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Exploring Tourism in Ecuador
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Ecuador Popular Places to Visit

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

Volcan Sierra Negra

Sierra Negra is a large shield volcano at the South eastern end of Isabela Island in the Galapagos that rises to an altitude of 1124m. It coalesces with the volcanoes Ceroo Azul to the west and Alcebedo to the north. It is one of the most active of the Galapagos volcanoes with the most recent historic eruption in October 2005.

Galapagos, Ecuador

Charles Darwin Scientific Research Station

 

The Charles Darwin Research Station (CDRS) is a biological research station operated by the Charles Darwin Foundation. It is located in Puerto Ayora on Santa Cruz Island in the Galapagos Islands, with satellite offices on Isabela and San Cristóbal islands.

In Puerto AyoraSanta Cruz Island, Ecuadorian and foreign scientists work constantly on research and projects for conservation of the Galapagos terrestrial and marine ecosystems. The Charles Darwin Research Station, established in 1964, has a Natural History Interpretation Centre and also carries out educational projects in support of conservation of the Galápagos Islands.

 

The objectives of the CDRS is to conduct scientific research and environmental education for conservation. The Station has a team of over a hundred scientists, educators, volunteers, research students and support staff from all over the world.

Scientific research and monitoring projects are conducted at the CDRS in conjunction and cooperation with its chief partner, theGalapagos National Park Service (GNPS), which functions as the principal government authority in charge of conservation and natural resource issues in the Galapagos.

 

Galapagos, Ecuador

Puyango

 

South America’s oldest forest lies 110km South from Machala, covering an area of 2,659 hectares. In this small valley, we find an incredible variety of tree, vegetable, and animal fossils that date back to prehistoric times and constitute one of the planet’s most important ecosystems. The fossilized tree trunks meassure up to 1.6m in diameter dating back 300 million years. It is also an important spot for birdwatching with over 130 species of birds and perhaps more.

Beyond the scientific interest, the trees that have turned into stone are quite an amazing site.  The natural scenery of the area is one of the planets only tropical dry forests and is the home of a variety of native plantlife like the Guayacan, Petrino, Buganvilla and animal life like deer, armadillo, squirells, Pecare wild pigs, hawks, doves, woodpeckers, tanagers and other species.

Puyango, Ecuador

Parque Nacional Mahchalilla

 

Machalilla National Park is a preserve in the Ecuadorian Manabí Province near Puerto López and the rural parish ofMachalilla, a small fishing village in the vicinity of the park.

Established in 1979, Machalilla National Park near Puerto Lopéz rests along the Pacific coast. It incorporates beaches,fog forestdry forest, small islands and two larger islands, Salango and Isla de la Plata, the latter named for a legendary hoard of silver left by Sir Francis Drake.

In 1990 the park was named an internationally important wetland under the Ramsar Convention. Wildlife includesarmadillos, two species of monkeys and birds of more than 270 species. Many of the large mammals in Machalilla National Park are regionally and locally endangered. Machalilla National Park is the only habitat outside of the Galapagos Islands of waved albatross. The ocean regions of the park also provide a breeding ground for humpback whales. Vegetation includes opuntia cactuspalo santo treeskapok trees and the algaroba tree.[1] Most of the tropical scrub desert and forest of western Ecuador, once 25% but now only 1%, can be found in the park.

Machalilla National Park has been threatened by a number of factors, including deforestationcommercial fishing,poaching and the ecological impact of the tourist industry. In 1991, The Nature Conservancy, the United States Agency for International Development and a group of partner organizations across Latin America and the Caribbean began contributing funds for conservation as part of the Parks in Peril (PiP) program. Machalilla National Park opened an on-site center for educating visitors about the ecology of the park and conservation issues. The park also hired locals to serve as guards, increasing local awareness of the issues impacting the park. Machalilla's partner organization, Fundación Natura, has also worked with local communities to provide training on environmentally agricultural and fishing practices.

Manabi, Ecuador

Laguna De Cajas

 

In the province of Imbabura a few hours away North from Quito it is located Mojanda. Mojanda is a complex of three lakes Caricocha (male lake) or big lake, Huarmicocha (female lake) or small lake andYanacocha or black lake. The three of them are connected by different paramo paths and defended by two mountains the Fuya-Fuya to the East and the Yanahurco or Black Mountain to the west. Everything is around the 3 714 meters.

Around the Mojanda Lakes there is a lot of paramo vegetation and a native forest which is of a volcanic origin.

Mojanda, Ecuador