Paul Schicke
Written by Paul Schicke Senior Expedition Designer

Updated: June 08, 2022
Published: August 22, 2017

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Ecudorian Indigenous elder holding a handmade panama hat

Although Ecuador may be small, it’s a destination that’s got it all! This diverse country that boasts a rich cultural heritage, fine food, the Amazon jungle and Andean highlands is SO worth exploring for itself! Whether you’re planning a trip the Galapagos or are looking for a rewarding destination on its own, read on to find out why you should visit Ecuador and what to do once you get there.

Why Visit Ecuador?

From tropical beaches to stunning landscapes, indigenous markets and historical towns, Ecuador is often suggested as the ideal destination for anyone wanting a taste of the best of South America. But, when visiting Ecuador, you’ll also be able to enjoy:

• Incredible climate – With its location right on the equator, most of Ecuador enjoys warm, tropical weather all year round. But, if you don’t like the heat by the coast, simply head inland towards the mountains where temperatures begin to fall.

View of a crater in Ecuador on a perfect day with blue skies and sunny weather.

• Easy travel – Because Ecuador is a small country with good infrastructure, it’s generally easy to visit Ecuador and see and do a lot in a short amount of time.

• No need for currency exchange – If you're traveling from the United States, Ecuador uses the US dollar, so you won’t be stung with currency exchange fees.

• Low cost of living – Food, transport, tours and accommodation are relatively inexpensive in Ecuador so you’ll be able to go further on your budget.

Explorers shopping in Ecuador using US dollar currency.

• Welcoming locals – Ecuadorians are known for being kind-hearted and generous people and will often go the extra mile to make your trip extra special.

• Excellent health care – Although worst case situations aren’t what you want to think about when you travel, it’s comforting to know that Ecuador has a good health care system if anything does happen.

Explorer getting acquainted with the natives in Ecuador

Top Things to Do When You Visit Ecuador

Make sure you tick of these unmissable things to do when visiting Ecuador:

• Soak in hot pools at the Papallacta Springs – An hour and a half out of Quito, you’ll be able to soak in outdoor natural thermal spa pools while you enjoy views of the surrounding volcanic peaks and rainforest. There’s also private pools and a great selection of affordable spa treatments that aren’t to be missed.

Guests relaxing in a hot pool at Papallacta Springs in Ecuador

• Sleep in an Amazonian lodge – You’ll never forget listening to the sounds of the rainforest as you fall asleep in an Amazonian lodge. Ecuador’s rainforest lodges are some of the best in the Amazonian basin and have a reputation for great food and service. You can still expect modern amenities including hot showers in private bathrooms and electricity too. The next morning, make sure you take a hike, canoe trip or walk the canopy.

Aerial view of an Amazonian lodge in Ecuador's rainforest

• Explore the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site of Quito –

Set among three snow-capped volcanoes, the bustling city of Quito is filled with dozens of churches, historic buildings, arts and crafts. When you visit Ecuador, spend the day exploring its sites and tasting local delicacies such as cuy (guinea pig).

The city of Quito, Ecuador with the clock towers of Basílica del Voto Nacional in the background

• Ride the Devil’s Nose – This popular section of Ecuadorian train tracks takes a hair-raising route down the rocky slopes of some of the most breathtaking scenery in all the Andes.

• Shop at the Otavalo Markets – Located high in the Hacienda Highlands, you’ll be able to wander Ecuador’s largest market to pick up authentic souvenirs and taste local foods.

Devil's Nose Train riding on the edge of the Andes mountains in Ecuador

These are just a few of the incredible experiences you can have when visiting Ecuador. To learn more about what to do once you get there, look at our Ecuador popular packages or create your own Ecuador Custom Tours itinerary!

Textiles and fabrics from the Otavalo Market in Ecuador

Paul Schicke
By Paul Schicke
Senior Expedition Designer

Hello! My name is Paul. I am a photographer, traveler, teacher and writer. I have extensive experience in travel to Galapagos, Peru, Patagonia and the western seaboard of South America specializing in ways travelers can experience these once-in-a-life destinations like locals on the road. Lover of wine, chocolate, travel, coffee, and helping others plan vacations of a lifetime!

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