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10 Best Places to Visit in Ecuador (Tourist Attractions)

Ecuador is a small country with lots of things to see and do. It is located in South America, which has common borders with Colombia and Peru. Ecuador is the main tourist destination in South America and offers a diversity of attractions.

Ecuador is the closest country to space, is the only country in the world named after geographical features. Which has the world’s first UNESCO world heritage sites?

South America has to offer everything to Ecuador. In mainland Ecuador, you can go to the beaches on the Ecuadorian coast, afterward visit the Andes and go up to 4.800 meters then you go to the Amazon. and then there is the Galapagos for which Ecuador is known.

Here, we are going to see our recommendations for the top 10 places to visit in Ecuador, where beautiful places, cities, beaches, rivers, etc. are included which you should not miss.

List of Ecuador Tourist Attractions

10 Best Places to visit in Ecuador, which you shouldn’t miss

  1. The Galapagos Island
  2. Quito
  3. Cuenca
  4. Cotopaxi
  5. Guayaquil
  6. Nariz del Diablo
  7. Banos
  8. Otavalo
  9. Quilotoa Loop
  10. Salinas

1. The Galapagos Island

The Galapagos Island; Best Places to Visit in Ecuador
The Galapagos Island

The Galapagos island is one of the world’s top tourist destinations, enjoy seeing incredible wildlife and beautiful places. And it is the world’s most famous archipelago.

you can be spotting the different types of animals such as the giant tortoises, blue-footed boobes, marine iguanas, sea lions, sea turtles, and more.

Enjoy beautiful beaches, turquoise waters, island cruises, and adventure. Walk different trails, see hidden lagoons, and enjoy kayaking and snorkeling with sea lions, sea turtles, and friendly reef sharks.

When you are taking a short flight from Ecuador’s coast then the Galapagos will be located, where you can learn about the fascinating and unique history.

Things to do on the Galapagos Island

Here some of the incredible activities, you will enjoy on the Galapagos island

  • Snorkeling
  • Hiking
  • Sea kayaking
  • Swimming and surfing
  • Horseback riding
  • Mountain biking
  • Scuba diving
  • Panga(Dinghy) rides
  • You can go to The Charles Darwin Research Station
  • Beach Time & Lounging Onboard

2. Quito: Ecuador’s Historic Andean Capital

Quito; Best Places to Visit in Ecuador
Quito

The Ecuadorian capital of Quito is the highest capital city in the world, which is 2,800 meters above from sea level. 2.2 million people of the cosmopolitan city are located in an active volcano section of the Andes. Quito has one of the largest and best-preserved historic districts in South America.which was Founded in 1534.

The San Francisco church is the most famous attraction in Quito’s historic center on the San Francisco plaza. And Other beautiful churches to visit La Compania de Jesus Church, which was constructed in the early 17th century and listed by UNESCO as one of the top 100 most important buildings in the world, and Quito’s cathedral, Basilica del Voto Nacional, which was constructed in the 1560s. And for its historical and cultural importance, the tourist site is on our list the best places to visit in Ecuador.

Best Things to do in Quito

  • Explore Quito Old Town
  • Visit Quito Churches
  • Ride the Teleferiqo
  • Walk along Quito La Ronda
  • Visit the Virgin atop Quito El Panecillo
  • Stand at the Middle of the World
  • Go to a Quito Market
  • Join a free walking tour
  • Watch the Quito changing of the guard
  • Plan a day trip from Quito
  • See the Amazon wildlife

3. Cuenca

Cuenca; Best Places to Visit in Ecuador
Cuenca

Cuenca is the capital of Azuay province which is noted for its old colonial building. This city is known for its colorful festivals in January and November and it is popular with retired Americans. nearby at the Canar plantation, there are The largest Inca ruins in Ecuador.

When you are visiting this city, you will come across the fascinating old buildings from the colonial period with balconied houses, cobbled streets, and white old-styled churches. In this city, you can enjoy the beautiful churches and cathedrals.

