Ecuador or officially the Republic of Ecuador is a representative democratic republic in northwestern South America which is a land of rich cultural and historical attractions, natural wonders with beautiful landscapes ranging from serene tropical rain forests to glaciated volcanoes. Ecuador is a destination where you can quench all your thirsts when it comes to travel and leisure, either you can take a nice long walk in the evening through the churches of Quito, the nation’s capital or else you can go whitewater rafting down the tributaries of the great river amazon. Fun, adventure or quiet and peaceful leisure, you name it, Ecuador will give you the exact same thing. Here are the top 15 tourist attractions of Ecuador that you should not miss.
1. La Compañía, Quito1. La Compañía, Quito
Quito is quite famous for its churches and cathedrals but located at the heart of the town, La Iglesia de la Compañía de Jesús or in other words, the church of the society of Jesus is one of the most gracious and admirable places in the city. The church was built in the early 1600s and the design and architecture gives the idea of Baroque architecture of the world coming down from such a line of history.
Cotopaxi, with a height of 5,897 m (19,347 ft) is the second highest summit in Ecuador and has few of the equatorial glaciers in the world which starts at a height of 5,000 meters (16,400 ft). The volcano is visible from the capital city, Quito and this is also one of the highest active volcanoes in the world.
3. Nariz del Diablo
As a result of one of the most astounding engineering projects ever in the mountainous Andes, this describes the train line between the towns of Alausi and Sibambe and the name Nariz del Diablo or the ‘devils nose’ comes from the great number of human life taken to complete the train track.
This small city is at the foot of the active volcano Tungurahua and is named after the hot springs fed by the volcano. This city is a favorite departure point for jungle tours and is also called as the ‘Gateway to the Amazon’. There are many scenic waterfalls all throughout the tours and Pailon de Diablo waterfall is the most impressive.
Tuna serves as the launching point of jungle tours since the location of Tuna is, in the Amazon rain forest region of Ecuador. The story of the town is interesting; founded by the missionaries and developed due to the cinnamon industry. The city is famous among the adventure seeking tourists for whitewater rafting and kayaking in the Tena River.
Montañita is famous for the scenic shorelines and world-famous beach resorts situated in the Southern coastal regions of Ecuador. This was a typical sleeping fishing village, until the surfers discovered this place and ever since the place is crawling with surfers from all around the world. Night life too is quite famous here.
7. Catedral Nueva, Cuenca
The colonial city of Cuenca is the country’s third largest city and Cathedral Nueva is the most sought after tourist attraction of the city. The construction of the cathedral began in the late 1800s and continued up over a century and the cathedral is most notable for its three immense domes, each covered in blue glazed tile imported from Czechoslovakia.
8. Otavalo Market
If you are fan of local art, there is no better place than the Otavalo Market to be totally mesmerized by the local arts and crafts. The city is known the world over for the handiwork of its indigenous people, the Otavalos and every Saturday, the place is full of jewelry, arts and crafts, wood and stone carvings and woven clothing for sale.
9. San Francisco Church, Quito
The Iglesia y Monesterio de San Francisco is located in Quito’s old town district and features a lot of masterpieces over a massive land covering two blocks and adjoining a museum. The construction of the church began in the early 1500s and this is considered a an important cultural center in Latin America as well as an important tourist location in Ecuador.
10. Galapagos Islands
This small archipelago of volcanic islands is in the east Pacific Ocean belonging to Ecuador and it is quite remote and isolated. This island which is famous for its eco system was the actual inspiration for Charles Darwin’s Theory of natural selection. Giant tortoises, sea lions, penguins, marine iguanas and different bird species can all be seen and approached but all tourists are guided by a wildlife guide with the aim of preserving this land.
11. Guagua Pichincha volcano
Guagua Pichincha is one of the most active volcanoes in Ecuador and is located west of the capital city Quito off about 8km from the city center. 3 major explosive eruptions have occurred at Guagua Pichincha in the past 2000 years, the most recent one in 1660 and during the times where it is not dangerous, many tourists find this place interesting to visit.
12. Floreana Island
The island of Floreana is located in the far southern portion of the archipelago and is now an extinct volcano extending over an area of approximately 67 square miles. Floreana has been inhabited the longest of any of the Galapagos islands, and the island has been used source by whalers and pirates for water and food as far back as the 1600’s.
About 40km to the south west of Quito, the capital city, Corazón is an eroded and extinct volcano and it is an easy hiking trip through the Páramo vegetation for all those who wish to admire the beauty of the nature around the volcanic mountains.
14. Tortuga Bay
This is rated as one of the best places to visit in the Santa Cruz Islands and you can relax and enjoy exploring two famous Galapagos sites. You can enjoy the awesome Tortuga bay beach as well as take an exciting excursion to La Loberia Island.
15. El Cajas National Park
Ecuador is blessed with bio diversity and natural beauty and this is yet another national park depicting the same. The main highway from Cuenca to Guayaquil crosses right through the park and can be easily visited thereby. The place is filled with flowers, Polylepis trees and many more worth admiring.
Ecuador is one of the most beautiful countries in the world and there are many sites where you can visit and enjoy, say its natural beauty, deserts, volcanoes or beaches. The country is truly blessed with bio diversity and eco systems and the above top 15 tourist attractions should not be missed if you are to take your holidays there.
Source: Ultimate Places