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Exploring Tourism in Ecuador
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Ecuador Popular Places to Visit

Volcán Chimborazo

Rising 6,263 meters (nearly 4 miles high), Volcán Chimborazo isn’t just the tallest mountain in Ecuador. This inactive stratovolcano is the furthest point on Earth’s surface from the center of Earth. When measuring the height from the earth’s center, rather than sea level, Chimborazo clocks in even higher than Everest.

Summiting Chimborazo is a challenging high-altitude ascent requiring technical ice-climbing gear. Adventurers will also need at least two days to complete the overnight summit. The town of Riobamba acts as the staging ground for this climb. It’s here that adventure operators are able to assist and guide climbers.

For a less extreme challenge on Chimborazo, it’s also possible to take a short day hike towards the summit. Whether hiking independently or as part of a tour, visitors can ascend to a small pond at an elevation of 5,100 meters high (16,732 feet).

Riobamba, Ecuador

Old Cathedral Of Cuenca

One of the most important being the Old Cathedral of Cuenca (Iglesia del Sagrario). Built in 1567 from stones taken from nearby Inca buildings, highlights include its old organ from 1739, its tower clock from 1751, and the Museum for Religious Art.

Cuenca, Ecuador

La Compania De Jesus Church

La Compania de Jesus Church, 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.

Quito, Ecuador

San Francisco Church

The most famous attraction in Quito's historic center is the San Francisco Church on the Plaza San Francisco. Dating back to the first half of the 1500s, the church's white-washed twin towers flank each side of the entrance to this massive complex. It's notable for its splendid Baroque interior and the Convent Museum of San Francisco with its religious paintings, sculptures, carvings, porcelain, textiles, and handcrafted furniture.

Quito, Ecuador

Quito

Quito, the capital of Ecuador, is filled with colonial architecture and is the largest historic center in South America. Preserved as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its many old churches, beautiful public squares, and world-class museums, this city of 1.6 million people has long been a favorite with artisans and is a great place to shop for local art and crafts, from ceramics and wood carvings to colorful clothing.

Quito, Ecuador

Bahía De Caráquez

Situated on a pretty peninsula jutting out into the ocean, Bahía attracts many tourists with its fine beaches, numerous hotels, and lively entertainment scene. Another popular area, particularly among younger travelers and surfers, is Montañita in the south coastal region of the country (for families, head a little further south to the quieter beaches of the fishing village of Ayangue).

Bahía, Ecuador

Tena

Excellent place from which to experience some of the vast Amazon basin is the city of Tena, capital of the province of Napo. Famous as Ecuador's cinnamon capital, Tena was established by missionaries not long after the Spanish arrived in South America and is an increasingly popular destination for travelers due to its many opportunities for adventure.

Highlights here are jungle excursions into the Amazon, along with fun river journeys, including whitewater rafting; canoeing; and kayaking down the Tena, Misahualli, and Napo Rivers, the latter of which flows directly into the Amazon.

Tena, Ecuador

Podocarpus National Park

Podocarpus National Park, often referred to as the "Botanical Garden of America," offers a diverse range of flora and fauna. In the southeast part of the country, its humid mountain forests are home to more than 4,000 species of plants and trees (some as tall as 40 meters), including the famous cinchona, Ecuador's national tree.

Loja, Ecuador

Cajas National Parks

About 30 kilometers from Cuenca in Ecuador's stunning highlands, Cajas National Park (Parque Nacional Cajas) offers a different experience due to its numerous hills and valleys, making it a perfect place to hike and bike. It's also a delight for watersports enthusiasts, particularly kayakers and canoeists, thanks to its more than 270 lagoons and glacier-fed lakes.

Cuenca, Ecuador

Isla De La Plata

 

Isla de la Plata is a small island off the coast of ManabíEcuador, and is part of Parque Nacional Machalilla. It can be reached by boat from the city of Puerto López.

On the island, there is a large diversity of animal species. For example, several species of booby, including the Blue-footed boobyRed-footed booby, and the Nazca booby. Another species found here is the South American sea lion. Dolphins, like the Pantropical spotted dolphin can be found in the water near the island.

Guided tours are given on a couple of different hiking trails. There are many nice beaches on the island where you can see many forms of wildlife and plant species.

Isla De La Plata, Ecuador