Things to do in Cuenca

  • Climb the Towers of Cuenca’s New Cathedral
  • Learn About Cuenca’s Production of Panama Hats
  • Take in Cuenca’s Sweeping Views from the Turi Viewpoint
  • Discover Cuenca’s History Through Its Museums
  • Wander Through Cuenca’s Impressive Flower Market
  • Visit Cajas National Park
  • Walk around the Historic Center
  • Get Your Flower Power On
  • Shop at One of the Many Local Markets
  • Walk or Bike Along the Rio Tomebamba
  • Enjoy the Many Restaurants in Town

4. Cotopaxi and Cajas national park

Cotopaxi
Cotopaxi

The most popular national parks in Ecuador are Cotopaxi and Cajas. The park is full of beautiful sights, including lakes, lagoons, rivers, cloud forest, orchids, bromeliads, and hummingbirds. It’s natural beauty and wildlife make this place a part of the best places to visit in Ecuador.

There are many other animals to find as well, including a number of species not found anywhere else on Earth. Enjoy spotting different toucans, Andean condors, and woodpeckers.there are many different walking trails.

Throughout the park, which you can enjoy guided treks. Enjoy different routes that take you past the park’s most attractive features.

Things to do in Cotopaxi and Cajas park

  • You can go for a full-day tour
  • You can go for a half-day tour
  • Go for a private day tour
  • Hiking
  • Tour in a double-decker bus
  • Birdwatching tour
  • Visiting the lake
  • Mountain biking
  • Birding

5. The BoardWalk of Guayaquil

Guayaquil
Guayaquil

Ecuador’s largest city in terms of population of 2.3 million people, Guayaquil is the commercial heart of Ecuador. This city was founded in 1538 by the Spanish conquistador Francisco de Orellana, which is located on the band of Guayas River that leads to the pacific ocean.

You can explore the various historical sites as also offered by The Parque Historico Guayaquil with free entry. It can be really overwhelming for the tourists visiting the Museo Antropologico y de Arte Contemporaneo which illustrates the country’s famed culture and rich history.

Things to do in Guayaquil, Ecuador

  • Stroll the Malecon 2000
  • Take a Ride on the Largest Ferris Wheel in South America(La Perla)
  • Las Penas: Climb the 444 Steps of Cerro Santa Ana
  • ake a River Cruise on the Guayas River on the Henry Morgan Pirate Ship
  • Go Cycling Around Isla Santay
  • Visit the Parque Historico
  • Go to the Museum of Anthropology and Contemporary Art
  • Find the Iguanas in Parque Bolivar
  • Explore Downtown Guayaquil
  • Go Row-boating Around the Estero Salado
  • Watch the Monumental Fountains of Dancing Waters
  • Eat Cangrejo Criollo – That’s Crab
  • Drink Pilsener Right Where the Beer Was Born
  • Take a day trip from Guayaquil

6. Nariz del Diablo: The Devil’s Nose

The Devil's Nose
The Devil’s Nose

Nariz del Diablo(The Devil’s Nose) is located in Riobamba, it is a restored railway covering the routes opening to the country’s most breathtaking views amid the Andes mountains. For some folks, it is also considered to be a mandatory bucket list item.

The 12-kilometer return trip to the devil’s nose is undoubtedly one of the most popular and includes a fantastic sightseeing trip aboard a train that zigzags through a number of switchbacks as it climbs the near-vertical sides of the mountain to the viewing station at its top.

Things to do near Nariz del Diablo(The Devil’s Nose)

  • Making a pact with the devil
  • Silent cries at the world’s most difficult railway
  • Cultural immersion at Sibambe
  • Traversing the Devil’s Nose from Alausi to Sibambe
  • Practical tips for Devil’s Nose
  • Rail travel in Ecuador
  • Devil nose train ride from Alausi
  • A good few hours trip
  • Go for traditional shopping

7. The Hot Springs of Banos

Banos
Banos

Banos is the most popular places to visit in Ecuador. It is also known as the “Gateway to the Amazon,” Baños is a favorite departure point for jungle tours.

