Ecuador is full of beauty and wonder. Keep Reading to learn about the top Ecuador tourist attractions that you must see. Five of the best things to do and places to visit in Ecuador South America Travel. Take a look at my list of Ecuador tourist attractions.
Dreaming of traveling to Ecuador? Why wouldn’t you?
There, you’ll find rich culture, staggering natural beauty, and wonders of the ancient world. But if you’re not sure how to make the most of your trip, we’ve got you covered.
Below, we’ve listed the 5 most essential Ecuador points of interest to visit during your stay. Be sure to plan for these must-see Ecuador tourist attractions.
Must-see Ecuador Tourist Attractions
1. Stay in Quito
If you book only one hotel for your stay in Ecuador, make it a hotel in Quito. As the capital city of Ecuador, Quito is home to the top-notch Ecuadorian food and nightlife you’ll want close to your hotel. A stay in Quito puts you right in the center of the rich culture of modern Ecuador.
It’s also located on the equator, known to the locals as “Mitad del Mundo,” the “Center of the World.” Stand in both hemispheres as you straddle the equator in Quito.
Then, view the iconic Mitad del Mundo monument, mistakenly built 100 meters from the true equator. Be sure to visit both.
Be warned, however, that Quito rests high in the Andes Mountains, 9,350 feet above sea level.
Any visitors sensitive to high elevation must make preparations for breathing thin air.
2. Tour the Galapagos Islands
See the beautiful, volcanic island chain where Charles Darwin conceived his theory of evolution.
View the majestic, native wildlife, including sea tortoises, iguanas, penguins, and albatrosses.
For a closer look, bring a snorkel and get in the water!
Purchase a tour for a complete look at all 19 islands.
3. Devil’s Nose Train Ride
For gorgeous site-seeing without the hike, take the Devil’s Nose train ride in Riobamba. The winding track gradually climbs higher and higher as it scales the face of a 330-foot cliff. The “Devil’s Nose” you’ll see is a huge, nose-shaped rock protruding from the cliff face.
The exhilarating ride takes a full 10 hours round-trip, but it’s worth it. Be sure to get a seat on the right side of the train for the best viewing experience.
4. Cuenca Historic District
Glance back through time in Cuenca’s enchanting historic city center. There, several well-preserved cathedrals have stood for hundreds of years and remain in use to this day.
You’ll also see Las Casas Colgadas, the “overhanging houses.” These 14th-century houses are so named because they are literally suspended over the edge of the Huécar canyon, and have been for hundreds of years!
Perhaps most breathtaking site in Cuenca is Ingapirca. This archeological site contains Incan and pre-Incan ruins over 500 years old. You’ll visit the actual roads, walls, and still-standing structures built by these ancient civilizations.
A number of museums in Cuenca also give insight into the ancient culture of Ecuador.
5. Otavalo Market
Otavalo Market, South America’s largest marketplace, is as deep into Ecuadorian creative culture as you can get. Haggle for souvenirs amidst the sound of live, Andean pipe music and the scent of delicious treats. Purchase handmade artisanries such as musical instruments, jewelry, leatherwork, dreamcatchers, and others.
Most prominent is the thriving industry of handwoven textiles. These decorative tablecloths, blankets, and tapestries will add a touch of culture to your living room.
The Otavalo Market is your must-visit destination for handmade, Ecuadorian souvenirs.
Visit These Ecuador Tourist Attractions
Don’t miss these top things to do in Ecuador. Include these 5 Ecuador tourist attractions in your itinerary.
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