10 Good Reasons To Visit Ecuador
Have you ever wished to find an international destination that is close enough to avoid jet lag but far enough to make all your friends jealous?
Bordered by Colombia, Peru, and the beautiful Pacific, Ecuador is one of the tiniest countries in South America – but don't be fooled. There is plenty to see, do, and experience.
From gorgeous beaches to the snow-capped Andes, to the unique world of the Galapagos Islands. There are thousands of reasons to visit Ecuador; here are ten to whet your appetite.
Ecuador is 1 of only 17 "Mega-Diverse" countries in the world. Ecuador is one of the world's most biodiverse countries with more species of plants (25,000) than entire North America, and also is proud of being home to over one-sixth of the world's bird species. It literally has more fauna and flora per square meter then any other place on earth.
Amongst travelers, Ecuador has built a reputation to discover something new and different.
2. Unparalleled natural beauty.
It boasts 50 ecosystems, from the Galapagos to tropical rainforests to forested valleys to the Andean mountains. In a country as small as Nevada, you can see and do it all! Several hotspots in Ecuador have been named UNESCO World Heritage Sites and it is also the first country to put the rights of the environment into its constitution. When you visit Ecuador make sure you at least look into going to the Galapagos Islands, you will not regret it.
3. Ecuador uses the US Dollar.
Globalization and few other issues brought the American dollar to Ecuador. No need to spend your time figuring out exchange rates. The country has been using the U.S. Dollar as currency since 1997, when it retired a devaluated Sucre. In addition, cost of living is much lower, so you get a lot for your buck.
4. A short and easy flight from home.
If you live in Miami or the southern US, a trip to Ecuador can actually be a weekend getaway; a one-way flight to the capital city of Quito takes only four hours. In the Fall, the country's largest airline, Tame, also introduced a nonstop flight from New York to Guayaquil (Ecuador's largest city) that takes about six hours.
Seasoned travelers will for sure know the value of spending more time on land than in the air.
5. Great outdoors.
Adventure after adventure, you will never be in shortage of options when you visit Ecuador. Hiking, biking, kayaking, horseback riding, diving, swimming, rafting, trekking through volcanoes are just a few of the plentiful possibilities for adrenaline junkies and lovers of the outdoors alike.
6. The weather.
Enjoy perpetual spring. Ecuador, literally the “Republic of the Equator,” has a mild and gentle climate. The short trips needed to dramatically change sea level allow you to plan your trip around weather preferences. Conditions are ideal for activities, lounging, and enjoying Ecuador’s many charms.
7. World Heritage Sites.
As Ecuador's capital, Quito is where you're heading for culture (its historic center is the one of the first World Cultural Heritage Sites, stunning views, nightlife, and local meals to blow up your Instagram.
8. Panama hats.
Travel to Ecuador to buy yourself an authentic "Panama" hat. That's right, the world famous Panama hat is actually made in Ecuador. During the construction of the Panama canal, thousands of these hats were exported by the Ecuadorian government for workers in the canal. Then, Theodore Roosevelt was pictured wearing one and these hats were dubbed "Panama Hats" Since then, these hats gained popularity by great figures such as Ernest Hemingway and Paul Newman. Woven entirely by hand in Ecuador from fronds of the toquilla palm, this is a perfect souvenir.
9. A colorful culture.
Ecuador is home to a diversity of cultures, many of which (particularly in the Andean and Amazonian regions) live much the way they did centuries ago. In city centers, visitors will find museums, theaters, thriving markets, festivals, and very welcoming people. Ecuador blends Spanish culture with African and European influences, and this vibrancy is reflected in the people and its cities.
10. Secret Cuisine.
A great reason to visit any locale! The food of Ecuador is also very diverse, as we would expect from this country. Staples include beef, pork, seafood, beans, rice, yucca, potatoes, and a spicy Aji sauce. There are also exotic fruits, quinoa, and lots of fresh seafood. A favorite is shrimp ceviche. The shrimp is marinated in lime, salt, and seasonings, including hot pepper. Very simple, but very tasty.
Do you feel ready to go?
If you do decide to visit Ecuador you may want to consider packing a lightweight and durable scarf. It will come handy during chilly hikes across Andean landscapes or those breezy nights out at sea level.
Ecuador is a wonder of nature, but its people and cultures are equally diverse and beautiful. This is a perfect destination for those who want to do more than go on vacation but still not break the bank.