This small Andean town has a number of attractions such as the thermal baths. The proximity to the Tungurahua Volcano provides Banos with natural hot springs where adventurers can unwind after a long day of sightseeing and adventure activities.

There are many pools ranging from cold to very hot where you can relax or swim. The waters are infused with high amounts of natural minerals, giving it a brown color, and believed to have medicinal properties. Check out the Cascada de la Virgen Waterfall which empties into the thermal baths near the city center.

Things to experience in the Hot Springs of Banos

  • Hike Pailon Del Diablo Viewpoint
  • Swing At The End Of The World
  • Zip Line Over Agoyan Waterfall
  • Take A Cable Car To A Waterfall
  • Soak At A Thermal Hot Springs
  • Rent A Mountain Bike
  • Relax At Luna Volcan Adventure Spa
  • Try A Local Meal
  • Visit The Main Plaza
  • Try Out Locally Made Taffy

8. Otavalo Market

Otavalo
Otavalo

Otavalo Market is the colorful, important weekly market in the Andes, where locals and tourists alike come to buy colorful locally made rugs and blankets, sweaters, bags, and other wool products made by the indigenous Otavalenos people.

If you are visiting in June, then be sure to check out the famous Inti Raymi (Festival of the Sun) music festival featuring numerous local musicians with their distinctive instruments and sounds.

Things to do in Otavalo Market

  • Visit Peguche Waterfall
  • Go to the Otavalo Condor Park
  • Hike around Cuicocha Lake
  • Explore the sacred tree of Otavalo
  • Eat the Best Pie in South America
  • Walk around the Laguna de Mojanda
  • Where to stay in Otavalo
  • Go to Cuicocha lake
  • Check out the festival of the sun
  • Buy colorful blankets and clothes

9. Quilotoa Loop

Quilotoa Loop
Quilotoa Loop

The Quilotoa Loop is a self-guided hike in the Andes mountains in Ecuador. The hike either begins or ends at Quilotoa, Lake a stunning crater lake in the Cotopaxi province. Each night, you’ll sleep in hostels in small towns along the hike, so no camping gear is required.

Quilotoa Loop is a ring-shaped trail that connects remote villages in the high Andes in Ecuador in the Cotopaxi region. here there is no need for a guide or porter to hike Quilotoa Loop, but it is necessary to have some instructions before you go there.

Things to know before Hiking the Quilotoa Loop

  • It is one of the valuable trips in Ecuador
  • You should leave your bag
  • Leave your wifi addiction there too
  • There are a variety of routes
  • It can be very very cold
  • You will get lost
  • The hostel cook all your meal
  • Altitude adjustment is necessary
  • Be respectful with your camera
  • You need to take all your money
  • Thursday Morning Market
  • Saturday Market

10. Salinas

Salinas; Best Places to Visit in Ecuador
Salinas

Salinas is the western city in Ecuador, sitting on the Pacific Ocean, which makes it popular with surfers and yachters. Ecuador’s most popular beach resort city offers some great beaches like salines, many others. It is also known as Little Miami Beach because of its high-rise condominiums dotting the shoreline.

It is also home to La Chocolatera,  which is a beach where turtles lay their eggs, which means tourists need permission to enter theirs. The best time to enjoy in Salinas is December.

Things to do in Salinas

  • Discover the best beaches on the Ecuadorian Pacific Coast
  • Eat delicious Ecuadorian seafood
  • Sunbathe alongside notable Ecuadorians
  • Celebrate New Year’s Eve like an Ecuadorian
  • Stand on the furthest western point in Ecuador
  • Try your hand at bird watching
  • Hit the waves
  • Explore ancient cultures
  • Boat tours and water sports

Conclusion

So that was our wrap up of the list of best places to visit in Ecuador. The mentioned places are jam-packed with beautiful attractions, incredible sightseeing that will surely make your vacations to Ecuador worth visiting.

Please share your feedback with us. If you have any queries or suggestions feel free to share with us. Treknova always loves to hear it form its readers.

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