 

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