Why Ecuador?

Despite being small in size, Ecuador is a country rich in cultural, geographic and biological diversity.

Ecuador is one of the world’s few megadiverse countries; its regions include Pacific coast dry forests, beaches and mangroves; highlands and snowcapped volcanoes in the Andes Mountains; Amazon tropical jungles; and the incredible uniqueness of the Galapagos Islands.

Friendly people, nice weather and safety compared to other South American countries make it a great study abroad destination. The interprovincial public transportation system makes exploring the country relatively easy and cheap, perfect for a student budget.

Ecuador is a destination full of adventure, delicious cuisine and ancestral multicultural heritage. There are 14 indigenous nationalities and 18 indigenous communities recognized by the government—an impressive number for such a small country—who still preserve their traditional values and practices.

For the fourth consecutive year, Ecuador has won the “World’s Leading Green Destination 2016″ award, granted by the World Travel Awards (WTA), known as the Oscars of the tourism world.  

Some of the most important tourist places are:
The Andes
The Andes
These mountains make up a large portion of the Pacific Ring of Fire, with snowcapped volcanoes like Cotopaxi, Cayambe and Chimborazo, Earth’s closest point to the sun. The topography perfectly lends itself to outdoor sports like hiking, camping and mountain biking.
The Coast
The Coast
Ecuador’s Pacific coast has many different destinations for tourists looking for surfing, whale watching or lounging in the sand. Mangrove forests, quaint fishing villages, and stunning beaches run the length of the country’s western side.
Amazon Region
Amazon Region
Ecuador’s Amazon region extends east from the foothills of the Andes and represents almost 50% of Ecuador’s mainland territory. Ecuador’s Amazon region is the most densely populated area within the Amazon River Basin. This population is characterized by a great amount of ethnic and cultural diversity and includes ten indigenous peoples.
Galapagos
Galapagos
This isolated group of volcanic islands and its fragile ecosystem has taken on an almost mythological status as a showcase of biodiversity. Just a short plane ride from the mainland, you can swim with sea turtles, hike the crater of an active volcano and watch sea lions bask in the sun.
Quito
Quito
Quito, Ecuador’s capital, is located in the heart of the Andes, just north of the equator, and is known as the city of “eternal spring.” Its historical center is one of Latin America’s most well-preserved and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city offers exceptional architecture, great restaurants and nightlife paired with a mild climate.
Guayaquil
Guayaquil
The “malecón” is the name for the boardwalk stretching for 2.5 km (1.5 mi) that overlooks the Guayas River. This urban renewal project is made up of ponds, playgrounds, sculptures, gardens and river views, not to mention restaurants, museums and an IMAX theater Photo Credit: Alejo Miranda
Cuenca
Cuenca
Its historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with its trademark skyline of massive rotundas and soaring steeples, is one of its main attractions. The city is the center of many craft traditions, including ceramics, metalwork and the internationally famous panama hat.
Baños
Baños
Waterfalls, rivers and jagged mountains offer visitors the chance to go whitewater rafting, climbing, canyoning, ziplining, trekking, mountain biking and bungee jumping. Three hours away from Quito, it’s the perfect destination for an adventurous weekend escape.

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